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desmodus's avatar

Any tips on flying intercontinental with a 1,5 y.o.

Asked by desmodus (158points) June 14th, 2010

We will be flying from Europe to Australia later this year with our 1,5 y.o. child. The flight departs at 9PM, and we have a few days rest in Singapore, before we head on.
So the first stretch will be about 14 hrs (most of them during her regular sleeptime).

She will be too big to fit in a bassinet in the airplane. Is there such a thing as a travel baby bed? Or is the only option to hold her in our arms the entirety of the trip?

Anyone any suggestions?

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10 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

I suggest you purchase a ticket for the child and the adults that are traveling with you. It is nearly impossible to hold a child that long. I doubt an airline will allow you to bring any kind of child bed aboard.

Call the airline as soon as you can and talk to their customer service representative. They will answer all your questions about traveling with children.

desmodus's avatar

@YARNLADY We thought of that, but the problem is that she moves around a lot. So it will be near impossible to keep her seated on a chair, let alone letting her sleep while sitting down. That is why we decided not to get a chair for her. We do have a chair for our 5y.o., She will sleep everywhere, so that is not the problem. If the need comes, our 5y.o. can always sleep on our laps.

That is why we where thinking about maybe a blow up baby-bed or something.

Cannelle's avatar

If you haven’t booked a seat for your toddler, as YARNLADY suggests, I really recommend that you do. We travelled from Europe to South Africa (11 hours overnight flight followed by another 1h long flight) with a 2 year old and a 5 year old and the most challenging was for our 2 year old. Despite having his own seat, he found it really hard to find a comfortable position he could sleep in. The least uncomfortable was for him to lie down on his seat with his head rested on our lap, but even that didn’t last very long. Eventually (although forbidden), he slipped on the floor and lied down under our feet. Obviously this isn’t allowed so I wouldn’t recommend it, but what I have seen other people do is take their car seat with them and place them on the seat as you would in a car. Often, the seats recline and are more comfortable for little ones than hard airplane seats. It’s worth checking with your airline if it is allowed though.

sakura's avatar

I would defo get a seat booked if you can, it gives your child and you a bit more space to move around in and even play if needed. It also gives them the opportunity to use the lift down table to colour on etc… Take plenty of books, quiet toys, invest in some smaller headphones, even though it may be nap time your child may not be able to settle. If your child has a dummy make sure it is handy for take off and landing, much easier/ and healthier than sucking lots of sweets :) But lollypops are useful (may still be a bit young for these?)

My daughter was 9 when we travelled to NZ from the UK which made it a bit easier, the flight crew were very good – We flew Singapore Airlines, don’t be afraid to ask for help, as long as you are polite they really are helpful :) Drinks and small snacks are free and readily available as you need them, and they even help out by thrying to pacify any upset children, they want to make sure everyone has a peaceful and as restful as possible flight :)

Good Luck and have a fabulous time :)

whitenoise's avatar

Feed your child with a bottle, or give her a bottled drink during ascent and descent. That will help her keep her sinusses from blocking and getting painful ears.

Modern airplanes have their pressure kept at an equivalent of around 2500 meters (8000 feet). To children this may cause very irritating ear pain that may keep them crying and restless.

Also… keep her well hydrated. She will dehydrate a lot faster than normal.
(And also a lot faster than you will!).

Try to get a seat for her, but also don’t hesitate to allow her to rest on the floor, as long as the seat belt sign is off. Bring a personal blanket for her to lie on and in, and one of her trusted bed companions such as her security blanket or stuffy (stuffed animal). That will allow her to feel more at ease.

And… be patient and don’t worry too much about other people. If you get irritated… try to relax… your own irritation will spoil over to your child.

Have a great trip!

ItsAHabit's avatar

Bring plenty of board and other games for them to play.

john65pennington's avatar

See your doctor for a presciption of low-dose Valium.

You will need it.

shilolo's avatar

I agree with the others that said get her a seat (and bring your car seat onto the plane). She’ll be used to the car seat and will sleep fairly well in there (at least our 1.5 year old does). Other suggestions include bringing a portable video player for movies, favorite books, coloring materials, etc. Also, I’m not afraid to walk with my child up and down the aisles. Not only does it allow her to stretch her legs, but she befriends people along the way which allows her to be entertained by other people (a useful trick when you are exhausted on hour 10 of your trip).

I’m not a fan of allowing her to sleep on the floor, but mainly it is because I am paranoid about a sudden change in altitude (a bump) that might send your child flying into the ceiling.

Trillian's avatar

Removed by me. Next time, I’ll read the entire question first.

whitenoise's avatar

Stay away from the valium. When she is too excited to relax, the valium will merely result in frustration and hindered motor skills. The effect may very well be the exact opposite from what you’d want.

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