Has anyone done this? I'm expecting the worst, so hopefully it will be better than that. If you've done something similar, could you please help me with survival techniques. What should I bring for the trip? For the time there? Any nuggets of wisdom from someone who has BTDT would be great. Just let me know that I'm not the only one in the world who has to do this crazy type of thing.
For the plane: snacks, snacks, snacks. Whatever the kids like and will keep them happy. Also ordering the children's meal helps 'cause it's usually kid friendly food. This time when we flew we took the twins car seats with us on the plane and that was a life saver, just for containment purposes. Books and games will also help keep the children occupied. Our magnadoodles were a godsend.
My DH was absolutely dreading it and when we got home after doing it twice he decided that it hadn't been that bad. There were times where it was dicey and hectic, but overall it was a good experience.
: wife to James, MoM to R and D (Aug 2007) and E (Nov 2009) and Y (April 2012)
When our twins were 11 months old we flew:
California - Australia (3 flights) and then
Australia - Pennsylvania (4 flights, 30 hours)
Recently, at 19 mo we flew:
Pennsylvania - Hong Kong and back (2 flights each way, total about 20+ hours?)
The worst, by far, was the Aus - PA 30 hour deal. It was just plain old too much traveling with no break. The twins were lap babies, and I did not sleep at all. I was delirious and actually vomiting on the final flight (handing a screaming child to strangers so that I could run to the lavatory. so.not.fun). So, for you, I would ask how many flights do you have to take to reach your destination? For us, the fewer flights, the better (for ex, the NY-HK flight is 16 hours, but at least we didn't have to change planes, which made things easier). If you have a lot of flights and you don't function well without sleep, I'd consider spending the night somewhere en route.
Secondly, if there is any way you can swing it, I'd buy one seat (or two) for the twins. It is really very rare these days to have any extra open (free) seats on international flights. We bought seats for the twins on our recent trip, and it was worth the extra money for comfort and sanity. We took their car seats with us, and they actually sat in them quite a bit.
I second it: Magnadoodles are the greatest invention ever for toddler entertainment! You should be able to find mini ones that have the 'pen' attached to the pad with a piece of string.
-Changes of clothing (we take PJs to change them into to simulate bed time, not that it necessarily works, but...!)
-Maybe even a change of clothing for adults in case a wee one gets sick all over you
- Coloring books and crayons
- Books they enjoy reading
- Make use of the personal TVs on the plane and don't feel guilty one bit for it
- Take any comfort items (blankets, etc)
- Snacks, water, snacks, water, water, water, water!
- Make sure both you and your DH have access to things you might need such as diapering equip, snacks, & toys, whether you do that before take off or if you pack the same essentials in two different carry-ons. In short, be well-organized; it's one less thing to worry about.
- Go with the flow. The airlines staff will likely be cranky and not helpful, but the flight can only last for so long. Soon you'll be having fun with family in India!
- We carried the twins on our backs/chests through the airport & security, which was nice, b/c we didn't ever have to take them out of the carriers (even though security). We did not bother with a stroller.
- We took toddler backpack leashes but didn't use them. If your kids are the running type, the leashes might come in handy.
We've done two international trips with our kids (although they weren't as young as yours). We went from Canada to Japan (5 flights, 27 travel hours) with two 3-year-olds and a 6-year-old last year, and from Denver to France (9 plane hours, six train hours) with two 4-year-olds and a 7-year-old.
Have you confirmed that you will be able to have the babes on your lap? I don't think many international flights do that. Some do have a cot where a babe can sleep... but I think you have to pay for it. It's definitely worth checking as you work out your budget.
When we flew domestically when our girls were lap babes, we couldn't sit in the same row as they only had one extra oxygen mask per grouping. That might be another reason to get at least one seat for the twins.
Anyway. You CAN do it. Flying at night helps. LOTS of snacks help. Little toys, songs, etc. Comfy clothing, lots of nursing (if they still nurse) and anything they like will help. Knowing that 99 percent of the people on that flight will be rooting for you -- and that it doesn't matter what the other 1 percent think.
Good luck! Let us know how it goes!
We did buy an extra seat because there was just no way we could do laps for that long and eat too. Lots of snacks, toys, etc. I didn't even take my own carry on because it's not like I"d have a chance to do any reading anyway.
We used our side by side stroller and could always load it down with our stuff in the airports if one wanted to be held.
Just assume it'll be the worst day of the year and be happy you survived it.
Missionary, birth-worker, midwifery student
Mama to DD (9yr), DS (3yr), & UC twin DDs (5yr)
Also dividing the diaper bag into two is good. We landed up seperated by two rows because they couldn't seat us all together. DH and R sat together and D, E and I sat together.
Regarding the basinet: there is a weight limit for them. The last time we were allowed to use them for the twins was when they were 8 months old. So check that out too.
If you can get the car seat onto the plane, that would be great! It was really the safest for all of us, especially the crew because the boys were contained.
You can definately do this!! Remember, it's only scary 'til ya do it
: wife to James, MoM to R and D (Aug 2007) and E (Nov 2009) and Y (April 2012)
Also I found it helpful to have 2 small toys connected by a string long enough to go over my neck, (so one hanging down each side like a scarf) so toys couldn't fall on the floor. Its so hard to bend over with a toddler on your lap!, plus what a dirty floor!
Our our recent trip to Mexico with 3 year olds, we let them go full force into movie watching. It held them calm forever! Bring your own headphones (over the head kind) because those ear kind they give you on the plane don't work for little ones. If you have an iPhone/iTouch, put it on airplane mode with your data roaming turned off, and before you go, you can down load free kids games, podcast audiobooks, or pay for a few movies.
Birthing/Postpartum RN on my "free time".
Make sure they aren't sleeping too much during the day.
At night, keep it quiet, dark, etc. If they are hungry offer a small snack but hopefully you can do it in a way that is somewhat quiet?!! ha ha ha, i know.
Jet lag can be so difficult to deal with, and even more when kids are involved. I've heard to expect 1 day of adjustment time for every 1 hour of time change.
We only had one very horrendous jet lag experience (Aus - PA); I find it's usually worse flying to a destination that is east of where I'm living (though i realize this description isn't correct or scientific, I think you know what I mean).
Do you have family around who can help you / take shifts / etc.? You've got to be exhausted.
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