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long haul flight with 2yo and 4yo

17 replies

shiv · 14/08/2002 20:22

I fly to Australia with my 2 ds'- 2yo and 4yo next month. Normally when we fly my husband and separate them ie my DH takes one and I take the other on opposite sides of the aisle and we have no problems. however my husband is flying back in the next few days to set up house so to speak and we follow him next month. I must have been mad when I suggested flying with the two boys on my own for 300 hours or however long the flight really is. I suppose my worries are twofold, how to survive being cooped up in a plane for hours on end and how to make sure I don't lose them in the airports, as they are adventurous and have no fear. I've discussed running off etc in supermarkets with my four year old and he is quite good now, but the 2 yo just thinks it's all a game. I have four hours in london and about the same in kuala lumpar. I've already bought crayons, paper etc, and am contemplating prozac. any other suggestions to get me through.

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SueW · 14/08/2002 23:18

Oh Shiv, if you go into it believing it's 300 hours it'll be a breeze!!!

Where are you flying from that you get a 4 hour stopover in London? How long is your travel time in total?

I can't remember much about KL airport to be honest but I'll put my subconscious onto it overnight.

Have you tried looking at the appropriate airports' websites and seeing what facilities are available? Personally I think LHR3 is the world's worst airport for children's entertainment (well it was when I last went through it but that was some time ago now) so you'll definitely need something if you're going to be there for more than five minutes.

Good luck.

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Utka · 15/08/2002 13:40

One of the best tips someone told me was to have a pretty much constant supply of 'new' things to look at / eat / play with.

This friend of mine used to take a rucksack filled only with this kind of thing (keeping her own handluggage light as well, to allow for the weight!)

At regular intervals something is extracted for each child (best to have similar items to avoid rows!) The trick is to do this regularly, in time slots that work for the age of the child (say every half hour - hour?)and, on really long journeys, to take back in some of the earlier items so they can be re-used (perhaps for the other child).

I appreciate this could mean a lot of things, given how long you're travelling for, but my friend said that the even the smallest things worked well. Her 5 year old had things like a colouring and sticker book, with crayons attached by string to the book(not felt tips, whose lids could get dropped. She also did an 'eye-spy' game with pictures of airport related things that the child had to spot. They got a prize at regular intervals through the quiz!!

Other tips that I'm sure you'll have thought of - use the stopovers to wash and freshen up, so that you don't have to venture to the airplane loos more often than absolutely necessary. You could also stock up on more 'new' items, and jetison old ones (although not sure how good KL is for this). Put the children in really cool, loose clothing and take a few extra layers so you can get warmer at night in the plane if necessary.

Put your 2 year old on the window seat, and the 4 year old on the aisle (don't let them put you in the middle of a 5 seater section if they have them, as they're impossible to get out of!) Hopefully they'll give you bulkhead seats, so you have more of a play area.

If you have a video camera, try loading a pre-recorded home video of yourselves. My sister does this with my neice and it apparently keeps her occupied for an hour at a time, just watching herself, Daddy, the cat etc.!

Good luck!

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shiv · 15/08/2002 17:46

SueW I am travelling from Cork, Ire hence the stopover in London. I have flown back through KL before ages ago and from memory it isn't great, but they do have a sort of upgraded lounge that you can pay to get into I think so we might go there, as to length of flight I find it so confusing as we leave london at 10pm and arrive in KL at 5.30pm, I think the flight is actually 12 hours lon - kl and 7-8 hours kl to adelaide so add in the 9 hours in airports it is about 29 hours of fun, fun, fun..... Great ideas Utka, did I get that right. I already have crayons and pads, must look for ones with crayons attached, small cars and bubble mixture (for the airport), that shpould get me to about Paris I think, any other suggestions. I was thinking maybe walkmans with tapes but don't know how my 2yo wold tolerate this. I suppose I could try beforehand. Any other tips gratefully accepted

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MABS · 15/08/2002 18:43

Definitely all the bits previously suggested - do you have a 'ound shop' near you . We fly to the states fairly often and I always go on a frenzy in the pound shop for new things , but it doesn't cost a fortune.

Can't really remember KL airport but then I was pleasantly sozzled by the time we got there BC (before children) Check whether you can take your little darlings into the lounge before you travel - I know some lounges ban the under 10s.

Get the airline to arrange 'special assistance' at KL and Adelaide . They'll mee you at the plane with a buggy and escort you through - might cost you a £5 tip but I always do it when I'm alone - well worth it.... Who are you flying , is it Malaysian ?

Otherwise my only other tip is a cocktail of Priton and Tixlyx Nightime ! (works for me)
Are you emigrating ?

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crystaltips · 15/08/2002 21:47

ALso,

Lollipops for the ears on take off and landing.

No Booze for you until you land !! ( SOrry )

Order Kids meals as sometimes the adult meals on the plane don't go down so well.

Try and get them to sleep head to toe on both their seats - that way they can both stretch out ... there will be some initial prodding but it'll pass.

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shiv · 15/08/2002 22:08

Yes we are emigrating i suppose, we came back to Ireland two years ago but miss Oz so much we decided to go back, the cost of living and the weather here are just too awful, I must check out the lounges re the under 10's I didn't think of that, I suppose I just find the Airports website or something. good idea about the lollipops and definately no alcohol, even BC when I flew from Oz to Ire every year or so I learned the trick to avoiding jetlag was lots of water and no alcohol. Giving the boys drugs to make sure they sleep sound like a good idea, what dosage and does it change when you combine the two

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MABS · 15/08/2002 22:23

Shiv - I just give the correct dose as per the bottle for each age , but consecutively ! A lot of my friends swear by Phenergan also - but it didn't work for me - try it beforehand.

Don't do the prozac , valium's far better on a plane especially washed down with a glass of bubbly ......only joking - before everyone has a go

My good friend has just emigrated to Brisbane 3 weeks ago and she's having a ball - best of luck.

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cos · 15/08/2002 22:43

Shiv good luck with the flight
are you bringing a double buggy with you?
Its great in the airport to keep the kids in so they dont get lost, they can nap in it too and its great to hang your bags on.
Who are you flying with?
if they have seatback video the kids will be fine... I did a 12 hour flight with 2 2 year olds and a 4 year old in january with BA and they were great, prebooked seats together and played animal snap for hours...

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shiv · 19/08/2002 21:52

Cos 2 2yo and a 4 yo I have it easy so!!I am flying with Malaysian airways and I think they have the seatback screens. I don't think I will be allowed to take the double buggyas It is a really big one. and the last time I flew I had just a stroller and I was told it was too big and had to go in the hold, but I will definately need a buggy for the two year old. Animal snap what a good idea. must look out for that.

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SueW · 19/08/2002 23:52

I'd forgotten about cards!!

If you're looking for Snap type games have a look at the packs of cards in ELC/Sainsburys. We had a pack of their alphabet cards which travelled with us for a couple of years (DD aged 2-4yo) - 52 cards so 2 of each letter. They got used for snap and pairs and a multitude of other games.

We also had a pack of Blues Clues cards which were fantastic. There are, IIRC, 6 of each design with ?4 Blue cards. DH taught DD to play a version of poker with these! And they were better for Snap and could be used for Pairs (with a greater chance of choosing a winning card!) too.

Those Magic Writing Boards are good too - very cheap from some shops or free at Frankie and Benny restaurants!

DD had a rucksack on wheels too, from age 2. It was much better than a backpack in that she could pull it when she got tired but would pick it up when there were steps! Urchin have some (look to middle of the page, Pull ALong Luggage) but they are extremely expensive.

I got DD's from a local kids' shop but its handle has broken now and I can't get a replacement. It was like this one but clear blue. Very handy to be able to see into it.

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shiv · 20/08/2002 12:53

thanks Suew We are in england for a week next week so must check out sainsburys for cards etc. the pull along backpack is a great idea and see thorough even better, I am so impressed with the click and you see it thingy. you know what I mean i hope. Any way will keep a look out for all of these. I was wondering if anyone knew of a safe herbal or homeopathic ?sp remedy to give to kids for sedation rather piriton or phenergan. I had an awful experience flying from darwin to perth with a three month old an 2yo. i gave 2yo some phenergan after take off to get him to sleep and after sleeping for about half an hour he went beserk, tharshing, screaming, kicking. it seemed to last forever, one of the hosties took the baby and I just held him. He had had phenergan before with no side effects. I'd hate that to happen again.
thanks again.

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musica · 20/08/2002 16:26

Re buggy - I saw a programme on TV 2 nights ago that said you are allowed to take the buggy right up to the plane, and then the cabin staff will put it in outsize baggage. Might be worth contacting the airline in advance to let them know you will be bringing a buggy.

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cos · 20/08/2002 21:37

Shiv
I found with phenergan you have to give it within 30 minutes of normal nap or bedtime otherwise it sends tham hyper. I recommend ELC for sturdy playing cards

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SoupDragon · 21/08/2002 09:06

We're off to Florida on holiday shortly with a 1 1/2 and 3 1/2 yr old so I'm off to get some Tyxilix night time to go with my Piriton syrup!

I am putting together a bag of small things to get out every 1/2 hour or so. We did this last year and didn't need any of them!

We've always been allowed to take a buggy up to the aircraft door and it then gets taken to the hold. Even if you iuse just a single one, it will keep your 2 year old restrained. We have a Kiddyboard which clips to the back for our eldest to stand on.

I can't really think of anything to add to the other advise here really. A friend flew to Oz earlier this year with 1 yr old twins and she asked her GP for something to sedate them with. Mind you, they had it "easy" as it was a company relocation. the company were going to fly them business class but they negotiated to fly economy but with an extra ticket for a nanny from the day care nursery to help them on the flight!! Excellent!

Good luck...

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SueDonim · 21/08/2002 13:08

Do take care if you're planning to give children more than one type of 'drowsy' medication. They could end up with an overdose or a depressant effect on their breathing.

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tanyac · 02/09/2002 17:24

Hi,

We fly back and fourth the Australia a few times per year with our little one (since he was three months) we've never had any real problems.....I find medication with a sedative action tends to send him a little wild!.....best to be avoided in a crowded plane!!!!ha

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shiv · 11/09/2002 18:50

I think I will avoid the medication as I find the same. it sends them a bit wild. The longest part of the flight they should sleep anyway as it is night time. and the last part, KL to adelaide I guess I will just have to deal with it. I spoke to my naturopath and he really didn't feel comfortable recomending anything natural so I think I will have some acupuncture on the day I fly as that always really relaxes me and just go with the flow. have lots of goodies packed and prebooked good seats
thanks everyone

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