Long haul flight/toddler sleep

Discussion in 'Toddler & Pre-School' started by Halle71, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. Halle71

    Halle71 Pregnant with number 2!

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    Has anyone got any tips for 'calming down' a two and a half year old on a (very) long haul flight?

    I know people used to use Mediced but now they have change the age to 6+ and my friend (who is a heart specialist) swears by Benadryl but I would like to know if there are any other options.

    Last time we went she was 9 months old and stayed awake for 23 hours.....
     
  2. RachA

    RachA Well-Known Member

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    Have you spoken to your friend about the mediced? I only ask because a friend of mine has always used it for her kids and she was advised by her employers (a consultant and a gp) that it was ok to use pre 6. Basically there were a few reports of under 6's have reactions to the mediced so they've had to raise the age of using it.

    Having said that i would never give my children any sort of medicine to make them drowsy on a flight.

    I'm not sure i really have any advice as the longest we've ever done was just under 4 hours. DS was 3 at the time and DD was 1. They both slept for quite a bit of the time. We did say the last time we went away that we should of taken my i-pod with some films put on it for DS to watch. Assuming your lo is at an age when they will watch things that i would suggest that. Also just try and take as much stuff in order to keep her amused. Sorry not very great advice.
     
  3. Mum2b_Claire

    Mum2b_Claire Mummy to Ruby & Scarlett!

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    I think the age limit on medised was raised because a lot of naughty parents were using it daily to get their children to sleep :(
     
  4. eddjanuary10

    eddjanuary10 Well-Known Member

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    i can't advise any medicines but we usually just cramp our laptops full of cbeebies, nursery rymes, family videos, take plenty snacks, stickers, colouring books... you probably have thought of all this anyway. It gets hard when they so excited/tired/bored and confined doesn't it! Last time we went long haul lo slept fine though, i hope its the same this Xmas! good luck :)
     
  5. Poshie

    Poshie Mummy to Boy & Girl

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    We would really like to go on holiday in January - to somewhere sunny ;) This would mean a relatively long flight which makes me very nervous. My son will be 17 months in January. We are holding off and holding off booking anything because I just don't know if we can do it! I personally wouldn't consider medication (each to their own of course). He's not really old enough for activities like drawing or colouring and only has a limited attention span. There will be some mileage in watching a dvd and would ideally take toys but don't know where he would play with them. I can imagine him enjoying walking up the aisle saying hello to everyone, but there's only so long he can do that for eh! I'm also thinking maybe a night flight might mean he'll sleep, but I'm not entirely sure ;)
     
  6. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

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    What is your LO's routine like and how do they sleep at home?

    We have flown 3 Long Haul round trips with DS (one at 5.5 months to LA, one at 12 months to LA & Colorado and one at 17 months to Miami) and have one planned for January (LA & Colorado again). DS has alwas been VERY predictable on flights: he follows his normal routine - he sleeps when he should do (with a bit of grumbling beforehand) and he is awake when you would expect him to be by UK time.

    So on a 12noon flight to LA, we would give him an early brunch on the ground, he would fall asleep around take off time, sleep for 2 to 3 hours (normal nap), fruit snack and drink, we would then have to entertain him for a few hours (walk him around the plane, reading and watching his favourite TV on the iPad), find him some tea/dinner at about 5.30ish, entertain him for a couple of hours, beaker of milk, then try to settle him asleep again (he should go because the plane is dark), then wake him before landing and THEN move to local time. Then we basically try to keep him awake and just feed him (meals/milk), bath and bed on local time.

    Generally it works: when we went to Miami he adjusted to the 5 hour time difference straight away (ie STTN), when we went to LA he adjusted to the 8 hour time difference (STTN) by the 3rd night. But I am pretty strict about enforcing the new time zone straight away.

    I worry about our next trip because it is a 3pm flight to LA and we will be landing at dusk. I worry that he will sleep too much on the flight and not want to sleep again properly at about 9pm LA time (may have to fiddle a bit with the times...)

    QT
     
  7. punk_pig

    punk_pig Guest

    A friend tried Medised on a flight recently but his toddler had a reaction to it where it sent him hyper! NOT what was required....
     
  8. RachA

    RachA Well-Known Member

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    Most of the flights we've been on have been early check in's. So we've woken them up at 4am ish and on the plane by 6.30am. Then because they've been tired from their early morning they've fallen asleep after the 1st hour!
     
  9. Poshie

    Poshie Mummy to Boy & Girl

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    Some useful points, thanks (feels like I'm hijacking your thread Halle71 sorry!) x

    I hadn't taken into consideration, time differences......that's a good point that needs to be factored in really. My DS has a morning nap about 9am (UK time) and an afternoon nap about 2pm. I guess we could try and work around that. The flight time we're looking at would be around 6 hours. He's a pretty good sleeper at home, just not sure how he'll react to a flight as he's never been on one before so we don't know what to expect. I think that's part of the worry...the unknown!
     
  10. MissTanya

    MissTanya Due on 23rd March 2010

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    I'm flying to Australia on Monday with my 20month old....all on my own!!! Not looking forward to it. Luckily hubby is flying home with me so I've only got to do it one way.

    Am hoping to bribe him with his favourite show 'ice age' on the iPad. Naughty mummy will let him watch it as much as he wants if he's not disturbing other passengers! Not sure how much sleep he will manage on the flight. Last time we did the trip he was 6months old and slept for half of it.
     
  11. greenlady

    greenlady Mum of two gorgeous girls

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    I've just been to and from australia with Flora (19 months), I had my mum with me as well so I wasn't alone. It wasn't *too* bad. She slept at takeoff for a while in my arms, but it coincided with nap time. Then she was a awake and bursting with energy for the next 5 hours, because it was her normal daytime. That was the hardest part - trying to keep her in the bassinet (sitting) while we ate, have to put trays on the floors and take turns. We had a matchbox car, some teddies, a peppa pig magazine, a few books, some apps on the iphone (I actually think and ipad would be really useful in that situation). But she still wanted to run around up and down the aisles. So yeah that bit was hard.

    She had bits of food from our meals. She had some snacks, she had milk and went to sleep around normal bed time. Then she slep for most of the rest of the first flight. The second flight she slept about the first half. Oh and she was in the bassinet as well -- had one of her legs up on the edge it was a bit small but it was still a llifesaver!

    So yeah my advice is just relax, its only a day, it'll be over before you know it and whatever happens you will cope.
    Poshie - 6 hours with your OH there to help you as well - you can do that easy! Book yourself a holiday!
    MissTanya - Good luck on your own - I've noticed mums on their own get a lot more help from the flight attendants (or they should!). And people are generally sympathetic. My friend flew from Perth to London and back alone with a 4 years old and a 1 year old. You gotta be brave about these things I guess!
     
  12. Halle71

    Halle71 Pregnant with number 2!

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    Thanks ladies

    I got an error message when I posted this so didn't realize it had posted so sorry for not checking in.

    We haven't considered giving her anything previously but these will be really long journeys - 26 hours on the way there and 29 on the way back.

    Recently lots of freinds have told me they use Medised on flights and I don't think twice a year will harm her. Apparently it used to be 3 months + and the ingredients haven't changed.

    We are obviously not going to drug her for the whole flight :) We leave at 11am so I imagine the first 10-12 hours will be spent entertaining her and who knows, maybe she will fall asleep all by herself - I know I will be ready!
     
  13. PepsiChic

    PepsiChic mummy of 2 boys!

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    we're flying long haul from USA to UK in feb he'll be 19/20 months - the first time we flew he was 4 monthas and slept the whole way there - was awake the whole way back but i think thats more my fault, as the flight back was during the day.

    so we're picking strictly night flights. So we'll be leaving the US at 8pm and touching down in London just before 10am...im hoping he'll sleep as his bed time is normally 8pm and he normally wakes at 9am.

    but not holding my breath! I personally would never medicate my child just for the sake of getting them to sleep its something i feel strongly against. I dont like giving him any medicines that he doesnt need to take because i dont think it outweighs the side-effects.
     
  14. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    If you do decide to use Medised, I suggest that you try it - at home - a couple of weeks before you travel (rather than just on the day of travel). May sound odd, BUT if your LO does have a reaction to it, it is better to be at home on the ground, than at 38,000 feet.

    Good luck
    QT

     
  15. adzuki

    adzuki Mom to Miss M.

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    Hmm. We do Canada- Japan once a year with our daughter and it changes every time. Things that help: having her own seat is THE key for us. Having a bunch of activities that are different, for example: colouring, a video, children's apps, books, little figurines that she can "walk" all over the tray, travel play doh (or put some in a ziplock with a cookie cutter). It also helps to have some "active" games. I'm trying to teach her patty cake and a clapping game to "yankee doodle." We also go to the wide open exit space usually by the washrooms and I play freeze dance with my iphone (can be done in the seat too) - where you dance until mommy stops the music. Another thing is to draw pictures of shapes on each other's backs and try to guess the shapes. Or Aisle yoga - simple stretches she can do in her seat or in that open space, but usually she has to copy mommy (check out tree pose - that's always a fun one). Mostly, she wants to wander up and down the aisles though. I always wear cargo pants and have "supplies" in my pocket - things like the ipod or a small pack of wet wipes. We also bought a magnetic fishing game that we are hoping she can play from her seat. A felt board is also a good idea, just be prepared to lose some pieces. Bring hand held snacks for you both, as sometimes the hot meals are just too difficult with toddlers. Don't have any expectations of reading or watching movies, at least from start to finish. In fact, be prepared to sacrifice everything to become your kid's playmate and entertainment leader during the voyage - exhausting, but easier! It is also helpful for making her feel secure and safe and attached to mommy. And do know that this trip may well be torture, but you'll be surprised at how quickly time passes. Try to plan to have nap times on longer stretches of travel so your LO isn't being woken up. Some airports have great children's play areas (we always have a layover in Tokyo and Narita is awesome for kids!). Lastly, prepare your toddler over and over. Tell your LO what to expect next so that she can feel somewhat in control.

    That being said, do take all this advice with a grain of salt. I am, after all, the woman whose 12 month old daughter plopped a steaming slice of pizza on the head of the poor bald gentleman in front of me on one 5 hour flight!!! (oh yes, we did buy him a drink!)

    ;)
    A
     
  16. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

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    Love the pizza story, Adzuki! :) (super cut toddler too!)

    Long gone are the days of leisurely flight: film, glass of wine and a nice long snooze....One day it will happen again :)
     

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