My fears about travelling with a 2 year old and 10 month old baby!
My daughter had just turned 2 and I had a 1 month old baby boy. We had recently moved house and my head was pretty much all over the place. My husband wanted to get a holiday booked abroad as soon as possible to get the best deal possible. At the time I just went along with it, because I was too tired to think about anything other than changing nappies and the baby’s next feed! So here we are 9 months later trying to prepare for a flight and holiday to Rhodes with a 2 year old and a 10 month old baby – can you hear my heart pounding?
Here were my list of my worries:
- How on earth are we going to manage with three massive suitcases, a travel cot, 3 pieces of hand luggage, a toddler and baby to check in?
- How are we going to get my baby’s milk on board?
- Should we take a double buggy, two single buggies or a single buggy and baby carrier?
- How are we going to entertain a 10 month old wriggly baby on a plane for 4 and a half hours?
- How are we going to manage getting 3 suitcases, 3 pieces of handluggage, a travel cot, a buggy, a tired toddler and wriggly baby on a coach and keep them entertained for another hour?
- How many nappies and wipes should we take?
- How will we keep a 2 year old and a 10 month old crawling baby safe around the pool area?
- Why did we book this????
How to survive a flight with a toddler and a baby!
So we survived a holiday and two four and a half hour flights with a 10 month old and a 2 year old! On the way there things could not have gone any less our way! The pilot called in sick, luckily a very nice pilot replaced him but this caused an hour and a half delay! When we finally got on the plane the pilot then informed us there was a further 2 hour delay ON THE PLANE…arghhhhhhh!
In the Airport
We decided it would be easier to take one buggy and a baby carrier. Therefore, if my toddler got tired she could go in the buggy and the baby could go in the baby carrier. This worked out pretty well for us. We hired a buggy in the resort so we had a buggy for each child during the holiday. We also had a Trunki suitcase for my toddlers hand luggage so she could ride on that in the airport. I have to say the Trunki was worth every single penny! When my daughter was fed up she enjoyed riding the Trunki and also my baby enjoyed using it as a walker in the airport.We flew from Birmingham airport. We pre booked our carpark in the closest carpark to the airport. This was pretty easy and stress free as the carpark was literally just across the road. Remember to have change with you incase you need to put a coin into the trolleys etc.
Checking in and Security
We couldn’t quite believe the length of the queue when we went to check in! It backed up right to the end of the airport due to the luggage belts breaking down. Cue panic attack! This is where we used our first lot of snacks! This kept them happy for some time and the queue went down faster than I expected. After queuing for so long, we were so glad we had purchased express lane tickets through to security. We went straight through without any queue. In our hand luggage we had 3 ready made bottles of formula and 3 packets of baby food. These were taken out of the hand luggage and put in a separate box to be scanned. We didn’t need to open them and taste them, which was a relief. We also had an iPad with us and had purchased my 2 year old a Leapfrog LeapPad 3 and some earphones to take with her. We were able to take the buggy with us right up to boarding the plane.
Formula in the airport
About 2 months before we travelled we pre ordered 30 bottles of ready made formula, 12 Ella’s kitchen pouches and some Calpol to Boots inside Birmingham airport. We left space in our hand luggage to carry it all. This meant we didn’t have to take up all our luggage allowance.
Handling airport delays with a toddler and a baby!
When the pilot announced a further 2 hour delay on the actual plane my heart filled with dread! How was I going to entertain a baby and toddler for a whole 6 and a half hours on a plane? While we were delayed I let him crawl around the extra leg room spaces as there was plenty of room and the passengers didn’t seem to mind. Other families had the same idea, and the babies enjoyed interacting with each other and swapping toys. My 2 year old was quite happy to watch downloaded episodes of Peppa Pig on the iPad! I have a lot to thank Peppa Pig for! The pilot let my 2 year old visit the cockpit which killed some time. I walked my baby around the plane, showed him different things and changed his nappy. The 2 hour delay didn’t seem too bad in the end and we managed to survive!
Flying with a baby and a toddler!
When it was finally time for take off I started to give my baby his bottle to help his ears and he drifted off to sleep! His nap lasted only an hour so my next thought was; what do we do now for another 3 hours?! Again, we walked around the plane, looked at the magazines and for the majority of the time he seemed to enjoy playing with empty plastic water bottles. I even put some raisins in the empty water bottles from my daughters snack pot to make a shaker. My baby is a wriggler and I have to say the baby carrier was a life saver! It kept him still and also meant I could have my hands free some of the time. I purchased a baby carrier I could use forward facing so that on the plane he could sit on my lap facing forward and be more secure.
I was quite surprised that my incredibly active toddler was very happy to simply watch her tv shows and play games on the iPad and her Leapfrog Leappad 3D for most of the flight. We only gave use the Leapfrog LeapPad 3 moments before we went on the plane so it would be something new and exciting to her. The games were suited to her level and I put educational videos on there for her to watch. We gave her a small amount of play doh to play with and some small doh cutters. During the flight we bought her a snack box which also kept her quiet for some time. We took snacks for the baby also. Snacks are key, and I would recommend taking plenty for your little ones.
Previously I had read how chaotic Rhodes airport is and I was expecting the worst! When we arrived I must admit, it was pretty chaotic! I didn’t realise you had to wait to get your pushchair back at luggage collection. This meant we spent an hour in a very hot airport waiting to go through passport control with a baby in a baby carrier and a very tired toddler without a pushchair. This is where the Trunki became an absolute lifesaver, because she could sit and ride on it while we were waiting. We pretended she was at traffic lights playing stop and go.
Once through passport control our luggage was on the belt ready to be collected, including the much needed buggy! We booked a private transfer to the hotel so the children weren’t waiting further on the coach. It also meant they were able to have a car seat each.
Atlantica Holiday Village Rhodes
We beat the coach to the hotel and check in was extremely quick. We stayed at the Atlantica Holiday Village Rhodes and were greeted with a lovely glass of Prosecco before being driven to our room on a buggy. The hotel porters helped us with our luggage so that we could look after the children. I have to say the whole time we were there the staff were extremely helpful and especially friendly towards see children. They couldn’t have done enough for us!
The rooms were perfect! There was a wooden cot for the baby and a single bed for our 2 year old. She doesn’t need a bed guard but you could hire these if needed. The rooms were partitioned with sliding doors so the children technically had their own room. I was initially worried that the children would keep each other awake but actually they both slept incredibly well and I think it was a great bonding experience for them. If my baby was upset his sister would sing to him and tell him it’s okay. On a morning I would here my baby shouting his sister and then they would start giggling, which was lovely to hear.
We ordered a baby pack which included a steriliser, pushchair, uv tent, blender, baby bath and a high chair. This meant we didn’t need to worry about anything and we also had two pushchairs which were very much needed! If you are visiting a resort where you can’t hire a pushchair I would advise that you take one for a 2 year old as the heat can make them very tired.
The hotel was well equipped for young children including a lovely shallow, sloping pool and also a heated pool, which was needed during the first week in June. They also provided a wonderful creche for children aged under 3 at an additional cost. We booked our children into the creche a couple of times to give the children a break from the heat and I can’t praise the staff enough. Our children had a wonderful time and the staff were really attentive towards them. My 2 year old also loved the entertainment on offer in the evening. Although she was a little too young to join in with the games she enjoyed dancing near the stage.
We stayed all inclusive which was very handy as it meant there were plenty of food options for our toddler to choose from as she is a very fussy eater. There was also a blender available if you needed to blend your baby’s food. We chose this hotel because our toddler had a cow’s milk allergy. Though she has grown out of this, she will still only drink the Alpro soy milk and the staff in the restaurant would always go and get my daughter some for her bedtime drink. All in all I would say this place is fantastic for families with children, especially young children.
If you have anymore tips please let me know!
Products that helped us survive a flight with a toddler and a baby.
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