Hello to all my readers,
Welcome back to Blind Intuition. Well, the long plane trip is over and I have to say my research and reaching out to my Facebook followers paid off on how to comfort and entertain a toddler on a long haul flight Link. Archer coped really well with it and we are so proud of him. We had a couple of challenging moments, but you would expect that from a 15 month old cooped up for 24 hours on a plane. So what worked and what didn’t? Any tips? Here it goes.
We began our journey with a 2 hour airport bus ride from Bendigo to Melbourne. This was actually the hardest part of the trip. Archer was quite restless and didn’t want to sit on our laps. It had us really worried about the long haul flight. He fell asleep with five minutes to go.
Once we got to the airport we put him in the stroller and checked in. It was a bit flustering getting through security because we had to empty all our laptop bags as well as take Archer out of the stroller. Once we gathered everything and reorganised ourselves we found a cafe in the international terminal and had dinner. We changed Archer into his pyjamas and sleep sack and made our way down to the gate to wait to board. Archer was happy to chill in the stroller. The airline collected our stroller to put on the plane and we boarded on time.
On our first 14 hour leg, Archer fell asleep as soon as the plane started moving. We found a spare row of four seats and laid him across the two seats in the middle as the bassinet was too small. He slept for 11 hours. Winning!!! When he woke up he was quite happy to be entertained by the iPad and the air hostess’. We landed in Dubai and the longest leg was over.
Archer just wanted to walk about in Dubai and was pretty full on. We had a three hour stop over so we grabbed a bite to eat. Archer was entertained by the escalators and just wanted to do laps up and down, up and down. Cameron put him on his harness and lead and played on the escalators for about half an hour. It was quite funny.
We boarded our last 6 hour leg thinking that Archer would go back to sleep. We didn’t get lucky this time and he was really unsettled for the first hour or so. We were lucky to have a row of four to ourselves with the extra leg room. We walked up and down the plane and made a barrier or play pen for him in front of us and dumped his toys and books in there. I sat on the floor and read him stories and sang some songs. Eventually he nodded off for the rest of the flight.
We arrived in Rome exhausted and tired, but it wasn’t too bad. I wouldn’t say it has scared us away from travelling with a toddler. We still have the flight home to get through but I will have my nan on the flight for an extra pair of hands. We were really lucky to time the same flight as her on her return from her overseas trip.
What worked and what didn’t?
After doing lots of research on how to entertain a toddler and keep them comfortable, I would say I had it on the mark. I wouldn’t pack anything differently or put any extras in. See my post on what I packed here.
There was nothing that didn’t really work. The couple of spats Archer had would be normal for any toddler on a long haul flight
- Book the flight at your child’s bedtime or around it. This worked a treat for us.
- If you are not in a row to yourself and you can see it is not a full flight, ask to be relocated to a free row. You won’t regret this!!
- Take plenty of snacks.
- Dress them in their pyjamas or something comfortable. Try and keep to a routine. Archer has a bottle and story before bed usually, so we stuck to that.
- Pack spare clothes as it can get quite warm on the plane.
- Take a harness and lead to stretch their legs at stop overs.
- pack toys they love and their favourite books. It will be worth it.
- Ipads are good for 10 minutes of peace. With a 15 month old, 10 minutes was a good innings.
- pack a water bottle or sipper cup.
- Most importantly remain calm and try to be patient. The tantrums are short lived and when you get snappy and anxious it makes them worse. Ride it out, it will soon be over. I can normally snap Archer out of a tantrum by singing, peek a boo, making animal noises and tickling.
If you would like to know more about our travels, follow me on my social media accounts.