20 Some Hour Flight with 18 Month Old, HELP!

Updated on January 17, 2008
T.M. asks from Littlestown, PA
10 answers

Hi I put this up a few months ago and thank you for all of you who sent me idea's!!! Well our flight to SOUTH KOREA is only 24 days away now and I just wanted to put this up again for new moms on here who might have some new or more idea's about flying so far and so long with an 18 month old. So for those of you moms who are new to this web site or havent responded to this before, PLEASE if you have any idea's about how to make this trip somewhat easy on me, LET ME KNOW! and SOON! thank you so much!!!

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C.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Dear T., I just spent 30 minutes typing a reply! And it disappeared. So please call me in between 2 and 3 if you want to hear at least 2 "disaster" stories that had good endings. I have travelled the world extensively with my 8 children, and have plenty of suggestions. Just no more time to retype, sorry! ~Cathy

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L.S.

answers from Washington DC on

The best thing I can suggest is DON'T overpack baby stuff. I have done the long flight to and from Japan several times with 2 then 3 kids(I had one in Japan). I always put them in pajamas to travel. Along with the car seat, I packed some crayons, a small coloring book, a small magna doodle and a couple of their favorite toys. The airplane will have plenty of snacks and drinks. I have found that traveling without a stroller helped too because it's hard to find elevators. I used a backpack carrier. Remember to sleep when you can.

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J.N.

answers from Washington DC on

Dear T.

I often go back to the UK so my flights are not much longer than 8 hours but I have found if you take a bag with brand new toys in (small plastic animals, paper and crayons etc) that at least when they are awake they have something new to play with that they will find of interest. I also travel with a personal dvd player with my daughter's favourite dvds (fully charged)!
Also remember to take a lolly to suck on for the end of the journey so that her ears won't be too affected. Hopefully she will sleep quite a lot of the time anyway.

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A.B.

answers from Norfolk on

Having just done a trip with two babies, here's my advise...

Take the car seat for the toddler to sit in. It confines them in a familiar place and at least for my daughter, she fell asleep. We tried having her sit in the seat without the car seat and it was a nightmare.

Pack snacks and juice. You can bring juice, milk and formula (if you use that stuff) for kids if you declare it at the checkpoint. The same thing goes for medications. You can bring all the liquid meds you can carry, but you have to declare it. You just can't carry more than 3oz each of things like toothpaste, makeup, and other toiletries that all have to be in one 1 quart baggie. Bring lots of snacks like apple slices, goldfish, cookies, and other non-messy finger foods. You can't predict when meals/snacks are going to be served and there isn't always time between flights to get something in the terminal. Also, more than likely, the snacks you bring will be familiar and comforting if travel starts to be overwhelming.

Bring a few toys, but bring them out one at a time. If your child like coloring, the wondercolor markers and coloring books are great for no mess play.

Bring at least one change of clothes for you and the child in case of spills or sickness. Especailly with such a long flight, you don't want to be soaked or poopy or wet from vomit for hours. I was very thankful for the extra clothes when my newborn lost her breakfast on me while waiting at the gate for our first leg. 5-6 hours with soaking clothes wouldn't have been a lot of fun.

Ask for help! The flight attendants are your friends and are there to help you. Pre-boarding has its pros and cons. Yes, you can get on the plane before everyone else and the flight attendants have a little more time to assist you, but you're parked in the seats for the amount of time that it takes to get everyone else on board. If your child is a bundle of energy, skip the pre-boarding and hold out as long as you can to let them run it off. If you have to change planes, ask for help in getting from one gate to the next.

If you have a big stroller, take it. I wouldn't have been able to make it through the airport with two babies and the car seat and the carry-on bags by myself otherwise. Most of them have a basket you can stow a few diaper bag size carry-ons. I was able to push the newborn, carry the toddler in a sling, tote the car seat in a bag on my back, and have all the carry-ons ride under in the basket.

Get a bag for the carseat. Babies R Us carries bags with wheels and carry straps for transport through the airport that run between $30 and $40. The one I have reverses into a sun shade for the seat so it won't overheat in a car. It was one piece of kid gear that I recommend to any parent that travels by plane.

I hope this helps on your trip that is going to much longer than the one I just took. If you have another adult going with you, switch off kid watching duties so that you both have a chance to be somewhat rested.

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M.N.

answers from Washington DC on

We did the flight from Seoul with our daughters (twins) when they were 5 1/2 months old. We had a really rough time of it and took a lot of help from the wonderful Korean flight attendants. They were fantastic. The girls were very comforted by the Korean voices and familiar songs, etc. I know other people who have told me that their babies slept nearly the entire flight.

The girls are 20-months now, and if I were flying with them today, I would rely on endless snacks. We travel a lot in the car and the girls look at books for hours. Not a lot of help, I'm sorry, but I wish you well. Our trip was incredible. You're just about to hit the best part! Feel free to contact me if you want to talk about the trip in more detail. [email protected]____.com

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A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi T.,
I went to Germany with my 18 month old son, when he was 16 months old. It wasn't his first flight, so I wasn't worried...but in this age now, it isn't so easy to keep him sit and quiet all the time. I took his favourit toys and books with me to keep him busy..the problem this time was, that he got a ear ache and the litte guy was crying for a long time. I felt so bad for him. He never had this on a flight before. It was a terrible flight for him and for me. I went to a pediatrician in Germany to get some adivice for the flight back to the States. The pediatrician told me, to give him a lot to drink during the flight and little snacks (what I already had done on the flight to Germany). I also got some homoeopathic suppository for him. This was a sort of a pain reliefer and he got sleepy and totally relaxt. At first I wasn't so happy to give him "drugs" but there is nothing bad in it, only herbs, and I was ok with that. This stuff worked great. I gave him one 3 hours before the flight and one during the flight, and he did very well on the flight back. I am not a person, who likes to give drugs to a child, but I also don't want my child to suffer..and there is not much you can do for your child, when you are on a plane for a long time. Maybe you can talk to your pediatriacian and you can get anything homoeopathic like that for him...just in case...And you can look forward to the flight, because you are prepared...
I hope this helps you a little bit.

A.

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J.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Oh I dont envy you but its really not that bad. I live in Australia now but am from Alexandria and have done the 24 plus trip from America to Australia three times with kids. The second trip I did I had an 18 month old and was pregnant(and alone) and it was great. I just took the smallest toys that my daugther LOVED(like books, coloring in, etc). Plus they do sleep and they do have tvs that have little kids shoes. I didnt really sleep that long but it isnt as hard as you think. Does your child have a bottle or sippy cup still or a favourite toy? just make sure to take those and it will be easy peasy. GOOD LUCK!!!!

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J.C.

answers from Washington DC on

We have traveled a great deal overseas with my son who is 2.5. It can be quite tough. I only flew once with him as a lap baby (at 4m) as soon as he could sit up I bought a seat which made it much easier because they are familiar with the car seat. I bought the "sit and stroll" but found it difficult because he was so heavy. My son has always been BIG so we quickly got rid of the car seat and started using "the fly safe" which is an airline only FAA approved harness for use instead of car seat. I also invested in a really good portable DVD player that can go for 10 hrs on the same battery. I have on occassions used benadryl to help on overnight flights. I usually pack enough snacks/diapers/toys/books in a carry on for him. ALso if you take medication motrin/benadryl etc make sure you put it in a bottle that has the 3 oz mark on it. During strict security times I have had them take away the motrin I measured into the original bottle because they could not know for sure that it was only 3 oz (some are nicer than others) SO I got several empty bottles from my pharmacy and use them now. I have a Maclaren xt stroller which I have marked clear with our names because everyone seems to have the same stroller when you drop it off before you board plane. Just remember you will haves some bumps in the road and somepeople will be nice and others not so much. HAng in there and if your little one acts up as mine has done on MANY occassion just remember one day he/she will be old enough to bury their heads in an ipod and book but until just try and laugh

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S.P.

answers from Norfolk on

Hi T.,
We had sort of the same sutiation 2 years ago when my duaghter was about 20 month old. We had 2 connections and a overnight flight to Ukraine. My daughter did great fussed a little when it was time to sleep. So I brought books to read, books to color. Also toys that are educational and not loud, also bring snacks that your baby likes, juices, chocolate milk. I would also suggest to bring along a new toy or a toy that is your baby haasn't played with for a while. Also international flights have tv screen build in in the back of the seat. So if your little one likes to watch TV that would be a help. Good luck with your flight!!
This summer I'll be flying with my daughter Cylie almost 4 and my son Nicholas will be 18 month by then.

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A.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Are you by chance going to pick up a baby????? Both of our children are adopted from South Korea. The best experience ever!!!! I would suggest a few ziploc bags with a "special" treat, toy, book, game, pictures to look at, etc. I do this every time we travel no matter the distance now. A considerably shorter flight but when we went to Disney I had a baggy per hour per child and it was great. I had plastic animals, matchbox cars, coloring/activity book, pixter, fruit snacks, etc in the bags. It was a very happy, exciting surprise to get a baggy and change things up a bit. I would love to hear back from you - [email protected]____.com

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