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Dreading taking very wriggly one year old on plane - tips please!

15 replies

oiseau · 15/06/2004 12:00

We are only going to Spain but I am absolutely dreading taking my DS on the flight! He is just so wriggly and active I can't imagine for a minute he is going to sit still. He can just about manage a 25 minute session at Monkey Music before he spontaneously combusts into a ball of energy. How do you Mum's who do transatlantics regularly do it? I know I am being a wimp as it's only two hours but I would be really interested to learn any tips that could make it a little more peaceful. He does like books so I am planning on taking lots of those and raisins ... anything else?

OP posts:
Blu · 15/06/2004 12:38

If you can get away with raisins, fine. Me, I would take no risks and go for chocolates or even a dreaded lollipop! Landing and take-off are the worst, when you have to strap them to you with a ridiculous belt extension. That's when you need choc - a drink is good too. (And a spare top for you in hand luggage). Small press button electronic toys to fiddle with...walk up and down the aisle, steeling yourself to irritated looks..and more sweets. I am sure that they put the 'seatbelt' sign on as a way of keeping people in their seats during the trolley-ing - if the cabin stewards are up and about, it can't be MUCH of a turbulence etc! So I'm afraid I didn't strap DS in unless the cabin staff did likewise!

myermay · 15/06/2004 12:47

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Galaxy · 15/06/2004 12:47

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AussieSim · 15/06/2004 13:26

There are quite a few threads on this subject already so you might find the response a bit light (although I could be wrong). I would have a look at the Travel topic in current and also in archived for ideas.

oiseau · 15/06/2004 14:48

Thanks everyone - spare top and chocolates sound like the way forward. Really good idea re wrapping up the toys as well - he loves unwrapping things!

I know this topic has been done to death but its the fidget factor I was most concerned about. I am always amazed at the way other children will sit placidly on their parents knees for ages whereas DS lasts about 2 mins for a cuddle and then he's off!

OP posts:
prettycandles · 15/06/2004 14:49

If he's a fidget I really would steer clear of chocolate - the last thing you want is a toddler on a sugar-high!

oiseau · 15/06/2004 15:04

hmm yes - the thought had crossed my mind. He hasn't really had that much so far so haven't seen the effects. Is there anything that lasts a long time that doesn't give a sugar high?

OP posts:
Azure · 15/06/2004 15:12

I wish you luck. A flight to Portugal with DS at that age was 2+ hours of sheer hell. All the other children on the plane seemed to fall asleep for the entire duration of the flight, but not mine. Assuming you are flying with DH/P, on check-in ask if you can have the aisle and window seats (i.e. leaving the middle seat spare). Unless the plane is really busy you are likely to get the spare seat for DS.

Azure · 15/06/2004 15:13

By the way, it does get better - we took DS (now 2.9) to the States in April and he was absolutely fine.

xoz · 15/06/2004 15:19

Have you thought about a packet of other dried fruit? eg apricot, papaya, mango, etc, nice sugar free ones at places like Holland & Barratt (although beware the nappies the next day ) Depending on what time your flight is (We usually try to fly at nap time) he may just nod off. I was told (although I don't know if true) that the way they pressurise the cabin makes little ones fall asleep. We have been to Australia twice in the last 12 months (came back alone with my 2dds - 18mths and 3years- last time) and they really did sleep most of the time (about 17 out the 24 hours!!!). If you stay calm it will help too. I agree that the hardest part is keeping them on your lap in that belt so leave that as long as you can. Also ask at check in if they can block off an extra seat for you if the plane is not full. Some of the big carriers will do this happily. In the end 2 hours will go by so quickly that you'll be amazed. Also go for a window seat if you can get one. They can often be distracted with looking out the window before take off at all the stuff happening outside. ummmm... no thats probably enough for now. We've done lots of travelling with our 2 and they love it. We always have a bag full of stuff, but rarely ever dip into it for anything but a drink and some food. Hope you have a great time.

maomao · 15/06/2004 15:24

I flew to NYC alone with my dd when she was about a year old, and I vowed I would never do such a long trip alone again. She had great fun, though ---- she walked up and down the aisles handing out clean nappy wipes! (I also did bring a lot of little toys that were new, and thus a "surprise" and some books, raisins, and bananas....)

jennifersofia · 15/06/2004 22:57

hmmm. Cheerios on a string necklace can be somewhat amusing for a few minutes, Little food like raisins keeps them busy. We took books (did a 24 hr flight with a 3mth old and 1.5 yr old) Lots of wipes, and also just anticipate that they quite possibly won't sleep, and it is also quite good to remember that although it might seem like forever, it will end relatively shortly. Good luck

stripey · 16/06/2004 21:21

We flew to Australia when ds1 was 18mths. He spent a lot of time peeling stickers out of sticker books and sticking them all over the plane. He really liked stickers at that age and you can pick up some books for less than £1. Also drawing can be good if he likes drawing even with a wipe clean board or some chalks?

One good tip we were given was take pullups instead of regular nappies as you can barely move in the toilets never mind lie a child down to put a nappy on.

stevensmum · 24/06/2004 21:58

Hi, we took our 1yr old from glasgow to stansted, only a short trip i know, we let her look out of the window and gave her books to read. Our 4 month old at the time was a totally different matter though.....slept most of the way little angel.

webmum · 24/06/2004 22:08


I have been flying with dd on short haul flights 3-4 times a year since she was 2 months. The just walking stage was one of the worst (together with the crawling one), I spent half the flight walking up and down the corridor (when there were no trolleys) bent down with dd trying to grab evrybody's newspapers....and kept apologising to everyone....when she couldn't walk, a drink, snack, toy, book were the answer. She almost never we're always busy with her.

Another thing that helped is being seated behind older children (we always fly ryanair so we get to choose our seats), they always keep her entertained!!!

If he likes books you should be ok, the inflight magazine and the emrgency instructions cards still hold dd's attention for a few minutes as well (she's now 3).

If you also have your dh with ou you won't have too many problems.

Enjoy your holiday!!!!

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