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Old 07-13-2011, 02:42 AM   #1
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Help with flying with a toddler...

So we're flying a 12 hour trans-atlantic flight with 15 month old DS in a couple of weeks. Our flight leaves at midnight, so we're hoping he'll sleep for a few hours at least. I plan on nursing him during take off and landing of course. This isn't our first flight with a baby, just our first flight since he started walking (yikes!).

Any tips?

(oh, and Benadryl, or the like, isn't an option for us)


Kayti: expat mama to Khalid--03.31.10-- and Nyla--11.06.11.. with one on the way.

Last edited by Chickpea's Mama; 07-13-2011 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:35 AM   #2
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Re: Help with flying with a toddler...

A big bag full of new 'tricks' and lots of snacks. He'll likely sleep for the first while and then I'd have some new toys and games in a bag. Sticker books (Costco sells nice ones with over 300 stickers), maybe a movie on your -ipod if you have one and small snacks that he can work on while you're flying. I know it's hard not to worry about it but I always figure it's 12 hours of my life that will pass relatively quickly, even if painful during the process. We've flown a lot with my oldest DD and this is usually what we've done.
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:06 AM   #3
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Re: Help with flying with a toddler...

Mine all slept pretty well in their car seats at that age. Few toys and snacks. I always bought a seat for my kids and took their car seats on the flights.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:32 AM   #4
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Re: Help with flying with a toddler...

If you can afford it, having their own seat would be great... if nothing else, for the extra space! We couldn't afford to buy the extra seat, though, so DS traveled as a lap child. Make sure you hold him facing you for takeoff and landing.

Here are some things we packed in the gigantically overstuffed bag:
1. light blanket
2. stuffie
3. small toys
4. new wrapped toys. I got some of the $1 toys from Target and wrapped them in multiple layers of paper
5. crayons/markers and paper
6. stickers
7. small, lightweight books
8. snacks and drinks/sippy cups
9. diapers and wipes (something about the plane ride made my DS poop frequently... as in, 3 poopy diapers during the flight. he usually only poops 1x/day)
10. change of clothes
11. extra socks

someone recommended the individual screen for the games and movies, but my kid was not interested. we also spent quite a bit of time walking up and down the aisle.

Just to warn you, we also had a red-eye midnight flight, but my DS did not sleep. If he sleeps, then great, but don't count on it.

Pack extra snacks and drinks, because concession stands may not be open at the airport, and you could get stuck with a delay.

Oh, and another mom gave me an awesome piece of advice. Get a bunch of gallon-sized ziplock bags and pack individual day outfits in them. Sit on the bag to squeeze all the air out, and then zip it up. It helps you find everything much more quickly.
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Last edited by littleleaf; 07-13-2011 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 07-13-2011, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Help with flying with a toddler...

As the others have said, bag of goodies, new toys he's never seen and do get that extra seat. Its safer and you'll thank me later.
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:06 PM   #6
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Re: Help with flying with a toddler...

I've never flown that far with DS (we've only done domestic flights with him), but we did just do a 16 hour car ride in April.

I also highly recommend getting the extra seat if you can afford it, and bringing the carseat. It's much safer and it's really nice to have the extra space to stretch out a bit.

My DS's loves his stickers, so we got a fair amount of happy-kid time with a simple $3 book from target. And if there's something your DS seems to just be getting really into (e.g., buckles/puzzles/etc) getting a few toys that are relatively new for the trip is a great idea (we got DS a set of 'travel toys' the first plane ride we took, and let him play with them once or twice before we left to make sure that he liked them). For our DS at that age we got a latch board and magnetic puzzle book (both melissa and doug), and a magnadoodle. On our recent car ride we had an ipod with a few kid-friendly videos (That's My Baby dvd is his fave), stickers, and a buckley boo.

The great thing about a plane ride is you can often get up and walk up and down the aisle, which helps a LOT, especially with beginning walkers. Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
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Re: Help with flying with a toddler...

Originally Posted by littleleaf View Post
4. new wrapped toys. I got some of the $1 toys from Target and wrapped them in multiple layers of paper.
All the posts have great suggestions. I just wanted to say 2 thumbs up on this reccomendation My sis and I flew to Thailand with my 16 month niece. She had her own seat, but she needed lots of attention and distraction to keep her in it. The best distraction of all was a very well wrapped new toy. We brought out a new one every 3-4 hours based on her boredom.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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Re: Help with flying with a toddler...

If you can afford the seat, buy it... I traveled with my then 12 month old son as a lap child and had there not been an empty seat next to us we would have become public enemy #1 really quickly... LOL Also, we flew the redeye and while LO sort of slept in my arms, he tossed and turned a lot b/c he couldn't get really comfy, and I slept pretty much zero. I bought several new toys/games for him for the trip... crayons and a small pad (though I got some color wonder for our next trip coming up here), small toys like cars, several of his favorite books as well as new ones, and he was surprisingly well entertained by a cheap, mini-magna doodle type thing from Target. I also let him get up and walk the aisles when they were free, or play back near the galley (the flight attendants were great about it) We don't really watch TV but occasionally he is allowed to watch 15 minutes of Elmo, so that is our emergency back-up plan next time... we are loading the ipod up just for him! Good luck!!!
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