Flying with a munchkin...any tips? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 04-29-2003, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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My family is invited to a wedding in August and we will need to fly and then rent a car. Ds will be 14 mos old then and I am concerned about a few things: 1. How much gear should I definitely take vs. leave at home? 2. Better to check it (ie: carseat) or carry-on? 3. How do I keep him occupied, especially during times of being forced to sit with seatbelts on?

BTW, I asked a mom this question in my Gymboree class who travels more than I do. So, I don't want to sound judgemental, but I am about to, anyway. Her suggestion: McDonald's french fries! Her 9 month old daughter loves them!

Thanks for your ideas!


P.S. The wedding is 2 hours north of Toronto at Lake Muskoka. Has anyone been there?
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#2 of 8 Old 04-29-2003, 12:03 PM
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I have the same question except I'm also concerned about dd ears and comfort during take-off and landing. My dh has a great opportunity to go to Seattle (we live in Michigan) and he'd like us to go with him. I have some real reservations about traveling that far with dd. She'll be 11 mos. in July when the trip is scheduled. Do I stay home with dd and let him go or do I take her along? It would be for 4 days and we'd be staying in a hotel. Basically... is flying a big deal for babies?
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#3 of 8 Old 04-29-2003, 12:19 PM
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I have flown 3 times with dd, once around 14 months, then 18 months, and 20 months.

If you have a long trip (we flew from TX to OH when she was 14 months) it really helped us to break it up with about a 1 hour layover. We were on the plane about 1 1/2 hours, then I let her blow off steam and run around the airport during the layover, then another 2 hours on the plane. That worked *really* well for us. She wouldn't really sleep on the plane because it was really noisy the darn pilot kept on coming on the loudspeaker with inane chatter

Nursing on take off and landing is good or a cup or whatever. Riley had NO problems with her ears.

We brought her carseat and gate checked it. One flight wasn't full (we didn't buy a seat for her) and we strapped the seat into the empty seat by us and let her ride in it. That was the only time she napped.

I bought a travel magnadoodle which was a BIG hit, stickers, and just a pen and paper. On the first trip I brought a MILLION toys, which were totally unneccessary. I did bring a little bowl of blueberries, which are just her all time favorite food. Also raisins in a little box (letting her pick them out of the box killed time ) Hiding little toys and whatnot in the barf bags for her to figure out. Flirting with the little boy in front of us. I'd bring a couple of new toys, but not too much....

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#4 of 8 Old 04-29-2003, 12:25 PM
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and stickers

And, run wild in the airport just prior to boarding.

Have fun
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#5 of 8 Old 04-29-2003, 02:55 PM
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Hi - I have flown several times with my kids most recently we went round trip from NY to Seattle (6 hours no stops or layovers either way). That was hard. We got each child a seat on the plane (DS being just 12 months), both went into their car seats on the plane. They got strapped in for take off and landing then were allowed to wonder a little during the flight. The stewardess were great as well as the people around us. We gate checked the stroller. We packed lots of snacks and toys. Snacks and small sandwiches for lunch in case the food was nasty for little picky eaters. We brought crackers and a small jar of peanut butter and a plastic knife so they could spread it themselves (to kill time). Lots of wipes! We wrapped new and old toys (to kill time unwrapping them). Med. size lego kits, coloring books/crayons, magnadoodle (great idea), picture books. Also, we brought a vidoe camera on the plane and pretaped vidoes off the TV and showed them on the LCD screen on the camera during the flight. You just needs lots of batteries. That worked wonders!!
Good luck.
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#6 of 8 Old 04-30-2003, 05:18 PM
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We've flown twice with ds, including a LONG trip to Mexico when he was 12 mos. He's VERY active, and what we learned from the Mexico trip is - buy the kid his own seat and bring his car seat! It's safer and Liam was much happier staying put in it, as he was already used to it - he also falls asleep easily in it. We bring lots of little toys because each one can last only five minutes if he's cranky, and lots of animal crackers. And fortunately, there are usually one or two fellow passengers who will help out with peek-a-boo over the seats!
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#7 of 8 Old 04-30-2003, 06:36 PM
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Good thread! Ironically we are in EXACTLY the same boat (Dh opportunity to go to Seattle in July) except we're not in Michigan.

Anyhow, thanks for all of the great suggestions everyone!
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#8 of 8 Old 04-30-2003, 07:22 PM
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We've done lots of flights with dd including quite a few transatlantic ones starting from 12 weeks. Leave as much as possible at home, we usually travel with dd in the backpack as she's not keen on the stroller and I can always borrow one off of somebody at the other end. I would strongly recommend the car-seat on board, not only is it safer, it's a nice, familiar place to sleep especially on longer journeys. The last time I flew with dd on my lap was at 7 months, and that was a nightmare despite having the bassinet seat. If you can afford it, get him his own seat, if only for the extra room it gives you.

We bring lots of snacks, including a few things she wouldn't normally get like cheese doodles (you can get quite healthy ones at the health food store) since the novelty usually keeps her occupied. I also buy a few new toys and books to whip out at crisis times like takeoff when she just won't sit still. I also find she nurses a lot more on the plane so be prepared for that but it's a great way to calm her down when she's wanting to run all over the place. Coloring books, stickers etc all help. Let him run around as much as possible before bording to tire him out.

We've never had a problem with ears but nursing or swallowing a drink will help.

For what it's worth, the thought of flying with a toddler is always worse than the reality. We've always been lucky to have great cabin crew and some really nice people sitting near us who helped entertain her.
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