Flying long haul with toddlers

All my kids are fantastic flyers - always have been but when we booked our first long haul flight last Christmas I was just quietly having panic attacks about it - 20 hours back to back is a bloody very long time !

Jay being 22months was my main concern, he is a terrible sleeper and is fairly boisterous. Also I broke my tailbone when I was in labour with him so sitting too long is still fairly uncomfortable for me  which was another worry of mine !

ACTIVITIES - I purchased lots of little activities for the little one , from colouring, cars, books, ipads, water painting but my three top activities were as below:

Gel Window Stickers - these were a godsend, and only cost around $3 for a pack at the $2 shop ( Still don't understand why its called a $2 shop if the products are all not $2 !) These kept him amused for a good hour or so ! 20151216_085658

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PILL BOXES FILLED WITH GOODIES

These pill boxes I found again at a cheap $2 store for around $3, and I filled them with buttons, googly eyes, trash pack trashies, and little beads. He sat there for what felt like ages opening and closing each lid and rearranging them . Winning !

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Another example of the pill boxes you can buy
Another example of the pill boxes you can buy

FLASH CARDS - I purchased some cheap flash cards for toddlers at Woolworths and used a punch and key ring to make them into - well flash cards on a ring. Genius idea - he absolutely loved these and they were so handy on the whole holiday - I still keep them in my handbag at all times !

flashcards

The older kids were kept busy with the TV unit, ipads, books and colouring books. At 8 and 6 they are much easier !

BASSINET / SLEEP - We booked the bassinet for Jay knowing that he would be almost the size and weight limit, but we booked it hoping he might sleep in there which would allow me to get off my bottom for a bit. He DID sleep - but being alot of turbulence I had to keep getting him in and out which was a pain - in the end I gave up and he slept on me. I use the world SLEPT loosely as out of 20 hours he only slept 2-3hours ! Kill me now!  

It ended up getting to the point of "Im going to have to just let him scream himself to sleep" during one flight - he is one of those kids that doesn't want help to go to sleep, but will push through and fight sleep if hes too distracted - which results in and overtired toddler who will only settle by crying...loudly. Luckily he was asleep in a few mins after that but still didn't sleep as long as I had foreseen in my head. I did try some polaramine on the way home but it didn't seem to do a thing to help him sleep longer.

SNACKS - We probably didn't pack enough snacks to be honest, I was relying alot on the fact that we would get provided meals and snacks but having a fussy toddler it wasn't the best idea. I took muesli bars, yoghurt balls, pringles, and a couple of bananas. Next time I will make sure I have enough food to keep him going incase he doesn't like the kids meals. And let's face it, food, especially little fiddly snacks, keep toddlers amused !

MILK - I took the small mini cartons of cows milk for his bottles and heated one up in the parents room at the airport before we took off. But for some reason hes never really interested in milk on flights !?

SEATS - My best advice is try and book the bassinet row if possible - there is SO much leg room and Jay happily played on the floor at my feet with his cars for a long time. I think some flight attendants will tell you they cant sit there incase of turbulence but the flight attendants we had were all fine with it!

Other than what I have mentioned, books were a hit and would provide at least 5 minutes of entertainment! Can't wait for him to get to an age where he will watch tv.

In all honesty the flight was NOWHERE near as bad as I had imagined and even though he power vomited on me for the last 2hours of the flight to London, it defnitley has not put me off flying long haul again. It really wasn't that bad and the result is worth every second of the possible 20 hours of hell xx