Taking a 12 hour flight to China

I’ve had a several parents write me about their up coming trips – and what to do when it’s a long flight, drive etc. So I thought I’d throw a quick blog about what we’ve learned so far with a 1 1/2 year old!

LONG FLIGHTS: Recently we took a trip to China – the 12 hour flight was long for adults – let a lone a 1 year old! The life saver? Our family iPad. I call it the ‘family iPad’ because JJ has as many apps as I do these days – and for a 12 hour flight, it was his favorite entertainment! If you have an android, iPhone, iPad, or tablet thingy of any kind – download several apps for your child. No matter what age, they will have “an app for it”!

Here are some of the app makers for kids that we’ve enjoyed using (JJ has learned a lot of words, shapes and colors from these!):

Duck Duck Moose – this company makes terrific apps for kids using familiar songs and great animation. Some are educational and some are pure entertainment

Penguin Books – Ladybird Baby Touch – this company is out of the UK and has several really cute interactive peekaboo games for babies from six months on, they are based from the well known Ladybird Books

Mindshapes Ltd – maker of Jellytoons and Hickory Dickory Dock, again, a really great app company that has terrific animation and interactive story telling as well as educational games.

And of course the obvious companies – Fisher Price, Sesame Street and Disney all make amazing (sometimes more expensive) apps for babies from 3 months on!

Fisher Price Baby iPhone Holder is perfect for your toddler at a restaurant

Fisher Price has also made a new Phone toy you can place your tablet into and protect it from roaming fingers, spastic throwing and food – it travels everywhere with us – and is especially good for restaurants! I found ours in Target in the Fisher Price toy aisle.

AIRPORTS: If you have a layover – look up the airport on the web before you leave – many of them now have children’s play areas/rooms for kids to get their wiggles out. This can help parents a ton when their toddler is antsy and ready to run on the flight.

Sea-TAC's play place is a parent's dream - complete with family bathrooms! (Seattle)


SLEEP: So here’s what we’ve learned… kids can actually adapt better than adults … don’t worry about a schedule just let her sleep when she’s tired (during the day). Kids can actually do better with jet lag than adults do too, you’ll likely be more tired than your baby will be – so be on guard – because many times the kids can outlast the parents (and that’s where you can get run down). The best thing to have is no expectations – take a vacation from her schedule if she’s fighting it on the road and realize she just may pass out in her stroller an hour from then. Take shifts with your husband if you are both exhausted and she’s still up. Then you’ll both feel better when she finally goes down.

STROLLER: It will be an absolute lifesaver if you have a good stroller that can go back into the sleeping position. This has saved us many times where JJ has had his naps in the stroller by the pool, while we’re walking around town or having a late snack.

We love our B.O.B. City Mini Stroller - it's deceivingly compact!

He just passes out in there and we keep doing our thing. The best stroller we’ve found for travel is the B.O.B. City Mini. Get a mommy hook for your diaper bag and you’ll be set. Also just gate check it at the plane if you’re flying. Don’t try and do the airport without a stroller… it’s hell.

FOOD: Have a ton of snacks for the trip. But again, don’t feel you have to stick with what she eats at home, or that may just stress you out more than her. She will likely go with the flow as long as you have something for her when she’s thirsty or hungry.

Always order your child's food as soon as you sit down - it saves a lot of hassle

When you go to restaurants – order for baby right away if you don’t bring it with you. ie: they will always likely have rice, risotto, mashed potatoes, veggies etc. Most kids menus are crap so we just go with a side for baby.

HOTELS: if you are staying in a hotel – order a crib but bring her favorite couple of blankets for her bed and her stroller (they never seem to have enough blankets for the babies!). You may want to pack a fitted sheet as well – sometimes I do this, as they don’t always provide a proper sheet for the crib/pack n play.

PACKING: that’s a whole other blog – you’ll find it under PACK along the header above!