Advice on traveling with 18 month old

SooJin - posted on 03/13/2009 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I live in the midwest and am planning a trip to Hawaii, which is a 8.5 hour plane ride. I am traveling alone with my 18 month old daughter. I'm not sure if I should book a flight with 1 stop or make it a nonstop flight. Which do you think would be easier on my child: one long direct flight or break the trip up into 2 four-long segments? Part of me thinks that scheduling a flight with one stop would be good so that she can run around between flights (because she is super active right now). But another part of me thinks that a direct flight would be more convenient. I've never flown this far before with my child, so any advice you could give me would be helpful. In your experience, which has worked better for you other moms (or dads)?

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Natalie - posted on 03/13/2009

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hi, you have a fair few replies but i thought id add mine too. I travelled from Australia to America when my son was 19 months old, 1st flight was 3 hours then 6 hours then 12 hour overnight flight, I had to stop twice on the way there but i think it was good as it gave him a chance to run around at the airport and grab some decent non airline food to eat and let us have a break off the plane. Make sure you take drinks for your child( Airlines allow this as your are travelling with an infant), take snacks, books, sticker books, A favorite toy, a change or 2 of clothes and you should be all set. I really think that a 8.5 hour plane flight is too long to do in one hit unless its an over night flight then i say stay on the plane as if you can keep your child in a normal routine then most likely they will sleep through the night on the plane. Air lines are usually really good at giving you extra room in your aisle if the plane isnt full so keep that in mind and dont be afaid to ask if any aisles are empty and then they can move you so you have a few extra seats to stretch out. Good luck, i was really worried to fly all that way with our son but went really well so try not to worry and have a great trip.

Amy - posted on 03/13/2009

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I travel alot with my son. Who is now 2 years old. my experience with layovers are horrible. He never wants to get back on the plain. We travel in the morning most of the time. He is well rested and happy. Make sure your daughter is drinking during take-off. It will help with the preasure change. If your child is sleeping through the night a late night nonstop flight might work best. However, if there are weather issues you are sure to be delayed. I always arrive at the airport early. So if Beni slept in the car we have a few hours to run around before we're stuck on the airplain.

I hope this helps

Amy

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Misty - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting SooJin:

Advice on traveling with 18 month old

I live in the midwest and am planning a trip to Hawaii, which is a 8.5 hour plane ride. I am traveling alone with my 18 month old daughter. I'm not sure if I should book a flight with 1 stop or make it a nonstop flight. Which do you think would be easier on my child: one long direct flight or break the trip up into 2 four-long segments? Part of me thinks that scheduling a flight with one stop would be good so that she can run around between flights (because she is super active right now). But another part of me thinks that a direct flight would be more convenient. I've never flown this far before with my child, so any advice you could give me would be helpful. In your experience, which has worked better for you other moms (or dads)?



 



I've never traveled with a child either, but here's my 2cents worth.  My option would be to go for the one long flight just for the sake of their ears.  The pressure adjustments they make in the cabin for the climb up and then the decent I think would be hard on them.  Especially if they have any ear issues in the first place (ie: drainage or re-occuring ear infections).





 

Shelley - posted on 03/14/2009

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Ive been traveling with my now $ year old daughter since she was 11 mo and and planning on going to Florida soon with my 4 yr old and 14 mo old.  bring along lots of different snacks, and maybe a few new toys. 

User - posted on 03/14/2009

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i'd go with a direct flight, leaving at night preferably so your kid will just sleep. i travelled with my daughter when she was 13 months old and there was no problem. i brought her fave toy too. oppps, if possible, i've heard that gulf air have in-flight nannies ;)

Kayla - posted on 03/14/2009

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Hi, My husband and I traveled to NY at Christmas time with our son who was then 16 months. It wasn't an extremely long trip but we split it into 2 flights. Our son is very busy and likes to play a lot so the lay-over gave him time to run around a stretch before sitting through another 3 hour plane ride. Advice for the actual plane ride though would be to bring plenty of things for entertainment and some food for take off and landing. Chewing will help relieve the pain of the air pressure and worked really well to distract my son. If your child is used to a certain candy or cookie as a treat bring some and reward him/her with good behavior. I hope you have a great trip and all goes smoothly

Corey - posted on 03/14/2009

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Hi! I definately would take things that entertain her for during the flight. My doctor told me to have a bottle or pacifier handy for landing to help her ears. I know that I always have to chew gum & the pacifier gives the same affect as the gum. Another thing is try not to be nervous & uptight yourself because babies pick up on our nervousness & it causes them to react! Have a great trip & enjoy the flight.

SooJin - posted on 03/13/2009

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Thank you all so much. This is super helpful! This is my first time posting a question. What a great resource for moms!

Ginger - posted on 03/13/2009

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In addition to the old favorites, I always kept a bag with new items in it for travel. Nothing expensive (my kids favorit item was a 25 cent jumping munchkin. They only got this bag on long trips and the items weren't given all at one time. One every few hours - when I thought they needed something new to get their attention. (on a few occasions we did this for long doctor visits or hospital stays just to make them more fun). At 18 months this might not work as well, but by 3 its a life saver. In addition, we always planned times for activity so I'd advise a layover if you can't plan your trip to include normal nap/sleep times. You'd be surprised how well a trip can go with 2 under 5 if you stop at rest stops along the way and let them run until they are tired. Plus if they are busy playing, you aren't hearing the questions (are we there yet?), game noises, etc. Remember you'll need breaks as much as our child does.

Shannon - posted on 03/13/2009

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My husband and I took a trip when our son was 17 months and we made sure it was non stop. My Dr suggested giving him gravol for the flight so that he didn't get air sick which caused him to sleep for the first couple hours. We brought a laptop on board and let him watch movies on it when he woke up and also let him walk around for a bit. People were very understanding especially since they knew it was preventing him from crying and screaming..haha. I think breaking the trip up would have actually upset him more cause once he got off that plane he did not want to get in a car and travel again so if I had put him on another plane I think he would have been really upset.  Have a fun trip and I hope everything goes well :)

Rosa - posted on 03/13/2009

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I flew with my then 2yr old and my now 15mo old.  Both times were very challenging cause my flights totaled 15hrs.  I did not have an option of a nonstop.  If you time it right, you could take the first flight during her nap time and have activites for her when she wakes up.  Let her walk around on the plane when possible.  Depending on the airport you stop at, they may have a childrens play area.  Just remember, you can only do your best.  Go with the flow.  Try not to get frustrated.  I know that's hard. 

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We recently took a trip to Hawaii and flew all night. Our son stayed at home with his grandparents, but we did notice a lot of families with small children and they slept on the plane in their car seats. They all had their pacifiers or favorite stuffed animals. Do you think your daughter will sleep on the plane? If not I would definitely stop somewhere. That will break up the trip and as active as my son is I know he would need time to run around and play to get some energy out. When you do fly take a lot of toys and things to entertain her. You can also let her walk up and down the isles which a lot of the parents did on my flight did. Goof luck and have a safe trip.

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