Never travel with an 18-month old. If you’re contemplating it, stop contemplating. If you’re thinking about it, stop thinking about it. If you’re considering it, stop considering it.
I shouldn’t be so harsh. Our daughter travelled very well, even though she was completely smashed when we got there.
We recently travelled from Australia to Europe. Door to door the trip took over 30 hours, with brief stopovers in Singapore and Dubai. It’s a killer of a flight when you’re on your own, let alone with an 18-month old.
Now that I’ve recovered from the experience I thought I’d write a few comments about what I’ve learnt.
1. Kids Can Put Up With A Lot
Little Miss didn’t sleep on the first 8 hour leg, but fell asleep in the airport as we waited to board the next section of our journey. The sleep lasted 40 minutes in one of those baby wearing contraptions. On the second flight she managed to fall asleep from around 90 minutes and then she dozed a third time while waiting to board our third flight, after a four hour stopover.
Sleep’s important for any kid, any adult in fact. But seeing Little Miss have to deal with so little sleep for so long made me feel bad for her. I felt bad for putting her though it all. Yet, she survived and made it through and has since got back to her best. While this is simply one aspect of the what she had to put up with during the course of the journey it is the main one. She can certainly put up with a lot.
2. Airline’s Don’t Offer Enough Food For Infants
Because Little Miss is less than two years old she is classed as an infant and doesn’t get her own seat. Anyone who’s had an 18-month old will realise that this is just a silly classification. 18-month olds eat the house down, in a relative way, and Little Miss could down an adult meal if she tried. This being said we were never offered any food for her on the journey, not even an infant meal. I’m not going to name the airline but I think that’s pretty poor form. Poor poor poor. If you’ve decided to the reject the advice in the first paragraph of this post then I suggest you pack your own food, and a lot of it.
3. iPads Are Gold
Load it up with the good stuff – In The Night Garden, Peppa Pig etc – and let it roll. We don’t usually let Little Miss play with them but on this type of journey you have to let some things go. She sat quietly and well for at least 15 minutes because of these things, they’re a lifesaver.
4. Don’t Expect Any Sleep
When she doesn’t sleep we don’t sleep. Enough said.
5. Minimise Your Luggage
When you’ve got no time to yourself then there’s no point in having much carry-on luggage. About 90% of our carry-on was loaded up with toys, amusements and food for Little Miss. The more room for these things will means less for yourself, which you don’t need anyway.
What about you? How have you found travelling with an “infant”?