Flying with 18 month old - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 01:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We're going from PA to OR for a natural building workshop. I'm poor so I didn't buy him his own seat. The flight back is a red-eye, but the flights there are during the day. How am I going to keep him entertained? He's not a sit and do anything kind of boy. Literally, he never sits, not even to eat. He doesn't color or watch videos or look at books. I think we're going to be running the aisles for the whole flight.

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#2 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 09:49 AM
 
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We've flown 5 times with my son since he was born, and he has always flown as a lap baby. True, I have always flown with him and my DH, so I had help, but it is not as horrible as you might think. Of course, my child is most certainly different than yours, but do not fear! Just be prepared with reasonable expectations.

It sounds like your guy needs room to move. There is often an empty seat next to you (for instance, if you are on Southwest, no one sits next to you bc you have a toddler!) so you might have a bit of legroom. Or, to make sure you have some room (and if you are not flying Southwest), you can call the airline to ask for a bulkhead seat, which will give you more floor room.

I have a friend who regularly travels (Europe to the US and back) with his 2 under 2 (!) and he says the best thing to do is set up a play area on the floor. That way the child/ren have a bit of room to move around and play. Please note: there are no diaper changing stations on airplanes, so you will have to do that on the floor or on the seat. Also, try to figure out how you will take care of your own needs on the flight (going to the bathroom). You will have to take your little one with you! My friend says he just never gets to go when he's on a long flight with his daughters.

But it could very well all be fascinating to your son, who will suddenly be quiet and sitting still for longer than you ever would have thought him capable.

Bring toys that he has never seen before. Try letting him watch the tv. Bring favorite books/toys. Give yourself a break by being prepared for the best and the worst.

You can do it!

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#3 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 10:06 AM
 
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Please note: there are no diaper changing stations on airplanes, so you will have to do that on the floor or on the seat.
On our last flight both planes had them in the bathroom.

May I suggest EarPlanes? They are earplugs that help with the pressure changes. They have them in child size. My DS used them at 23 months and they work really well.
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#4 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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OMG! What airline is that? I've flown Continental, AirTran, and Southwest and none of them had diaper changing facilities on board.

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#5 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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We almost always fly American and they always have a changing platform in the bathroom (it's weird and you really have to look for it).

Does he still nurse? If so that will keep him partially busy.

My kid is one that *needs* to stay occupied and has the attention span of a flea...so we bring "new" toys (mainly old favorites that magically went missing shortly before the trip) to pull out in intervals. Also, you'd be amazed at just how fascinating it is to drink water out of those cheap, plastic cups...or open a teeny tiny bag of pretzels.

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#6 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sugarlumpkin View Post
OMG! What airline is that? I've flown Continental, AirTran, and Southwest and none of them had diaper changing facilities on board.
Delta did on the last flight I was on but only in one of the bathrooms
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#7 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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OMG! What airline is that? I've flown Continental, AirTran, and Southwest and none of them had diaper changing facilities on board.
United.

However, I think it is not necessarily the airline but the model of plane you are on. Or maybe it is the airline, I really don't know.
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#8 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 05:58 PM
 
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What about small manipulative toys to give him a little "fine motor" entertainment? Even something as simple as a little pocket tape measure (the soft flexible kind) with a button to retract it can provide some entertainment.

We're flying next month (17.5 month old) - 5 hour flight and I'm considering giving her Gravol before the flight to see if it makes her sleepy! (and motion sickness prevention).

Air Canada doesn't give bulkhead seats to people with small children because it's also the emergency exit....not sure about your airline.

Good luck - and hope you have aisle seats
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#9 of 15 Old 08-08-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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I'm considering giving her Gravol before the flight to see if it makes her sleepy! (and motion sickness prevention).
If you do this, make sure you do a dry run before you fly. Medicines that make older children and adults drowsy don't always have the same effect on kids. Gravol could actually keep your DD awake.

Kids seem to always do better on flights than parents expect.

I do think it helps a lot to buy your toddler a seat though, and to bring their carseat. Since they stay strapped into the carseat in the car, they expect to stay in their seat on the plane. It's also more comfortable to sleep in.

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#10 of 15 Old 08-09-2008, 02:22 AM
 
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When you check in ask specifically if there is anyone seated next to you and if there are any empty seats on the plane. If there are empty seats ask that they black out the one next to you if at all possible. If they won't help you at the check in counter then ask the flight attendants when you pre-board. Explain that the extra room will help to keep your DS happy longer and prevent screaming fits. Most flight attendants that I have come across have gone out of thier way to help, ask people to switch seats, etc. We have flown on 4 different trips with DD in the last year and had no issues (except NOT having that extra seat and having RUDE people in front of us that refused to not put thier seats back, talk about cramped quarters!!)

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#11 of 15 Old 08-09-2008, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ChetMC View Post

Kids seem to always do better on flights than parents expect.

I do think it helps a lot to buy your toddler a seat though, and to bring their carseat. Since they stay strapped into the carseat in the car, they expect to stay in their seat on the plane. It's also more comfortable to sleep in.
LOL, he hates his carseat. That would make for a miserable trip if he had to stay in there. It would be nice if there was an empty seat around though. He does still nurse, so I'm counting on him doing that quite a bit.

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#12 of 15 Old 08-09-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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LOL, he hates his carseat. That would make for a miserable trip if he had to stay in there.
: We're about to make a 13 hour flight (in two legs) with our 19 month old. There is no way he would be comfortable in his car seat for that long!!! We'd end up holding him all the time anyway. And he far prefers to sleep on my lap (or Daddy's chest) than his car seat.

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It would be nice if there was an empty seat around though. He does still nurse, so I'm counting on him doing that quite a bit.
Oh, good, glad he is still nursing. You will be fine! As far as the empty seat goes, definitely be proactive about it and do what the PP suggested--ask about it (and if they don't help you at the counter, ask the flight attendants, et cetera, just like the pp said). An empty seat will help.

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#13 of 15 Old 08-09-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sweetpeppers View Post
We're going from PA to OR for a natural building workshop. I'm poor so I didn't buy him his own seat. The flight back is a red-eye, but the flights there are during the day. How am I going to keep him entertained? He's not a sit and do anything kind of boy. Literally, he never sits, not even to eat. He doesn't color or watch videos or look at books. I think we're going to be running the aisles for the whole flight.
I hope you either get an isle or a window seat. When my son was that age he liked to stand in my lap and turn the lights on and off. He did that practically the whole flight, but it was a shorter flight. He liked to look out the window too. I always bring books to read him and toys. That seems to keep him occupied, but as a last resort, I have some cartoons on my ipod, that he likes to watch.

Brandy; Mother to Aspen (7/1996) and Ky (5/2006) and partner to Ryan

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#14 of 15 Old 08-09-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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We're going from PA to OR for a natural building workshop.
What workshop are you going to? I just went to one in OR and it was GREAT! Have fun!!
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#15 of 15 Old 08-09-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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Just a couple comments -
if you get a window seat - raising and lowering the shade keeps my kids entertained for a LONG time
I agree with the pp and definitely suggest kissing up to the flight attendants and anybody from the airline - I always go to the gate before boarding and put on my sweetest smile and give them my best "helpless, sweet mother" act : and ask if the flight is full and if there was any possible way, I would really appreciate some extra room for the kids :
also, getting a bunch of tiny little toys from the dollar store, and individually wrapping them can buy you a lot of time...
good luck!

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