Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flying With a Toddler

Our trip to D.C. earlier this month included 3 separate airplane rides.  If you know Mommy, you know that 3 tries at something is enough to make her think she's a semi-expert in that area.

So, since Mommy is now a semi-expert at flying with a toddler, here's what she thinks you should know:

1.  Take your carseat.
Nearly all carseats on the market are approved by the FAA for flight (there's a little sticker on the side with this info). Not only are we tots more secure in our carseats than in the airplane belts, but most of us will also feel more comfortable in our regular rides. I just don't see a nap (like the one pictured above) happening without the help of my big 'ol carseat.

2. Don't do it alone!
Mommy realizes that sometimes this one really isn't an option...but she sure did appreciate having some extra hands on this trip. Flight #3 was especially nice. By that time around our little band of travelers figured out that our best boarding bet was for Poppy and Mimi to get on the plane first. They set up the carseat and got the baggage placed in overhead compartments while Mommy and I made one last (full sized) potty run. By the time we boarded, all I had to do was hop into my carseat.  Which brings me to Mommy's next tip...

3. Don't even think about answering that early boarding call!
Take advantage of every minute you have to burn off your tot's energy.  Mommy made sure I was moving and grooving while we waited to board our planes.  She (and the rest of my family) took me to the bathroom, let me run through uncrowded areas of our terminal, found stairs for me to walk up and down, and walked with me into lots of little shops. 
Lots of airports even have these nifty little play areas.  Mommy was more worried about mid-flight meltdowns than germs, so she was more than happy to let me play here!

4. Wrap up a few suprises.
Mommy wrapped some special snacks and a few small toys for me to open while we were on the plane. These were super fun for me to open and kept things interesting the few times I got bored. Mommy and Mimi also both packed some new books for me to read.

5.  Hand over the gum!
Up until these plane rides, Mommy had been a real stick-in-the-mud when it came to me and gum.  No matter how much I asked, she just wouldn't let me give that stuff a try.  Once our plane started descending (and I nearly started screaming), though, she quickly changed her tune.  That little stick of chewy goodness sure did bring a nice measure of peace to the remainder of our plane ride!

6.  If your tot gets carsick, fly prepared for the worst!
Apparently, carsick tots are often airsick tots. On our first flight, Mommy let me ride sans-Sea Bands...and my body chose landing time to let her know that was not a good idea. Thankfully, she did have my ever present towel ready in the outside pocket of her carry-on. That thing was thrown over me just in time. We really didn't even need it, though, because Mommy also decided to try out the little throw-up bags the airline provides. 99.99% of my sickness went right into that little bag.
After that little near-fiasco, Mommy made me wear my Sea Bands for the rest of our air time. Between the Bands and the diversion that gum chewing provided, I managed to make it through the rest of that time throw-up free!

Now that I've shared Mommy's flying tips with you, I'm sure that she would love to hear what helps keep your flying experiences sane.  What would you add to her list?


Jessica Miller Kelley said...

great tips! Especially about not doing the early-boarding thing. We haven't flown with Kate yet, but with our new nephew due any day now, we may need to make a trip to D.C. sometime after Claire's here!

Bradshaw's Buzz said...

All tips I recommend too! Check out our CA adventure on Monday post. I loved that we brought the carseat. It's bulky to load and bring but the Best. Thing. EVER! Esp knowing he's safe, comfortable and secure - even during turbulance!

psst: I'm a stickler for gum too. Austin won't get any till he's MUCH older (I've seen way to many tracheotomy kids due to chocking on them) and I'm a meanie about soda. None till he's 5 HaHa Mean momma right here :0

Michele Cannon said...

Thanks for the tips. It makes me so nervous to think of flying with Leila now that she's getting older!