Flying Long-haul Solo ….. with a toddler
Posted in Me and my familyTravel with children

Flying Long-haul Solo ….. with a toddler

So, I am flying from the UK to Australia on my own, well, not quite on my own…I will have a toddler with me. She is just over 18 months old and she will not have her own seat.

What was I thinking?!?!

The last time we did this journey on my own she was only 9months and was crawling, but in essence easier to contain. This time I am sure will be different.

I have packed the following:


  • Magazines with colouring, stickers and activities: In The Night Garden/Waybaloo/BBC Animals
  • Doll and receiving blanet that she likes to wrap the doll in or put over her own head and pretend to be a ghost (v cute)
  • One Tombliboo (Tombliboo Ooo got the short straw)
  • Necklace that she loves to put on, take off, put on, take off, put on, take off (you get the idea)
  • Wooden dolls house furniture. Sounds odd, but she is loving playing with the little wooden dolls and the little bed and bath.
  • Favourite night time bear. She  has a bed full of bunnies and bears and doesn’t actually have a massively strong affiliation with any one in particular (i.e. one that she can’t be without at any cost), but her favourite is the big bear. You note, it’s not the little cute bear or the baby Miffy rattle or even a FlatOut bear, but this biggest bear of the lot! Maybe the bear can double up as a pillow?!?!
  • Books: One Ted Falls Out of Bed, What the Ladybird Heard
  • Little rucksack that has a set of reins attached (no pram when we are in Singapore airport for a few hours). Will be good for repeatedly filling and emptying
  • iPod with several episodes of ITNG, Mickey Mouse Club House. I have also loaded loads of video of her that she loves to watch – show off! believe it or not I have been on a long-haul flight where the little TV in the back of the seat in front was not working…now that was a long flight!
  • Headphones that we have been practising wearing in the hope that she will watch some of the above when all other options fail

Most of the above  has been secretly hidden for the past few weeks so they are new and exciting again when we get on the plane


I have no idea what the toddler meal will be like on Qantas (or BA – I think it’s a code share) so I have also packed the following:

  • 4 fruit bars, 2 babybel cheeses, 3 snack balls worth of raisins, cheerios and fruit chips, powdered milk (3 portions), and will probably buy a sandwich or something at the airport as back-up
  • 2 cups, one for milk and one for water (which I will buy once through security)


  • 8 Pull-up nappies as space can be seriously tight in some of the loos on the plane, plus 3 night-time nappies
  • Packet of wipes and nappy bags
  • Disposable changing mats
  • Tissues
  • Spare set of clothes (leggings, t-shirt, vest and cardi)
  • PJs (it might help her believe that it is time to sleep…for a long time and not just 30 minutes). May also take her sleeping bag
  • Bib with sleeves for meal times
  • Crib sheet (the basinettes are really rough, as are the seats). Actually, thinking about it, I might just use the receiving blanket (see entertainment)
  • Calpol in sachets, plus a spoon. I’ll never get a full bottle through security and she can’t take that much in 24hours anyway!
  • Nappy rash cream. Metanium is brilliant.
  • Plastic bag to put potentially dirty or wet clothes in if there is a disaster


  • Spare top and pants
  • Toothbrush
  • Hand cream
  • Blistex
  • A large serving of patience.

That is all.

Gone are the days, of a few magazines, a decent book, iPod, films etc. I ‘made’ my own entertainment and I will enjoy it if she kills me via sleep deprivation

As you can see, we will not be travelling light! And might I add, this list is in no way exhaustive. It is all laid out on the dining room table and may get added to between now and when we leave as seeing it all laid out, it really doesn’t look like enough…

I just have to remember, it is only one day out of my life (well, actually two days as I have to fly back again) and I’m sure thousands have done it before me!

I now just have to hope to goodness that this ash cloud clears along with the back-log of flights

p.s. it makes me a little sad to be calling her a toddler….my baby is officially growing up

Comments (4)

  • Hey hun I just wanted to say good luck. I really admire you! xx

  • wow – that is a lot of stuff! My three are all getting big enough now that just bringing a book or ipod is enough (thank god!). Without wanting to sound like the voice of doom, I once had a flight where my youngest had no seat but the bassinet was only suitable up to a certain weight. I had him on my lap the whole way (12 hours). It could be worth checking with the airline 🙂
    Good luck!

    • Last time I flew back from Australia she was 9 months and didn’t have a seat and was awake for the whole 24 hours!!! I was so very tired. This time around she will be definitely too big for the cot, but sometimes they give it to you anyway so they can sleep in it on the floor. Having done all of this planning I’m not even sure we’ll be going because of this blasted ash cloud – booo

  • Ok – so I know exactly what you’re about to go through. OK, not exactly. Like your trip before, I flew to Australia and back when my daughter was was just a young bub (4 months). The next time I go she’ll probably be the same age as your little girl is now.

    I don’t know how the airlines expect an 18-month to fit comfortably in those little bassinet things they give you.

    Anyway, you and I both know how awful that flight is (even when you are not travelling on your own with a toddler).

    My advice… a deep breath and just think about what’s going to be on the other end!

    Looking forward to hearing how it goes.



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