3 hour plane ride with toddler on lap! HELP! - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We leave Friday morning and I need some tips from experience mamas! I'm hoping he'll nurse/nap through some of it but he's so wiggly and can't even make it through an hour of church. I don't know what we're going to do!

So here's my survival list so far:
books
toys
snacks
drinks
stickers and paper (not sure how long that'll last before he tries to eat them)
portable cd player

Taryn-31 Crunchy Conservative Catholic SAHM with DH-32
DS 7.5, DD 5 (vbac), DD 2.5 (vbac), and DD 12/30/13 (vbac)

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#2 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 05:11 PM
 
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I just flew with my 15mo on my lap last week and it was fine. They were shorter flights than yours and I did have DH with me, so that helped, but I think I would have been ok without him (if all our flights had been on schedule, but that's another issue). My dd loves books, so I had a bunch of small board books, including some from the library she had never seen before. I also had LOTS of snacks (crackers and blueberries) and a few small soft toys, including a couple new ones (a Koosh ball was fun and a small finger puppet too). We got hassled trying to bring water in a sippy cup through security (TSA guy: You can't bring that through! Me: It's just water--here, I'll drink it. TSA guy: *gasp* What?! You can't do that!). So follow the rules for liquids (3 oz containers and all containers have to fit in one quart size ziplock bag), or bring an empty cup and get water or whatever once you are through sercurity. My dd loved all the people and attention from so many strangers. She had a great time! She nursed and napped plenty and didn't seem to mind the change in pressure at all. There was a 13mo in front of us on one flight that DID mind the pressure change a lot, so be prepared for that. We spent a lot of time following dd as she wandered through the airport while we waited for layovers and delayed flights. The time in the airport was much more trying than the time on the plane!
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#3 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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Back in May I flew with my almost 3 year old and my 1.5 year old. It was interesting!

Luckily we ended up with three seats because the flight wasn't booked, so I didn't have to deal with an 'on the lap' toddler the whole time.

I brought my ipod video loaded with a couple of cartoons, I took a color book, regular books, snacks and some small regular toys. Then I just rotated them all out.

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#4 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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One word: Magnadoodle.

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#5 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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I've done this a couple of times. My son has always been big for his age and wiggly so I feel your anxiety. I think the last time we travelled with him in our lap was a month before his 2nd birthday. Boy, was that a challenge! New toys are a MUST. We also just dressed him in a onesie and BabyLegs so he'd be easy to change in our seat if need be. We kept an extra pair of BabyLegs in our bag because I hated how dirty he got when climbing and goofing off around in the airport.

Hope this helps. Good luck and remember not to let it bother you what others might think!
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#6 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 10:01 PM
 
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We just came back from a 2 1/2 month trip to Europe. It was 9 hours from Geneva to Newark, run to the connecting flight, and then 6 hours from Newark to Seattle. It was fine. Books, snacks, a couple hand puppets, and walks up and down the aisle. I think you will be okay! My dd is a month younger than your ds. Just remember to nurse during takeoff so he starts out without his ears hurting.

Oh, my dd also loves to play with the small packets of snacks. We don't open them but she likes to shake them. Empty cups from the drink cart are a hit too!
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#7 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 10:48 PM
 
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Ultimate numero uno to have on hand...RESCUE REMEDY...it's a natural calmer downer for anyone..and it works...a few drops under the tongue or in a cup of water or juice and they are chillin toddlers....take my word..i heard about RR here on mothering and i ran to the health food store...it's pricy but worth it. Is your little still breast feeding? this always works in take off and then most of the time my ds would fall asleep and sleep the whole flight...just make sure you have everything that you need with in arms reach...like dont put your bags overhead..becaue if he falls asleep you can't get up to get it..also go to the bathroom before take off...it's almost impossible to get everyone in those little bathrooms all at the same time. Have fun

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#8 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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we flew from the usa to australia when dd was 19 months and she did great. we were in the air for about 24 hours total and with layovers, it took us 3 days! she slept a bunch and nursed and was generally amused but everything new that was going on around her. we read books, ate food and played. she sat on the floor and played, sat in the empty seat next to us and slept in the bassinet.

flight attendants and other passangers don't expect toddlers to sit still. they all helped talk to dd and brought her toys and stickers throughout our flights. it was fine for us to walk the aisles and people let us jump ahead in the toilet line.

sounds like you have a good supply of distractions! looking our the window may even be fun. we had middles seats and could still see out. like anything else, we made it an experience by talking about what was happening and saying, "weeee" when the plane landed and took off. you all will probably be fine! i was surprised at how well dd did that i am ready to travel with her much more now.

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#9 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ladybug13 View Post
Good luck and remember not to let it bother you what others might think!
This is the best advice!
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#10 of 20 Old 08-28-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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3 hours isn't bad at all, usually just snacks and stickers will get us through a 3 hour flight. i try to make sure she's kinda tired too, and we play really hard in the terminal and then transition to calm right before we board. when you're checking in ask if they have an empty seat to seat you next to so you get more room. dd has been entertained with the seatbelt for at least 20 minutes at a time.
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#11 of 20 Old 08-29-2007, 12:53 AM
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buy an extra seat. If your child can't sit through an hour of church you are going to do yourself a favor by paying the extra money. A 3 hour flight doesn't include sitting around waiting to take off. I will not fly again with my child for YEARS. Literally. Take all the other advise, rescue remedy especially but seriously, Book an extra seat and bring a car seat to strap him in! You can have all the toys and distractions in the world but if your child is squirming on your lap they will do absolutely no good.

don't mean to be a downer, just being honest.
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#12 of 20 Old 08-29-2007, 06:15 AM
 
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Another thing to keep in mind: The background noise of the plane's engines muffles most toddler noises for all but the closest passengers. And make sure you start the flight with a clean diaper to try to be able to hold off on the next change until you get off the plane.
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#13 of 20 Old 08-29-2007, 07:55 AM
 
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I second getting your child his own seat and strapping him into his carseat. If you can't afford to buy the seat, go ahead and bring his carseat anyways because you *might* end up with an empty seat next to you (or someone willing to trade) if the plane happens to be not full. If it is full, you can check the carseat at the gate. Children are much safer strapped in.
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#14 of 20 Old 08-29-2007, 08:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cujobunny View Post
One word: Magnadoodle.
Magnadoodle

They make a mini one that is great in the car and on planes. One of my tricks to keep G entertained are paper wrapped straws. He loves to unwrap them and before he mastered it he would spend a good ten minutes working on each one.

Ditto on getting a seat for the kiddo. It's more money but so worth it and safer. If you can't swing it financially, I'd bring the carseat anyway and hope the flight isn't packed.

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#15 of 20 Old 08-30-2007, 01:03 PM
 
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Sounds like you have a great survival kit. Security is more of a pain than the flight. Allow extra time because they'll want to test the sippy cups. I push the limits and bring 2 10 oz cups - milk and juice - always get through. I fly with my 17 month old every few months, usually by myself. Asking for a seat by yourself is a great idea.
The worst flight I had was sitting between 2 large business men who both shuddered when I appeared with milk and graham cracker covered mass chaos. In the end, there is always a landing!

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#16 of 20 Old 08-30-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Taryn237 View Post
We leave Friday morning and I need some tips from experience mamas! I'm hoping he'll nurse/nap through some of it but he's so wiggly and can't even make it through an hour of church. I don't know what we're going to do!

So here's my survival list so far:
books
toys
snacks
drinks
stickers and paper (not sure how long that'll last before he tries to eat them)
portable cd player
I just made a 9 hour trip with my 18 mo. old son. Here was what worked well. I had LOTS of different kinds of snacks...just a handful or two of all different things from annie's bunny crackers (like goldfish...) to apples and bananas. Anytime he started getting fussy, I offered another treat...

A window seat was very helpful as all of the sights were very interesting to my son. he was very taken by the clouds, the lakes below, and the wings of the plane.

As a last ditch effort (which I didn't have to use), I brought a roll of masking tape...Stick it on his/her hands...on the back of the seat, on his/her legs and perhaps on different parts of yourself.

I had a myriad of small toys. A small car was useful...als playsilks proved worthy. I brought several books, many of which we read. Hmmmm...what else.

The best part of keeping him happy involved having the most wonderful of travelling partners. I was seated in the middle of two strangers. One cute young man and one grandma...They both let C. climb on them. He was very interested in these people. Had I been placed between two un-child-friendly people, the trip may not have gone so well.

Good luck! I'd bet that all will go well! Don't fret about it! Fretting only made me nervous about my trip, so I forced myself to not think about it too much in advance and to just take it as it came.
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#17 of 20 Old 08-30-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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These are all great suggestions. I flew with my dd when she was about 18m, with her on my lap, and it went GREAT.

I don't want to hijack this thread, but I have a question that may be relevant. What do you do if you're traveling with a child over 2? (Specifically, my dd is 27m.) Are they required to stay in their carseat while the seatbelt sign is on, as adults are? (We were, of course, required to buy a seat for her.) And if so, did anyone deal with a child who wanted to get out and could not? Also, if so, that means I can't nurse her on takeoff and landing. I am planning to have a sipply cup for her and some snacks, but are there any other suggestions for alleviating plugged ears if she can't nurse?
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#18 of 20 Old 08-30-2007, 10:05 PM
 
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As far as I know, the 27 mo. old child would be allowed the same freedom a child under two has, only he/she has his/her own seat...so there's more room and perhaps more freedom. I've never seen a child in his/her casrseat for a plane trip...not even part of it
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#19 of 20 Old 09-02-2007, 11:21 AM
 
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I just flew home last night with my 12 month old. I was dreading all the flights (2 3 hour flights and 1 90 minute one) as DD is a very active and energetic child and does not appreciate being kept in one place.

However, she was a dream. Last night she slept the entire way back (except for the odd whinge). I found that my sling was a great for a pillow for her and for my arms. My arms did get a little sore holding her the whole time but I can't really complain.

Tips - get to the airport early. We did, were second to check in and the fabulous man on the desk made sure there was a seat free between myself and my DH thus giving us extra space. And it was a fairly full flight. Not every parent got this so it does pay to get there early. We were also given the second row so it was quick in and quick out.

I brought DDs sippy cup and bought a bottle of water once I had gone through security (easier to do it this way). I also had rice cakes on hand, loads of her soft toys and other toys and sang to her when needed. Some passengers were put out being close to her but I didn't care. There were other babies (a good few, one mother had 6 children with her) and honestly, as another poster mentioned, the plane sounds do muffle most noises.

The flight attendants were lovely and I saw another mother of a toddler walking her very happy dd up and down the narrow aisle. No one batted an eye at that.

In the end though, the 3 hours will go quicker than you think. Don't worry about anyone but yourself and your child. Get his nappy changed before the flight and obviously have comfy light clothes on hand. And nurse, nurse, nurse. Makes is much easier!
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#20 of 20 Old 09-02-2007, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cujobunny View Post
One word: Magnadoodle.
Definitely - but along with everything else the novelty does wear off!

Other than that I think you've done really well, I've travelled ALOT with just dd and then the two and it's normally fine, just show them that you don't get flustered and then they won't, especially with turbulence and take off and landings - it makes it so much easier to show that you're having a good time, changes the whole trip. Take a change of clothes if you want or think it may be necessary.

Other than that have a great trip.

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