Taking bubba on a long plane journey - advice please!


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Aug 21, 2006
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This is a question for anyone who has done a long-haul flight with a one year old. We are going on holiday soon (I think the flight is about 4-5 hours) and will be the first time on a plane with bubba. He is at the stage where he doesn't sit still for long and hates being in his car seat so I am a bit nervous about how we will keep him occupied on a plane for this long. Any advice? He gets bored of toys very quickly and gets very whiny if he doesn't get his own way. We are going to tire him out so that he will (hopefully) sleep on the plane but if this fails or if he only sleeps for a bit, how can we keep him fairly happy in his airplane seat?

Also, not been on a flight since the attempted terrorist attacks so unsure about this - can we take the ready made liquid milk onto the plane (the small cartons) or only powder? (We are not going to wean him onto cows milk until we return).

Any advice appreciated.
I've done 20 hour travel time with Brody and Mason to South Africa when Brody was exactly one.
We checked with the airline and as we'd paid for Brody to have his own seat we were able to take his big carseat onto the plane with us.
Luckily we had an overnight flight so he was already tired but we just took tons of books and crayons and stuff with us.

We took cartons of milk and as soon as we boarded I asked the stewardess to warm some up. I gave it to him as he were taking off to stop his ears from hurting.
Apart from that just be prepared to do a lot of walking up an down with them when they get bored! Take things like chocolate buttons for take off just in case a drink fails to help them pop their ears... hmmm I will have a think what else we did.
Thank you! this was very helpful as I will be travelling by plane in July with my LO too.
Thanks Dinski for asking the question and thanks Urchin for answering :hug:
Timing is everything, if you can try and get the flight times when they normally sleep then you shouldn't have too many problems. Kai is very active and we really haven't had too many problems.

As your little boy is under 2 why don't you enquire about the cot? BA have it and we travelled with them from Toronto-London in November and going it was a godsend, Kai was a few months under 2 but he slept in really well, he wouldn't stay in it awake though (I doubt too many would to be honest) and you get that extra bit of legroom even if he doesn't use it and it doesn't cost any extra.

I would take books mainly and normally I find there is too much going on for them to keep them entertained.

The cartons you can normally find in Boots after security, I would buy them then as they may ask you to open them and taste them (that's what happened to us when we didn't know about Boots).

Make sure about getting the pushchair, the airlines normally like to fob you off that they you won't be able to get it until you get your luggage. Insist that you need it because it can be a very, very long walk without it and you normally have quite a bit of hand luggage.

We are going to Argentina next Friday, our flight goes at 23.45 so on Thursday we are going to keep Kai awake as long as possible and then he should go to sleep just after take-off (lots of running around at the airport beforehand). We get to Chile at 10.15 the next morning and have a long time before our flight to Argentina which goes at 5 in the afternoon, that is what I am more worked up about, all those hours at the airport :(
Thanks guys, that is really useful.

Babsi, did you ask for the cot before going to the airport or once you were there and checking in? We have phoned the airline (BMI) and they told us we cannot book seats beforehand, we just need to go there and book them :roll:

We are also thinking of going to Buenos Aires later in the year to visit my dad who lives there but I am dreading the 12 hour flight from London (I don't think they even do direct flights anymore). Good luck with your flight, hope it's not too stressful and have a good time.
With BA we booked the flight online and could select what seats we wanted and got the seats with space for the cot. If you are travelling with an under 2 you can book the seats straight away, if not you have to wait. Do BMI have cots? (One thing on another airline was that you had to upgrade to get the cot :x )

We aren't going to Buenos Aires, we're going to Mendoza, that is where my husband is from. But least you still get the great steak :lol:

If I was going to Buenos Aires from London, I would go Iberia all the way with a stop in Madrid, I think that would be the easiest way. BA now stop in Brazil on the way don't they?
babsi said:
If I was going to Buenos Aires from London, I would go Iberia all the way with a stop in Madrid, I think that would be the easiest way. BA now stop in Brazil on the way don't they?

I last went in 2003 by Varig and had a nightmare journey. First, the flight was cancelled so I had to go 2 days later (just got there in time for my dad's wedding), had to stop in Lisbon, then again in Sao Paulo and finally BA. They managed to lose my suitcase too. I heard it was because Varig was going bust so didn't care about customer service anymore :roll:

I went by Iberia years ago. The best carrier imo was Aerolineas but they don't go from London anymore direct.

Enjoy the yummy steak :D
I'm flying to the states in July whne babe will be around 7 weeks old :| so I've been doing lots of research about this!

If you take bottles of baby formuler ready made up you will have to taste them at security. If you bring the cartons you will be made to open each of them and taste, so as alrady mentioned, you can get them at Boots after security. To be honest, as it's on;y a 4 hour flight, you'd probably be better just taking some you've made at home. Also, Boots only sticks a couple of brands, so your best off phoning them and ordering some, several people I know have done this and not had a problem.

I'm pretty sure BMI don;t do sky cots so that option is out.

Make sure that at take off and landing baby is sucking on something, and don;t forget that on a flight it is very easy to get dehydrated so make sure he has enugh fluids.

As for keeping him in his seat, I have no suggestions other than keeping his seat belt done up, which is a good plan anyway beacsue if he does fall asleep and there is turbulence you might disturb him putting on the seatbelt.

Take some books, nothing that makes noise though! Maybe some toys that he's not seen before as they may hold his interest a bit longer. Oh, and a mallett and then he'll sllep the whole flight! :rotfl:
we just got back from Gran canaria which was a 4.5 hour flight and Oran is 1. We had his own seat booked (thank god as would have been a nightmare without it) he fell asleep in the most awkward posotion on take odd and slept for 2 hours! Once he woke we just kept giving him drinks and bits of food (not becuase he was hungry so much but because eating a triange of sandwhich kept him quiet for 10 mins pmsl. We took lots of little toys and books and just kept swapping him between me and daddy so he didnt get bored easily! On landing he fell asleep again, I think it must have been the vibrations!

On the way home he was so tired he fell asleep for 20 mins in the airport :x this cause havok as meant he had only had that plus another 30 min all day and he was shattered but couldn't get comfy and was overtired to sleep so cried ALOT - everytime he started to drift off the kids on the row oposite cried and woke him so he cried then they slept so he returned the favour and screamed to wake them up - it wasnt pretty lol. Oh then the pratt infrom put his chair back really suddenly when O was on OHs knee and hit O in his head so OH accidentally on purpose let O throw the plane mag over the chair on the tossers head :rotfl:

One familyy had a portable DVD player with In the night Garden playing quietly and that kept their kids attention (and orans when he caught site of it) so next time im getting one to take! I would deffo advise to try and keep them awake so they can have a good sleep on the plane, it will pass the time for a while.

So my top tips are

1) tire them out
2) fave toys / books
3) food and drink
4) pass between parents to keep occupied
5) walk up and down the isles
6) don't care what anyone else says or thinks or looks if bubba does create
7) take buggy to gate and ask when you get on for it to be there when you get off (say bad back so can't carry child much if they say they cant because they can they just dont like to)

Not sure where your going but we went ot Gran Can and on way back even though they say no more than 100mls of fluid we had 3 full froot shoots, and 4 big water bottles in our bags and they just let us through with no questions! Oh and on the way from manchester we were able to take orans juice though as was in a proper baby cup and it was more than 100ml and they didnt make us taste it - I think they must be more laid back now to a degree!
I've got a long haul coming up soon.....LO will be 1 also. I've spoken to the airline who said it's illegal to sell LO his own seat because he's under 2 years old and when they are 2 it's illegal to allow them to sit on a parents knee. We went just 4 hours with him at 5.5 months and that was hard enough with all his wiggling - I'm hoping there's an empty seat on the plane so we can spread out a bit as I was more than willing to pay extra to allow him his own seat and because it's a holiday/charter flight they also don't do business class to allow upgrades to more spacious seats etc.

Anyone know why were being told he can't have his own seat as it seems to me that most other babies have their own by the time they are around 1. Were flying charter unfortunatley not scheduled.

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