October 15, 2006,
S.T. asks from Salt Lake City, UT on October 13, 2006
T.M. answers from Salt Lake City on October 14, 2006
I have five kids and have lived cross country from my family for years. We have traveled back and forth several times, and I usually make half the trip without my husband who has to return sooner than the rest of us for work.
I have a sixteen month old little girl (my youngest). It is a difficult age to travel with, especially boys who always seem to have a neverending source of energy.
First of all, in my experience, giving Benadryl is a bad idea. I tried it once with my oldest when he was about four on a three hour flight from Texas to Utah. I had a newborn, also. He freaked out--not quite awake, not quite asleep. It was awful.
The thing I do when I travel (and it seems to work really well) is to bring realistic (and lightweight) entertainment for the kids. For my girls it is usually small dolls (like Polly Pockets) they can dress up or coloring books. Now that they are older, we take a portable DVD player and they watch movies. (We have a couple so that my now 3-year-old can watch his own.) My 16-month-old, though, would never watch a movie. She is not interested at all. For her, I take snacks, books, and her blankie. She likes to look at books. We also have a set of finger puppets that she likes to play with.
It is hard to travel with a toddler, but not impossible. I remind myself before every trip that if we are to get through the trip unscathed (and without bothering all the people seated around us) that I will have to stay on top of all that my children are doing. I never try to read or rest because someone always needs something (there are five of them...six if you include my husband). I do take a magazine or book just in case they all fall asleep, although I think this has NEVER happened.
You know your child best and what he enjoys doing, so bring activities you know he can sit and do. I don't know which airline you are flying on. There are good ones and bad ones. The best one we've flown on with kids is Southwest.
One more thing--make sure to bring an empty sippy cup and have the flight attendant bring you water or milk or something to put in it when you get on the plane. (You can't bring any liquids on board because of the new flight restrictions.) I have had some children who have a very difficult time with takeoffs and landings because of the change in air pressure. Sometimes having a snack helps them swallow and pop their ears.
S.T. answers from Salt Lake City on October 14, 2006
I know that this may freak people out but my pediatrician suggested to me when I was flying to give him something that had a sleeping agent in it to make him kinda "drugged" out. I didn't use it because he was fine but if there is a medicine that seems to make your child sleepy then take it along just in case. I think the thing that made me the most nervous was what the others were going to think on the plane. So if you can get over that then you will be fine. It is like a car it lulls the kid asleep, so there really isn't too much to worry about. Bring crayons and books and a favorite toy and I'm sure it won't be as bad as you think!
M.D. answers from Salt Lake City on October 15, 2006
Alot of Pediatricians suggest giving your infant benadryl! But I would use it at your own discretion. If you buy something in the secure area, Example the gift shop by your gate , you can take it on the plane with you! they lifted some of the restrictions. I work at the airport, so I know about some of it! anyways Good luck!
J.S. answers from Salt Lake City on October 13, 2006
Maybe a portable DVD player or those Books with the CD's that you put earphones on and listen to the story and follow along in the book, that worked with my son when we traveled. I know some kids are to wild for even that. Or just bring lots of picture books and read to him. I think when all else fails and the child does what he's going to do, just take a deep breath and know that most people have been there, they understand, some may even try to help, some people may be irritated if your child is wild but thatís ok too, Your child deserves to be here too, just like everyone else and it will all be over with soon enough, maybe a little apology (if he specifically bugs someone) and show that your trying, When I fly, I know that there will be all kinds of people on the plane, what bothers me most is peoples odor, I wished more people showered before I got stuck for 5 hrs on a plane with them, I can always buy earphones and listen to music and read a magazine if kids are screaming, but I'd just suggest that his diaper is clean, you could even take lots of treats and snacks to keep his mouth full if he's a screamer. He may surprise you and just be in such awe that he's quiet and sits pretty still. You can try talking to him through the whole process, explain to him everything you see so he is stimulated by you and what he's learning, even though he may not quite understand, you're communication with him might be the trick.
Best of luck to you and have a fun trip.
C.Y. answers from Salt Lake City on October 14, 2006
My daughter went on her first plane ride @ 14 months old. She is very active as well. We loaded a new books and new toys that she's never seen before. It seemed to help. Also we gave her a dose of Tylenol, to help the pressure in her ears about 30 min before we boarded. She seemed to do fine.