M.W. asks from Atlanta, GA on May 28, 2010
Need Ideas for Entertaining a 20 Month Old on an Airplane!
Hi everyone, we're leaving in a week for St Croix and this will be my 20 month old little girl's first flight. I'm a little nervous because she is very busy and rarely ever sits still for long. What kinds of things have worked for you to entertain your little ones? Our flight will be about 4 hours. Also, what can I bring for her to suck on while the plane is taking off to help with her ears popping? She doesn't use a pacifier.
Thanks for your help!
J.M. answers from Atlanta on May 29, 2010
I haven't read the other posts, but things that keep my 23 month old still are:
Color Wonder coloring books (you don't have to worry about a mess to the plane's upholstery or any clothes)
A Kai-Lan magnetic activity board
To keep her ears from popping, does she like suckers? Can you use Dum-Dums on the plane? My little girl loves them! :)
Another idea with the magnets is get a metal cake pan with a lid and glue paper dolls to magnets and then she can dress and undress the paper dolls on the cake pan without losing pieces - this is actually something I am going to make my daughter for her birthday. :)
L.P. answers from San Francisco on June 02, 2010
Here are ideas for things to keep her entertained.
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on May 28, 2010
DVD player! Sippy cups and lollipops, too.
K.E. answers from Atlanta on May 29, 2010
I can't be of too much help. My daughter is 22 months (also very active) and has been on about 10 flights since she was born. I've flown alone with her each time...she has slept through nearly all of them! I always scheduled flights around her nap time or changed her schedule a little so that she would sleep.
She loves books and pictures. So that saved us the times that she was awake. She loves looking at the emergency landing pamphlet in the seat back so that helped us a lot. I have noticed thought that the last couple of flights were harder...once they can walk it's hard to keep them still. Don't feel bad about letting her walk up and down the aisle with you a few times. I've also been blessed with great passengers who have held her at times or sat with her so I could go to the bathroom.
I would suggest buying a water bottle once you get to the gate or bring an empty one for you. When they serve drinks I wouldn't recommend getting one as it will just end up getting spilled.
If you are lucky enough that she'll go to sleep, but she needs to be rocked. I found it easier to go back to the back of the plane where the flight attendants hang out...as long as they aren't busy back there they should be ok with you standing and rocking her until she sleeps. I wouldn't try to walk the aisles with her to sleep...it's just too awkward with a toddler and her legs will likely end up kicking someone.
Sorry that's not much advice on keeping her entertained...just my thoughts from my flights...just relax...if she simply won't sit still then get up and let her walk a little...you'll find other passengers that will love to interact and talk to her, so don't feel bad about that.
Good luck and let us know how it goes!
M.S. answers from Columbus on May 28, 2010
Whenever we took our babies/toddlers on plane rides, we bought new toys and would sometimes wrap them, like they are opening gifts on a birthday. Once she gets bored with one, present another one. Make sure you save some for the trip home. Take crayons/color wonder markers, books, favorite toys, too. I would also take playdough and put a playdough line around the traytable. Anything you put on that thing will roll off...it's inevitable. This way the crayons, snack cup, etc. won't immediately fall to the floor. Then, there's also playdough for the child to play with too. I agree that the laptop is a great idea, it worked well for us, too. Maybe a leapfrog if you have it.
Also, make sure you pack at least one extra outfit in your carry-on for you and your daughter. We have horror stories of things that can explode from a toddler on airplanes! LOL! Usually, it doesn't just end up on the child. I, of course, had sippy cups and little treats. I hate to admit it, but last time we flew with my 1 year old, I gave her a stick or red licorice. My older kids had them and she saw and wanted it (of course). I wouldn't usually give her something like that, but hey, you do what you have to, right? So, if you are not opposed to it, give her a ring pop, licorice, etc to suck on while taking off and/or landing.
Most of all, relax. Let your daughter run around as much as possible in the terminal. Know that the more relaxed you are, the less she'll sense tension. I've never had anyone on a plane get nasty. Most the time, they are helpful and understanding. I know that's not always the case, but kids are on airplanes. People have to know that you don't want to cause a scene anymore than they want to hear it.
Good luck and have fun!
K.F. answers from New York on May 28, 2010
S.B. answers from Cleveland on May 28, 2010
Hi M. - we're doing our first plane trip with a two-year-old this summer. After doing some research, we've decided to bring his carseat on the plane in the hopes that a familiar seat will help him stay put and understand he can't get up and walk around.
My SIL suggested just having a drink or a snack during take-off and landing. Some things we're thinking about - bringing a spoon to transfer cheerios from one container to another (he loves transferring stuff, go figure), an eyedropper to move water from one cup to another, a laptop with DVD player (we are planning on getting him used to headphones ahead of time), new puzzles and books, a small blanket from home - hopefully he will sleep some - crayons and new stickers, some new small toys.
We're planning on stashing the new things until we go home or saving some new things for the return flight so that they'll still be interesting! I'm going to be checking your post for more ideas.
K.M. answers from Augusta on May 29, 2010
We recently went on a 4 hour car trip with our 17 month old. She really enjoyed coloring a lot more then I though, so I'd bring extra paper to draw on. You can go onto crayola's and PBS' websites and print pages to color on. I had a bag of small toys that she hadn't played with for a while and took them out one at a time as she needed more things to do. I also got a toy from the good will that I thought she'd like and saved that until the end of the trip for her. We had a DVD as well, but didn't have to use it. I also bought her some snack bars she doesn't normally get to have but I knew she'd like. Hope the flight goes smooth!
J. answers from Spartanburg on May 29, 2010
bring a juice box (they will let you bring 1 or 2 juice boxes through security when traveling with a baby/toddler) to drink during take off. We bring a portable dvd player, a few books and a few favorite quiet toys (dolls, magnadoodle, crayons, cars). We also try to schedule when they should be sleeping. my kids absolute favorite plane activity is to look for dogs and kittens in the in flight magazine (the one where you can buy all sorts of crazy things) not the airline magazine. good luck!