1 year old

A 12 Hour Flight with 2 Children


We recently got back from a trip to Cape Town, taking Ivy on her very first flight (and Ethan on his eleventh!) and it's definitely a different experience when you've got 2 little ones in tow!  The flight from London to Cape Town takes 12 hours and we managed to book both ways overnight, so that the children would sleep (in theory!)   Ivy was not yet 1, and as she was under 2 we were able to get seats in the front room with room for a sky cot for her.  As Ethan is now 3 he did need his own seat, so that meant that we could get 3 seats together and have our own little area by the window to set ourselves up.  I would definitely recommend booking your seats as early as possible to make sure that you can get the best seats for children.

We were able to block off the area so that Ivy could play on the floor while the other passengers boarded the plane (the only downside to preboarding with children, is that it means that you have to wait even longer for take off!) She happily took things out and put things back into the little pocket area in front of our seats, whilst Ethan tried out all of the buttons and switches and checked out what he could watch on the tv.

Our main strategy when we fly is to bring as much stuff as possible to keep the children busy.  The problem is that I then end up bringing a lot of stuff!!!  But it is worth it to keep the kiddies happy and occupied during a time when they have to stay in their seats (which they aren't particularly good at.)  Here's a list of our essentials:
  • soft toys and teething toys for Ivy
  • board books / touch and feel books for Ivy
  • small story books for Ethan
  • sticker books and activity books for Ethan (we also bought him a couple of magazines from the airport)
  • cuddly toy for Ethan at bedtime
  • blanket and cuddly toy for Ivy at bedtime
  • pillow / head support for Ethan (we have the Trunki Yondi which I will tell you about in an upcoming review)
  • children's headphones for Ethan
  • snacks and water for both children (especially for take off and landing) 
  • breakfast for Ivy (meals were provided for Ethan, but do make sure that you book a childrens' meal as they may not automatically be given one with a children's ticket)
  • pyjamas for both children, and outfit for the next day (and and extra change of clothes just in case)
  • iPad, Kindle and any other device that you may need just in case!

The main challenge was to get the children to sleep.  By the time that we've taken off and the seatbelt light is turned off, they still have to serve drinks and meals, and it's quite a long time until the lights are turned off.  Ivy was so fascinated in the whole experience and watching everybody that she just wouldn't go to sleep until it was dark.  Even them we had to walk her around rocking her quite a bit before she drifted off.  Ethan was exhausted and happily tried to go to sleep after having his dinner and watching a show.  He struggled to fall asleep as well though, he's just not comfortable sitting up to sleep and even after he did nod off he still did wake up quite a few times because he just couldn't get into a good position.

It was definitely not the easiest 12 hours we've ever spent, but being prepared was the best thing that we could have done.  Getting on and off the plane with all of our bags never goes smoothly, but I really do need everything that we bring!  And as soon as we're getting close to our destination both of the kiddies are so excited that it doesn't matter at all.  

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  1. what is the bed your baby is sleeping on?

    1. It's on a British Airways flight and this is the little baby cot supplied by them :)


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