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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We're off to see Grandma next week--that's 2 plane rides (3.5 and 2 hrs, each way)....we bought dd a seat, so she will sit in her carseat (if amenable).

Any ideas how to keep her entertained? Obviously there will be mealtime and nursing time and hopefully naptime, but there is a lot of daylight to fill up, IYKWIM
At home she spends a lot of time with toys that require being spread out on the floor (legos, blocks, popcorn popper, etc). Dh is bringing his laptop and we have a brand new Signing Time DVD, but that's only 30 minutes!

Should I put away some small toys this week so she won't have seen them recently? Does that work?

Thanks!
 

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We travelled from the east coast of the U.S. to Australia when our son was not much younger than your daughter. I got a collection of little toys and put them in a special bag for him so that throughout the trip, I was pulling something new out of the bag that he'd never seen before. The most popular things were a ball with a string attached to it and some of those little wind-up toys that do stuff like flip or walk. On long car rides, we often bring a Megasketch (which I think is called a Magnadoodle in the U.S.). My son loves to request pictures that we draw for him - good for at least an hour's entertainment.

Good luck on the trip. DS slept a lot of the time and actually did a lot better than we thought he would. We're making the trip (going the other way) next year and he'll be 3 1/2 and we'll have a 6 month-old, too.
 

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Stickers were our saving grace when we flew from Vancouver to Ixtapa (two planes). I bought a book of 500 stickers from the dollar store, and a little pad of paper, and we spent most of the trip peeling stickers and sticking them into the pad of paper, on daddy, on mama, on baby...you get the picture :) DS was not interested in any of the little toys I brought for him, so I was so grateful that I had added stickers to my grab bag at the last minute!
 

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I just did a four-hour flight with DS by myself -- now, granted, he's older, but he did great. I've learned a lot through experience. Here are my tips:

-- To make getting through security as easy as possible, wear clogs or easy on/off shoes. Don't wear a belt with any metal -- they'll make you take it off (at least at LAX they will).
-- Try to insist that your toddler stay in the carseat. For me, it's non-negotiable, just like the car. (Okay, we did get up once b/c momma had to pee!) Hmmm...he's not nursing anymore, so that'll make it a little trickier for you guys.
-- We hit turbulence on both flights. If there's something essential, make sure it's under a seat so you wouldn't have to get up to get it.
-- I actually wrap (using old, ratty Cmas paper) a bunch of little toys/books; some old, some new. He LOVES this and it kills time (I use lots of tape so it takes him awhile to get the paper off!).
-- He was pretty interested in this (plus it's super-lightweight):
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...=glance&s=toys
-- We brought playdoh and a simple extruder. He had never seen one so that killed a half hour.
-- I agree, stickers are great! We even stuck them to the window and seat in front of us (luckily they all came off).
-- IME, toddlers in carseats on planes = kicking seat in front of them (their feet are soooo close). DS's preschool director had a good idea (if you're comfortable with this). Tell the person sitting in front of your little one that they're welcome to turn around and politely ask DC to stop kicking. My son laughs if I tell him, but respects it if a stranger does. Another option -- you or DH sit in front of toddler.

I'll be back if I think of more! Good luck. I'm sure she'll do great!

-Erin
 

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Quote:
-- IME, toddlers in carseats on planes = kicking seat in front of them (their feet are soooo close). DS's preschool director had a good idea (if you're comfortable with this). Tell the person sitting in front of your little one that they're welcome to turn around and politely ask DC to stop kicking. My son laughs if I tell him, but respects it if a stranger does. Another option -- you or DH sit in front of toddler.
You could also try requesting a bulkhead seat (so that there's a wall in front of you instead of seats). This gives you more legroom, too.
 

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:

We are flying to Europe this week, and I sort of forgot about planning for the plane rides. I suppose I was hoping my almost-16-month-old would sleep through it all (hahaha).

The airline we are flying on says they assign the bulkhead seats at the check-in gate, so I have to remember to be there extra early to charm the staff.... the current seats I arranged over the phone aren't too bad - about 30 rows closer to the front than the seats we were assigned when I first booked the tickets online.

I love the idea of a purse filled with surprises.

The last time I flew with my daughter I wore my standard all-black travel outfit; now I know why restaurants don't generally have black tablecloths!!! I was crumbed and gummed all over - I looked like a total slob by the end of the second flight. So this time, a change of clothes for ME goes into the carry-on bags.
 

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Regarding seat kicking - you may try taking your toddler's shoes off. This works for our little guy. Sometimes the space between the seats is so narrow that it just wiggling around will lead to seat kicking. At least with shoes off the kicking is done with soft feet rather than hard shoes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just wanted to thank all the mamas who gave me some great ideas!

We are back from our trip, all in one piece
The time at the airport was easy--dd loves planes, so she just looked out the window and signed airplane for the whole time we were on the ground & taxiing. We had some new books, wrapped up; the dvd; stickers & pad (which we didn't even use--kept in reserve in case things got bad!); and snacks, but the real winner was the travel sized Magnadoodle. It kept her occupied for 20-30 minutes at a time (which, as you know, may as well be an entire week in toddler time)...scribbling, erasing, and when that failed to entertain, dh would draw pictures and dd would sign what they were--it also acted as a chalkboard for her ABCs (the new dvd is the Signing Time ABC dvd, and now she is obsessed with the alphabet). At one point, I asked dh, "Would it be inappropriate to go to Fisher Price HQ and just start kissing people in gratitude?"
 

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I also have to say 3 cheers for the magnadoodle! I had a hard time finding one, since we shop mainly in tiny shops in the city, but it was worth the search. We were talking with another couple who've flown with kids - the dad gave the kids crayons and spent half the flight crawling around on the floor looking for the various crayons that had rolled several rows forward or backward... no such issues with the magnadoodle pen!

We had some issues with our airline though - they had my daughter listed as a seeing eye dog (!?), so our seating assignments got screwed up on half the flights (even though I was the first person in line to check in at the airport). Additionally, they insisted that children under 2 cannot sit in a carseat during takeoff or landing (according to the law in the airline's country) - so they wanted me to take her out and hold her on my lap during those times - and they offered me a little airline pillow to cushion the blow in case there was a problem. I refused, so they told me they would not be liable for our daughter's safety in any emergency. To top it off, they lost our luggage for about 36 hours. I'm still very annoyed with them.
 
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