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8.17.2015

Flying With Toddlers

Ahhh, flying with little ones. On the scale of things you want to do is right up there with say, having dental work done or being stuck on a long flight next to a stranger's screaming child.

If you're a parent though, it eventually has to be done. At least it does if you actually want to go anywhere before your child is like five. Having just survived it myself, I put together a list of a few little items that helped make our plane trip bearable.

1. A device that plays videos.
Whether it be your Kindle Fire, iPad, smart phone, etc., you'll want your kids favorite cartoon ready at a moment's notice. I highly recommend downloading them onto the device as well. You can pay for internet on most flights now, but don't expect that to work with video streaming apps. Best to just load the device up before you even take off. Remember, they'll need to be kept occupied while waiting at the gate too.  I'm not afraid to admit that I was fully prepared to just let Madeleine and Seamus watch videos for the entire 3.5 hour flight. Other than them falling asleep, that easily would have been my ideal scenario.

2. Headphones.
Obviously if the kids are going to be watching videos, then headphones are a must. Nobody wants to listen to a screaming kid on a flight, but they also don't want to listen to 3.5 hours of Team Umizoomi either. We like these Kidz Gear Wired Headphones. They limit how high the volume goes to protect little ears and come in fun, bright colors. We also have a splitter that allows the kids to watch the same device together, or Bill and I can watch with one of them as well.

3. Something to color.
Coloring is also a great way for kids to pass the time on long flights, but it can get complicated with crayons or markers rolling all over the place. We picked up a few of these Melissa & Doug ColorBlast! kits for each of the kids. It's just one marker, but all the colors magically appear on the special paper. This was Madeleine's top choice. She amazingly just colored almost the entire flight.

4. Something to play.
If you have an older toddler, than games are great too. Madeleine is really into Memory lately, so we picked up Melissa and Doug's Flip-to-Win Memory Game as well. On her rare breaks from coloring, we played this with her. At one point Bill, who sat between the kids on the flight out, was using one hand to play this with Madeleine and holding his iPad for Seamus with his other.

5. Lollipops.
You're obviously going to have an array of snacks available for the flight (almost my entire carry on was snacks), but lollipops are a definite must. They're great to relieve ear pressure in kids too young to chew gum or pop their ears themselves. We brought Dum Dums, and neither kid complained about their ears at all.

All-in-all we had no full on tantrums from Seamus, so we considered it a successful flight. That's not to say it was easy or enjoyable by any means. Let's see, first we forgot diapers and wipes. Thankfully Seamus didn't poop, but he still went the entire morning without being changed (parenting win!). Madeleine was very good, but still needed bathroom breaks and her fair share of attention. I was so worried about making sure neither of the kids spilled their drinks that I, of course, spilled my own. Seamus didn't want to wear his headphones, so watched his shows with no sound. He also did not want to hold any devices himself. Between Bill and myself, we had 2 iPhones, an iPad, and a Kindle, but weren't able to access the only show Seamus wanted to watch, Team Umizoomi, for the reason I noted above (we purchased and downloaded a season for the flight home). Seamus was constantly trying to get out of his seat belt. He seemed to lose interest in anything after about 15 minutes, so we were always switching things out for him. Thank goodness for the lollipops though. They kept him quiet and engaged for a good 10 minutes a pop. He seriously had about 6 of them on each flight. Oh, and of course, Seamus actually did fall asleep on the flight home...about 20 minutes before we were about to land. Geesh!

You do what you gotta do to survive though, and that's all you really can do...survive. You hope for the best, but even if it's bad, it won't last forever. Do your best, but don't worry too much about bothering other people. You and your toddler have as much a right to be on the flight as anyone else. Plus, I think for the most part, people are genuinely nice and understanding.

What you really need more than anything listed here is patience, patience, patience!

P.S. My niece once screamed for 18 hours straight on a flight to South Korea. It was so bad the flight attendants handed out free headphones to everybody on the flight. My poor sister-in-law!!

P.P.S. Check out this funny article Vacation or Trip? A Helpful Guide for Parents. Now I realize why we were so tired the entire time we were away. We weren't on vacation, we just took a trip!!

Just for the record, this was not a paid for or sponsored post (I wish).  I think these are all good products, so I just wanted to share.

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