L.C. asks from Keller, TX on June 08, 2008
Help, Really Active One Year Old on Air Plane.
Soon I will be traveling on an airplane with my daughter and it is causing me great anxiety. My main concern is this....even at home she never stops moving, she hates to sit still and will throw a fit if she has too. In all honesty, in all my life I have never met a toddler who wants to be on the go as much as she. What do I do? The flight is almost 3 hours. Does anyone know of or suggest something to help her sleep? I know I will bring lots of food and toys but those rarely keep her occupied at home. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Also, is there a diaper changing table on the plane? And where do you put the stinky diapers. Also all the guidelines say liquid foods in less than 3 ounces but all the yougurt that are for babies are 4 onces. Another thing is they said I could bring her car seat if the plane isnt full and put her in it at no cost, but how do you carry a car seat, stoller and diaper bag all at once around the airport. I did buy a car seat travel bag but with everything else I need 6 arms. Help, I am going crazy thinking about the impending trip!
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyone for the advice! I leave tomorrow so we shall see if it all pans out. Its nice to know that I am not the only one who has gone through this.
K.E. answers from Dallas on June 10, 2008
We just took our very active one year old on his first flight. He wasn't very interested in playing with toys or eating and just wanted to talk to all of the passengers sitting in front of and behind us. Luckily they were happy to oblige in a game or two of peek a boo. We paid for a seat for him, and he never sat in it. We ended up holding him most of the time including during naps so I kind of wish we would have just checked his car seat. As far as carrying everything. I put a backpack on my back filled with toys, took my diaper bag that straps on to the back of the stroller filled with snacks and necessities, and pushed the baby in the stroller. We bought a cheap luggage cart at Walmart and strapped the carseat to it. It is kind of a pain going through security because you have to take the carseat off the car, but it is much easier to wheel the carseat around. My suggestion is to just take your time and don't worry about anyone but your one year old. Your baby probably won't be happy the whole time, and you will probably hold up lines in security and everywhere else for that matter. Just ignore the dirty looks and enjoy your trip. Also, look for play areas at the airport. They are good places to burn off some energy before the little ones get on the plane.
T. answers from Dallas on June 09, 2008
Flying with a small child is certainly reason to be anxious, but it can run so smoothly so long as you are prepared.
As others have said, new toys are great. When we travel with our daughter, we pack her some fun things in a little Disney Princess suitcase with rollers. She loves that she has something of her own for the trip. We pack some crayons & an activity book, a few books, a magnetic doodle pad, small dolls or plastic animals, and stickers are also great.
As for the diaper bag, make sure you pack a few changes of clothing, and more diapers than you think she will need. For some reason, my daughter poops EVERY time the plane takes off! And I think she drinks more, just to help with the pressure, and being nervous on a plane.
Overall if your daughter is active, as is mine, it may be better to just keep her entertained, instead of trying to get her to sleep. Being a new experience, with so much going on, she may not want to go to sleep, and your trip may turn into a miserable experience if she fights you on the sleep.
S.K. answers from Dallas on June 09, 2008
i HAD to respond to your letter b/c i myself have a 2 month preemie who just turned one! :) He also is our "miracle"!!! :) we tried for 3 years to get prego so i know your feeling!! We already traveled with him but he is incredibly HYPER!!! He can't EVER sit still!!!
the plane ride went really smoothly much to my surprise! He was 5 months when travled but i carried on LOTS of breast milk..enough for 10 days worth b/c he wasn't nursing only taking from a bottle, we also had a stroller but opted out on the car seat as family had one there for us. My suggestion is to attempt to allow her to drink at take off....maybe bring books that are interactive or make music. Don't worry about anyone else on the plane, babies cry all the time and get mad. I am guessing that feeding her will help distract her. Sadly there are no changing tables on the plane...i just learned from reading other responses that there IS one..... My husband laid our son on top of the toilet and put the dirty diaper in a plastic baggie and put it in the diaper bag until we got to the airport. I don't know what airline you are taking but SouthWest was GREAT and the stweardess were wonderful help to us. They interacted with our son and he even got a "first time flyer" certificate signed by the staff along with a pair of wings!
don't worry, it won't be that bad.....:) the more you think it will wrong...the more likely it will! think positive and enjoy his first flight!
M.W. answers from Dallas on June 09, 2008
Hi L.! I started laughing when I read your post because we are traveling in July with our son who will be 23 months then and we have the same issue with him NEVER wanting to sit still. I am considering a little bit of Benadryl to hopefully relax him. That was also suggested by his pediatrician. I call AA, which is what we are flying on about all the other questions you had because after reading them I wanted to know for us. I didn't realize if there is an empty seat next to yours that you can bring the car seat for him with no charge. With him being under 2, in order to save money we did not purchase a seat for him so this was great news. Just have to hope there is an empty seat. I did confirm with the agent I spoke to that if we get the car seat to the gate and there is not an available seat then we can gate check the seat along with his stroller at no charge. She did mention that there are some restrictions on formula and milk so you might want to call your airline about those but she said we could bring an empty sippy cup and get him something to drink on the plane. I also asked about the changing tables as well. The agent laughed because she didn't know after she realized that no one had ever asked her that before. She ran down a list of the planes that have them and it was basically all our your large planes, MD80, 757, etc... Anyway, I hope this helps and thank you SO much for your post because those were great questions that I had not thought of, all except what to do about taking a car seat with us. Hope you guys have a PEACEFUL and safe trip!!
G.F. answers from Dallas on June 09, 2008
Check the car seat. Gate check the stroller so you can use it in airport. Make your diaper bag is a backpack style so you can have hands free. Feed your toddler before going through security to mitigate liqukd concerns and take plenty of dry food snacks. You can buy milk or juice to take on plane once you get through security. A DVD player with favorite and new videos will be best investment you ever made. Bring a favorite toy and "lovie". Bring new toys/books just for trip. Plan to make a diaper change immediately before you get on airplane and then one when you get off. Most airport bathrooms have changing tables. (Of course also bring disposable changing pads and plenty of hand sanitizwr).
Dont try benedryl unless you are absolutely certain it will make your child sleepy. For many it has opposite affect..Much worse to have a wired kid. I honestly think keping them entertained and snack happy is a better route to go.
You will do fine. Just relax and bring your patience with you. Weve done it with twins...you can do this just fine. :-)
A.D. answers from Dallas on June 10, 2008
Hi L., It'll be ok! Forget carrying on both the stroller and the car seat-honestly if you're going on a 3hr flight chances are she's not going to get her own seat unless it's kind of an obscure location or you're flying at night on one of the last flights out, you can gate check the carseat, (highly recommend!) If you're going to rent a car you can also rent a car seat through the car rental place, bring some sanitizing wipes to wipe it down though. Bring a soft front/back carrier or hip hammock to transport her. Just a separate warning they made me take my son's shoes off even though he didn't walk at 8 months! Don't expect her to sleep because then she definitely won't! As far as juice/milk I bought the little sizes of the Gerber juice, and the shelf stable milk boxes - they aren't always whole milk but are usually organic. You will have to pull them out of your bag and let them be screened. Once I got thorough security I bought 2 of the biggest bottles of water I could find to take on the plane then mixed the juice and water as needed. As far as snacks maybe bring something she doesn't normally get but really likes, you're unlimited on food in your carry-on. Bring an extra meal 'cause you never know when you'll get delayed especially with summer storms. Bring books and toys, maybe some new ones. And let her play with the tray table, my son is still fascinated with the tray table at 2, and get up and walk! Larger planes have changing tables, they're tiny though so be prepared for a quick change, dress her in easy to remove bottoms and bring an extra outfit for each of you. I buy doggy pick up bags for stinky diapers and just tie them off and toss as normal.
K.P. answers from Dallas on June 09, 2008
We have a traveled a bunch with our son and here are some tips:
1 - make sure they have something to suck on for take-off and landing. this helps to alleviate any pain in their ears. This can be a pacifier, bottle, whatever they have to really suck.
2 - try to schedule the flight around their regular nap time if possible.
3 - benedryl helps to calm them but i don't remember the age you can do that.
4 - diaper changing on the plane - yes in the restroom there is a shelf that comes down that you use for diaper changing. put the dirties in the trash in the bathroom.
5 - stroller - definitely do not check that at the ticket counter. you'll want to do a "gate check" which means that shortly before they board, they will come take it from you and put it in the cargo area. when you arrive at your destination, they will take it off and it will be there on the jetbridge waiting for you.
6 - car seat, these are best for safety. they will let you know before you board if there is an empty seat for you to use (assuming you haven't bought a seat for your child). if they do not have a seat available, then "gate check" that too.
7 - check online for the restrictions on food, liquids, etc. usually there are some guidelines for children that do not apply to the rest of us.
best of luck!!!
T.O. answers from Dallas on June 08, 2008
Call your pediatrician's nurse line and ask if you can give her Benadryl just before the flight. I gave it to all of mine each time we flew, more for the ear pressure pain than anything else. But sleep was nice too.