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Travelling with 17 month old in Business Class Advice

Travelling with 17 month old in Business Class Advice

Old Aug 21, 16, 5:19 pm
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Smile Travelling with 17 month old in Business Class Advice

My wife is going to be traveling from New York to Manila on Philippine Airlines with our 17 month old boy. They will have 2 seats on the flight. Is there any advice that you can give for them? Since they have so much space I was wondering if there was any type of "mini-crib" that she could place around our son's seat. Or is there any type of prescribed natural method to help my son fall asleep? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This will be his first long haul!
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Old Aug 21, 16, 7:55 pm
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My suggestion is that your son use a car (safety) seat on the plane. NYC to Manila is an unpleasantly long trip, especially on PAL which the last time I flew with them had less than stellar service.

If your son is buckled into his car seat, then your wife can sleep without worrying that he will get out of his seat and wander around the plane and she won't have to worry about him going flying in case of turbulence if he's buckled it. There's no version of a mini-crib for planes that I've ever heard of.

As for a "prescribed natural method": are you talking about drugging the child? My experience is that timing flights for when the child normally sleeps is the best method. When my kid was that age, we also would always look for a play area in the airport and try to tire him out before the flight.

Some people recommend giving a kid Benadryl to make them sleep. I do not agree with this advice. For one thing, it can backfire: Benadryl makes a fair percentage of kids hyper instead of sleepy. And what if the child has an strong adverse reaction to the drug? Do you really want to be dealing with that at 35,000 feet?
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Old Aug 22, 16, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by Bornok View Post
My wife is going to be traveling from New York to Manila on Philippine Airlines with our 17 month old boy. They will have 2 seats on the flight. Is there any advice that you can give for them? Since they have so much space I was wondering if there was any type of "mini-crib" that she could place around our son's seat. Or is there any type of prescribed natural method to help my son fall asleep? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This will be his first long haul!
A car seat is a good option for the time when the child is asleep. But the downside of a car seat is the hassle of dealing with the transport of the car seat at the airports, onto the plane and off the plane, and then dealing with the install and uninstall issues -- all while having a mobile 17 month-old toddler around that needs watching. And the car seat use will eat into the ability for the toddler to be able to rest on your wife, if that is more to the liking of the child when your son is sleepy.
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Old Aug 22, 16, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
A car seat is a good option for the time when the child is asleep. But the downside of a car seat is the hassle of dealing with the transport of the car seat at the airports, onto the plane and off the plane, and then dealing with the install and uninstall issues -- all while having a mobile 17 month-old toddler around that needs watching. And the car seat use will eat into the ability for the toddler to be able to rest on your wife, if that is more to the liking of the child when your son is sleepy.
Hassle is in the eyes of the beholder. I never found it that difficult to get the car to the plane or installed while also keeping my kid by my side.

A quick look at the PAL schedule shows NYC-MAN is between 22 and 32 hours. The child's mother is going to need to sleep at least some of that time. I personally would be far more concerned about keeping my kid safe when I sleep than getting the seat across the airport, especially considering that serious turbulence TransPac is not uncommon. YMMV.
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Old Aug 22, 16, 11:36 am
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Serious turbulence is actually extremely uncommon, but I'm certainly familiar with the reports of these unusual occurrences over the Pacific. Taking the seat on board is definitely a major hassle, but I would probably do it in this situation only because my daughter couldn't sleep in an airplane seat but could sleep in her car seat. Whether it's worth it to the OP depends on how his or her child handles the car seat for long periods of time.
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Old Aug 22, 16, 4:01 pm
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
Hassle is in the eyes of the beholder. I never found it that difficult to get the car to the plane or installed while also keeping my kid by my side.

A quick look at the PAL schedule shows NYC-MAN is between 22 and 32 hours. The child's mother is going to need to sleep at least some of that time. I personally would be far more concerned about keeping my kid safe when I sleep than getting the seat across the airport, especially considering that serious turbulence TransPac is not uncommon. YMMV.
MNL not MAN, or that NYC-MAN trip is an awfully long nightmare, car seat or not.

My family has done a ton of TPAC flying -- including for MNL-based American relatives at that -- and serious turbulence TPAC was not common on our US-MNL trips. At least not any more common than what I experience on my US-EZE/GRU trips.

Serious injuries of young kids seem to be more common on the ground than on the plane from what I've seen of ambulance responses.

I say all this as someone from a family where it's in the range of normal for the kids to travel 12-32 hours from originating flight take-off to landing at the final destination. And having seen it done with and without car seats. CARES, if allowed, may make more sense, although I doubt it's as restful for a 17-month old as a car seat or parent's lap/arms; and it usually doesn't work for business class seats. You certainly don't want to fall asleep with a sleeping baby in your arms as chances of dropping the infant rise a lot. If you know you're not good at staying up for long periods of time, the car seat makes a good deal of sense for the flight itself. Others know they can operate pretty decently for even long trips with little to no sleep. That or maybe break up the journey, messy as that also can be.

A lot of the c. 17-month old children I've seen have tumbled from beds, cribs, sofas and more. They often enough are climbers and part-time tumblers. On the ground those tumbles seem to be worse then on planes at that age. Even when the kids are sleeping.

There's no perfect answer suitable for all.

Last edited by GUWonder; Aug 22, 16 at 4:09 pm
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Old Aug 23, 16, 3:36 am
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It really depends on the car seat. Lugging a giant Britax through the airport and onto the plane would indeed be a hassle. Those things weigh 20 lbs. My Clek Foonfs weigh even more.

I don't use those for air travel. We have used Cosco Sceneras (6 lbs) and later Evenflo Surerides (10 lbs) for flights. Installation takes maybe 3 minutes. Sceneras can even rear-face on planes. These hung from their tether straps on my stroller, and it was easy to zoom through the airport with them. And I traveled with *two*, since I have two kids.

For a cushier seat, if the child is not giant like my babies were, the Combi Coccorro is a great option, as it's a bit more cushy but still lightweight, and there is a stroller that it can be snapped into. I think it works for kids up to 40 lbs and 40". It weighs 11 lbs.

So... lots of convenient options. I would also recommend a car seat for peace of mind, assuming the airline permits them.
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Old Aug 23, 16, 5:10 am
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Products like the Britax Card Seat Travel Cart turn a car seat from a hassle to an advantage when moving around the airport. We used one for years:
http://www.target.com/p/britax-car-s...Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

Also regarding the Benadryl comment upthread - this gets mixed reactions from parents, but some use it successfully. The trick is not to wait until you're at 35,000 feet to see if your toddler is one of the minority who has a different reaction, but to try this a couple of times at home first.
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Old Aug 23, 16, 2:52 pm
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Its a long way alone with kid across timezones so simplify it as much as you can...
i would look into benadryl at home first - if works it can make longhaul much more tolerable.....
In business i see absolutely no reason to bring a carseat

Last edited by azepine00; Aug 24, 16 at 10:18 am
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Old Aug 24, 16, 8:21 am
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I used a backpack to carry the car seat. FWIW, I'm a single mom so I always travel alone with the kiddo. I would highly recommend the car seat. I got an Evenflo one that is lighter than my regular seat. I take the stroller for the airport (a CityMini) and put the kiddo in that, put the diaper bag on the handle and the stroller bag in the underneath part. The car seat backpack on my back and then a smaller backpack with extra clothes, snacks, toys, etc. on my front and the roller bag. I did it all as carry-on and 100% on my own. Not that hard really.

Just give yourself extra time to get through security, etc. You can then gate check the stroller.

The bigger thing is to remember lots of QUIET toys and snacks
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Old Aug 25, 16, 4:31 pm
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This is a religious debate in which all parties are not going to agree.

IMHO, a carseat is invaluable--even in business class--because it keeps the baby strapped in and can allow the mother peace of mind to sleep--which will be much needed on such a long trip. Honestly, I am not familiar with PR's cabins but would do some investigation into the seating arrangements in the cabin to see if I were comfortable that there was a way to reliably hem the child in so that it could not wander off without waking the mother.

Yes, the carseat can be a pain to deal with in the airport, but a light one is not a huge deal, and well worth it IME.
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Old Aug 25, 16, 4:47 pm
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I would get a light weight carseat like others suggested at least as an option. For us, our daughter never slept in her carseat well and I would sleep on my side with her tucked in beside me. I had the seat belt over both of us (mainly it was over me). Was it perfect? No, but I got some sleep and she was comfortable. We always had to hold our daughter at that age to sleep on a plane.

Natural remedies - lavender is about the only option, but it needs to be started as a routine at home. We do use benadryl some, but not until ours got a bit older (over 2). You definitely have to try benadryl at home first.

You are in business class, so it will help, but you might need to bring extra milk. Also, any thing that might distract the kid - even if it is a no go at home like an ipad - bring it. This is a time for (some) rules to go out the window.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 1:58 pm
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I cant believe so many parents see drugging a baby as an answer.

You can sleep with a lapbelt around you and your baby, which is available from the cabin crew.

As a parent you will now your own child. My baby pokes me in the eyes when she is awake and I am not, which is handy.
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Old Oct 23, 16, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by telabadmanwot View Post
I cant believe so many parents see drugging a baby as an answer.

You can sleep with a lapbelt around you and your baby, which is available from the cabin crew.

As a parent you will now your own child. My baby pokes me in the eyes when she is awake and I am not, which is handy.
Those lap belts are not allowed in the US. Are you certain that PR will offer them on a flight to or from the US?
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Old Oct 23, 16, 8:11 pm
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
MNL not MAN, or that NYC-MAN trip is an awfully long nightmare, car seat or not.
Since the last OS upgrade, autocorrect kicks in and changes things after I hit "Submit". Makes for some interesting online experiences.

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
My family has done a ton of TPAC flying -- including for MNL-based American relatives at that -- and serious turbulence TPAC was not common on our US-MNL trips. At least not any more common than what I experience on my US-EZE/GRU trips.
Perhaps the turbulence is seasonal. My last MANILA-SFO trip was a lot like a rollercoaster ride. YMMV
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