August 27, 2015

Flying with a Toddler

Traveling with Toddlers
My husband's line of work requires us to travel...A LOT. Not the most exciting of things when you have a 3 year old to beg and plead with, while doing so. Like most toddlers, my son can't stay still for long periods of time, let alone a 17 hour flight from VCE to SFO. Since we're getting ready to head back home, for my one of my dearest of friend's wedding this summer, I thought I would share a few tips that have made travel more comfortable for my toddler while also saving my sanity.

1. SNACKS lots and lots of snacks! Most airliners don't serve meals with less then 6 hours of flight time. On longer flights airliners offer a meal or two to passengers, but during the in between time it's good to have some of your toddlers favorite snacks in hand.

2. iPad or LeapPad Get an iPad! It will save your life! We have a first generation iPad for our son. We downloaded tons of movies and kid friendly games for him. Note that the first generation iPads do not go further than the iOS 5.3 update. Which means you will not have a wide range of game apps to choose from since most game apps require a higher update to download. Another option could be a LeapPad which we also have for him. Download games from the leapfrog connect app and give it to your child when you note that they are starting to become restless on board. Of course be mindful of others around and get some ear phones for them. If you don't have a pair, most airliners carry them for a price, on domestic flights. But they do tend to be complimentary on international flights.

3. FAVORITE BLANKET AND/OR FAVORITE TOY Children tend to look at these items as security items that make them feel safe. This could be their favorite nap time blanket if they have one. Airports and planes them selves tend to be a little chilly, so a blanket is perfect to keep your little warm for the trip.
A FAVORITE CUDDLE BUDDY Ultimately I know I'm William's favorite cuddle buddy, but that tends to change when we travel. So we make sure to bring along his Brave bear he loves so much.

4. ACTIVITIES Books and puzzles will keep toddlers busy. If your toddler does ok with activity books and crayons, bring some along too. My son will draw and everything and anything. So we don't pack them.

5. PATIENCE I know there are some parents who are gifted with all the patience in the world. My husband happens to be one of those people and I love him for that. Unfortunately, for him, I am not. Quiet frankly I don't think my son is either, but it is something I have always tried to work on and have continued to better myself in.

By now you may have noticed that I didn't mention a stroller on my list. Here's the thing about strollers: While I do think they really can be life savors at keeping your little from running off. I think it is also a great idea to have your toddlers walk around and expel some energy, before the flight boards. My son is very energetic so I know while a stroller would be great for us, I'd rather take him for a little run walk around the airport. If once on the plane he/she begins to get restless and nothing seems to be working: I encourage you to take your toddler for a little stroll around the aisle of the plane when allowed.

So there you have it! I hope these tips help, but in the end you know your little better than anyone else. So pack accordingly and don't forget to also pack any meds your littles may need. Airports and planes are filled with lots of icky germs.

Safe travels!

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