Friday 24 October 2014

Coping with Toddlers and Aeroplanes!

A few weeks ago we went to Cyprus and Elliot was very excited because it was to be his first ever time on an aeroplane. In the days leading up to the holiday we got daily renditions of that song from Peppa Pig "Flying the sky! " and everytime he saw a plane in the sky he'd get all excited! Although I was looking forward to the holiday, I was a bit nervous of how the flight would be. Would his ears hurt? Would he cry? Would he sit still?!! Could we keep him entertained for 4 hours?! I needn't have worried, I gave him a lollipop to suck on as we took off but he fell asleep before the seatbelt lights had gone off!

I thought I would share some tips incase anyone else is going to be travelling with a lively toddler :)

  • Be prepared for long check in queues! This was the most stressful part of the whole holiday - the queues were massive and it took over an hour and a half to get through to the departure lounge. Elliot was starting to get really really impatient and grumpy because he didn't want to be strapped in his pushchair and just wanted to run around - arghhh! We gave him a brand new sticker book which did keep him quiet for a bit. Well until he had to put it in the tray to go through the metal detectors - cue lots of wailing and foot stamping!! I'd highly recommend the Usborne First Sticker Books range, we had this one: 

  • Bum Changes Aeroplanes do have baby change facilities onboard but you don't exactly get a lot of room! I made sure I changed Elliot just before we boarded so he had a fresh nappy which would last him until we arrived at our destination. 
  • Ears I was a bit worried about taking off and if Elliot would get sore ears. (I remember my first ever flight being in lots of pain!). I packed some lollies for him to suck on whilst taking off and he was quite excited about being allowed a lolly! He didn't seem to have any issues with his ears, he was fast asleep within about 5 minutes! You could also use a carton of a juice for your little one to suck on, or a bottle. 
  • Spare Clothes Luckily we didn't need them but I'd highly recommend a change of clothes not just for your baby but you aswell. The last thing you want is to be sitting in damp clothes for a long flight after a toddler spillage! 
  • Activities Getting through a flight with a small child can seem a daunting task and I would highly recommend an iPad!!!! Elliot was awake for the last hour of our flight and the iPad was so useful in keeping him amused. We'd preloaded it with lots of new Apps and games and he was good as gold! We also took various cars, plastic animals, books and puzzles...just in case! 
  • Snacks I packed a small lunchbox with lots of Elliot's favourite snacks, making sure there was nothing too messy like chocolate or sticky things. Things like raisins are perfect because it takes them so long to get the raisins out ;)
  • Seating arrangements If your child is under two then they are still classed as an infant and will have to travel on your lap. I debated buying an extra seat for Elliot but to be honest it was just too expensive for a 4 hour flight and I naively thought there would be spare seats on the plane for us to spread out on! There wasn't, it was completely full which meant Elliot had to sit on our laps for the entire flight. This might have been ok had he been a small baby but at 23 months and rather chunky, it was a bit of a tight squeeze! Even when he fell asleep he can't have been very comfortable and my husband and I spent the flight passing him back and forth as our arms went numb!! . If you're flying long distance then it's really worth thinking about that extra seat for your little one, on hindsight I do wish we'd just paid the extra for that bit of comfort! 
I hope you have fun flying with your little ones - it's such a great experience for them and nothing to be too nervous about! 

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