Sunday, 19 January 2014

Flying with a Toddler

Well that was a lot easier than expected!  At every turn there was someone to help, directing me to shorter lines where there was extra people to help! 

We flew from Terminal 1 at Heathrow, which is all very new and shiny.  The first thing we spotted was a free soft play area!  Little Owl loved it and it had the added bonus of burning off lots of energy and building up a huge appetite, which was lucky because the kids portion at Giraffe was HUGE!!!

We were the first to board the plane along with a couple of other kids, including the little boy who we had met at the soft play.  We were incredibly lucky in the plane being so empty which meant we had 3 seats to ourselves!  I opted to sit next to the window so Little Owl could have things to look at.

She pointed at a plane that had just taken off and said "up".  I asked her if we were going to go up - she gave me a look and said loudly "no".  

Oh well.

It was half an hour before we took off.  Little Owl got a bit restless sat on my lap and I began to get nervous about our next flight as I had been told there were only 5 spare seats on the whole plane!

As soon as the seat belt sign came off,  I plopped Little Owl in her own seat and shortly afterwards she was given a cake and I supped on a glass of wine... this was better!  And that was pretty much it until we landed and Little Owl had to get back on my lap again which she did willingly and snuggled in for cuddles.

First flight over and done with, we went straight to our gate when we landed at Heathrow.  Time for Little Owl to burn off some more energy!  She headed straight for the stairs leading to the business lounge!  The very polite man on duty told her she couldn't go upstairs but in return gave her a Ferrero Rocher.  Little Owl was made up with that and did 3 laps of the airport to celebrate!

People were starting to gather near the gate and there was a couple of staff behind desks so I cheekily asked how many spaces were available on the flight.  I'm so glad I did as they did a bit of juggling and got me a spare seat for Little Owl!

So here is the big one - an eight hour flight on my own with a toddler...

It was amazing!

Having her own seat also meant she had her own TV screen which worked straight away, I found her cartoons and she was set.  She wasn't even that worried by having the headphones.  She did a bit of colouring in as she was given a colouring book and pencils by the Lufthansa staff, but that got discarded as soon as the food arrived.
This is the only place where Lufthansa let themselves down.  They provide 'baby food' which I was told was 'mush' but nothing for toddlers.  I was told it was because she was travelling as an infant but seriously - how long are purees used for?  (not actually sure as we did baby led weaning).  The staff were very nice about it, but they weren't allowed to give Little Owl a meal until everyone else had been served.

This wasn't really a problem as she's a slow eater and tucked into bits of my meal and then we shared her (different) meal when it arrived.  But it could have been.  They told me I should have phoned to arrange this before the flight, but the thing is I had - I had the very same conversation with their customer services earlier in the week, trying to explain that very few infants over the age of one would eat puree...

After the food was cleared away, I got Little Owl into her pjs (cheated by keeping her vest and tights on and put her sleepsuit over the top).  We then walked down to the back of the plane with her empty bottle which was duly filled with milk and then toddled back to her seat.  She sat watching more cartoons drinking her milk until she said "mummy" handed me the bottle and promptly fell asleep which is how she stayed until the lights were switched back on and breakfast was served!

So that was that.  I didn't use any of the stuff I have brought to keep her entertained other than one small book when she was having her nappy changed and her headphone which she didn't really use.

I'm just so proud of Little Owl, she really was on her best behaviour yesterday, charming everyone, and just coping with all the crazy stuff I throw at her.  

Love her so much!


  1. This is very reassuring and sounds like she did so well! We are flying in a couple ofonths amd the boys will be 31 months and 13 months and I am worried for the 2 hours! Luckily two parents so should be easier x

    1. Two parents but two kids! I think my biggest tip is to take everything slowly, have all the props and toys you need but don't get them out until you need them. I think if Little Owl knew how much stuff I had, she would have been over excited and not able to settle with anything!

  2. Thank you so much for sending me this link. I am looking to fly with my then 18 month old to florida 9 hours, I'm doing a lot of research before we decide to go or not. Reading this makes me a little happier about flying


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