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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 16 month old son is accompanying me on a 6 hour plane flight and I need survival tips. I am not anticipating that sitting in a window seat with a squirmy, curious toddler for so long will be much of a swell ride.

I would welcome suggestions for toys/distractions for him and anything other travellers can tell me to make the experience fun/enjoyable. I am thinking: nursing (first line of defense!), books, finger foods, a couple containers and objects that he can sort (cheerios, crayons, pennies are the ones that come to mind), but I don't want to bring anything heavy, noisy, or traumatic if it gets lost. We EC, so at least I know that we'll be getting up to potty regularly.

Thanks!
 

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I was just coming on here to post the same question!

When we flew with my DD at that age, her favorite "toys" were ripping up the skymall magazine and playing (endlessly) with the seatback telephone. Crayons were also a big hit, more for the sorting than the coloring.

This time, we're planning on adding reusable stickers and pipecleaners and beads for stringing.

I look forward to reading other ideas.
 

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Lots of different kinds of food and water

Crayons/markers/pens and lots of paper

Favorite books

Little cars that he can play with (maybe buy some new ones so he hasn't seen them before)

Does watch TV at all? Maybe get a little DVD player so he can watch some shows. DS doesn't so we haven't tried that but I know others have.

Walk up and down the aisles whenever you can. We do that a LOT!
 

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My dd is also 16 months old and we are going on a trip in a couple of weeks - an 8 hour plane journey which I am kind of dreading as DH isnt coming with us this time.
I plan to take books and finger foods to distract her, nothing that makes noise as I dont want to annoy other passengers - thats always a biggie for me, I find it more stress inducing at the thought of annoying other people in such a confined space. Of course my child's comfort will always come first before theirs but I do remember the days when I was child free and a plane full of screaming kids was not a happy time lol
Anyway, this will be DDs 5th longhaul flight and I find what helps is to book the trip near bedtime. DD normally goes down at 8pm, so I have booked a flight at 7pm - that gives her an hour to be nosey and settle down and hopefully she would sleep for the rest of the flight
 

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I haven't flown with my kids since my son was tiny, but for the long car rides (7 hours) I've broken down and we always bring the portable DVD player. My husband burned DVDs of their favorite TV episodes, so I can keep the viewing in smaller chunks then a long movie, and it's super special since it's the only time they get to watch shows in the car.

I've heard wikki stix are cool (like pipecleaners only without the wire, and they're sort of waxy so they can stick to themselves somehow), but haven't tried them yet.

I love books but they're 1) not light and portable (especially for a plane) so it's not an efficient choice and 2) my kids get motion sickness when reading in the car.
 

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snacks (lots of different kinds), a sippy, tons of books and stickers!!! Someone else posted bring lillipops/suckers as a last minute resort too. I brought some for DD on my flight 2 weeks ago (3.5 hrs) but thankfully didn't need them.
 

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Travel-size Magnadoodle (or Doodle Pro or whatever)!!!! We literally never leave home without one. It has provided much entertainment for airport waiting and flying!
And "I Spy" game... the books of that name are pretty good too, but I mean just the game, looking around for stuff.
 

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We did 9 hour international flights with DS as a lap 'baby' when he was 22 months. He liked stickers, coloring, playing with a couple of new trucks and card he'd never seen before, and a little bit of TV (he doesn't normally watch TV and it ended up having limited appeal). He also got a few 'treat' foods, which meant individual boxes of rice milk and small pudding cup-style pots of pureed fruit. A bit messt, but he loved them. Mostly, he nursed and slept. We got a bulkhead row, so we had a lot of floorspace for him to sit and play. It was so much easier than I thought it would be. Good luck, mama!
 

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Just agreeing with PP's on all the advice given....I have flown more than I care to admit with my daughter and our next flight will be another long-haul. You might be surprised with how entertained your LO is just simply by being on the plane. I always way over pack on the toys/books etc...and DD seems pretty content on checking everything out on the plane. Another poster recommended evening flights, which I imagine is great for some, but for us DD is usually too excited and stays up (until about 10 minutes before the flight lands....uggg). When we flew overseas when she was 14 months, I think she slept a total of 2 hours....yikes!!!

Anyway, good luck and try not to sweat it....it can actually be fun sometimes!!!

Tracy
 

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We fly cross-country fairly often and I see a lot of excellent suggestions from the PPs. I usually go to the dollar store (I know, I know, not my usual stop for toys) and load up on strangely appealing things, then just bring 'em out of the bag when she starts to get fussy. You never know what'll be a hit: last time it was elasticized bracelets, the time before that clothespins and a cardboard box!

I'm making up a similar package for a girlfriend traveling to the UK with her 19 month old -- lots of dollar store doodads, a scarf, peel-and-stick stickers -- and have downloaded a bunch of instructions for making pipecleaner critters. Her DD will be too young to do it herself, but I think she'll like playing with them.

I read elsewhere on MDC that one mom brings a plastic sheet with lots of pockets -- not explaining that well, but like the kind of thing you might buy to store jewelry -- and uses safety pins to attach it to the seat so that you don't have to squeeze under the seat to grab things for your LO. I thought that was a great idea!

Like the PPs, we also make lots of trips uuuup and doooown the aisles, have tonnes of snacks in little containers, book our longest flights for around DD's naptime, try very hard to remember that DD is our primary concern and everyone else are adults and can look after themselves, and breeeeathe.
 

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We did a 12 hour international flight when DS was 15 months and I was worried about the same things. I brought along a bag of new (cheap) toys, some snacks, etc., and wound up not using any of them. DS managed to nurse and sleep through at least 8 of those hours and the rest of the time walked up and down the aisles and charmed the pants off the other passengers and the flight attendants. The only downside was that we all got sick after the flight, including DS, so you might want to be prepared for that, especially in this cold/flu season.

I'm loving the jewlry pocket thing, I'll remember that for next time!
 

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Stickers are always a hit with my guy. We also bring a Maganadoodle/Doodle Pro and books, snacks and crayons.
 

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Stickers
Deck of cards
Travel aqua-doodle
Travel DVD player?
Little tiny board books
Pencil and a little notebook, even if you just draw for him
 

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added to the bove list...i just got a view master with a few reels, a couple of those tiny containers of playdough, some spinny creature/people toys from hazelnutkids, and i'm taking his varialand puzzle. we're going cross country soon for the first time with Aidan.

good luck everyone! lol
 

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My son is 13 months and we've been on 9 trips together, including connecting flights. Most of the time, he falls asleep (nursing) almost as soon as we begin to get to the runway and wakes up when we're landing. I keep a hooter hider on which allows me to nurse him the whole time, but also hides distractions and lets him sleep if he wants to. For his awake time, I never take more than 1 toy and 1 book (we travel light). We let him look (and rip up - yes, we clean it up afterwards) the inflight magazine, ask the stewardess for a spoon and cup (great toys), look out the window together, and I love when we get friendly people sitting around, behind, in front of us who play peek a boo with him - I really encourage that. For snacks, a banana, apple, sticks of celery,etc work well. If my dh is with us, ds also gets to play with his computer mouse, which is one of his favorite toys. In general though, I hate overpacking, and I think it's nice to use your imagination to find ways to play. As far as EC, you may want to have a backup as there's lots of times that you're not allowed to get up from your seat. On our last flight, there was a 4-5 yr old that had to pee in a cup because our flight was on the ground for an hour on the runway, waiting to take off.

Almost forgot, someone mentioned pen and paper...my ds loves crayons, and I always keep a couple in my purse ... he can always draw on that inflight magazine.
 

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Our favorite travel toy is an inflatable beach ball. Totally portable, fun to blow-up, collaspe and play with fully inflated.

The travel magna doodle and small favorite toys are good in addition. We take cars and airplanes with us too.

Don't forget naps and cuddles and mama milk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, we did excellently well on this trip. I think a lot of the suggestions were great, though possibly better for older kids - thanks much for all the tips for now and future reference.

We don't do video media, so we ended up taking some books, finger foods (thank you, inventor of O cereal!), an Altoids tin full of craft pompoms, and an empty cottage cheese bucket with a slot cut in the lid. He spent a good hour (cumulative, not in one session!) of both the outgoing and return legs putting pennies through that slot. The pompom tin was great because the tin is fun to open and shut, and the pompoms are quiet and can be hidden in pockets, put in cups, even pulled out of mama's ear! And, as on PP mentioned, the Sky Mall cover was fun to rip.

Nursing was also a great distraction and helped with equalizing pressure in his ears and keeping him content in a very small space. No crying the whole trip, and we got compliments on his good cheer.
 
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