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International Flight + Toddler

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
DS will be 15 months when we fly to the US next week--a 12 hour flight. I'm so not looking forward to 14 hours in a tin box with a toddler whose favorite place is in the yard. :spin Help! Tips, suggestions, commisseration?
post #2 of 13
Plan for a lot of walking up and down the aisles Hopefully some nice people will want to play peek-a-boo wtih him from behind or in front of your seats. Pack some snacks, a new toy or two (drawing pads seem fun, thsoe magnetic ones?). Does he still nap? If so you'll at least get a break then Nursing, playing with those touch screen monitors on the back of the seats if your plane has them can keep them occupied for awhile.

(private freak-out at the thought of a flying to the states with 3 kids in the future) Whew...
post #3 of 13
Well, I am about to fly with DS 4 years and DD 2 years to Germany from Denver (and it takes three flights, due to $$$). I did it before with DS being 1 year old at the time. Plan on some new (inexpensive) toys (who knows if they will all arrive or if some will get lost). Drawing books are good (my sister came over last year with her two daughters, and they liked them, but they are girls...).

Other than that: maybe relax the snack rule? Keep them busy with super tiny M&M's? And, of course, rescue remedy...

Good luck.

And good luck to me too...

post #4 of 13
We went to China (a 14 hour flight) when ds was 19 months old. I packed lots of snacks and lots of new cheap toys that I got at the dollar store. It was difficult keeping him occupied and he wanted to walk up and down the isles a lot. Luckily he still napped so that took up 3 hours and when meals were served that kept him occupied for about an hour. Good Luck!
post #5 of 13
That's a tough age on the airplane. Stickers (stick them to his arms and hands and let him peel them off), bandaids (takes a lot of time to get them open and stick them someplace), both of my kiddos liked little cosmetic case kind of things that I stuffed with cotton balls, q-tips and other random "treasures." The smallest cans of playdoh. Oh, print out a bunch of new photos of friends, family and familiar places and make a photo flip book. Maybe a calculator or small flashlight just for novelty? Another momma here swore by spin toothbrushes!

Best of luck to you! I agree with bring a zillion little, inexpensive things and pull them out as slowly as possible.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks ladies. I think I'm going to have to pack lots and lots of snacks. DS doesn't really play with toys, unless you count our cell phones, remote controls, laptop, etc. He has a couple of cars that he likes, but they don't entertain for long. He doesn't draw, but maybe one of those magnetic MagnaDoodle things would work. I think I saw a cheap one somewhere. He's all about running around and chasing the dogs, the birds, the butterflies, us! He's a super busy little guy and even staying in the house for a day drives him bonkers. He will nap, but rarely when there are other people around, so I'm concerned about his inability to nap on the plane. Thankfully he's still nursing, so boobies may keep him busy for a minute or two here and there. He loves to eat, so I'm hoping that snacks keep him occupied. And we're flying Turkish Airlines, lots of baby-loving Turks to keep him happy, I hope. We did manage to get bulkhead seats (or so DH says), so we'll have a bit of extra room there.

Any other suggestions? Keep 'em coming!
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by Turkish Kate View Post
DS will be 15 months when we fly to the US next week--a 12 hour flight. I'm so not looking forward to 14 hours in a tin box with a toddler whose favorite place is in the yard. :spin Help! Tips, suggestions, commisseration?
We just got back from Scotland (a 6 hr flight) and it went pretty smoothly (thank goodness!).
I highly suggest that you bring lots of healthy snacks for you toddler- things that are easily portable.
Also, bring favorite books, toys, and items on board. It also helps to buy new books and toys as well. Anything that will keep your DC occupied.
And like a pp said, be prepared to walk the aisles a lot.
Did you get a flight near or around your DC's sleep time? That often makes a trip go easier.
Good luck!
post #8 of 13
oh, i have done this several times!!!! 12 hour flights.... the busiest was with 5, 3 and new born.... bring "busy" little toys and non sticky snacks. I also kept them busy with empty cups and ice. keeps them hydrated, clean (not sticky) and doesn't matter if it spills. I just picked up a variety of little toys and handed them out whenever... on night flights they didn't sleep... but even the headphones kept them busy. The loud noise of the plane and the constant commotion keeps them occupied too. oh, one time those glow sticks were a real fun thing. and little bendable, stackable toys.
post #9 of 13
HOw did it go? When my ds was that age he just jumped up and down on the seats for about 3 hours, slept for about 4 hours, and then jumped some more, and then walked alot. it didnt go too bad. now the flight when he was 3years old just about killed me.lol
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey--thanks for asking! The flight went fine, believe it or not. He slept and nursed almost the whole way, was only awake for about 2 or three hours of it. The rest of the time, he charmed flight attendants and passengers, even the pilot, who allowed him into the cockpit to see all those nifty gadgets. He did have quite a bit of jet lag and was sick for about a week afterwards, but no flight issues at all! The hard part was the days of driving after we landed, with all of us jet-lagged and sick with colds. But we're finally in Florida and facing severe culture shock. 'Nother thread.
post #11 of 13
It might not help now, but for future notes, try and get a night flight.

Seriously. My mother had to fly back to the UK from Hong Kong several time when both my brother and I were under 4. That's a 14 hour flight on her own with 2 tiny children. She always says that if you have to fly with a child, always try and fly when they would normally be asleep. And take a surprise toy for them to unwrap when they get bored. I accquired many beloved My Little Ponies this way (Oh how times change!).
post #12 of 13
I second the snacks. I would also take a cozy blanket and toys. Travel size toys rock! But I have been fortunate that something about just being on a plane makes my dd sleepy. So I get off pretty easy. It's usually the layovers where the bottom just drops out of the experience for us.
post #13 of 13
I've just finished a 46 day round the world trip with my two kiddos...

And I fully second catching flights that coincide with your child's sleep patterns, especially when you fly west.
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