Hi, I survived my first plane trip (two hours) with a toddler and I wanted to share my experience as at the time of booking I couldn't find a lot of info about travel and little ones other than have lots of snacks and get them to suck on a bottle for when ascending and descending.
The trip there : Our third party provider mucked up the booking. They charged us $1600 on our credit card but when we booked in we could only get two seats on the plane as opposed to the three we paid for. Our toddler threw a tautrum while we were at the terminal trying to work through the problem. Very stressful. I travelled alone with her and hubby travelled later in the day. Lesson number 1 for us : book directly with the airline and not a third party.
Lesson number two - when charging a portable DVD player the night before, keep it switched off otherwise it will switch off after five minutes.....
Lesson number three : Don't expect the air hostess standing at the front of the plane to help you with bags as they will only call out in a big loud voice that they cannot leave their spot. Very embaraassing.
Lesson four : Do have lots of snacks as airline food is expensive.
Lesson five : Scedule the flight just before their usual naptime in the day if you can.
Ok, the flight back worked a treat. Hubby had bought a little blow up travel cushion and this supported her head while she nodded off to sleep. She slept as it was her naptime anyway. The DVD player with the Wiggles was properly charged. God bless the Wiggles! We didn't even make it to plan B and C (crayons and story books). I hope these tips bode well. Blessings Pinkflowerinthedesert If you have any other tips, please share.
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02-01-2012 21:49 #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
Traveling with a toddler on a plane - lessons learned
03-01-2012 10:33 #2
I found with my DS getting a window seat was the best thing ever he loved watching out the window n also we played I spy on the plane read books and were given in flight breakfast which helped we only had 2 seats but flipped up the arm rest n shared seats n on take off n touch down we shared a seat belt with him he was great loved flying me on the other hand I was terrified the whole flight
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03-01-2012 11:07 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
Good to know. DH and i are travelling (4-5 hours) with DD (3) and DS (15 months) soon so your tips are great!!
03-01-2012 12:14 #4
I only had one seat but he slept on me so all good.
I second the food. A water bottle, & quiet toys
coming from my phone. excuse typos. i'm much too lazy and uncoordinated to fix it
03-01-2012 12:34 #5
I found taking a small stroller so I didn't have to carry my baby to the gate helped.
I'd love some tips for traveling with two on your own. I'm taking an 11mo and 24mo on a 4 hour international flight and I'm scared.
03-01-2012 13:09 #6
I'm interested to hear if anyone has any tips flying long haul with a toddler? I'll be going to England with my DS who will be 15 months old and I am dreading it!
03-01-2012 13:17 #7
I've travelled with a baby, then with a toddler, then heavily pregnant with a toddler, then with a toddler and a newborn...this year I will be travelling with two toddlers So although I feel like a seasoned traveller in regards to kiddies, i'm slightly freaked out about the upcoming trip
So i'll be reading this thread for new tips. In my personal experience, this is what has worked for me:
If you take a stroller, they will allow you to take it all the way to the gate and then the flight attendants will pop it on the plane for you. This is handy when navigating an airport with a toddler like mine, who tends to run away from me. If you check in too late though, they will not offer this option. I also highly recommend taking a baby carrier.
It's much easier taking a backpack than a handheld bag when juggling children.
For toddlers I like to travel just before naptime, and I bring his sleep cue (unfortunately my son's sleep cue is an ugly old pillow - bulky and ugly ). I also try and get him to burn heaps of energy before boarding. I prefer to sit next to the window with a toddler, because they enjoy looking out the window and it captivates their attention for a good chunk of the time. After a little while, once the excitement of the window and take-off have passed, I place the pillow on my lap and encourage him to lay down on it. Each time i've done this, he's fallen asleep within a few minutes. Note: we all know there is a very fine line between tired and overtired, and you definitely don't want the latter on a plane trip, trust me, it happened to me once The carrier is also fantastic for getting my little guy to sleep - I just pop him in the ergo and walk up and down the aisle (this can be difficult if you have a baby to look after as well). Note that you are not allowed to have your LO in the ergo for take off/landing.
When he wakes up, I have PLENTY of snacks on hand, and quiet toys. For a long haul flight, I buy a heap of cheaper toys and wrap them up. When he gets bored of one, I give him the next 'surprise'. I make sure the snacks are ones which he loves, with treats as well.
I prefer not to take the portable DVD player because I find it bulky and annoying, but my Iphone works a treat in its place. Make sure it's fully charged, because the kids games can really deplete the battery.
Make sure nappies and wipes are accessible. Some people like to do up little 'packages' of one nappy & some wipes in a ziplock bag, but I find this fiddly and annoying, so I just keep a few nappies and the wipes at the top of the bag. Don't be alarmed if your baby doesn't fit on the plane change table - it doesn't mean he/she is a giant, it just means the change tables are *ridiculously* small Some interesting manouvering may be required.
If you are travelling with two, don't hesitate to get the flight attendants to look after one while you change the others nappy. They are *usually* pretty helpful (the cuter the kid, the better )
For sore ears - I breastfeed my DS2 during take-off/landing to prevent sore ears, and I give my DS1 something chewy to eat (dried fruit, or a lolly if you prefer).
Also...I gave my DS1 a big bottle of cow's milk on a plane trip when he was 1. He wasn't breastfeeding anymore unfortunately, but the cow's milk really reacted with his gut on the plane (motion sickness and cow's milk don't mix, apparently!). As we were descending, he projectile spewed all over my DH, over the seat in front of us, and on the floor My DH had to take his shoes off and walk into the airport without shoes and covered in spew, because his shoes were COVERED in spew. He was also carrying a very miserable looking DS, who had no clothes on (also spewed on), and just a disposable nappy. I was embarrassed to even walk next to them He then got into trouble by a security guard for not having any shoes on in the airport This brings me to the most important tip - pack spare clothes for your child AND yourself!!!!
Happy travelling It's really worth it, I promise!
03-01-2012 13:22 #8
Heading out on a 4 hour flight with my 2 yr 9 month old and 18 month old on Friday, my 18 month old is not the type to sit still even to watch cartoons or wiggles i have visions of him breaking into the cockpit and starting to fly the plane!
my nearly 3 year old will probably just sit there in excitement of the
Flight so at least thats covered, wish me luck! flight am Not
03-01-2012 13:25 #9
Witwickity, you just reminded me about the change tables! I'm thanking. God my 2 are out of nappies as they really are giants I can't imangine having to manouver that! Shudder!
03-01-2012 13:28 #10
First thing is always expect the worse because they do surprise you.
Don't expect any special treatment or help. This may be special and hard for you but flight attendants have seen it all and they are there to help everybody.
Don't overpack with 'stuff'. While my baby only needed a few nappies, a change of clothes and boob I only packed a new book and crayons and a storybook for my elder DD. Books I found really great were find it picture books.
And last of all stay calm, our children can sense our fears and this is a weakness they will prey on.
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