I’m just back from my England trip and wanted to update about the flying experience with two toddlers. We booked our flights with Singapore Airlines for two reasons: 1) They were having a promotion so the flights were quite a bit cheaper than we thought they would be and 2) They have a good reputation for flying with children. The outward leg of the flight was 13.5 hours and return leg was just over 12 hours. Previously, our longest family flight had been less than three hours long! A big difference, so naturally we were worried about how they would handle it. I had planned to pack a backpack of stuff for the kids but a few days before we left, Agape Babies had a promotion for the London 2012 Olympic Trunki (less than $50). Very fitting, given our destination. So I picked one up although I did have some reservations about it (like the kids fighting over it or me having to carry it through the airport terminal). Actually, those things did happen but the kids also had a good time scooting along or being pulled along on it. The only reason that I ended up carrying it was because it was taking too long to get anywhere. So here’s a picture of some of the things that I packed.
I also packed a few nappies in my diaper bag, just in case. The lollipops were for takeoff and landing to help with the ear pressure. I bought the headphones from Smiggle to be used with the iPad. Surprisingly, the iPad did not get used at all on either of the flights. I only packed board books, so I didn’t need to worry about the pages getting torn by Z. Most of the stuff in the picture on the right was purchased from Daiso. I think that M had the most fun with the tweezers and pom poms, moving them from cup to cup. I also included two home-made activities: a shape matching game (the pieces attach to the laminated card with velcro) and a button snake (I followed the tutorial here).
It turns out that I didn’t need to worry about keeping the kids occupied. M was great throughout both flights. She watched videos, played with the stuff in the case, and slept. Z however was a different story. She came down with a cold on the flight so had a few crying spells. We weren’t sure what was wrong at first, until her nose started running. It was a pretty bad cold and she was ill for the first week of the holiday.
Flying with Singapore Airlines was a good experience. The staff were polite and helpful. When it came to eating time, they would serve either me or hubby and reserve a tray of food for the other one to eat later, as eating at the same time wasn’t possible. M’s food was good and there were a variety of things on the tray so it didn’t matter if she didn’t like something. She received her food in a lunch box which she could take home with her.
Her and Z also received small Mickey Mouse soft toys. It would have been nice to have a variety of different toys as we now have 4 identical ones at home. Z was offered a jar of baby food on the outbound flight which we declined. She is 18 months old now and I don’t think that she would have eaten it. The staff didn’t mention her food on the return leg although I assume it would have been the same thing. We prepared some food for her in advance of both flights, which was kept warm in Thermos Funtainer pots.
Flying with two toddlers wasn’t as bad as I had imagined, although it’s going to be a while before we fly for such a long distance again. I would have no worries about taking them on five or six hour flights now. The hardest part was actually holding Z while she slept. It meant that I was sitting in the same position for one to two hours at a time and not moving, in case I woke her up. When she hits two years old and has her own seat, this will be much better.