Thursday, August 21, 2014

Traveling with a toddler

Flying with young kids always brings me a bit of anxiety.  For me, it's the thought of getting dirty looks from the people around me, not an explosive diaper, or the whiny kids... but the looks.  I know that sounds silly, but I can't let it go when I see it.  When my Ashtyn was a baby, I had a lady talk quite loudly about how she always gets stuck on the seat close to the babies, and blah blah blah.  I was so irritated, I mean, we just barely boarded the plane!  Ashtyn was awesome that whole flight, and I wanted to make some comment to the lady... but I let it go.  And now I get anxiety! LOL!

We just went on a three week vacation to Utah and Idaho and I did a lot of research on ways to keep your toddler busy on an airplane.  I knew Ashtyn would be easy.  We brought puzzles, snacks, books, and the iPad for her and she was completely content for the three hour flight.  Cam was another story.  He's 16 months and DOES NOT want to sit still.  We booked our flight for 9 am which I thought, at the time was a good flight to be on.  I didn't take into consideration that this is right in between nap time. Luckily he did sleep the last half hour. But by that time, I was feeling really sorry for the people around me! Cam has this high pitch scream/ whine that he exercises quite frequently, and there was something about the silver hair in front of us that Cam kept trying to grab!  But guess what... no dirty looks!  Everyone was very kind and understanding! whew!

A couple things that I did find helpful while traveling with children at this age are:

  • Bring lots of snacks! Especially lollipops. I pulled these out when he was at his worst. I didn't want to worry about the stickiness and everything, but I found this to be a great last resort.

  • For Ashtyn, I bought a couple of new little toys for her that I wrapped up.  When I could tell she was starting to get bored, I let her open a surprise.  I found some little barbie things at Walmart on clearance that were a big hit! 
  • Buy a bottle of milk before you get on the plane. We bought one and poured it in his sippy cup so he was sucking on something for the take off.  I just figured when the drink service came around, I  would get him another one. Nope! They said they didn't carry milk. WHAT???  I don't know when Southwest stopped offering milk but I really think this is why he was cranky toward the end. His sippy cup with milk is kind of like his security blanket.
  • Buy decorative window gels. This was really the thing that kept Campbell's attention the longest.  I found some USA ones at Hobby Lobby for 80% off!  I would suggest buying at least two. We lost the first ones after dropping them so many times so I was glad I had another pack for the way home. He didn't play with these like I thought he would though. His favorite thing was to peel them off of the window, throw them on the floor, crawl off my lap and pick them up, hand them to me to stick back on the window, crawl back on my lap and repeat the process over and over again. I loved that this kept him so busy.
  • I also bought a couple of little hot wheels for him to play with.  He loved this, but it only kept his attention for about 5 minutes before he kept throwing them into the seat in front of us.  Like I said, I felt sorry for the people who chose to sit in front us!
  • I also made sure to bring a few books.  That lasted another 5 minutes!
  • I took some colored Pom poms and a treat catcher that I didn't fill, so I let Cam have fun putting the Pom poms in and out of the container.  The only problem was because I was using his snack container, he kept trying to put the Pom poms in his mouth.  So next time I"ll bring an empty container like a sour cream container and cut an x in the top.
  • Dress comfortably!  You do a lot of moving when traveling with young kids, so make sure to not wear clothes that are not comfortable or too revealing. (I was glad I had an undershirt on, on my way home because the v neck shirt I was wearing got really stretched out at the neck after Cam pulling on it!)  Now just because your comfy doesn't mean you have to be frumpy.  Make sure you still wear something that you feel  good in!  My clothes of choice were my Lululemon harem pants, a white shirt, flannel shirt that stayed around my waist most of the time, and my converse shoes.  I felt good!.... And then my husband made fun of me, which means I was totally in style because he doesn't know :)
On the way home, we had a late flight.  I booked it this way because it was the cheapest, but honestly, this is the way to go!  My husband flew home a couple of weeks earlier so I was pretty nervous having the kids by myself while flying.  But I had to keep reminding myself that lots of women do this on their own.  The flight was at 9 pm and arrived at midnight.  Ashtyn fell asleep before take off, and the people around me only had to deal with a cranky baby while we were on the runway.  Cam fell asleep not long after being in the air and they both slept the whole time!  It was pure bliss.

We had such a fun trip seeing family and friends but it's always nice to come home and get back into the routine, and sleep in your own bed.

Hope you find some helpful tips for your next airplane adventure!


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