18 hour flight with 20 month old

Rebecca - posted on 05/18/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Hello everyone,
I am getting ready to travel to South Africa at the end of June and will have our son with us for the first time. He will be a little over 20 months old and will have his own seat. We are going there to work for our non-profit and need to have as much energy when we land as possible. If anyone has ideas for ways to entertain, great airplane snacks, best places to have him sit ( middle, window), etc please let me know. It is over 24 hours of travel over all so any tips will be appreciated.

thanks!! Rebecca and Liam

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Aneta - posted on 05/20/2009

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Hi, we just got back from England with our 2 year old. We had to fly for 8 hours to England, rest and then take a trip to Bulgaria with a stop in Germany. This is not his first flight, we started since he was 7 months old. It is easier if you start your trip late in the evening. This way you will have his night sleep on the plane. For the rest try taking books with stickers, toys, his favourite DVDs. Also it helps to explain what you are doing in advance, that you are going on the plane, then bus and so on. And what he will see. Take him for short walks on the plane when possible. I thinks, from my experience, the worst age is around 1 year old. There are pluses and minuses having stops for transfers. You can get the boy to run a bit between flights but it could be difficult to put him back on the plane. Good luck!

Tanya - posted on 05/18/2009

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Wow I flew that flight from Miami to J burg good luck with that. But I would have to say I agree with the walking around idea so long as the seat belt sign is off let him wander around. If it's possible I would bring a portable DVD player to allow him to watch his own shows if he like shows and if not I would be sure to pack his favorites, blanket, toy and cup! let him pick his own seat and if need be change with him later! The benedryl could work for you in a last resort kind of thing. b/c while it will make him sleepy you would only want to give it to him if you need to. just one last thing do not be embaraced by your baby. Everyone has kids and everyone's kids have annoyed someone else before! You can't possibly be the first mom to make this flight with a baby...utilize the stewardists they might have some great ideas!

Laura - posted on 05/18/2009

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Earplugs are a great idea! I recently flew from Baltimore to San Francisco (and back) with my 3 1/2-year old daughter and my 18-month-old son. My daughter was an angel -- thank goodness -- because the boy was a handful! Three out of four legs of that trip were miserable for my son, for me and for all the other passengers. The only one OK with it all was my daughter, who watched movies on my laptop the whole time!

My best advice would be to get up when the seatbelt sign goes off, and let your boy walk the aisles. Trust me -- your fellow passengers won't be as annoyed by that as they would be by a toddler who's forced to sit still. Snacks are good, but be careful about letting him eat too many treats. I did that, and his stomach ended up getting upset, and that wasn't a good situation for ANYONE! Good luck to you! Safe travels.

Kali - posted on 05/18/2009

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So far I've only had one plane trip with my son, and he was only 3 months old at the time so he slept pretty much the whole time. One thing I did do, just in case, was to bring a box of foam earplugs I got at costco. I had the flight attendant hand them out to passengers around us. Wyatt didn't end up crying at all, but everyone around me thought I was a saint because I came prepared.

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You are one brave woman! I have taken my 2 1/2 year old on three plane trips already (only from Minneapolis to Green Bay, so only hour flights) and she was amazing all three times. It is a great thing that you got him his own seat. My daughter loved sitting in the window. What always helps us is to bring along snacks that she doesn't normally get to eat, served in fun novelty packages. Like fun-shaped cookies in their own box, not just a boring ziploc. Also, a sippie cup of juice helps with the pressure on the ears. My own personal secret weapon is that I downloaded episodes of Dora the Explorer and Hello Kitty onto my ipod, and surprised her with it- she doesn't get to watch much TV, so she was overjoyed to play with the ipod the whole way there. I have also heard that pediatricians will advise parents to use children's Benedryl, which is a decongestant, which helps with pressure. Also, causes sleepiness. I never used it because our flights were so short, but I would certainly talk to the pediatrician about it if I had grander travel plans. Good luck, and I hope people are kind.

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Ameylia - posted on 05/25/2009

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we´re about to do the same! so i know how you feel, our Josi is 21 mo,we´l fly Zürich-Singapore on the 3rd week of June and we have picked evening Flights both ways, i´l let you know how it is, good luck with preparation ;)

Melissa - posted on 05/21/2009

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Oh, I also like those fruit snacks because it help them chew a lot. WIndow or middle obviously NEVER the aisle). I also take some of those clorox wipes on board and wipe everything down around us before we settle in. We always forget about germs, and there are a lot on the plane. This might sound mean, but if you have him hunting for his snacks in an activity of some sort, it might keep him occupied. Yes, I recommend their own seats when they can walk already. Also, I believe most airlines will provide you with a bassinet that hold up to 75 pounds. The key to the activity back pack http://120dayslater.blogspot.com/2009/04... is that you take everything out one at a time. and put it away. This has worked for my toddler and countless others who used it. =) Have a great trip! I would love to hear about it, as we are going around the world in 2011! =)

Melissa - posted on 05/21/2009

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So much fun to travel with our kids! I think there is also a key element I know I forget when I am going or doing anything with my toddler and five month old... is that if I am relaxed and calm, they will be too, at least 80% of the time. Haha. I think that the key also is to catch the boredom before it hits them. And to catch the hunger before it takes over their emotions and rational thinking. Remember, toddlers are always trying to control their world, no matter where they are. So we have to have a balance between that and something that won't wipe you out. All this has been very helpful. Not only am I writing a book about this subject, but I am also traveling to the Philippines by myself with a 2 year old and a 9 month old in October. Scared but really excited. The flight is like 14 hours to Hong Kong and then 2 to Manila.

Samantha - posted on 05/21/2009

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I'm in the same boat as you...I am travelling with my (very active) 3 year old from DC to Durban in a week!
I went out to the toy store and picked up a small crafts case; some crayons and glitter pens and an activity book; a magnetic doll/house decorating game and a small box with four animal puzzles. I also have a DVD player and my computer (with an extra battery) just in case. I'm going to stock up on her favorite snacks and hope for the best!
We have done this trip 3 times with her, but it has been over a year since we did it last, so I'm a little nervous.
She is so excited about the trip, but is not able to comprehend how long it really is.
Good luck!

Tanya - posted on 05/20/2009

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We are moving down there at least for a while. My husband's family owns a coffee plantation and my in-laws are getting a little older. My house is just finished and I will get to decorate it when I get there :)

Rebecca - posted on 05/18/2009

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WOW, that will be a drive!!! What are you doing down there?!! How long will you be there?

Tanya - posted on 05/18/2009

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I forgot to metion I am driving from NY to Chiapas, Mexico wich is on the border of Guatamala with my 2 yr old and 6 yr old! should be interesting!!!

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