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Old 2nd June 2009, 10:56   #1
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Default How to keep a child quiet in-flight

Guys, I need some advice/suggestions. A colleague is flying to US in a month's time with her 2 year (hyperactive) son. She was asking me how to keep him quiet or engaged during the long 14-15 hrs flight (I think there would be a stop-over in either Frankfurt, Dubai or Heathrow, depending on which flight is finally booked). I told her to give him some sleeping pills!

But seriously, can you suggest some practical ways by which she can get her hyperactive son to settle down or during the flight?
Those with kids would probably understand this situation better!
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:18   #2
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some tips:

1. Tell the child how the enviornment in the flight would be including some dos and donts. repeat it as many times as possible prior to the journey. this will condition the child to behave as needed.
2. tell the child that he will get some rewards (what ever he want) if he behave well during the flight.
3. carry lots of chocolates (if he likes it) or any other thing which he likes to eat.
4. ask the flight attendent to talk to the child periodically to keep him quiet if needed
5. some flights reward children with some gifts (toys/games etc). tell the child that he will get it only if he behaves as needed.
6. make him eat well and sleep well at least for 8 hours.
7. carry some books of pictures so that he can read it when bored
8. check with the airline whether there is any in flight entertainment system with some cartoons etc, this will help to keep the child engaged for some time at least.
9. Ask the mother to tell some stories to the child.
10. Walk with the child inside the plane. show him different parts. this will help in building the curiosity and also kills some time.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:21   #3
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fly jet.

the in plane entertainment system (one screen per passenger - choose what you watch, or play games: even in economy!) is enough to shut any kid up!

It's pretty awesome. On my last flight to chennai within one hour, everyone had their headphones on and the whole flight was pin drop silent.

cheers

ps, avoid sleeping pills - it's just a kid dude
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:25   #4
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Engaging a kid is the best way to keep him quiet. Take some of his favourite toys/books etc in the hand baggage & let him play. The mother could read to him for sometime. Feed him well, but not too much. I am sure a 2 year old would sleep for at least half of that flying time.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:35   #5
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Ensure there is no Mr Bean character in the next seat. Have you seen that episode where he gets that perfectly quiet kid on a flight to absolutely create havoc? Phenomenal.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:42   #6
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Ask the mom to carry a pacifier with her ..the minute the kid starts yelling the pacifier should be in his mouth

On a serious note, carry some coloring books or something the kid might be interested in. The IFE system should also keep the kid busy..
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:42   #7
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i took my son when he was around 2 years old to London. I flew emirates.

He was mostly watching Cartoons, played with his cars, looking out of the window. Emirates gives a infant pack which includes a toy as well. Other than that he just slept.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:46   #8
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Sleeping pills are not for kids.

However, I know people who have used drowsy medicines from U.S doctors to let the kids sleep.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:50   #9
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Make sure your colleague doesn't fly Air India. The "aunties" the scare even the adults, let along the child! Jokes apart - Toys, Cartoons, Chocolate and loads of affection!
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:55   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. They seem quite useful.

I made a mistake on the age. The son is 3 years old. So, Jango, I doubt a pacifier would be helpful!

As she is traveling to join her husband in US, her husband's office is making the travel arrangement, so she does not know yet which airlines would be booked. I doubt she would be able ask them to book a particular airline. They would probably be going for the most economical airlines.

Btw, are passengers allowed to carry medicines (cold/cough syrup) and snacks on board, or is it banned?

Last edited by DriverR : 2nd June 2009 at 12:00.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 11:56   #11
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I've flown around many times with my kids and generally the observation was they sleep half of the time. Otherwise the entertainment package on the Tv was the other half. the kit given by the hostess was also a major help. Other than that their favourite eatables and the like.

Never been a problem - there were many things for them to explore
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Old 2nd June 2009, 12:18   #12
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A couple of my relatives take a portable dvd player or laptop along with cd's/dvd's of their kid's fav cartoons. That usually works.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 12:30   #13
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No matter how hard you try, these will not work with a 2-3 year old kid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
some tips:

1. Tell the child how the enviornment in the flight would be including some dos and donts. repeat it as many times as possible prior to the journey. this will condition the child to behave as needed.
2. tell the child that he will get some rewards (what ever he want) if he behave well during the flight.
4. ask the flight attendent to talk to the child periodically to keep him quiet if needed
5. some flights reward children with some gifts (toys/games etc). tell the child that he will get it only if he behaves as needed.


Generally a kid has specific liking, like my 2 year daughter like Tom & Jerry alot, but she gets restless after 1-2 hours of watching.

So cartoon may help for few hours.

Also she likes to scrib alot on drawing books. So try that.

Carry his/her favorite toy along with.

She likes to drink juices alot. So thats another reward if she gets restless.

I think it will be a combination of alots of things to cover 14-15 hours of flight. Including sleep .

Give kid something to chew during takeoff and landing. and alot to drink to keep hydrated.

You can also walk upto the end of the plane, where they keep all the items. and lets the kid explore there. BTW I do that myself during long flights

Last edited by rkbharat : 2nd June 2009 at 12:34.
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Old 2nd June 2009, 13:24   #14
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A child would just be curious as they are meant to be! Do not try and curb their enthusiasm or curiosity by shouting at them or forcing them to sit quietly just because you are feeling embarrassed by his/her hyperactivity. Trust me, everyone who have children would understand and NOT look down on you.

I am sure that if he is taught being naughty in a disciplined way (without causing harm to people or property), he would NOT create any problems during the flight. As esteem_lover rightly said, engage him/her in activities that would satisfy his/her curiosity. Request the air hostess to give him a tour of the aircraft and tell him that if he behaves, he can visit the cockpit too (most airlines would not mind it).
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Old 2nd June 2009, 13:28   #15
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Emirates has excellent in-flight entertainment, as do the new Air India Flights and Singapore Airlines too.

Most European flights have rubbish in-flight entertainment. Just so you know.
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