3.04.2017

surviving a 16 hour flight with a toddler and preschooler

I am so thankful that I have been busy with selling the house and preparing for the closing of the new house and busyness of work that I did not have time to *freak out about the long flight to the Philippines.


I took my 3.5 yo son and 1.5 yo daughter halfway across the world and traveled 9000+miles. My mother was there for the outbound trip so I was not outnumbered by my children.

  

We had a 2 hour flight to New Jersey --> 2 hour lay over ---> then the dreaded 16 hour flight from NJ to HongKong --> another 2 hour lay over --> 2 hours from HongKong to Manila. finally.

All in all it was a 24 hour travel time with lay overs.

The traveling was not over because the airport is in Manila -- 2 hours south of where I grew up.


Helpful tips:

-pack food/snacks. I gave in and let Lucy munch on (toxic) junk food Chiz Curls (cheese puffs). I also have cereal. Mom brought apples. FYI: long flights do not offer "snacks to buy". We were offered a meal in the beginning of the flight, mid-flight snack, then "breakfast" just before landing. in between, you're on your own. If you are sleeping, your tummy won't be asking for food. But with my children awake for the first half of the flight, we had to feed them every 3-4 hours.

Snacks also helped with the munching and releasing ear pressure bec of take off/landing. I am lucky the children did not cry during those pressure changes.

-lots of diapers and wipes. If you think you packed enough, add a few more diapers.

-pack medicine! I did not want to go to an emergency pharmacy run if kids are teething (which btw, Lucy was teething during the trip). I checked in the children's ibuprofen and tylenol since they are over the 100 mL carry-on limit.

-bring baby carrier or sling. My toddler who has been so independent for the past months, who gave up the carrier at 14 months, did not complain once she's held or in the sling.


  
 

- pack extra clothes. I did not end up using our extra clothes in my carry-on. I just wanted to be that prepared mom just in case our flights were delayed and we were stuck in a different country without our luggages.

-ipad worked well for Sebastian. Not so much for Miss Lucy.

-deep breathing. This one is for you mamas and dadas. Quick prayer of "I can do this" when your arm is aching from all the baby carrying helps.

-let it go. If the baby wants your hoodie, give it. If the baby wants to be carried, do it. Do whatever it takes to make it through the next terminal or next hour of the long flight... as long as baby is safe!

- don't make eye contact to other passengers during the meltdown. Once we arrived in Chicago (way home), we had been traveling for 18 hours at that point. Lucy was so over it. I had to place her down to reach for my wallet. I could not even pay for her fries because she cried and was all over the floor with a full blown meltdown. I paid as fast as I can (which was still painstakingly slow) and then picked her up.


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