Any tips for travelling longhaul with a toddler?

Discussion in 'General Airline Discussion' started by flying, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. flying

    flying Newbie

    Jun 13, 2009
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    I know im crazy but ill be flying from oz to uk with a 22 month old on my lap, trying to save money and not buy an extra seat.

    As you can imagine im dreading the trip. So im wondering if anyone can offer me any tips to occupy the little darling and keep me sane.

    Oh god what have i let myself in for...
     
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  2. Homer

    Homer Established Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    1,402
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    I suppose it depends on the type of toddler, but in our recent round-the-world trip which included five long-haul flights and 12 other medium and short-haul flights, we found that packing a roll-a-board with games and puzzles and bringing them out slowly (ie one-at-a-time, while keeping the rest hidden) kept our three year old daughter's interest going. We also took a few walks up and down the plane during each flight to give her some exercise and by the time she ate she generally then got either a daytime nap or an overnight sleep depending on the time of the flight.
     
  3. v8Statesman

    v8Statesman Established Member

    Make sure you are on a flight with in seat screens and put Disney channel or Nick jr on the whole way :)
     
  4. sammy

    sammy Intern

    Sep 27, 2005
    79
    11
    Sydney
    If you are very polite and$ lucky at checkin, perhaps they will block off an extra seat for you.
    I feel for you, this is the most difficult age for flying (have been there many times).
    See if you can get your little one used to wearing headphones before the trip, otherwise the inflight entertainment system may not be much use. My kids couldn't use them till they were older as they were too big for their heads! Perhaps bring yor own ear-bud style if they will work on the plane.
    Very simple crafts for kids too young to draw.
    - Stickers. Most toddlers can peel and stick stickers. Prepare ahead things to be decorated eg, cut out a circle from card, and punch out a hole near side. Child decorates with stickers or whatever, then thread hole with some thin ribbon, tie and wear as a medal or pendant. Similarly, cut out a spikey topped crown shape which can be decorated, ends stapled together and worn (small staplers ok on planes). Spin out these activities by doing one for you and one for doll or teddy. Pack each activity in a seperate ziplock sandwich bag.
    - Threading or lacing activity
    - New inexpensive toys for imaginative play eg cars, dolls, farm animals. Don't forget the accessories.
    - Paint their fingernails
    - Pop bubblewrap
    - Finger puppets (ikea has cheap ones)
    - Try "panquil" available over the counter from pharmacies. Makes them sleepy, but test at home first.
    - Last ditch emergency item - favourite forbidden food (for my kids, smarties, kept concealed)- to defuse either a tantrum or nervous collapse by parent (nine times out of ten I didn't use it, but really needed it when I did)
    - Books
    - lots of walks around plane
     
  5. v8Statesman

    v8Statesman Established Member

    Some sensational ideas in there sammy, a great contribution.
     
  6. Flying Fox

    Flying Fox Established Member

    Jul 13, 2006
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    We did a similar thing almost a year ago with twin boys.

    - Bring along presents wrapped up so that they could unwrap them
    - Make sure that they have fun with their food (our boys enjoy eating and hence airline food shared was fun)
    - Reading books to them kept their interest for a while
    - If you have access to QF Club etc see if you can grab them a shower or bath which helps distract them and makes them sleepy just before the flight
    - Let them run around in the airport for a while and tire them out
    - Check out the airport facilities as SYD has play grounds within the airports for the kids to play on
    - Sleepy drugs are good too but make sure you test them at home and if its all OK, administer before they get too cranky otherwise it can have a negative effect

    That's it for my brain at the moment.

    Have a good trip.
     
  7. kiwitripper64

    kiwitripper64 Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    301
    23
    auckland NZ
    get a dozen small glad ziplock bags and put treats and snacks in.
    wrap little toys up and play pass the parcel
    If travelling through Singapore airport, visit the swimming pool. At other airports use qantas lounge for a shower if you have access. If no QP, most airports have shower faclities you can hire, and kids and water are a good combination on the ground. Rule #1, No sleeping at the airport

    Download favourite songs and story books from library onto MP3 player. As sammy said, get them used to earphoes before trying on the flight.

    Talk to qantas day before travel and try to get seat next to you blocked out and ask for child basinet seat and any other help they can offer.

    And on arrival, no sleep til evening or a jetlagged todler will make you wake up at 3.30am for the reat of the day

    good luck
     
  8. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    14,229
    1,745
    First yup - some suggestions here about keeping the little one amused.

    One issue though - why on earth should QF give someone who hasnt bought a seat a blocked seat. I think it is a bit much to ask for...

     
  9. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    For the benefit of those travelling around the toddler. I see no problem with asking if the flight is not very full. But there should be no expectation that it will be honoured.
     
  10. kiwitripper64

    kiwitripper64 Member

    Jan 8, 2008
    301
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    auckland NZ
    They may block seat to be very nice to other passengers..
     
  11. Danger UXB

    Danger UXB Active Member

    Jun 3, 2008
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    These were successfulwith mini Danger last month.
    Food ,food,food.......take food on board.
    Remember a hungry toodler is a grumpy toodler.
    Stickers ..let them decorate the plane. box of 2000 from kmart should be enough!
    Playdough mini tubs about 3cm high great for travel to use on fold out table.
    Get them used to sleeping on you at home so they will rest/sleep on the plane.
    Playgroud facilities at airports. Changi is fantastic and a pool too!
    DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO GET THAT EXTRA SEAT!!!!
    Cheers Danger UXB
     
  12. Matt P

    Matt P Intern

    Oct 22, 2007
    56
    2
    Sydney/Adelaide
    PLEASE do not do this.

    As a past (and to some extent current) asthma sufferer, this will be a high speed autobahn to an attack for me if i'm seated anywhere nearby, on top of it being incredibly inconsiderate to your fellow travellers nearby. Some ladies seem to be immune to the smell but nail polish fumes in a confined space is an incredibly bad idea
     
  13. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Depends what you paint them with ;). My 4yo recently painted her nails using a Nikko pen (was actually a Sharpie I think) :rolleyes:. Took a few baths and a few days t wear off though.

    But with a very young child, anything on the finger nails is probably a bad thing since fingers tend to go straight into the mouth, making sticker and similar items on finger nails a definite no-no for under 3 year olds.

    While not suffering asthma, I would certainly find the smell of regular nail polish to be very annoying if another passenger nearby decided to it was time to spruce themselves up or to use it entertain their kids.
     
  14. yo yo ma

    yo yo ma Active Member

    Mar 15, 2007
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    I always bring a few lollipops along to use as a last resort... often end up using then for take-off though!
     
  15. I'd suggest a pet pak in the cargo hold but I'll probably get shot down in flames!
     
  16. harvyk

    harvyk Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    In a word - Phenergan.

    Test out on your kids first, (as it has the opposite effect on some kids), and then give it to them about half an hour before take off. It'll knock them out for quite a few hours.

    Also last month we had 6 flights (on both QF and NZ), with exception for the first flight (which was only a CBR - MEL, so we didn't care) we where given a spare seat between us for our daughter, even though she was only on an infant fare.

    From what I gather, airlines will try to keep the seats next to a parent with an infant free, so the infant gets a seat of their own. That said, they don't guarentee it, and sometimes it does mean asking a person to move once on-board (like what happened on our flight from AKL to MEL).
     
  17. Homer

    Homer Established Member

    Jul 8, 2006
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    The initial post mentions a 22 month old but Phenergan, an antihistamine, comes with a warning that it may cause a fatal respiratory depression in children under the age of two.
     
  18. harvyk

    harvyk Senior Member

    Apr 15, 2009
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    Well it's what both the Dr, and the pharmacist recommended and then gave us... But I think that's half the point, before you get anything to give your kids before a flight, get your Dr's recommendations.
     
  19. Homer

    Homer Established Member

    Jul 8, 2006
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    Yes and as we know, many doctors just precribe things rather than taking the time to discuss alternatives to medication. So before visiting the doc and just assuming that the child needs to be drugged to fly it might be advisable for the poster to consider some of the excellent alternative suggestions offered in this thread, such as playing with or reading to the child.
     
  20. pomjim

    pomjim Intern

    Aug 1, 2004
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    Brisbane
    Out of interest, how does flying with a child on your lap get by the safety rules?
     

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