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Topic: [MERGED] Flying transatlantic with a toddler (Was The Big Trip ...)  (Read 39155 times)

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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2009, 02:14:09 PM »
Thanks for the tips Teletabby!


Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2010, 05:40:00 PM »
Well this is the big year! 

My dad is getting too old to make the journey here, so we'll be headed across 2 April.

I'll have been away for 8 years, and it will be the first time the children have been on an airplane or DH to the US.

We'll be travelling from Glasgow-Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Houston.

There will be one 6-year-old, height 4ft., 3in.

A 4-year-old, about 3.5 feet.

And a 17-month-old baby (who is 3 feet tall).

Do I need a carseat for the plane for the baby?  I'm assuming he needs his own seat because there is NO way he will sit on a lap for very long - he's very active.

My folks have loads of friends who have spare carseats for their grandchildren, so they'll borrow a booster seat for the eldest and a seat for the middle child.

What about the baby's buggy?  Do I need to check it in?

We only need to check in the bags at Glasgow, although we need to change planes at Amsterdam.

Any tips or suggestions on making such a long journey with little ones, or on jet lag (especially on the return)?

We'll be returning 14 April via the same route, as the eldest is in school and needs to go back 19 April and we want to give her some time to re-adjust, especially as we lose a day on the way back.


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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2010, 05:52:48 PM »
Going by my own experiences and  the posts I've read here, the airlines all seem to have their own rules about the car seat thing.

If you take the buggy, it's best to check it in the hold, yes. It will probably go into outsize baggage.

Take a portable DVD player & favourite dvds!


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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2010, 08:17:44 PM »
First off, its not as bad as you think! I promise! I don't think you need a car seat for your little one, are you getting the baby his (her?) own seat? if not, your lap is fine imo. I always take my pushchair (Maclaren) right up to the gate and check it there, I don't check it at check in, its been across about 6 times and it always comes back in good condition!

We invested in a little DVD player and thats great, also, I buy some toys that the kid hasn't seen before, and that usually keeps him busy for most of the flight. I try not to stress too much, that also makes it much easier.


Good luck!!!


Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2010, 08:54:46 PM »
The youngest will get his own seat.  There is NO way he'll sit on a lap.  He's hyper and already on his feet full throttle.

I'm taking valium before the flight from Amsterdam because three of them that young really is bad. 

The elder two bicker like old hens even on a good day and the little man is the hardest of the three.  We're outnumbered!

Plus, DH will have to be on a 21mg prescribed patch because he knows from my dad he won't be able to smoke for the entire journey and he is majorly addicted.

I'm going to get some Medised for the youngest just in case for once we are back.

On the way over it's not so bad because my sister, a teacher with teenage children, will be off school herself and has already offered to do the first two nights we are there with the little man, as he is a rubbish sleeper even at the best of times.

My mom said she might just pick up a cheap umbrella stroller or borrow one, hope so, because it would save taking Struan's and he already hates being in the buggy as it is.  That way, I can just take his reigns.

I'm at the max already with Effexor and still suffer from pretty serious PND characterised by anxiety.


Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2010, 09:12:42 PM »
By the sound of your flight route I'm assuming you're flying with KLM / NWA?  If so here's a bit of info on flying with kids:  http://www.klm.com/travel/gb_en/travel_information/travel_planning/children/index.htm (from KLM booking perspective - includes what to look for approved carseats to be used in cabin).   ;)

Buggy you'll find KLM's info on it on the page mentioned above, but they do allow umbrella fold pushchairs to be checked at the gate.  You can pick up cheap ones for about £20-30 or checkout Gumtree / Freecycle if you don't want to waste cash on something that's potentially gonna get banged up in the baggage hold.

I agree with Shahbanou with a DVD player, but then again that could be a source of argument with the 3 children (plus battery life).   :-\\\\  If you are flying with KLM / NWA each child will be allowed their own carry on item so if each of the girls have their own backpacks you can pack activities and toys to keep them occupied and let them help incorporate what to pack to keep them occupied longer...  You may also want to check out what type of plane you're on to see what kind of power options are available as well as what in-flight entertainment is on offer.  This was part of what DH used to determine which flight we went on last time we flew in order to keep DD occupied with minimum clutter.   ;)

Good luck!


Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2010, 09:52:59 PM »
For your DH have you looked into getting an Electronic Cigarette?

My husband uses this when we fly (LHR to SFO direct 11.5 hours plus 2 hours on each end for check in & security so for about 16 hours plus). No issues with security, he just uses it in the toilets. There is no cigarette odor either no smoke, just a bit water vapor & that's it. He also uses it when we're on long car journeys or stuck in traffic on holiday.

My DD was 17 months when we did our trip over Thanksgiving, DH gave her a DeLai Waybuloo talking character before we got to the airport and she was facinated by it, we also took books, washable markers, crayons & paper, coloring books and a magna doodle. She sat in her own seat because the last thing I wanted to do was lug a car seat on a plane. But, we did not pay for her seat she went as a lap child, we just got lucky that there were an extra 2 seats in our row. Our flight back was a night flight so she slept the entire way except 2 hours and was OK being held during that time, as there were no extra seats.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 09:56:55 PM by WebyJ »


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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2010, 09:59:23 PM »
Just to add and not be a downer to your trip. This coming from my ADO (Airport Duty Officer) husband.

All transatlantic flights (since the recent attempt) are now down to 1 hand luggage and also apparently they are making everyone stay in their seats an hour out of your destination.

Not sure how with human rights and things how they are allowed to do that but he said that these are the new inflight rules..maybe someone that has flown recently (within the last few day) can clarify. I hope that they are lifted before your trip!




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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2010, 10:50:26 PM »
Just to add and not be a downer to your trip. This coming from my ADO (Airport Duty Officer) husband.

All transatlantic flights (since the recent attempt) are now down to 1 hand luggage and also apparently they are making everyone stay in their seats an hour out of your destination.

Not sure how with human rights and things how they are allowed to do that but he said that these are the new inflight rules..maybe someone that has flown recently (within the last few day) can clarify. I hope that they are lifted before your trip!
We've been hearing plenty about these new things on this side of the Atlantic too.


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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2010, 11:45:04 PM »
car seats are definitely safer for the younglings on planes (unexpected turbulence etc) but they are not required. Its your personal decision.


Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #55 on: January 02, 2010, 01:35:40 AM »
Cool.  Thanks.  Was really worried about flying out of Schipol, but by the time we go there will be the body scanners in place for all US-bound flights.

Think the older two will be okay without car seats, Aillidh's already in a booster because according to UK law, she's over the limit for anything, being 51 inches, but we still keep her in a booster because she is quite thin for her height, only 20kg. 

Am struggling here.  Many, many tears because need to accept that Papa can't come here anymore.  Papa is 74 and last he was here in November, he fell so ill.  And he's still ill now.  He didn't get over it.  He never recovered from when he got pneumonia in Houston late last summer.  And when he said, 'Mijita, Papa is getting old,' and not being able to laugh it off because, well, he will be 75 soon and he has had heart attacks and a triple bypass and Mama's COPD was so bad here.

So we need to go as much as we can.

We won't have much luggage on the way over.




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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #56 on: January 02, 2010, 09:46:10 AM »
Sorry - no advice. I just wanted to say how exciting it is that you're going back after EIGHT YEARS!!!  ;D
My Project 365 photo blog: Snaps!


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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #57 on: January 02, 2010, 10:24:45 AM »
Try and get bulkhead seats, this will give the children a little extra room to wiggle as they can stand up or sit on the floor.  The disadvantage is that the food tray is in the arm rest so you cannot raise the arm rest which would enable the little ones to lie down usiing your lap as a pillow.

My boys were very active at that age but were very good on planes.  The number one rule in my book is to NOT let them get over excited and start jumping around, once that starts it is nearly impossible to pull in the reins. 

Like others have said, new toys, wrap them up like presents and give to them when nothing else will keep them quiet.  Don't tell them beforehand that you have them, make it a nice surprise for good behavior.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks.  Bring some for yourself and DH as well, I found that I never ate on those long haul flights as I was always so afraid that with all of the wiggling from my too that something was sure to get spilled.  Oh, a change of clothes for the youngest two, in case of spillage, perhaps pj's if it is a night flight, make it more like a real bedtime.

Most important of all is that you and DH relax, children know when parents are stressed and they too get stressed.  Best of luck.


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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #58 on: January 02, 2010, 10:55:42 AM »
Are you allowed to take snacks on international flights?


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Re: Flying transatlantic with a toddler
« Reply #59 on: January 02, 2010, 11:04:31 AM »
Try and get bulkhead seats, this will give the children a little extra room to wiggle as they can stand up or sit on the floor.  The disadvantage is that the food tray is in the arm rest so you cannot raise the arm rest which would enable the little ones to lie down usiing your lap as a pillow.

My boys were very active at that age but were very good on planes.  The number one rule in my book is to NOT let them get over excited and start jumping around, once that starts it is nearly impossible to pull in the reins. 

Like others have said, new toys, wrap them up like presents and give to them when nothing else will keep them quiet.  Don't tell them beforehand that you have them, make it a nice surprise for good behavior.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks.  Bring some for yourself and DH as well, I found that I never ate on those long haul flights as I was always so afraid that with all of the wiggling from my too that something was sure to get spilled.  Oh, a change of clothes for the youngest two, in case of spillage, perhaps pj's if it is a night flight, make it more like a real bedtime.

Most important of all is that you and DH relax, children know when parents are stressed and they too get stressed.  Best of luck.
Great tips ...I was about to say some of these...snacks and wrapped presents. They don't have to be anything big ... a colouring book and new crayons is a great one...playdough...one of those cheap drawing pads where you lift the film and the pictue vanishes (hope that makes sense)
The pj's is a great tip too! Don't forget to bring a stuffed animal of choice to snuggle with :)


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