Author Topic: Travel tips and activities for a baby/toddler - BY AIR  (Read 38308 times)

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Offline Erin M

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2007, 15:51:47 pm »
From thedavies:

I was recently dreading a similar sitch with our very spirited then teething 9 mth old who had learned to crawl the week before, is difficult to get down at nap time in her own bed, never mind on a plane, and gets very overtired/overstimulated easily. Basically prepared myself for a nightmare - but guess what? She was FANTASTIC - she loved it all, even the early start, she loved seeing loads of people, I took very small toys to occupy her and when she wasn't entertaining the people in the row behind her, she was amazingly content to cuddle up on my lap and even slept when she was tired! I BF'ed her on take off and landing to make sure her ears didn't pop and that really helped, plus I kept her occupied with little fiddly snacks like raisins in little boxes,
Really, she was a joy to travel with whilst at home she can be pretty challenging to look after. I was majorly amazed and impressed with her.
I realised afterwards that the biggest problem was in my own mind - after all, we tend to get nervous about travel but babies have no such preconceptions. They only need you, their basics and anything else is usually an entertaining bonus!
And remember this fail-safe line if your LO kicks off and bawls the plane down, or anywhere else for that matter - 'Ah well, we were all babies once eh?' This usually cuts out any disapproving looks!

I took loads of the little things she likes - like a small cloth book which has a plastic clip for attaching to things (pram, harness strap, plane seat belt etc) and little teddy type toys, cloth finger puppets etc, things which don't take up much room but can really be fun and keep a baby occupied in a small space, great for doing 'peepo' with round the back of the seat etc. I also let her inspect all the things in the back of the seat in front (she very diligently looked at the flight safety sheet!) - all these things seem so ordinary to us but to a baby its all so new and exciting. The trip itself was just so much fun for her - being pushed in her pram round the airport goggle-eyed at all the people etc. And I just kept her well stocked with snacks etc and things that could make her feel like she had some of her own comfort zone round her if it all got a bit too much. Also, I found that other bored travellers make superb temporary entertainers/entertainment for babies.
Really, I love travelling myself but was so uptight beforehand about how it would go with our very spirited just couldn't have really been any better and really showed me that a lot of us mum's restrictions about where and how we go with babies are self-made. They have no such fears, as long as they have you and their basics. They also, sometimes unlike us adults, LOVE new experiences.

Offline Erin M

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2007, 16:04:02 pm »
From a recent Lounge thread (info about basinettes, seating, etc) :

I've been gone a while since DS has been cruising along without too many issues besides the odd scratchy teething day (and now he's crawling everywhere there's no peace! ). But now I'm getting rather anxious because on thursday he and I (he's 10months) fly to the UK for 3 weeks to see my mum and family. It's a 36hr journey all up and although I'm never phased by longhaul flights, I'm dreading how I'm going to cope with a baby on my knee (who doesn't like to sit still) in a very confined seat for hours at a time. I'm hoping like mad that we'll get a basinet on each flight but it's not guaranteed. I asked the doctor for some sedative so I can get DS to do one long 'nighttime' stretch of sleep at some stage during the flight, and perhaps the first night in england to help reset his clock, but doc said there wasn't anything on the market safe for an under 2yrold so I came away emptyhanded. Looks like I'll just have to hope the lavender oil on his bedding helps...

Am in dire need of some reassurance that we'll get through it without driving ourselves and our poor neighbouring passengers mad!

First of all, you will survive!

Second, have you called the airlines you're flying with and asking them specifically for a bassinet seat?? That might work. If that isn't an option, maybe if they can seat you beside and empty seat could also work. When we have that, we usually bring the car seat with us, set it beside us after landing and seat DS there for a few hours!

Third, if he's crawling, you can let him crawl around as long as the flight attendants arent' serving food!

fourth, forget about your fellow passengers! If they don't like sitting beside a baby, tough on them! Seriously, don't worry too much about them. If they have a problem with your baby, let them have the problem and don't make it yours. If they want to change seats, well then, that's going to be their problem as well! (That's my attitude anyway)

Jimena, mom to Paul 24/11/05


I have flown longhaul with DS on a lot of occasions and everytime we have had a skycot. Just ring the airline, or your travel agent and make sure that it is on your booking/reservation. They would be mad not to give you one as it makes life more comfortable for your LO AND the other passengers. If you get on and find that they haven't given you one, just ask the flight attendant and usually they will get someone to swap with you so you have access to the skycot.

On our flight back from Sydney, I asked if the flight was full and if it would possible to have a spare seat between me and DH - which they gave us! It was great as DS is an independent little thing and we could give him his toys and interact with him without having him on our lap.

Regarding sleep - what time of day will you get on the plane bound for the UK? You should be able to get some sleep out if him, whether it be night time or a nap. My LO sleeps beautifully on the plane (even when he was a terrible sleeper), as do most babies - something to do with the 'white noise.'

I gave my LO medised but I think that is just a UK medication. Any baby based medicine with anti-histamine in it will produce a drowsy effect. Do you have tylenol in the USA? Dozol is another one that we just had prescribed by the DR as DS has a respiratory infection  - do you have that? It is specifically for bubs.

You will be surprised just how helpful people are (other passengers usually) when you travel with a LO, and I had no problem allowing my DS up and down the corridor of the plane. I also took him for walks holding him, and into the toilet to look into the mirror - anything to entertain him!

Make sure you take a change of clothes for him - my LO never wees when I change his nappy but he decided to when we were on the plane and the only change of clothes was with my DH - I ended up walking (running) down the plane with a naked baby!!!

Also, make sure you check your pram/buggy in and leave it at the gate - just ask when you check in, it makes life alot easier when you don't have to carry him around.

Good suggestions so far...just wanted to add that we flew California to Belgium to visit my family when ds was 10 months old and he was a crawling machine...from what I found, everyone was quite understanding and my little guy was able to crawl around quite frequently...there were tons of other parents travelling and we all kind of met up in certain parts of the planes so the little ones could expend some of their energy. I also used benedryl for ensure one good long nap and then bedtime....


We won't know if we have a bassinet until we check in even though we've requested one - they only have a certain number of them on the plane and if there are lots of babies the youngest ones get priority - at 10months DS would probably be pretty far down the list. But anyway, as it's looming closer (day after tomorrow!) I'm feeling more organised and ready for it and I just want to get on with it - the anticipation of it is (hopefully) worse than the reality.


Theo and Harvey both did very well and we just got back to the UK from the US.  There were 3 flights each way and the longest was 9 hrs and they really shocked us with how well they behaved.

The only hard thing was being able to eat your food.  But i had G with me and was able to pas Theo to him when he had finished so i could eat mine. But there was a lovely couple when we flew over to the US (they were from america) who offered to have Theo so i could eat and would always bring us drinks back if they went to get some. bless him, it was a man really as his wife was on the inside.
We did have rather good seats on the way over so asked for a seat behind the galley so you have that little extra leg room because H & T was able to just walk in front of us, so if you have nice neighbours then maybe they will let him just move around them.
Try and make friends with your neighbours as i am sure they will help out, you will be surprised at how many ppl will play with your child.

Oh and Theo, slept quite a lot on the way over which was quite nice too. He fell asleep just before each take off and was only awake for one landing.  We did let him do his own thing as far as naps were concerned because we were up at 1am and our first flight wasn't until 6am, so he had ots of sleep to catch up on and you will be pleased to know that both boys just fell into the time zone which was 7 hrs behind ours.

You might want to check if your lo fits in the bassinets still. Not to worry you but our DD was pretty tall and didn't fit on some airlines at 11 months. I know BA has a proper toddler seat but Quantas didn't. Don't want to alarm you but better to check now than when you arrive at airport.


We flew back with Austrian Airlines and at 75cms Charlie 'just' fit - his head and feet were hitting the ends, and this was alot longer than the one we got on Malaysian. Altho Charlie is tall for his age ....


They do tend to put you behind the galley anyways (apparently) when you have a bassinet.  Here's a link to the planes seating arrangements.

One of the planes we were on was the A330 and that caries like 500 passengers, there were many of us with babies and young children on that flight and i really didn't here any complaints from passengers nor did i hear baby cries.
Infact, ppl were telling us on a few of the flights that our boys had did very well and that they must be very frequent flyer's...when infact, this was both their first time.

Also, when you are on board your first flight you may want o ask a steward if they do the "first flight wings".  Harvey and Theo got a badge (wings) and a certificate.

« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 16:11:26 pm by Erin M »

Offline sandraorion

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2007, 16:59:34 pm »
Good idea for the thread.

We do our share of traveling, normally 3-4 hour flights. Here are some of our experiences. They are mostly geared towards toddlers.

- Try to get a flight at the nap time or in the evenings when your lo will sleep.
- Prepare - have snacks, toys, and changes of clothing on hand, in a bag under the seat.
- Pack your lo favorite small toys and keep them away for a week. Throw in some suprise items.
- One by one snacks. We got a lot of mileage of a Pez dispenser. He puts them in one by one, he takes them out. Good for about half an hour.
- If you can afford it, get a separate seat for your lo. You will be much more rested if you didn't have to carry 20+ lb for hours.
- Try not to take the stroller past security, too much hassle. Instead, get a kids roller lugague and have your lo be responsible for it. It will keep him busy and very proud. Also, will slow him down and there won't be toddlers on the loose.
- I second the late check in. My lo is OK once in the air, but doesn't like the ground part.
- Tray, safety sheet and window shade make great toys. My lo also loves to look at airplane's wing, so we always sit towards the back.
- DVD player or a laptop are good. Magna doodle is good too.
- Relax and take it a minutes at the time. There things you have control over, and things that you don't. Don't get upset over things your can't control.

Happy travel. :)
Sandra, mom to Adrian - July 30th, 2004 and Nina December 4th, 2007

Offline nursekat

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2007, 03:33:48 am »
Sorry I didn't read the super long post on this page so sorry if this is repeat:

If you are too poor (like we are) to buy an extra seat, always ask for the third seat to be booked when you check your luggage or check in at the gate...most airlines will do it if they have the space and it is SO worth it!  If in the US and can fly Southwest where it is pick your own seat - most people won't take the seat next to you unless absolutely necessary.  :D

Did you know the airline magazines on most airlines are complimentary?  We let dd shred hers to bits and it was quite entertaining.

Not only have all the extra stuff in a bag for under the seat, but compartmentalize - we had one ziplock baggie for bottle stuff, one for diaper stuff, one for meals, one for snacks, one with toys, etc. etc. so just a quick grab of the right one and you have everything you need for that task.

A note on the antihistamines - we were concerned flying with dd because she had caught a cold right before the flight.  We had her ears checked (babies can actually have burst eardrums if they are too clogged or infected) and all was a go...the doctor recommended a cold medicine that had a decongestant and an antihistamine to help keep her ears clear.  Since it was rather last minute, we didn't try the medication first guessed it!  DD has HORRIBLE hyperactivity with an antihistamine!  We had the dreaded screaming baby on that flight.  I remember hearing somebody comment when we landed (she had finally fallen asleep) "Oh, they finally got that baby to stop crying!"  and from another part of the plane, "Oh that baby's ears must have popped."  :-[  And this is my blissfully happy baby!  So...we will just stick with the decongestant (if needed) next time!  :P

Offline Hannah's Mom

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2007, 01:37:59 am »
I second the "compartmentalize" suggestion.  My 2nd cross-country trip was much easier than the first because of that!  No more sorting through toys and books to find her snacks while she's sitting on your lap wanting to go through everything as well! 

I found w/ my lo that boarding before the plane was totally full was better.  When she was 10mo (first trip, catching the 2nd flight of our trip) we boarded one plane last because our previous flight was running late, and walking past all those strangers who were all looking at her totally traumatized her.  When we reached our seat, she looked at me, looked around, looked at me again, and then burst into tears!!!   Luckily, that was the flight where my neighbor was a man going to visit his 6-mo old grandson, so he cheered her up on more than one occasion. :)  Yeah!  :)  All our other flights she's been a total dream, whether she'd gotten the sleep she needed or not.  Typically, she loved seeing all the new people and playing with the seat back, trays, window, etc.  However, on later trips that had individual tvs, I turned ours off because I didn't want her to get the tv exposure & figured I'd save it for emergencies.  She was perfectly fine without it! :)

If baby's on your lap--or even not--beware the drinks!!!  Surprisingly it was when my husband traveled with us that she knocked the cup all over.  Luckily, it mostly hit her lap and the aisle--not me!!!--so I just had to change her pants. Phew!!! That could've been much worse! (Blanket and her cloth "lovey" were great clean-up aids as it was only water. I just laid them over the stroller to dry during our layover.)  Do anticipate problems eating yourself, as well.  Try to eat when baby's eating.  Maybe just plan on eating what baby's eating as well!

Love the Doodle idea...will have to try that. 

All these suggestions are for air travel.  Anyone have any ideas for car travel, besides buying a DVD player????  (no $$$)  DD loved the plane travel, but she hates being in the car more than 1.5 hrs, and we'll be moving several states away in a month or two.  We already have to stop every 2 hrs for DH (arthritis), and although it has it's perks it definitely has its negative side as well I imagine.  (Car has stopped=GET ME OUT!!!)  Maybe if I drive in the early morning (3/4-7/8/9am?) and then stop to play for a couple hours and grab lunch, then hubby drives during her afternoon nap time so she & I can sleep, stop again for play/dinner and then drive again?  That might get us 4-6 plus 2 plus a few hours in the evening, depending on how things go.....Hmm....that really does add up....Maybe this won't be so totally bad after all.....
Hannah - 3 Feb 2006
Angel Baby - 15 Feb 2008

Offline Ryan&HollysMom

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2007, 01:12:18 am »
i went from the US to germany with my 10 month old son by myself a few months ago. i thought the trip over would be easy as he's normally a good sleeper, and was anxious about the trip back as it would be daytime. but the opposite was the case. ryan was soooooo tired on the flight over, but the bassinet was too narrow for him to roll onto his side and the engine sound just ed him off and he just couldn't go to sleep. he got soo tired that he started banging his head on my sternum. i carried him around for hours while the rest of the plane slept (it was nighttime) and he would just rest his head, then look around, rest his head again, etc. he slept for 45 min during the 9 hour flight over!!  :'( i was sooooo beat.
the trip back was better cause i didn't expect him to sleep, so we just walked, played, charmed the people around us. we were lucky to have a free seat next to us on both flights, so i put him there, put up his tray and fed him like that, and so i also got to eat and he couldn't get to my food. that was great. other than that... i took all his favorite toys, books, snacks... i was super prepared (had a wet washcloth in a plastic baggy for easy wipe ups of messy faces and hands, everything was strategically located in my backpack to make getting on and off the plane easy, etc. )
the next long trip (i don't count 1-2 hour flights) is not til december, when ryan will be 20 mos old. we'll invest in a dvd player by then, and probably also a seat for him. right now he doesn't watch tv, is just not interested, but that'll likely change by then.
anyways, this was my experience. one thing i have to say is, i focused on nice people and took all the help i could get. if there were people annoyed with us... i didn't even notice. shame on them. it's hard enough to keep the little ones happy, we can't worry about the other passengers' feelings too. well, at least not all the time.
good luck to you all....
Claudia-German married to Canadian

and our angel, 10 weeks, 11/19/08

Offline Tanners Mom

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2007, 16:03:11 pm »
I flew alone with Tanner when he was 8.5 months old. I was very nervous since it was the first time and I was alone. AND...Tanner is a screamer - doesn't have one of those nice quiet cries.  ::) Plus he is very active and spirited.

Anyway....he did pretty good. He had a screaming fit as he was SO tired and will not sleep unless in his crib or while nursing. So I had to nurse him to sleep and then he had to be able to keep suckling to stay asleep but it worked out great. If you BF - definately get a window seat.

One of the best 'toys' I brought along was a homemade necklace. I just took cheap hemp cord and strung lots and lots of really colorful plastic beads. When we were on the plane, I just draped it around my neck (it hung to my belly button) and Tanner sat there and played with it for quite awhile.

Bring snacks!!! This occupied Tanner for awhile too - Gerber puffs and cherrios. I even brought a jar of food and tied on a bib. This was tricky as he wanted to hit the tray with his hands (the lady in front of me didn't like that much!)...but he was really happy to eat.

I learned that people are much more understanding than I had assumed. Some business men who sat beside me and in front of me were so kind...telling me stories of when they flew with screaming kids. They told me that Tanner did great (and this was the flight with the screaming fit!). I think we always think it's worse b/c we are the ones 'expected' to fix it.

Good luck to all of you!!

PS - I took the pp advice about compartmentalizing items in ziplock bags - it was SO helpful!! Great idea!!
Mom to Tanner Miles (born 10.13.06) and DS2 (due 10.24.09)

Offline momuvtwins

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Re: Travel activities for a baby/toddler
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2008, 10:57:51 am »
Hi all,

I just travelled on a 14hr flight from Toronto to Dubai and then to Qatar with my twin DS & DD who are 11months. I thought I would add my 2 cents worth. I wish I had found this thread before I left!

We found:

-PLAN PLAN PLAN the flight times. Try to get a night flight so that if your child sleeps through the night, you don't need to worry too much about entertaining, changing diapers etc.and you can feed them on take off and landing. Also, you can sleep! We planned our timings and b/c of it, it went a lot smoother than we thought. They adjusted to time differences better as well.

- Pack light with less to carry. We had a duffle bag that attaches to a small carry on with wheels. easy to lug may also want to do the back pack...only thing is I hated the fact that you have to dig deep to find things

- Be prepared for overhead announcements or bells that might wake your child!

-Bassinets were useless. You need to take the child out everytime there is turbulence! I was so excited about these, but it just didn't work. They slept beside me in the seat once they had fell asleep.OR ask the Flight Att for extra seats in the back for you and baby

-Soft toys helped (easier to stuff in a carry on) like a mat that fills with water.

-if formula fed, put a whole can of powdered formula in a zip lock and keep it with you in case of emergency. It helped us since it took a while to ship out our things. Also easier on the plane to mix.

- They will allow prepared baby bottles on the plane. This liquid is never an issue. we checked and double checked.

-forget baby food and pack cereals in zip loc bags. Easy to serve and mix. Also great in case of emergency lay over times.

-Use KFC or restaurant plastic spoons that are pre packed with a wet towelette and napkin to feed your baby (ies). Its already nicely packed for you!

-put all diaper necessities in a ziploc bag and carry it to the washroom. Its so much easier to deal with! instead of the big wipes box, you can use the wet towelettes or a wet paper towel. Wal Mart has an amazing product that hold scented bags for dirty diapers. Its a duck with a roll of plastic bags tightly rolled up. It helped with disposal.

-put sleepers that zip up for change of clothes in your carry on in case of changing

-if you have a stroller, they will not allow it on the plane. But the carriers worked beautifully!!They love forward facing position. Our children were calm and fell asleep a lot easier...Watch out though because some carriers restrict circulation in the child's legs.

-sing familiar songs(hand play), bring familiar stuffed animal, blanket, puppets work really helped calm them down

-use your purse size hand cream and massage their legs and feet. It may help to calm them down and play hand and feet games

-any chance you get, ask Flight attend. for drinks or snack or keep your food for a while just in case baby(ies) act up during meal time...which might be the case:) OR just pack handy snacks for yourself ie nuts, dried fruit, drink box

-Bring a blanket on the plane instead of sweaters, jackets..becuase of air pressure it might get a little cool

-dress your baby with a onsie underneath a sleeper. If its too hot, its easier to strip down and if its cool, they are just fine! Sleepers are amazing since babies are comfortable, you don't need to worry about lost socks and shoes

-pack an emergency kit.It may include bandages, Our children were teething so we had some ibuporfen and teething gel on hand.

That's all folks! I can't believe we made it through the flight it was one of my fears...hope this helps anyone who is travelling. Travelling should be as fun as possible.

Offline ZoeA

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Re: Travel tips and activities for a baby/toddler - BY AIR
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2010, 12:26:31 pm »
Hi all
I am really pleased to have found this link as DH and I are travelling with our DS next month from the UK to Canada.  DS will be 9 months old and is a textbook / touchy baby.
We have afternoon flights which mean that he should be quite sleepy after a couple of hours (in theory!) as he normally goes to bed about 18:30 ish.  However, we are a little worried as DS has never gone to sleep anywhere other than his cot or his car seat.  We are very pleased with ourselves that he is such a good little sleeper (particularly at night) but I don't know if this might be our downfall on the flight!!
We have paid for DS to have his own seat, and the the travel agent has told us that we can take his car seat on the plane if we want to.  I was wondering whether anyone else has done this?  It would be great if people have had a good experience, and in theory this should work for us because DS does sleep in his car seat, but if people generally haven't thought this worthwhile then we will have a rethink as it will take up a lot of room if DS doesn't use it!
Many thanks in advance for any thoughts  :)
Zoe x

Offline Federica

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Re: Travel tips and activities for a baby/toddler - BY AIR
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2010, 20:27:30 pm »
Dearest all,

I have read so many things about travelling with babies/Toddlers and I can tell you how nice I found them, but also want to give you a bit of my story.

My hubbie and I travelled from Germany to México last June with an almost 2 year old and a 6 month old. We had to change 1 plane in Germany and in México travel to my parents, still 4 hours on a Bus.

Plus we had loads of houses, hotels and similar stuff.

I'll focus on the plane.

Germany - Mexico was a bit of terrifying trip, as we were all a bit nervous about it. Bastian (the baby) cried for around 3 hours when we got on the big plane. It was very intensive, but then he managed to sleep for about 6 hours on a row. He is sensitive to movement, so whenever he was asleep and we needed to move, he of course would wake up.

Lilibeth, the 2 year old, did not close the eyes, except for 2-3 hours before we landed in Mexico.

Mexico - Germany was great. Both of them slept and were more easy going.

What worked well,
- We prepared a brand new backpack (small one) for Lilibeth, with some of here favorite books and 2-3 new ones. She had a very small magic board, some Aqua Doodles (which are to paint with water), some small snacks, like raisins, of course she had some gummie bears and she had her piece of chocolate to follow house traditions.
- I did buy 2 new toys for Bastian too, which made the thing exciting.
- We did get a bed for Bastian, which you need to ask the airline and hopefully they will give you a wall sit and that normally also gives some more space.
- We had loads to snack for both. Cookies, bananas, apples, etc.
- I did pack some blankets from the kids, so they would feel cozier.
- I had a bag dedicated for clothes (3 changes each... believe me they do use it!), a bag for food and a third bag with our stuff and whatever needed extra, like jackets, etc.
- We did use the floor of the plane for both. I actually did go to the door space within the plane to let Bastian move his legs.
- The TV is alright, if there are nice cartoons on.
- Follow the kids routine as much as you can. Let them sleep when they are supose to and let them play when they are supose to. Etc.
- When we arrived to Mexico, we decided to expend the night at the airport hotel, which was a really good idea. We could clean up, stretch our legs, eat some dinner and sleep a little, as the babies where very happily awake around 2 am.
- Inmediatelly switch to the timings there. Start your routine whenever the kids are awake. Of course, follow their lead.
- We had Lilibeth's buggy with us for the airports. It was great as you can carry all bags on it, and if she was tired, could sleep or out of control, sitting... etc.
- Bastian was on the kanguroo, and that was good too, he was feeling safe.

What could had been better, maybe
- We did not had a sit for Lilibeth. Space is precious when you need to manouver with 2 babies and food, and, and...
- We actually had tooooo much food with us. The way back was much better organised. We had some baby food for both (in Germany there are some food for Toddlers too), and they did not touch it. Bastian was mostly on milk and Lilibeth was snacking rather than eating.
- We could have done a small trip on the car as a test drive. The way down was very disorganised and the way back very well done.

I hopes this helps all of you