Amusing a 16 month old for a 24 hour plane journey

Francesca - posted on 01/30/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )




We are lucky enough to be going to New Zealand for friends wedding, but this means two 24 hour flights (london-brunei-dubai-sydney-auckland and back). I don't like flying and this will be my second ever long haul, and my daughter's first. She will be sitting on my lap the entire time (or possibly running the aisles)

I need to amuse her for the flight in a way that won't bug everyone else, and my husband needs to sleep as he will need to do a 5 hour drive once we land - any suggestions?


Katrin - posted on 02/02/2010




We did Lisbon-New york-Oregon and back over the holidays, One thing that really helped, is a carrier I could strap to my front (we have a Beco Butterfly, but any of them will work) so that when DD was sleeping she could be strapped to me, and I didn't have to worry about holding her and could let myself sleep too. I also bought a cheap set of Lego knock-offs in a mini backpack (for 2 euros) that I didn't care if we lost them. She also is fascinated with my o n wallet, so I took an old wallet of DH's and filled it with business cards, train tickets, scraps of colored paper, etc, and let her take it apart and put it back together. We bought a few, cheap, toys and books and didn't let her see them until we were on the plane, so they were exciting. Stickers are also good, but be watchful they don't end up all over the windows and tray tables. I also second the snacks, snacks, snacks comment. You basically want to plan on bringing enough for 24 hours of eating. We took fruit, yogurts, crackers, raisens, and I think a few other things. Make feeding time last as long as possible. And too quote a blog I read on the topic...when all else fails, barf bag puppets!!


View replies by

Beth - posted on 02/05/2010




We will not be traveling that far, but glad we have a night flight so maybe she will sleep (Luna 17 months). We are headed to Cozumel in March. I am planning to bring the colic and teething tablets even if she isn' sick...they have a natural sedative in them to calm her down. I use the Highland brand for both. Small baggies of things seem to keep her amused as well..putting things in and out of them. Crayons and a small picture book. I am sure we will both have stories to tell after these trips!

Virginia - posted on 02/04/2010




Hi Francesca!
I just got back from an international flight with my daughter (Seattle-Korea-Bangkok-Myanmar and 2 mini flights in Myanmar - to Mandalay). Not sure what airline you're going with but usually international carriers have a bassinet option for infants and toddlers. Our seats were not assigned until we checked in, so we got to the airport very early and requested a bassinet seat. As long as your toddler doesn't weigh more than 16kg (35lbs) you should be good to go. The smaller airplanes we took along the way did not have a bassinet seat, but we did bring a portable DVD player along. Interestingly enough, my daughter was more interested with the remote control for the individual TV's we had for every seat. We brought some crayons/markers and she would scribble away for a bit and we also packed a ton of snacks. Just like others mentioned, she enjoyed stickers and I made sure that I fed her milk as we were taking off and landing. She ended up dozing off very quickly! (My daughter is not a very good sleeper at all (still hasn't slept through the night), so she surprised us with her awesome behavior on the long flights. Best of luck to you and your toddler! She will do awesome! :

[deleted account]

Hi, I took my daughter from Adelaide to London and back again, on my own, a couple of months ago and absolutely agree with all the advice (boxes of raisons - they're a snack, toy, shaker...) Most airlines will try and give you a spare seat if there is one available - it's in everyone's interest! The thing to remember is that 24 hours will only last that long and everyone I met was really supportive (other people on the flight I mean) so really don't worry about 'everyone else'.

[deleted account]

I flew with my son when he was 7 months Brussels-Chicago-OKC (9hr flight) and he was perfect. I had people coming up and telling me they didnt even know there was a baby on the flight. However next month we are doing the same...I have a feeling 17 months will be a whole other experience. We just took the train from Brussels to London last month and it was miserable. He wanted down all the time and not much kept his attention for long. I too will have him as a lap child this go round. I always give him acetomephin before each take off...especially since he was teething that time and cutting molars this time and I suppose it can help with the pressure on his ears. So I will be praying for some sleep and patient fellow passengers!

Kate - posted on 02/02/2010




Plenty of snacks is the key.... but don't give her lollies whatever you do. Friend of mine gave her little one jelly lollies (snakes etc) and he ended up puking all over her, himself and her husband. Little boxes of sultanas are great as you can dish them out one by one. Good luck. We go Melb-Singapore-Dubai-London in 2 months. I am terrified!!

Joanna - posted on 01/31/2010




I just took my daughter on a 12 hour flight from FL-NY-OR and she did very well. things you should bring: some sort of dvd player, toddler dvd's, books, her favorite toys, and yes like Sunrise said snacks snacks snacks! lol I also bought some new little toys and wrapped them up so when we got on the long plane i was able to suprise her with a present for her to open and play with. but buy 2 one for the trip there and one for trip home! Also when you get to the gate before boarding ask an agent how packed the flight is and if there are any empty seats next together for your daughter to possibly have her own seat that way she'll have a little more room to play and room to sleep! (the on your lap part if for take off and landing and in bumpy airtime)
Good luck! and stay calm so then your daughter will be calm. :)

[deleted account]

If she is ANYTHING like my son, she will want to climb in your lap, climb the seat, crawl under the seats, run the aisle...i suggest benedryll hahaha

sorry, i kid!

Its a long time to sit with a toddler. When she gets a lot of energy, take her for a walk down the aisle to the bathroom, and play jumping games with her. Let her get that excess energy out, and then take her back to do books, toys, coloring, or eating in your seat. Sing quiet songs, or watch a movie.

Adrienne - posted on 01/31/2010




Tova loves to listen to Raffi on youtube, search Raffi a children's concert, there are 9 parts, it keeps Tova busy for long time (about an hour)...Tova loves books with farm animals too, we sit and practice animal noises and names, that usually keeps her busy for an hour too, as for the other 22 hours, I have no idea, haha...good luck!

Sunrise - posted on 01/31/2010




Well, hopefully you will be lucky enough that she will sleep for a portion of the flight so you can rest as well. Bring a backpack full of things she likes. Books (soft cloth ones so they aren't a burden for you to carry) crayons & coloring books, snacks, snacks, Are you able to bring a laptop where you could access the internet and got to web pages like the ones listed on this page Keeping "fresh" things will be the problem. 24 hours is a long time to be in a confined area for an adult let alone a toddler. The laptop comes to mind because the internet always has something different you can do and most laptops will play DVD's... maybe rent/buy some Einstein DVD's. Have fun on your vacation of sorts!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms