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Tips on getting through a 12 hour flight and then jetlag!

  1. #1
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Tips on getting through a 12 hour flight and then jetlag!

    Hi Mamas,

    I am taking my to-be 1 yr old back to Canada (15 hrs time difference) this summer by myself and am already getting (very) nervous.

    Would appreciate any tips/suggestions on how to (as best as I can) get through the flight without going insane and how to deal with the jetlag!

    We're taking a late afternoon flight, arriving early afternoon.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    1) patience
    2) patience
    3) patience
    4) small bottle of vodka

    lol, seriously, it isn't fun with a young one, but it is doable and may not be as bad as you expect.

    when i took my two to canada a few months ago, i was VERY well prepared/

    1) each child got a small insulated bag of snacks. raisins, rice crackers, indiv. wrapped cheese, a couple of sucking candies, and a couple of bite-sized chocolates, and an apple.

    2) each child had their own backpack that they could pull themselves, and did! inside each bag, there were 3 toys that they chose themselves, their "little blanket", and a small pillow. also, there was an A4 sized zip bag that i prepared ahead of time, they knew there were surprises, but they didn't know what was in the bag. in each bag, i put a notebook, a small pack of crayons, 10 sheets of stickers, 5 ink stamps, a small water colour paint and brush, a reading book and some foam stickers. I also packed their homework from school, so they could do some on the plane.

    3) each child had a small hand-held "tv" that i loaded their own movies/tv shows onto. they also had their own headphones.

    4) in my carry on bag, i had a change of clothes for each of the kids as well as for myself. i also had their pyjamas, so that they changed into them on the plane.

    5) i also packed a new toy (still in packaging) for each child. they were allowed to open them just before we boarded (so we could throw the packaging away before boarding.)

    we flew through BJ and had a 2 hour stop over there. there is a small area in the airport that has a playground and my kids were able to run around and play between flights.

    all of this might not apply to you, but i found it to be a great time and not so difficult... i actually found it much more stressful when daddy came back to hk with us... i wasn't as well prepared, and i felt it.

    only other advice? do NOT fly china eastern or air china!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    LOL .. Thanks Cara. I am flying CX. We actually live in BJ now, so we're flying through HK (stopover of 4 days). She will be 12 months, so I am nervous that nothing will keep her attention for long.

    I have started putting her in pj's every night ... since I can't exactly do our bedtime routine of bath, bottle, book. So I'm doing what I can to give her bedtime visual cues. The pj's and putting a small toy on her crib that I will pin/hang onto the bassinette when it's bedtime.

    I'm thinking of buying her a small gift (wrapped) to open every 2 hours. I am trying to be prepared for the worst! LOL

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    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Oh.. I meant to say... suggestions for good small toys?

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    nino is offline Registered User
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    Honestly, flying with my one year old was by far the worst age - I have flown solo with her at six months, one year, one year and 8 months and two years and two months all on long haul flights (to toronto). At one year old, she was not interested in the tv and she wasn't eating much so food didn't interest her. I can't think of any toys that were useful - I brought a handful, but they didn't hold her interest. She has a favorite blanket which was a necessity and I used my ergo baby carrier to try and calm her and help her go to sleep. The flight we were on at one year was full to capacity and we only had one seat. I think if we had a spare seat, it would have made things much easier. Are you sure she will be able to use a bassinet? I wasn't able to use one at that age as my daughter was over the age and/or weight limit.
    As for jet lag - it's the worst. Best advice is to have someone on the other side who can help you. I was doing it alone and it was painful to be so tired and have to care for a little one. I haven't found a good solution for jet lag except to wait it out. If you are staying long enough, a week or so of jet lag won't matter.
    In my experience, the timing of your flight is good - most of the flight you should be asleep - and once you arrive, you can stay up until Canadian bedtime and hope that you can get to sleep.
    Hope this info isn't too discouraging! Best thing to think about is that it is a relatively short amount of time in the grand scheme of things.

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    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    Great thread. I will be flying to Toronto this summer with my then 2.5 yo and 5 mo old. Yikes! Carang had some great ideas.
    The basinet will be too small for her by then. Still use it, just for keeping your things in. Or like we do, use the tray it sits on. Anyway, the key is bulkhead seats.
    The last time we went to Toronto, my son was 4.5 mo. Jet lag was awful both ways. He was so confused he cried hysterically and inconsolably. One trick I did learn was to let him play in the middle of the night if he wanted, don't fight against the jet lag. Little by little it will get better.

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    yep, i didn't fight the jet lag either.

    i was lucky, when i arrived in vancouver, the kids were so excited to see my mum that they went to the playground and had an early dinner @ 4pm. i went to bed at 2pm and i woke up at 7pm, just after she had put the kids to bed. i stayed up until about 9 or 10 and went back to bed. i woke up at 5am, when my son woke up. my daughter, on the other hand, slept until 9:30am.... she has NEVER slept that late in her life!

    i made sure that the kids had a quiet time during the day and i let them sleep in until they woke on their own. if you try to fight the jetlag, then you are just asking for stress, trouble and not much fun.

  8. #8
    1sttimemom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks all! I was wondering if I should fight the jet lag by getting all strict with the schedule or just go with the flow. Did you all do your best to keep the kids up during the day (with reasonable time for naps) so they'd sleep better at night or.... ?

    @ nino - yes, I am dreading flying with her for those exact reasons. At one year, they aren't attached to anything really and they just want to explore. She can have the bassinette going, but on the way back I don't think they'll give it to us. So I will be the bed :) On the way back, we will have Daddy with us who cannot really sleep on planes anyway :P

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