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I am soooo excited! BUT... My DD is so high-needs and independant and, um, wild<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bouncy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bouncy"> that I am also getting concerned.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/help.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="help"><br><br>
She has never flown before, and I haven't flown in years (never with a toddler) so I am not sure how it will go.<br><br>
Does she need to be in a carseat? The whole time? Can she walk up and down the isles?<br>
Any good ideas to occupy her? She doesn't really have any very favorite toys... I am wondering if I bring a bunch of snacks, if I will have to open and taste them all...<br><br>
She is pre-verbal and very strong-willed! I have the mental picture of her screaming for the whole flight if she can't run around, and me being the most hated person on the plane.<br><br>
The only other person flying with us is my four year old DS, who I am not worried about at all. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Does anyone have any ideas of how to make her just sleep for a while? I think there are herbs for that.<br><br>
My DH is driving thousands of miles in our U-Haul alone in three days, and he is laughing at me having the short end of the stick, being trapped in the plane with DD... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br>
Really, she is a sweet girl, but if you make her mad... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/demon.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="demon"><br><br>
TIA!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
p.s. Does DS-4 need a booster seat? I am just concerned about getting on and off the plane carrying DD, our bag, two carseats and watching DS. Can you tell I am a little nervous about this?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/pinktongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="raz">
 

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Hi Faith, I also have a HN child. We have flown A LOT. The thing that was a lifesave for me at that age were <b>small board books</b>.<br><br>
1. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/reading.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="reading"><b>Books</b> I have always read to him and he's used to sitting still and listening to stories (loves them!)<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">I SPY Little Letters or Numbers Boardbooks</span> by Jean Marzollo. These books are great because they are simple, short, but tons of interesting little details/photos of toys to talk about.<br>
One time there was a nice family of 4 with a crying 2 yr old - in no car seat BTW. They did not bring ANYTHING to entertain her (I guess her siblings were the entertainment). I lent them one of my I SPY books and she quieted down. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
The con to board books is that they are heavy. So just bring a few... the rest can be paperback. Here are some titles that he loved (though the list is much longer):<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Time for Bed</span> by Mem Fox<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Tough Boris</span> by Mem Fox (about pirates)<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">You're just what I need</span> by Ruth Kraus (great mother & daughter story)<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Good Night Gorilla</span> by Peggy Rathman<br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Hello Ocean</span> by Pam Munoz Ryan<br><br><br>
2. <b>Car seat</b> - you can bring it, but a con is that she may think it's fun to start kicking the person in front of her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: I found it a real pain in the neck trying to talk him out of it. When I did carry the car seat aboard up to age 2, I used to nurse him to sleep on my lap. Basically, I found the damn seat took up his whole seat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/duh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="duh"> and he ended up on my lap the whole flight anyway (usually 5.5 hours coast to coast). I noticed that other parents did not bring their carseat on board... so about that age we just started checking it. And he was happy to sit in his own seat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Now at 3.5 my son knows that to stay in his seat he needs to have his seat belt tied on his waist (like us) and I show him the lighted sign. "See? Sign on.. belts buckled. When the light is off, we can walk in the plane."<br><br>
3. <b>Walking</b> - yes, we walk a little bit up and down the aisles to go to the bathroom (he's afraid of peeing in the "black potty" - it's gray) and he enjoys seeing people and vice versa.<br><br>
Just recently we had our first major meltdown at the airport gate. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> Who cares what people think... do not stress out over their reactions. What helps THEM more than anything is to know that YOU feel in control. Don't let her get you rattled IF she has a meltdown.<br><br>
4. <b>Buy little toys (Target)</b> that are new (just open them before hand to have them ready to whip out) and she's never seen before. It's a great way to distract.... though again, at that age, books were the best.<br><br>
5. <b>Talk in advance of the trip</b>. Read her book(s) about airplanes. You can find simple ones in the library.<br><br>
6. <b>Blank paper & crayons</b>. If she likes to write/draw, bring that along too.<br><br><b>Sleep?</b> Sorry no tips, nursing is what worked for us. Now that he is weaned... DH <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hat"> was on plane duty on a recent trip and he fell asleep while being read to. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banana">
 

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I second the idea of checking the car seat - there's no way my dd would sit in a car seat for 4+ hours (1-2, but not more), and then her whole seat would be taken up by the unused car seat. When we've flown we always try to get bulkhead. It's been a real lifesave, as dd can stand and have a little space to play on the floor.<br><br>
We usually bring a lot of small toys, books and snack food items...pretty much everything Tanibani listed has worked well for us.
 

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I just flew coast to coast with ds 2 1/2 and hn ds 17mo. You will be tired. The flight there, was the red eye. I recommend that because they are so tired they sleep at least for a bit. the way home was a nightmare. A daytime flight and they were beat. Our 2 1/2 yr old spelt, but my klittle one screamed a lot. I second the ideas of a whole bag of snacks, toys and books they have never seen before. When they get fussy, pull out a new trick. between, beverage service, and your toys and snacks you will be able to occupy most of her time. Ditch the car seats, they don't fit well in the plane seats, the kids won't sit in them anyway, and they are huge to get down the aisle while trying to get you diaperbag and two small children in the appropriate seats.<br><br>
Who cares what people think. You just stick to your plan and people can move if they can't handle it. You paid for your seats just like they did. hang in there and good luck!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by DAHLIA5</i><br><b>Ditch the car seats, they don't fit well in the plane seats, the kids won't sit in them anyway, and they are huge to get down the aisle while trying to get you diaperbag and two small children in the appropriate seats.</b></td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks so much! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
I feel a lot better hearing all the great advice!<br><br>
I am planning a trip to Target this week, and we will check the car seats.<br><br>
I guess, what is the worst that can happen anyway, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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I am the dissenting voice here but... I do bring the carseat for my very spirited<br>
2 1/2 yr old dd. She may not sit forever but there is no way I can get her to sit without the carseat. I do feel a bit safer with her in it. (though in reality this is more mental than anything.) She also can see a bit more with the carseat, out the window etc. But this really depends on your child. I have a strap that I use to carry the carseat from terminal to terminal, am addicted to carts, and only have one child.<br><br>
We fly a lot so we have a little flight routine. I bring a portable dvd player with batteries that last a full movie. I try to bring new toys and tons of books. (we use paperback because I can cram more into a bag and my daughter enjoys being read to. She brings a little toy plane and matching people so they can take a trip too. We walk about once an hour when she is awake. We bring snacks that she normally does not get. (not sugar though as I do not want to contribute to any hyperness) I bring juice boxes for the last hour and water. Lotion and related items also keep her busy for a few minutes. I bring a blanket for pretend play, I also throw in finger puppets.<br><br>
I have never had a problem with snacks and security, usually I make sure that my beverages are factory sealed and that saves hassles. I also have my daughter wear easy to remove shoes, as we have on several occasions had to put her shoes through the scanner. argh! We also do not preboard as our bag fits under her seat and I check luggage. I have learned how to put the car seat in quickly so that helps she also stays closer while I am getting our stuff together if people are on the plane. When the plane is empty she tends to try to run everywhere. She also refuses to use the airplane toliet.<br><br>
I carry a backpack and put our tickets, some cash id etc in a small purse with a long handle that I can wear around my neck, I can then hold my daugher strap the seat and reach the tickets with some ease. I also bring my daughter's passport even on domestic flights as having access to id seems to make security quicker if questioned. ( we have different last names and apparently we must be a target for security!) Your four year old may have to walk through the metal detector by himself.<br><br>
random note: I ramp up the vit c, astralagus or immune boosting potions prior to flight in hopes this helps combat any bugs flying around in the recylced air.<br><br>
sorry for the length of my message, I am preparing for a 24 hour trip to Australia so this has been on my mind!<br><br>
have fun and though there may be rough moments I am sure it will be a great experience for you all!
 

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We recently returned from a trip to London with out 2 1/2 yr old--8hrs there, 10 back. She slept for 6 hrs there (overnight flight) but only 2 on the way back. Here are some things that worked for us:<br><br>
--little plastic toy animals (like toy soldier sized)--she literally spent an hour at a time playing with these<br><br>
--a magnetic dry erase board and magnets. We had lots of animal magnets plus I made some of her favorite book characters out of shrinky dinks! Loads of fun for me!<br><br>
--coloring and sticker books with crayons<br><br>
--about a million small paperback books. Pick ones you enjoy reading. Plus, keep in mind, she may be willing to sit still for longer books when she's confined to an airplane seat. That was the case for us, anyway<br><br>
--pipe cleaners are fun.<br><br>
--flashcards<br><br>
--silly putty or play dough<br><br>
--finger puppets<br><br>
--a baby doll<br><br>
--individually wrapped snacks like goldfish, animal crackers, pretzels, UHT milk or juice boxes.<br><br>
I agree that it's especially helpful to have toys and books she has never seen before. That doesn't mean they have to be new. Get books at a used book store, small toys at the thrift shop. Most of all, keep a positive attitude. This trip will likely be much easier than you think. Good luck!<br><br>
peace, Beth<br><br>
edited to add: We didn't take the carseat on the plane with us. We just used the lap belt--she seemed to understand that while that was buckled, she couldn't get up. You will probably want to hold her while taking off and landing though.
 

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I hate to be the voice of dissent here but I would recommend bringing the carseat. We just flew cross country with out high-need DS (2 1/2) last month and he did very well in his own seat. He's used to it and I was relieved to know he was safer when we went through some turbulence. Also, hea had head suppourt while he slept. I can't imagine how he would've looked slumped over in those horrible airline seats. I've read a luggage carrier (the folding kind) is a lifesaver for taking the carseat through the airport but DH just lugged it around. If you can preboard that's easiest and you may be able to get a flight attendant to help you with the seat. Get a bulkhead seats or the "lounge seating" (2 rows facing eachother) if you can to aviod the kicking problem.<br><br>
What helped us was to keep DS awake the night before so he slept home, and to carry snacks. We used the sling at the gate and let him run around and get some energy out while there was time.<br><br>
Crayons and board books helped A LOT. DS also liked watching the scenery out the window, so I pointed landmarks out to him a lot. I did have an emergency bottle of Benadryl in case DS had a real meltdown but he actually did really well.<br><br>
Don't plan on waling the aisles, you may wind up on a flight with almost-constant turbulence (as we did.) Also, a 2 yo child can't be expected to understand when to sit and when it's okay to move around, which could lead to a meltdown. DS (an airplane pro after the Southwest million-layover crosscountry itinerary from hades) knows to stay in his seat (since that's how it works in a car) so introducing the element of getting up and walking around would have confused him, especially when we strapped him back in.
 

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I feel for you...I just came back from Italy with a spiririted 25 month old and I'm pregnant...a 30 HR trip (Milan-London-Boston-Phoenix)...<br><br>
No car seat for us, he hates as it is.<br>
Bag FULL of new, inexpensive toys and books (I personally use cheaper ones for this purpose, in case they get thrown 10 rows back), healthy snacks he likes, crayons/playdo, a JUG of chamomile tea. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
My last resort was a portable DVD player - only 3 hr battery, so I REALLY saved it as a last resort, but never had to pull it out.<br><br>
I was EXHAUSTED when I got her though!<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by AnitaAddict</i><br><b>Don't plan on waling the aisles, you may wind up on a flight with almost-constant turbulence (as we did.)</b></td>
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This is always a possibility.. but one quick walk to the bathroom and back is usually enough to get that out of a child's system. You don't need to walk up and down forever. I just like a little stretch to get the circulation moving again, and then back to the seat, strapped in safely.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by AnitaAddict</i><br><b>Also, a 2 yo child can't be expected to understand when to sit and when it's okay to move around, which could lead to a meltdown.</b></td>
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That's where the distractions of small toys, storybooks come in handy. The meltdowns are easy to divert with this stuff.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by AnitaAddict</i><br><b>DS (an airplane pro after the Southwest million-layover crosscountry itinerary from hades) knows to stay in his seat (since that's how it works in a car) so introducing the element of getting up and walking around would have confused him, especially when we strapped him back in.</b></td>
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My HN son never felt confused... in a car you stay in the carseat... in the plane, you now need to stay in your seat... "oooooooooooooo look, which story do you want to hear?"
 

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We spent quite a bit of time visiting the bathroom, playing with water, tissues, lotion....<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I took a carseat on my last flight with my 2 year old and vowed never again. Everytime he was frustrated he would kick with his feet and hit the seat in front of us. I have had very rude people in front of me put their seats back for the whole flight (even to eat) and then glare if he tried to uncross his legs (the only way he could avoid bumping the seat in front)- made me angry the whole flight. Depending on the airline, it can be very hard to get bulkhead seats-priority goes to unacommpanied minors, diasabled and any one who gets in line before you for seat assignments. They don't even allow carseats on flights to Europe. Any way, I showed my son the seat belt light and every time it went on I discussed how the rule was every one had to be buckled in- just like car seats in the car. If you do take the car seat, I actually balance mine on the stroller (bungee if needed) with diaper bag in the under rack and carry my ds in a sling or he walks- gate check the stroller.<br><br>
Have different books/toys/music in the cars used for going to and from airport so you don't have to use your stash.<br><br>
I get a few little light toys in thrift stores for surprises-wrapping is fun.<br><br>
My son really liked a small back pack I borrowed from a friend filled with books, crayons, stickers, paper and a mini magna doodle (also borrowed) which he did not see until I needed it.<br><br>
Snacks in zip locks are great. Pirate booty was a big hit. I also like a trail mix type of thing (you can make your own) so he has to pick out the bits he likes. Do not bring pretzels- every flight serves them. A little salt is also good as it makes them drink more during takeoff and landing - good for ears.<br><br>
Each child is different as far as what works so good luck- may you have cheerful and understanding seat neighbors.<br><br>
Edited to add: My son does not sleep in the carseat- not in the car, not in the plane, not even when totally exhausted ,
 

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I checked our carseat on the flight TO PA two summers ago (Violet was 1) and regretted it every moment. I had to hold her the entire time and it was a bummer because had I had the carseat, we both could have had space and she would have slept.<br><br>
On the way home, I made sure to have the carseat and thank god I did--it took nearly 15 hours to get back (lots of Murphy's Law kinds of events that delayed our trip). When we sat for two hours on the runway, she slept in her seat and pretty much the whole way home.<br><br>
Take it if you can!!!
 

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I flew from Denmark to the US with my son and then Chicago to New Mexico and I think an important factor is to have layovers. It allows him to get out stretch his legs and run around. The most important thing is to try not to care what others think. I had such split reactions between business people and others that thought i was crazy and people in their 50s and 60s who either missed their grandchildren or wished they had some. Children should be just as welcome on a plane as adults. I have flown next to some really annoying adults. I would rather have a kid being loud then the person next to me talking about how we are going to crash. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Try to sit in a side seat where the three of you take up the whole row.<br><br>
Other toys options: construction paper and water. It changes color and is almost like real paint, snacks that the child can assemble herself (takes twice as long), flashlights (esp if it is late), play telephone, be prepared to sing songs. I am sure you have a beautiful voice (at least to your children). Good luck!<br><br>
I am flying next month with my 18mth old by myself. It should prove interesting.
 
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