Flying with a toddler;
D o n ‘ t . D o . It
DON’T let the prospect of flying with a toddler hinder you from doing so. As with everything, it will never be as bad as you think it will be.
OK so in all honesty, yes there were moments where my patience ran low and yes the flight probably felt that little longer than if we had been flying on our own BUT I still managed to neck a couple of cheeky reds whilst watching Absoloutley Fabulous which is quite a success. Did I mention that this flight in particular was a 7odd hour flight to Dubai? Crazy right, but oh so worth it. It was without doubt the best holiday to date. So much so it deserves its own special blog post which I will be publishing within the next week
Back to the flight(s) – Firstly, I will mention that I think the flight times can work in your favour so do take this into account when booking your flight if you can. Going out there, our flight was 2pm and returning it was at 9am. Joseph tends to have much more get up and go in the afternoons and this was definatley evident on the flight there in comparison to the return. On take off he slept for about an hour and a half which was amazing as I was able to watch my film and drink wineeee although of course when he woke up he was full of beans – Ah just 5 hours to go… Naturally, as with any toddler, he just wanted to run around but for some reason BA were being stricter than usual therefore we were quite restricted in terms of letting Joseph walk around the plane.
To be honest any stress I had was more out of concern for the other passengers. Joseph wasn’t being loud or annoying but he was fidgety and wanted to poke his head over the seats, which I did find amusing. Luckily the other passengers close by were lovely and obviously kid lovers! Again on the return flight he slept for 2 hours but was alot more chilled out. We were lucky enough to be given a separate seat for Joseph on the return which did make life alot easier and being a 9am flight he was a lot more chilled and tired – win. All in all there was nothing about flying with Joseph that put me off or would avoid doing it again. I went to a few measures beforehand to kind of prepare for the flight which I do think made a difference. Here are a few of my tips and things to pack in your hand luggage;
- Avoid sugary treats! It may be so easy to want to bribe them with some sugary snacks but you will only pay for it after when not only are they bouncing around but you then have to deal with the come down
- You can never pack too many snacks. Pack a good variety. Stupidly I packed snacks for both flights, not thinking that Joseph would have them whilst we was out there so before boarding our return flight (snackless) we had to Supermarket sweep around duty free. I can safely say, Joseph ate every single one of those Digestive biccies!
- Load up the IPad. Again I only downloaded enough for Joseph to watch on both flights, not taking into consideration that he would be watching it whilst we were there. Poor little man watched the same ‘Topsy & Tim’ episode about 50 times over the 10days we were there.
- Pack a blanket in your hand luggage
- Pack wipes and enough nappies
- Hand sanitiser
- Comforter – Dummy/Cuddly toy
- Sticker books / books
- New toys – can even wrap them up to try and keep them busy for an extra few minutes
- Bonjella / Teething powder / Calpol sachets
- Get to the gate early so they can run around for a bit before boarding
- Remember that the 100ml rule still applies. We had to lose our big tub of Sudocrem grrr
- Before boarding tell them that you want your buggy to be left outside the aircraft doors once landed. This makes the transition alot easier when being able to put them straight into it once at your destination. Trust me I talk from experience. They made a mistake going out there and our stroller came out with the luggage. Major pain in the arse ( and a pain in my arms, Joseph isn’t the lightest of toddlers )
- Comfy clothes and a jumper, it can get cold up there.
- Over the head earphones
- Pack a sippy cup so they can drink on take off and landing – this will help prevent their ears from hurting.
- Make use of the inflight magazines, even the safety precautions one. Look at every.single.picture – trust me, if your going long haul you will want to kill as many minutes at a time as possible’
- Mini hetcha sketch
- Note book and pen
- Mini boxes of raisins are great as they are fidddly and time consuming. Although for a child entering the stage of ‘terrible twos’ this can lead to sheer frustratioooon
- Pack a bib
- Carrier bag for all the rubbish. It will make your life a lot easier, especially if you are baby wipe galore!
- Whilst it may be tempting to take advantage of the Priority Boarding, try not to be one of the first to board the Plane otherwise they will need entertaining for longer.
- Get them to cheers your wine glass with their beaker so you can drink more 😉
- Grab some straws from a restaurant before to keep them entertained
- Enjoy the flight where possible. It is part of your holiday and part of the excitement so make the most of it.
*Please note, I have had issues with the editing of these photos and their alignment so it is a bit all over the place to how I would want it to be – but I’m too impatient & imperfect to get it sorted so thought I would just wack it out anyway*