Flying with a 16-mos old

Any suggetions/good tips for calming a 16 mos old baby on a flight to the east coast of the US? It’s going to be a long jurney and only dad will be traveling with the baby, plus a stroller, luggage, and a transfer of flight in SF. Much appreciated!!

That sounds a bit like my sons first flight with me when he was, well just about 16 or 17 months old.
My main concern was the take off, with the ear problem, you know the air compression and stuff. I gave him a pacifier so he could suck on that while the plane was taking off and it was all fine, also before the flight I made sure he was very well fed already and all freshen up.
I brought some little toys with me and all was fine.
He slept through most of the flight (13 Hours) and was really adorable.
So, Pacifier, a few toys, well fed before the flight and all cleaned up that’s about the advice I can give you.
I wish you good luck,

Taking off and landing don’t normally cause any trouble for little children. There’s something different about their ears, so it doesn’t affect them much. My kid didn’t notice it at all, even though he had a cold at the time.

PS: I hope someone will put the two threads together, it’s really annoying like this.

[quote=“Notsu”]PS: I hope someone will put the two threads together, it’s really annoying like this.[/quote]And another here:

I guess there are some helpful tips in that thread but flying with a 6mo is a piece of cake compared to flying with a 16mo. I’ve done both. 6mo sleeps and is happy sitting on your lap. The 16mo wants to walk around, run, crawl, tries to throw your food on the floor, screams when he doesn’t get to play with a fork, gets sleepy but won’t fall asleep with so many people around… And my boy has a VERY loud voice when he’s not happy with something - and that’s most of the time.

And there’s also a big difference in flying alone or together with your spouse. Standing in a long line at the airport is a pain when you’re alone with the kid. If one of you could stand in the line while the other walks around with the toddler, it would be so much easier. The same thing with eating and going to the toilet - you can’t leave them alone for a single second, but doing those things with a 12kg active boy on your lap is almost impossible.

I think the trick is during landing, when the pressure outside is greater than the pressure inside your ears. We had our baby nurse during the landing. Maybe get a bottle ready for that time period. The swallowing helps. As does yawning. Yawning is contagious. Also ask the airline for a bassinet, I know EVA provides these.

Every airline should have a bassinet, but you need to order tehm in advance (when you book is the best time.)
Don’t be afraid to ask the stewardesses for help.

The basinet is a very good idea. If hte child is too big, then think of getting a seat for the child as well. A bit more expensive, however hugging a child for 20 hours gets a bit tough.

Bring a few toys, a little bit of baby food, and changing clothes. A stroller is good too.

Most airlines offer baby food, warming bottles and will supply you with extra blankets etc.

I flew alone with my 2 girls, when the big one was 5 and the little one was 2. That was very tough.

Then I tried again when they were 7 and 4. That was a bit easier, even though the little one cried a bit. Just brought a few toys an some candies they could chew on when taking off and landing. (The big one forgot, and ended up shouting: Shenme!!!" every time I said something to her after we landed in Copenhagen.)

I repeated it 6 months later, and hardly noticed that they were there.

6 weeks ago I did it again. The only interesting thing happening was that they argues onver who got the window seat.

So it’s hardest for you now, but it gets better and better, easier and easier.

Maybe you’ll be lucky and the baby will have a cough the day of the flight. A bit of codeine-based cough suppressant should mellow baby out! Last time we flew back to Asia with an 18-month old who was learning how to throw tantrums, our pediatrician offered to write a prescription (I think he had just been on a 12-hour flight with a screaming infant). Not that I’m suggesting anything like intentionally drugging your baby :slight_smile:

Good luck!

A baby carrier such as a baby bjorn or sling will be helpful for dad. I prefer slings and I’m able to go handsfree if the baby is sleeping, but front- or backpack will allow one to use both hands while baby is awake so dad can hold bags, etc.

Stroller tip–the best one for travel will be compact and lightweight with one-touch open and close (one hand).

Cathay Pacific refused to give us a babybassinet, saying that my boy was too big for it. Their bassinets are only for kids up to 12 months. A separate seat costs a lot of money and probably there’s not much difference if you have it or not, because the child would want to run around instead of sitting quietly on his private seat. :slight_smile:

I beg to differ - a seat is good when the child sleeps. Also, if you manage to get the kid to sit down with some toys or crayons, then an additional seat will come in handy.

At least, I have not regretted it.

Unless you like to have the child sleeping in your arms for longer periods, that is.

The difference is that my girls are well girls. Also, since they were veyr young they have beena ble to sit and keep themselves occupied with crayons and the like for some time.

[quote=“Mr He”]

The difference is that my girls are well girls. Also, since they were veyr young they have beena ble to sit and keep themselves occupied with crayons and the like for some time.[/quote]

Yeah. I guess it depends on the child. My son only wants to move around or at least be carried around. Half of the time he screams anyway. Crayons are good for throwing only. And toys… My cell phone or digital camera keeps him busy for 5 minutes and it seems like a loooooooooooooooooong time. He’s usually done with a boxful of toys in less than 90 seconds.

If any one of you is flying to Amsterdam on Thursday, you better change your flight or you will regret it… :blush:

Listen: If your child is like mine this trip will be a NIGHTMARE.

I will try this trip soon with a 16 month old to the East Coast. (Hey we should get together as are children as the same age, um he is 15 months). I will fly it during his evening sleep time and stop in Hawaii, (West Coast USA) then East Coast USA. I might then even continue around the world continuing in the same direction on a RTW flight. Each time I will schedule the flight for his evening sleep time and make sure each flight is not more than say 8 hours since he normally sleeps 9-11 hours at night, 8 hours should be a safe amount of time.

If he were wide awake, there is no way he would stay in his seat, he might want to be up and down the aisles, bothering the other passengers, and worse. My son just can’t sit still for very long and I can’t even seem to take a car trip more than 45 minutes if he is awake and 1.5 hours if it is nap time. After that he complains and tries to get out of his car seat. Not a problem, but if this were a flight, not good. I did the trip non stop when he was 5 months. Not so good mostly because with all of the people around he didn’t want to sleep and then there was the jet lag problem. After many nights of him waking us up while on the East coast, we had to return to more of the same in Taiwan. It was awful and wrecked his sleep routine. Before that, we could just say, go to sleep and he would. After that, oh man, back to the rocking and the dance. Yuck. Now he is better again, we will most likely screw it up again on this next trip.

Regarding seats, before when he was 5 months, we flew biz class and got two aisle seats in the middle of a 2 3 2 configuration. We figured they wouldn’t put anyone in the middle seat of biz class next to a passenger that requested a bassinet. We were right. Going and coming there was no one and in biz class the seats fold down so that my son could properly sleep, when he was in the sleeping mood. However this was before he could walk.

I have travelled with both of mine when real young and still now. The girl not really a problem. The boy, well by the end of the flight everyone, an I mean everyone on the flight knew him. He walked up and down the isles introducing himself. If someone didn’t answer he would say it again and then yell at them if that is what it took until they answered him. That was when he was about 18 months. As we got off the plane and waited for our luggage everyone said “Hi” and some even waited for him to answer. It was quite funny. Some took offence but most were very nice. The stewardesses wanted to take him home. By then I was soooo embarassed that I almost let them.

I found letting him walk around he was actually pretty good and then he would get real tired and go to sleep. Just hope your son does not want to go around when it is mealtime. He was too big for the bassinette also. I let him sleep on the floor. Put a blanket down and he slept on that. He loved it, it was like a party. You just have to watch your feet.

We gave the kids bottles and soothers on for take off and landing, seemed to work. My daughter first flew when she was 8 days old so she is used to the plane now and is real good, 8 yrs now. My son, he still is a problem, still talks to everyone but doesn’t get mad if no response now.

OK. I am back from my around the world trip with my 16-month-old monster. Osaka-Taipei-Hongkong-Amsterdam was “fun”. I was almost dead when we arrived in Amsterdam. The long flight was a night flight but my boy couldn’t go to sleep for some reason and was whining most of the time. In order not to get killed by fellow passengers, I had to carry him around on 2 m2 of free space around the emergency exits. Other things that came in handy - the TV-set (my boy doesn’t care about cartoons yet, he just liked pressing the buttons), the headphones (very chewable), a friendly co-passenger with a neat laptop, toothbrushes, spoons, ashtray-thingy in the armrest, breastfeeding, candies, chocolate, more candies, more chocolate. All his new clever toys remained untouched.

I checked my huge tank-stroller in but I think a light stroller, that I could have taken all the way to the gate, would have made things a lot easier. Pushing the stroller with one hand and dragging a big suitcase with the other is quite a task as well.

Take your own food. You can order babyfood but my son refused to touch it. But he did eat my food, which I refused to touch (how do they manage to remove the taste from chicken and make carrots elastic?). They also gave 2 diapers per each flight. They refused to give me a bassinett, but the seat next to me was left empty on the long flight.

My son never shows any discomfort during the takeoffs or landings. He’s always happy and looking around, while I’m banging my head against the window because of the terrible pain in my ears.

In short: it’s doable but makes your hair turn gray really fast.