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Old 12-22-2004, 04:53 AM   #1
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Flying with a toddler...tips??

Here's the story. I am about 7 months pregnant. I am flying alone with my 20 month old son in a week. He flew for the first time in October and it was VERY stressful. The flight was 4 1/2 hours long, but I had my hubby in tow to help. This time the flight is only 2 1/2 hours, but I'm solo.

I need some tips on keeping him occupied. One neat trick I used last time was not only to give him a bunch of small new toys, but to wrap all of them so that it doubled the fun.

But I really need some other tricks. And how has everyone else delt with children who want to stand up in the seat the whole time and look at the people behind you? I really hate being "that" parent on the plane.

I'm just really nervous that with all of my hormones I am going to be very impatient and will snap on the flight and end up being a yelling/crying wreck!!

 
Old 12-22-2004, 06:50 AM   #2
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Re: Flying with a toddler...tips??

We flew last summer when DS was 14 months old and even with two of us, DS was a handful. DON'T under any circumstances let the flight attendants give you juice for him in a cup with a straw. Sounds like a good idea. Nope. DS took his straw and kept flicking it with juice on it. Also kept trying to grab the people in front of him. I took a few books along on that trip, but he was just too wound up. Turning the lights on and off above us worked wonders two, but then he's obsessed with lights right now.

Do you have access to a portable DVD player? We recently took a car trip and I sat in the back seat with DS and he was mesmorized by the big purple dinosaur. Was GREAT! He just sat in his car seat and enjoyed the show. Sipped some juice. Just don't bring along too many little things that he can throw that you'll have to pick up off the floor constantly or prevent him from wacking someone with. I don't envy you. But hopefully it'll all work out. Again -- DVD player works wonders but it is a bit spendy!

 
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Old 12-22-2004, 07:06 AM   #3
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Re: Flying with a toddler...tips??

i flew with my son when he was 3...it wasn't too bad for him actually. It's hard on the little ones because they aren't used to sitting for that long. If your son is standing up and not being rude or throwing things at people i would let him stand....at 20 months there is no way he's going to sit the entire time. Bring lots of toys, that is what i did...i brought little cars, coloring books, books etc. Have it all be new stuff so that he hasn't seen before. Bring snacks, and sippy cups, which you will probably bring anyways...but you don't want to have to rely on straws and the plastic cups they give you.
You can get the small portable dvd players for not much money also...not the ones for the cars though...the smaller ones.
Just try and relax....i know it sounds hard...but he's 20months, it's normal for him to want to get up and play and interact with the other passengers, i'm sure they'd much rather see him standing up and peeking over the seat at them than screaming and crying because he has to sit down. Depending on the time of day of the flight you can also try skipping his nap so that maybe he'll sleep on the plane...that could backfire though and he could just end up tired and cranky. Good luck and try to relax, you getting stressed out will only get him stressed out.

 
Old 12-22-2004, 08:15 AM   #4
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Re: Flying with a toddler...tips??

You poor thing - what a handful you have! Pregnant and a toddler! Whew!
I have heard a few good ideas.
Since the air pressure changes can cause ear pain, give him some children's non-aspirin pain reliever about 20-30 minutes before take-off. Something to eat or drink while the plane taxis down the runway before takeoff and a few minutes before the start of your descent will help too.
DON'T worry about what other people on the flight are thinking, you will not be likely to ever see them again. Instead focus on your little one. If he is fussy, focus on making him more comfortable for him, not because he is annoying someone else.
Carry a comfort item, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed animal.
Another must is if your child takes a pacifier, bring extra.
The idea of news toys is great. Present them one at a time during the whole flight.
A good idea for a snack - string Cheerios on a new shoestring and let him eat them off his "necklace".
Coloring books and crayons are great if he likes to color - bring a small cup for the crayons to sit on the tray so they don't get dropped all over the place.
Get up and walk the aisles with him every so often for a few minutes as long as there isn't turbulence...no 20-month old can sit still for that long.
I hope it goes smoothly for you!!!

Last edited by Momx2in04; 12-22-2004 at 08:16 AM.

 
Old 12-22-2004, 08:38 AM   #5
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Re: Flying with a toddler...tips??

DH's barber has a 19 month old and her doctor told her to use benadryl before flying. But when we asked out doctor about it, he shook his head no. I'm sure they did it to make her daughter sleepy, but I'd be a little nervous about using OTC drugs for that sort of thing.

 
Old 12-22-2004, 09:13 AM   #6
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Momx2in04 HB User
Re: Flying with a toddler...tips??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratatosk
DH's barber has a 19 month old and her doctor told her to use benadryl before flying. But when we asked out doctor about it, he shook his head no. I'm sure they did it to make her daughter sleepy, but I'd be a little nervous about using OTC drugs for that sort of thing.
New guidelines state that no child under 6 years old should be given a medication containing antihistamines (ie Benadryl) unless it's by a doctor's instructions. FYI!!!

 
Old 12-22-2004, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: Flying with a toddler...tips??

I was just giving a word of warning, especially since some people tend to do the same thing with children's tylenol. Apparently it's quiet commonplace that parents do this and I'd be a little cautious. When I looked it up online, there was an article about a daycare provider who got in trouble cuz she doped up a couple of her kids to make them settle down.

 
Old 12-22-2004, 11:18 AM   #8
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Re: Flying with a toddler...tips??

Yes, I thought your advice was great; good that you mentioned it. My MIL told me a few weeks ago that she gave Benadryl to a 1 and a 2 year old that she watches sometimes to "dry up their runny noses". I told her the info that I put on my previous post, and she didn't believe it til I showed her an article. Apparently Benadryl and other allergy med's are commonly used for things they aren't meant for. And you're right, it can be very dangerous. There have been several stories in the news about babies/children who have gotten ill or even been killed by caregivers giving them the wrong medication ot too much. It is something to be very careful of!

 
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