thread: long flights

  1. #1

    Mar 2004

    long flights

    Yasin and I are going to England in October for a quick visit. He will be almost a year old. We are flying to Dubai where we have 2 hours before we catch a connecting flight. I'm a teeny bit nervous about taking such an active baby on such a long flight. Has anyone here done a long plane journey with a baby? I'd really appreciate any tips on how to make the flight less of an ordeal for both of us. Usually for a long flight I just book a night departure, swallow a few valium and wake up when I arrive but I geuss thats out of the question now.
    Will he still fit into those bassinettes or will he have to sleep on my lap?

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2004
    Chasing Daylight...

    Dachlo I flew to LA with my DD when she was 8 mths old, coming home at 9 mths, so she was slightly younger than Yasin. I'm not sure if the bassinet will still fit him. They're designed for up to 12 mths, but that's a general rule I think.

    Try to get a night time flight if you can. It still helps. Even if he's only asleep for half the flight it will help.

    I took a lot of toys that she hadn't seen before (small ones) and brought them out one by one. She was really into books, so I got quite a few of those. I also took a lot of little finger food type snacks for her (they do have Heinz baby food on the planes still, I think).

    So I think she slept and ate more on those two flights than she normally did 8-[

    The best thing to do is to divide Yasin's awake time into one hour blocks in your mind, and tick them off as you go (you're more likely to go mental than he is, as you'll be worried about keeping him occupied as well as dealing with the flight yourself).

    I'm not into medicating my kids if I can help it,,,, but a friend of mine gave her one year old phenergen (sp?) to make him drowsy. I didn't feel comfortable doing that.

    The other thing is that most of the long haul carriers have pages dedicated to travelling with kids on their websites.

    Hope that helps

  3. #3
    Ex adm!n, quietly rusting....

    Feb 2004

    Hey Dach, have you checked out this article on the main site yet with tips for flying with kids? I can't help personally, but thought the article might....

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005

    Dachlostar - glad you bought up this topic as I will be taking our 5 month old baby overseas next winter (for the european summer).
    We are also flying to Dubai as we are flying Emirates. We decided its best if we stop in Dubai for 2 days and gather our strength before moving on to europe!! We have also not been to Dubai before so it will be nice to have a look.
    I spoke to the people at Emirates and they do have baby capsules in the plane for passangers usage. They will also provide food if you need it but I will be bringing my own.
    We plan to take turns with baby during the flight so each of us will be able to get some rest. Have some new toys to take along and also aim for an evening flight - I plan to feed baby as we take off because its reccomended for the ears popping etc and then hopefully baby will have a sleep.
    How many hours is it to Dubai? I didnt even ask!!

  5. #5
    Custardtart Guest

    I don't know if you'll be able to feed the baby on take-off, I think they have to be strapped in until the plane levels out. The best you might be able to do is have a small bottle of drink or a dummy for them to suck on.

    Dachlostar, unless Yasin is small for her age I don't think the capsules will still fit her, from memory. I went to the States with Christine when she was 13 months old, and all I can say to the memory of the flights is 'ouch!'.

    Do all you can to get a vacant seat next to you for the baby to sit in, as several hours with a baby on your lap in an airplane seat will not be a fun experience for anyone. Sweet-talk the airline staff as much as you can, they can make or break a long trip.
    Also, try to grab an aisle seat so that you can let her go for little wanders up and down the aisle to work off a little energy -when it's safe to pass the trolleys, of course!

    Good luck, and do take extra snacks and toys to try and entertain her - don't rely on the airline to have anything age-suitable, because it's really hit and miss.


  6. #6
    Annie Guest

    We flew to Hawaii with Quinn when he was 14 mos, and we did a lot of other shorter trips before that. Arranging a flight at naptime or at night is the best thing to do, if you can. A sleeping baby is so much better! Quinn is also very very active. We got him a seat of his own on the Hawaii trip b/c we were using frequent flier miles. Though he technically didn't have to have one yet, it was soooo much better to have him strapped into his carseat (which we hauled along with us anyway since we were renting a car), since he's used to being relatively still in that and amusing himself. A good trick for having a seat for baby, if you're traveling with another adult and don't want to buy the baby a seat, is to reserve for the adults the window and the aisle in a 3-seat row. Unless the plane is very full, it's unlikely a single passenger will be stuck into the middle seat. If someone is, he/she will be more than happy to switch to the window rather than be stuck between two adults who are passing back and forth a baby! (Don't offer the person the aisle, as you'll want to get out to walk Yasin.)

    We had lot of books, sock puppets, a small toy car, crayons, basically, anything little enough to pack. In addition to bringing lots of snacks (DON'T trust the airline to have appropriate foods), I'd also bring a lot of beverages. Airplane air is so dry, and drink service doesn't always coincide with when baby is thirsty. If you're still nursing, this is obviously easy; if not, try one of those sports bottles with the nozzle you can pull out and suck on. You can fill it with water, and a baby will get the hang of the drinking quite quickly, and it won't spoil like milk.

    Also, flight attendants get bored on long flights in between meal service. Don't be afriad to take Yasin on walks in the aisles. We spent a very enjoyable 45 minutes hanging out at the "galley" area of the plane chatting to attendants when Quinn got too squirmy to stay in his seat. They had fun making faces at him, and he enjoyed the change of scenery. Good luck!