Flying with a toddler: Australia to New Zealand

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By Olivia Pigeot

Travelling with my toddler usually makes me a little nervous. He has just started walking so it’s not so easy to make him sit still & he’s into absolutely everything! I took Jane’s advice & dosed him up with Baby Panadol 1/2 hr before takeoff. He’s had problems with his ears when we’ve flown before, but also he has 4 new fangs coming through. The Panadol takes the edge off all that.

The plane was delayed so we’d already had 4 hrs of chasing him around the airport, banging teaspoons & cups, dancing to the iPads on display, banging spoons & cups & tabletops, playing the xylophone on the iPhone, banging spoons & cups & tabletops & display cabinets, racing through the terminal on the trolley scaring the hell out of everyone else embarking on their holidays, mushing food & pouring his drink onto anything he laid eyes on… Banging teaspoons & cups.

Fun times…

Christchurch is only a 2 & 1/2 flight, but the Gods of Sleep smiled down on us anyway and he nodded off as soon as daddy put the seat belt on him. Yay! We made a little bed for him on the spare seat that was blocked off for us on check-in. (We were flying Emirates, touted as one of the most child-friendly airlines, which I can totally vouch for.) We settled in for a stress-free flight when 45-minutes in he rolled over & fell of the seat. Cue major meltdown.

His father took him for a walk & the darling hosties at the back of the plane soon calmed him down & had him smiling & giggling for their Polaroid camera. They are obviously well prepared for this—they hand the pic to you in a little folder that even has a space for the child’s name & flight no & the airhosties’ names. Cute.

Anyway the rest of the flight was fairly uneventful, jammed between mummy & daddy, and more of the same… banging teaspoons and cups etc.

This is the first blog by Olivia Pigeot, who heads up Itchee Stuff: our bags and T-shirts for little travellers. Check them out. 

Also, there is a section in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WAYS that deals with toddler activities, perfect for plane travel.