Airline Travel with a 2 1/2 Year old...Yikes!

Updated on October 18, 2008
D.H. asks from Charleston, SC
67 answers

I asked this question at the beginning of September and got no responses...maybe I will have better luck the second time!
Does anyone that has traveled recently by plane with a toddler have any suggestions for suitable lunch/snacks, activities to keep my DD busy, or any other airline travel suggestions/things to avoid, etc.? I've checked the TSA website and know that I can bring juice (of course, it does not say anything specifically about juice boxes!). However, I'm wondering if I can bring freeze-packs for keeping go-gurt, juice, and lunch meat cold on a plane during our trip? Any other suggestions for lunch/snacks? I'm thinking that if freeze-packs are not allowed, I can freeze a couple of juice boxes?!?!?!?! Any thoughts?
To keep her busy and me sane, I've been gathering new small toys, crayons, coloring books, etc. I thought about bringing uncooked pasta noodles (ziti) and yarn to make pasta necklaces, coloring books for drawing and doodling, a puzzle, etc. But, any suggestions are very much appreciated. D. H.

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A.

answers from Charleston on

I've had a TSA agent take a freezer pack away from me when it was keeping breast milk cold. I wouldn't count on it. I found that books work better than small toys and crayons on the plane. It's hard to pick up that "favorite color" when they drop it on the floor and you are crammed in those small seats. Colors work well in the airport though.

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S.P.

answers from Atlanta on

Sounds like you've got it covered! My only other suggestion would be headphones, if you think she's like to listen to the music channels, or watch their video (depending on the length of the flight).

Good luck!

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S.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.!
We travel with our 2 1/2 yr old frequently and find plane trips a lot easier than car trips. She'll be so enthralled with the plane and all the people that you should be sane for at least the first 15 minutes. We bring play-doh, paper and crayons, and books. That keeps her entertained for a while. The ziti noodles may get messy because they roll off the tray. Stamping is fun too. Check out the dollar section at Target, they have good stuff sometimes. WE lastly resort to the DVD player and that works fabulously. As far as ice packs go, I'm not sure if you're allowed to bring them or not. Sorry. Good luck and have fun!

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K.D.

answers from Atlanta on

It depends on how long the flight is. I traveled to Europe
when my daughter was 15 months and I just kept her awake before the flight and she slept through half of it nibbled the rest. When my kids were older I took all kinds of toys, books, crayons and it was a big hassel. Mom I want to color, get up, get crayons, color for 5 seconds, mom I want to read, ETC, ETC. Last time I took 2 things for each kid, ordered the kid menu on the plane and took 2 snacks and 2 juice boxes in case of a lay over.Good luck and ignore the rude jerks without kids.

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D.W.

answers from Charleston on

Hey D.!

I think you probably have enough to go on, but I just want to reiterate not to bring anything that has a lot of little pieces / small pieces that can fall, roll, etc. I would not bring noodles and string as they will go everywhere, get crushed, etc. When I have traveled with my son and daughter we did movies, books, coloring books (particularly the magic pen books that only require one pen to "reveal" the picture), etch a sketch, and similar toys. Dollar General has great stuff for planes. I would also second the idea that you don't let them see the "surprises" until you get on the place.
Good luck!
D.

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L.D.

answers from Atlanta on

It depends on where you are going and how long the trip is. I took my daugter from ATL to NYC. I recomend for safety and sanity to buy your child a seat. I made sure she had something to eat before the trip. I don't recomend any snacks that are perishable. Bring an empty cup with a top and they have juice on the plane and I am sure milk. (They let her through with her sippy cup though.) I brought things like raisins, peanut butter crackers, and dry cereal "trail mix". Grapes or a banana would also transport well. You can also check to see if there are snacks to purchase on the plane or you can also purchase food items after you got through security to bring on the plane if it is a longer trip.(like a milk or sandwich, animal crackers etc.) for a couple of hours, you won't need a lot of snacks. I always have a bottle of water (they ahve water on the plane too and ice) and made sure she drank some of that.
Books, coloring books, macaroni to string are all good things. I also had my laptop to watch a movie but we never did that. She just wanted a tour of the plane and to look out of the window when she wasn't strapped in. A favorie toy and blanket are also good. Maybe she'll take a nap?
oh! a thing of babywipes is always good for quick cleaning of hands,try table or toys. I let me child clean the plane where we were sitting.Entertained her for a long time.
Make sure you show her where the potty is on the plane and to go "potty" just before boarding and immediately after getting off the plane ;). I have a portable potty seat that folds up that I bring when we go anywhere.
You know your child. Don't worry and overpack (like I did).:) The time will pass quickly.
Have a great trip.

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A.W.

answers from Atlanta on

When my kids were that age we traveled quite a bit. I went out and bought an inexpensive walkman so that they could listen to there music. I also always brought playdough. Just remember that although you can bring all the activities in the world - they always want your attention too. As for the snacks - freeze the gogurts - you are not allowed to bring liquids through security anymore - cheese crackers are good and I always brought a pb&j sandwich or buy a chicken nuggets are a great option once your through security.

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D.H.

answers from Atlanta on

I have been travelling with my son since he was 11 months old and have had no problem (so far). I first take his car seat on the plane for him to sit in. I always have a sippy cup (empty of course prior to security checks) and buy juice prior to boarding so he can sip on it during take-off and landing. We bought Palmer an airplane book and read it to him before take-off and prior to landing so he understands what is happening. I take a mini DVD player for him to watch Caillou on the plane and he thinks it is special to have "snacks on the plane." I don't carry much because of baggage limitations as well as needing a hand free to hold his in the airport. Hope this helps. If you need snacks, the flight attendants are usually helpful.

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K.H.

answers from Charleston on

Not sure how far you will be traveling, but I flew last year with my daughter who was 2 1/2 at that time...we flew from Charleston, SC to Pittsburgh, so about 2 1/2 hours or so. They let me bring her juice boxes, but not sure about freeze packs...I brought snacks like goldfish, Cheerios, fruit snacks, and protein bars (but I didn't really need any "meal-like" foods). I'm not sure how you feel about DVD players, but I brought my portable DVD player and a couple of movies with headphones and that's what she did for half of the flight. Maybe bring a CD player or IPOD if she likes music with some toddler songs. Honestly, I think the "hum" of the plane engine helped because the other half of the time, she slept. Crayons and coloring books are good...not sure you want to break out the puzzles or necklace making items since there isn't very much room and things could keep dropping on the floor. Along with crayons, I brought one of those small dry erase boards and dry erase markers because we could keep reusing it to draw things on. Also, stickers are great...get her a small sticker book or just use white paper to stick them on. Just stay calm and be sure not to let other passengers bother you...I was so stressed about what other people would think if my daughter started crying or was talking too loud, but it is usually people that have never had their own children or are just bitter that don't understand the stress of traveling with small children! Good luck! K.

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K.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.,
My kids are older, so I can't tell you new rulles on freeze-packs, etc., but my daughter LOVED gummy worms on the plane at that age. They were chewy enough to help with ear pain, the bright colors were fun to play with, and if you lick the back of them, you can stick them to the window ; ^ )! I would take at least 2 packs so the ones on the window didn't go back into the mouth, and a couple of extra wipes so the flight attendants don't have to clean sticky surfaces. Incidentally, my daughter is now 14, flies on her own at least once a year, and still enjoys eating gummy worms on the plane. Have fun and good luck,
K.

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K.C.

answers from Macon on

Hey i ask my friend and this is what she said: bring a few toys or books that the child likes, mini snacks that she eats at home is fine, and can't bring in juice...has to buy after security check, she needs to check the webite to make sure all her stuff is acceptable.

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C.S.

answers from Columbia on

Hi D.,

I too recommend that you use a car seat. It is safer and will be helpful for keeping her in one place. The other travelers will appreciate it as well. By that age children know that moving around in a vehicle is not an option, so this shouldn't pose a problem, and if she sleeps in the car, then she may just sleep in her car seat.

Also, I traveled on a plane from Alaska to Virginia with my son when he was that age, and it wasn't that bad. Just keep in mind "this too shall pass". I don't know how long the flight is, but I think you may be stressing yourself out unnecessarily. Feed her a good meal prior to the flight, take a couple of snacks and then plan on eating right after the flight. Unless you are flying cross country or internationally, this should be fine. I personally think it is better to entertain kids with activities rather than food. It sounds like you have found a lot of great activities on your own, so you are going to do great.

Best of luck! You will be fine.

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L.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Don't take juice from home - they'll dump it at security. Once you pass security buy juice at the terminal. Don't know about freezer packs. I know they allow them for medical reasons so worth a try. Crackers, grapes, bananas - typically good on the plane. Keep it simple because that will be easier for you and your daughter. You can even get juice on the plane.

Toys and stuff - again, keep it simple. If you have a portable DVD player those work well. I recommend keeping toys simple - as few pieces as possible. Since space is limited you want things that fit on the tray without a lot of small pieces to fall off into the floor.

Most airports have the children take shoes off at security just like the adults so keep shoes simple too. Prep her about going through secuirty as she'll have to walk through just ahead of you.

My 4 year old has been on 10 airplanes now. She loves it! And from time to time sleeps the entire trip. Take off and landing make her a little nervous but we make a game of seeing how high we go, watching how small things on the ground get - and she's fine.

Best of luck!

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L.M.

answers from Atlanta on

I would check with the TSA on bring jucie boxes and also the freeze packs.I would not bring the pasts to make necklaces there isnt much more to make them coloring books are nice also maybe some travel size games

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A.G.

answers from Charleston on

I traveled with my boys (youngest just under 2). I did have a small cooler that they let me bring on with the ice packs. They are pretty good with parents with children. I do not know about the juice boxes, but I would suggest buying the juice box after security, as most airports have some food/vendors there. I always bring a dvd player with ds favorite dvds. Crayons and paper, stickers, Favorite snacks. (my ds loves fruit snacks and lollipops) Good luck!

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J.L.

answers from Charleston on

I flew last month with my 16 month old. You are allowed juice/liquids for your toddler. You can take them through security with freezer packs. You just have to declare them to the TSA officer when you get to security. They will make you separate the liquids from the rest of your items, and hand them over to them. I kept my little one busy on the flight with cheerios, and a portable dvd player. When in the airport we let him walk around as much as possible to expel excess energy. My biggest piece of advice is to stay as calm as possible even with delays and rude people. The little ones pick up on your mood shift, and will get stressed right along with you. Have a great trip, and make it an adventure.

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J.E.

answers from Columbus on

I have traveled with a 2 year old and his 4 month old brother and we survived! You can too! It sounds like you're doing everything I've heard of - new small toys and books. One suggestion I've read is to wrap each new toy and let your child open one every hour or half hour depending on the length of your flight and her attention span. My mother in law bought us a portable DVD player and it has been great to use in moderation! I have had no trouble bringing juice boxes on a plane and I don't think they would have a problem with a freezer pack.
Some things to know about checking in: in Atlanta, they will help you through faster if you have a stroller. We got to jump way ahead in line, so ask where the stroller line is for getting through security. You will have to put your stroller and car seat through the x-ray machine, so be prepared to unload your daughter, collapse your stroller, and put it through. You also have to take your daughter's shoes off as well as yours.
At the gate you can check your car seat and your stroller. I liked this option b/c it was then waiting for me when I got off the plane and there was less chance of it getting lost.
Make sure you pack plenty of diapers and baby wipes - once when flying with my older son I forgot to stock up and came close to running out! Make sure you have a change of clothes for yourself and your daughter in case of spills or accidents!
Good luck and enjoy your trip!

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M.M.

answers from Charleston on

I know its a little different, but I just traveled across the country with my eight month old daughter and I was pleasantly surprised how much easier it was from what I thought it was going to be like. First, all the other passengers and crew were so eager to help and friendly. I was able to bring cheerios, a small amount of apple juice, and the those gerber puffs along with me past security and on the plane. Also, there was another passenger that I befriended and she had her two year old son with her and the portable DVD player was a big hit and her little boy just walked up and down the aisles on the plane and took a long nap towards the end. He didn't cry or throw any tantrums - all and all it was a great experience for everyone on the plane. I hope it goes great for you too!

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K.M.

answers from Atlanta on

D. hi if you have one of those hand dvd players you can take that with you.Also you shoud bring one of her most favorite toy.You did not say how long the flight will be. I think she will be fine.sounds like you have already though of alot to do. Good luck.

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L.G.

answers from Augusta on

D.,

I have recently traveled with my 4 year old and have been traveling with her yearly since she was 6 mos old. You can bring the small juice boxes on the plane, just make sure everything is in a gallon zip lock bag. I also brought the Mini Ravioli's from Gerber-- drained it prior to actually getting on the plane; raisins; yo-go's; fruit snacks and cheese sticks. I was lucky that I only have to travel 2 hours. Stickers are great and bandaids :). Make sure you bring a blanket because it can get cold on the plane and some airlines charge for the use of the blanket-- airplane blankets are not real soft as well. when you go through security you will need to take the food bag out separately. Hope this helps and good luck.

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B.P.

answers from Atlanta on

I've had a lot of experience traveling with little ones and what you've listed as activities and snacks are excellent. The most important is that they have their own seat. Even for the children under two who can sit on your lap during the flight do better in their own seat. If you're traveling with a young child and they don't have their own seat, then I recommend asking the flight attendant if there are any open seats on the plane that you could move to so that your child can have a seat of their own. Secondly, ensure they have plenty of snacks and activities to keep them busy. This is one of the few situations in life where as a parent, bribing your children to behave is perfectly acceptable. Nothing is worse then having a child out of control on a plane. Snacks and treats and plenty of juice and water are suggested and you find that the flight attendants will be more then willing to accomodate your request for juice boxes and snacks in an effort to keep your child quiet for the duration of the flight. I also found that a portable dvd player or a laptop that plays movies is a life saver for not just plane rides but also during long car rides. Coloring Books and Crayons are a great option as are books that you can read to your child. Make sure they have their own blanket and little pillow too and if possible a window seat. I've never been a plane ride where my son didn't try and sleep at some point. If you can find seating where there are 3 seats and you two are the only ones in that row then you can lift up the arm rests and your small child can lay down, while remaining belted in, and watch a movie and take a nap. This allows you to read a book or get some work done because you're not working feaverishly to keep your child entertained. Just remember to have gum available or a sippy cup for your child for take offs and landings to ensure their ears keep popping.
Good Luck!!!

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D.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.!

We just came back from a 10 hour road trip and friends of ours lent us some games from Melissa and Doug. The travel bingo was great, but wouldn't work on a plane. However, there were other travel games - and they have the peices attached, so there are no parts. You can buy them online, or even at Toys R Us. They were life savers for us. Even a portable DVD Player, if she likes movies. They rent them at major airports - and you can bring your own DVD's. I don't know how long your flight is.

As for snacks, what about the Oscar Mayer cracker kits. They come with slices of cheese and either turkey, ham or bologna with crackers and a cookie or mini candy bar. I think they are $1.50 each. They also have the toddler packs that have tiny cubes of meats and cheese with mini crackers. I find them to be wonderful.

Good luck and have a safe trip!

~D.

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L.M.

answers from Columbia on

Don't worry about it, flying is really easy if you just keep your cool. children can sniff out your fear, so be easy-going, and your child will be too. I have flown over 20 times with my soon to be 4 year old. What we do is bring an empty sippy cup, and fill it up with juice on the plane. Always make sure that your child is sucking or chewing during take-off and landing, so their ears will pop, and they won't scream. What we do to keep ours entertained is bring a portable dvd player, and buy one new movie and wrap it like a present. We give her the present on the plane to open, and then she gets to watch it. If you don't have a dvd player, wrap up a new book, or coloring book and crayons. There are plenty of things to look at on the plane, and once the plane gets up to elevation, and you can walke around, take advantage of that if the little one is squirmy. You can do anything for a day, just remember that. Plus, if your child acts up, guess what, you don't ever have to see these people ever again.

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L.C.

answers from Albany on

D.,

I have traveled with my girls several times on a plane. First and most important, during take-off AND landing, I always have them chew a large piece of gum so their ears will "pop" and adjust to the pressure. This makes a world of difference in their comfort level during the flight. The chewing sound also helps distract them from some of the noises the plane makes that could be scary to a child.

For toys, since space is limited on the plane and carry-on bags get heavy, especially when traveling with a toddler, I opted for the travel version of toys like Etch-A-Sketch (no pieces to lose) or Magna-Doodle (the "Pencil" is attached to the String). They are nice, quiet toys that kept my girls occupied. As they got older, I bought them crafts they could do in their seats/at their trays. I would avoid stickers - they leave a big mess with all the peel-off backs (learned that the hard way!). Another item would be the cardboard cutouts where you "sew" the shoelace through the holes. We have one by "Melissa and Doug" (made of thin wood) that is Teddy Bears). Whatever toys you do bring, introduce them to your daughter on the plane/trip, so they will be new and exciting! Have fun in your travels!

L.

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A.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Usually as long as TSA sees you with a child they will let you bring snacks like go gurt. I have one of those containers that keeps things cold and I put stuff in there. I have a 21/2 year old and a 14 month old. I bring there favorite toys, crayons, scratch paper, dvd player if you have one. You be surprised how great they do, mine usually fall asleep!!!!!

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K.L.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi,
I'm not sure about food and snacks as I have not flown recently. However, when my daughter was 2 - 3 and we traveled, I would buy her a special little bag or small backpack that she didn't use or see until the day of travel, preferably a small backpack that she could put on her back and carry herself. I'd get small toys and things to do as I found them at the dollar store or walmart, etc. and fill the backpack up. I'd give her the bag when we got on the plane and she would often stay very busy with it for a while. Ideas are: snack, drink, a new book, coloring book, crayons, mini etch-a-sketch, anything new and exciting usually does the trick.

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M.C.

answers from Charleston on

I don't know long your flight is (not too long, I hope, for your sanity), but can you take a portable DVD player with her favorite videos? I also suggest either an aquadoodle or magnadoodle--those keep my 2 year old occupied for quite a while. The necklace idea is a good one. Try to take all new stuff with you so it will keep her attention longer or at least stuff she hasn't seen in a while. If you're lucky, you'll be seated near a nice grandma who will entertain your daughter or, better yet, another 2 year old. Good luck!

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J.G.

answers from Atlanta on

I have a 3 year old and an 18 month old and we have traveled several times on the plane. I have never tried to bring an ice pack because I would not think it is allowed. I bring a sippy cup and then just fill it up when we get through security. I bring packaged snacks - fig newtons, animal crackers, gold fish, carrots - small packs - I think there is a rule about going through security with open food items? Although I have never tried to test it out. We bring a portable DVD player, taught the now 3 year old to wear headphones when she was a little over a year and always bring a new movie - that gives you about two hours. Stickers are always a hit with a coloring book. I also do lolly pops with the gum inside. Good luck. Morning travel always works better for us, grab extra pillows and blankets when you get on the plane.

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R.C.

answers from Spartanburg on

I flew on the exact day the liquid ban started 2 years ago. I mean, I was getting ready for work that AM, flying out that same early evening, when I heard the news on the radio. That made for a lot of repacking & organizing! I also had to DRINK the baby formula that was medicated (to prove it was safe). Trust me, it didn't taste good. I ended up calling the airline I was flying directly so I knew what to do and not to do specifically. Like, "my son has liquid medication, is that okay?" sort of deal. I know things have relaxed a good bit since then (I've flown again since then, too) so it is a bit easier now.

For snack ideas, if your daughter likes goldfish crackers, they sell them in like a milk box size container (I'm sure you may know that) and it's a bit more indestructable than the regular bag. There's always the breadsticks/preztels and cheese or peanut butter packages that you can dip. When we travel, we try to take snacks that won't get crushed in the diaper bag/carry on.

For activities, my son has a little backpack that fits on his back. The morning of the trip, I let him "pack" it with the toys of the moment. That way, we're taking stuff he really likes to play with. I also have a small, pocket sized notebook that we put stickers in and he'll look through that for a long time, as well as adding stickers to it (you can buy a ton at the Dollar Tree).

I hope this helps a little bit. Also, if you have a portable DVD player, that would be good to help keep her occupied.

Have a safe trip!!

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D.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.,
I don’t know what the airline restrictions are presently regarding food and beverage. Refrain from giving them sugar and caffeine or you and everyone on board will be sorry. The idea is to keep them calm and cooperative. I had to make regular transatlantic flights with two babies for the first 5 years of their lives. ALONE! First of all, ALWAYS beg for the bulkhead seats. That gives you the most leg room and room for children to stand and play when seat belt signs are not on. Something to suck on or chew on helps with the ears. I learned that the softer and quieter the toy, the better. I had boys. When they get excited or playful they often fling toys. Girls, of course, are known to do the same thing. Fellow passengers generally don’t appreciate busy, noisy children on their flight so eliminating the possibility of knocking one of them unconscious with a flying toy is a benefit to all. I made the mistake of giving my son a piece of hard candy which he enjoyed for a while and then deposited in the hair of the lady seated in front of us. She had reclined and was asleep which is another reason for bulkhead seating. (No reclining passengers in front of you)I could not retrieve the candy without pulling out hair and was too cowardly to inform the poor soul. I did a lot of reading to my children and making up games and stories and adventures looking out the window observing clouds and things. Wear them out in the terminal if possible so that by the time you are at a cruising altitude and can entertain, play, feed them and then read until they sleep. It is exhausting but you will survive. Just keep repeating that to yourself over and over until you believe it. Have fun!

On a more sinister note . . . always look for all of your exits and count rows between you and the nearest exit. In an emergency if a plane fills with smoke that may be the only way you can locate the exit. Always have a plan and rehearse it in your mind. It is helpful to touch the rows by holding out your arm and letting your hand brush each row as you pass. That gives your mind the spacing between rows and reinforces your count. When you travel alone with children, you will have more peace and confidence if you prepare for emergencies.

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C.E.

answers from Atlanta on

You have A LOT of responses so I will make this short- get a bunch of little bags (either zip lock or brown sandwich bags) and put something in each one-- ex. crayon and sticker and paper or toy and gummy candies-- give one each 15 min or 30 minutes. It is a fun surprise. Good for car trip too or waiting.

C.M.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

Hi- What airline are you flying? I just flew this past weekend with my 21 mth old (on spirit), and we brought lunchables, goldfish, string cheese, and milk... they do let me go through security with water (my daughter doesn't drink juice), but I know at myrtle beach airport, the snack stands have juice, and water... as far as activities, we brought books- Her Dr told me to give her benadryl before taking off to help with her ears, so she ALWAYS falls asleep on the plane...
Good Luck, and Have a safe trip :-)

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G.H.

answers from Macon on

D....How long is your flight? my daughter was 3 on her first flight..we never even thought about bringing anything along..Our flight was 2.5 hours long and she did fine....she was so enthralled with the whole experience that she wanted to look out the window..she wanted the snack...she had to see the bathroom...then she settled in she napped....She is generally a fairly active child,but just all the newness of the flight was enough..Now if you have a long flight you very well may need a few different toys,but thats about it..and the airlines are really particular about what you bring aboard...so look at your carriers rules,follow them to the t...after you go through security and are in the boarding areas,generally there are plenty of places to get food or drinks..this is a better choice ,then you know they can go on board....You can even purchase his lunch/dinner from one of the local restaurants there...that way if he does not like the airline food you have a back up...Mainly try not to stress,as he will pick up on it and feed his energy off it...try to relax and enjoy...Have a great time and good luck. By the way..My daughter is 5,she has flown to New York City,Canada,Buffalo, New York, N. Carolina and Texas....she loves to fly..

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V.Z.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.!
I travel pretty often with my toddler, he is almost 2 1/2 now. We have traveled with him since he was around 3 months old, to everywhere, New York, all the way to Poland. My advice on the plane trip is to not bring anything that will make a huge mess! I tried a few things, and when he got tired of them, right on the floor they went! The beads, and macaronis, they went right down the aisles! Play Dough is a good one! We are traveling to Poland for Christmas, and I bought him a Leap Pad, he hasn't seen it yet, and I don't plan on giving it to him until then! They also have magnetic books, that have little pictures, or ones of dolls that she may like.
Bring a diaper bag to put in all your snacks, and things like that. I never have any problems when I bring a diaper bag. I have also used a lunch box for shorter flights.
Good Luck! Have a safe trip, and have fun!!

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J.C.

answers from Columbus on

D.,
There is a good website www.flyingwithkids.com. That might give you some good information. I have found that the trip over is easier, because the experience is new and the trip back is harder because they realize that they are stuck in one place.
I have taken a whole bag of food into the airport...plastic baggies of our regular food as well as a sippy cup. I put ice in a plastic bag for a coolant.
Reading books has been helpful for us. We also have let our little girl run around before getting on the plane and both times she has taken a nap on the flight.
Your activity ideas sound great as well as having a bunch of new and interesting stuff to look at.

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A.S.

answers from Atlanta on

I have a 2 1/2 year old son and traveled with him recently. The TSA may tell you that juice is OK but reality is that they will make you toss it at security so don't waste your money. You can talk a cooler with solids but forget ice - not going to get through. I recommend dry foods in baggies (crackers, cookies, etc.). Also, be sure to purchase drinks in the terminal once past security for the actual plane ride. That way you will be prepared without having to wait on the airline attendant to get your child a drink (some with help and do it right away, others could care less and won't help out at all). As for keeping them busy, I took along a portable movie player which worked pretty well. I also brought crayons and a coloring book. You will have to take their shoes off at security so be prepared with ones that easily come off and on. Good luck.

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S.D.

answers from Atlanta on

Yes I have traveled recently with a all three of my children. The youngest was fine she was only 6 weeks. At the other two I brought activities for like coloring books and books to read. Now as far as sippy cups and things of that sort, it is up to the airlines/ airport discretion on what is aloud. I have flown 2 with my oldest 2 and on two different airlines. Both were different. I do know that bringing in your own food and beverages is out of the question. If they are going to allow snacks, it will be the snacks you have purchased after going through security. (unless you have an infant, you can bring your own babyfood and formula)

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L.M.

answers from Charleston on

D. I've traveled with my 3yr old and 7th mo by MYSELF... 2kids carry on and a double stroller yeah I had no choice but to work it out. unfortunately it was a family emergency and I had no choice. How long is the flight? I did fruit snacks, dry cereal,and fruit cups. the airlines are more lenient towards parents traveling with kids. Of course I had to break down and buy pizza because we missed a flight. FUN right.. I hope this helps you if you'd like to email me directly for any questions [email protected]____.com

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C.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi! We just travelled over Labor Day weekend with my 3.5-year-old daughter and 22-month-old son. Luckily it was only a 2 hour flight, but I do have some suggestions. First of all, although it seems easier not to travel with a stroller that you have to gate-check, most airports (Atlanta, DFW, San Antonio, and St. Louis that I know of from experience) let you through security WAY faster if you have a kid in a stroller. And if you don't see any specific signage, ASK!!! (we've decided they'll be travelling in a stroller until they leave for college!) We did bring a freeze-pack to keep stuff cold and no one in security said anything--I didn't even think to mention it. I brought a couple of sippy cups with juice and/or milk, too. The best snacks we had were the 100 Calorie packs of animal crackers, Teddy Grahams, etc. They're a great size and easy to get little hands into. We didn't do lunch on the plane, so I don't have any great suggestions there. As far as activities, I got several Color Wonder sets with the coloring book and markers. They were great because you don't have to worry about trays and walls getting "decorated." There are also sets that have "pens" you fill with water and when the accompanying sheets get wet the colors appear. My 22-month-old loved those. We brought lots of board books, too. For this trip I thought ahead a little and brought a "secret" toy for each of them that I surprised them with when all the other stuff got too boring. Sorry this is so long, but having just done this, the information is fresh! :) Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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P.B.

answers from Spartanburg on

Hi D.,

I am not a mother, so I am not sure about how to keep her busy, You have some great ideas. Please remeber her little
ears. I was just on a flight with a little one and he was
scared with the adjustment of cabin pressure. The mother
I sat next to had some carrot sticks for him to chew on.
She said He doesn't unserdtand chewing gum yet, so she
wanted to give him something to chew on.

You may want to contact the airline to see about the juice boxes and cooler.

I wish you the best.

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B.M.

answers from Atlanta on

It all sounds good except maybe the macaroni and string -- too many parts to fall on the floor. I usually way overpack and then don't use or eat half of what I have, but a chewing child can't be crying, that is my theory.

Some suggestions: Lots of snacks..... a color wonder coloring book and color wonder markers that are new, as in they are new on the plane, so exciting and fun, a few books to read, a favorite lovey, sticker books if your 2.5 year old can do them, or just a notebook for writing with lots of stickers, for sticking on the pages.

As for the drinks, I would bring a sippy or straw cup and ask the flight attendant for juice.

Good luck!

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M.H.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.,
You sound like you are doing great with the snacks and activities. One hint if you aren't already planning it is to keep the bag of goodies a surprise. I have traveled overseas many times with 3 children and this seemed to work the best. Maybe buy her a new little backpack to put things in. I really don't think it is going to be as difficlt as you imagine. Good luck!

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S.W.

answers from Atlanta on

I'm also wondering how long your trip is... the experience itself is novel and will keep her excited. I would try to keep it simple. I was surprised to see you could bring juice. Not sure about the cold packs. Try not to pack TOO much so you're not juggling things. And when thinking of activities, I'd steer away from things with too many small parts to fall under the seats! Head phones would be good. DVD player if you have one, if it's a long trip. My kids always like those big sticker books... where you can peel off the stickers and stick it to the matching space elsewhere in the book. You can get them at toys r. us or target or someplace like that. As far as snacks... she can get a drink or snack on the plane, or after you've passed security. Maybe let her pack a bag... bring her blankie or teddie or whatever her comfort object is, if she has one, in case she wants to take a nap. But personally, I'd pass on the cooler full of stuff that they might end of confiscating. Good luck!

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S.A.

answers from Atlanta on

Hello~ We've traveled with our son since he was born and always made it. Always explain to them what's expected; such as we have to stay seated and sit in our seats. Keep them busy, but don't drive yourself crazy bringing everything with you. Don't bring things that could easily spill. Feed her before the flight and have a potty break. Then, she should be good with snacks. If you're lucky she may take a nap, which takes up time. How about books so you could read her a story and sticker books keep them busy. Happy travels and best wishes!

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K.M.

answers from Atlanta on

D.,

If your child likes movies I would bring a portable dvd player or laptop. I would caution you against bringing too many things that may just get dropped in a cramp space with the movement of the plane. I recently traveled with my 3 small children(the oldest is 4) and I find that they get more excited about the pretzles and drinks that the stewardess brings than anything I pack. I think it is just because it is something new. I always bring a sippy cup for them to put juice or water in on the plane. Also because my 18 month old is very active I brought his carseat with me. If it is FAA approved they will let you bring a carseat for them to use on the plane. There should be a sticker on the seat that tells you if it is approved. If you are afraid of her being bothered by her ears popping I would bring a lollipop for her to suck on during take off and landing. I find this helps my oldest son.

Good Luck!

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M.J.

answers from Charleston on

Hi D.,
I have traveled with my now 4 year old from 3 months and up. It does not have to be scary! I learned early some tricks... 1st, I dont know what type of carseat you have but if you will be traveling a lot with her it would be worth it to get a Britax. There is an attachment you can get for this type of seat that attaches to the seat, it has wheels on it and basically turns it into a stroller. I would absolutly recommend you strap her into her carseat in the plane! I am a big carseat advocate and I know about spinal cord injuries! Its a good idea to keep her in a harnessed seat rear facing in the car until the maximun recommended weight for rear facing on her seat. Visit http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx for more info on this. On a plane, more children die from turbulance than they do in crashes. You never hear about this because its not a large number at one time. The fact that you dont have to have your child in a carseat under 2 years on a plane is crazy and I look for this to change soon.
2nd.. Make sure you have her an extra outfit and at least an extra shirt for you!! I ended up smelling like sour breast milk for hours before learning this one! You just never know!
3rd... Pack as light as you can but effectivly. Dont over do it. Please make sure you have at least 1 hour 40 min layover. For me, it was the minimun when traveling through a large airport and your going to have to go to the bathroom, possibly change concourses, eat. You dont want to miss your connecting if you have one. If not, no worries:)
As far as snacks and entertainment.... a one subjest notebook with a variety of stickers will last you quite a while. A couple pens with the notebook is good too. I'm not a fan of cranyons on the plane, there small, get dropped and lost quickly. A travel doodle, doll, blanket--not count on getting one from the airline! Goldfish, vienna sausage, frezzing the juice boxes are a good idea or use the gerber juice containers. Just make sure it wont be comp frozen when you want to use it and place them in a ziplock bag so the condensation doesnt get everything else wet! You can always buy a bottle of water too once your through security. No liquids/gels before sec. over 3 oz!!! I would not try the icepack, its just going to get messy and really isnt needed. I dont think its allowed but not sure. Let her have gum just before take off, and let her hold her sippy cup. as the plane goes up, try to encourage a drink. The chewing and/or drinking will help open her ear canal as the pressure in them builds. Let her splurg a little on m&ms, suckers or whatever might be her favorite. I mean, you dont want her to be on a sugar high but a little will help things go great.
Back to the seat.. If you dont have a Britax, try to figure out a setup with the suitcase or stroller for you to better handle it throught the airport. You can always check your stroller for underneath the plane and then just carry the seat in. NEVER check your carseat with airline suitcase! You should never use a carseat after its been in an accident but they let people do this! Have you seen how they handle the bags!?
I hope this was helpful! I've been there, done that and now its a breeze:) I wish you guys the best and happy travels:)

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C.H.

answers from Savannah on

First flight??

Don't forget to ask the steward/stewardess for you daughter's free first wings and a certificate if you airlines does one. Last year my boys flew for the first time and SW airlines gives a certificate to first flyers with the entire crews signature.

Of course on the return flight they only got a second set of wings since it wasn't a first flight anymore!!

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L.F.

answers from Atlanta on

travel magnadoodle is a must. I'd skip the noodle necklace. too messy if it gets broken. anything with magnets and magnet board. books, books, books!

other thing to mention...always bring twice the amout of clothes and diapers/pullups than you would normally carry in your carry on. never know when you will be delayed or holding in a flight pattern waiting for weather to clear up (it happend to us - a 2 1/2 hr trip turned into almost 6. i was glad for the extra supplies!)

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J.D.

answers from Atlanta on

I would advise bringing along a portable dvd player or laptop, and checking out a number of videos from your local library - they're free and you can usually keep them for up to a week. When traveling with my daughter to Vegas, who at the time was 18 months, I also bought a bunch of really small board books. I'd just grab a new one every time she started to get antsy. The dollar store is a good place to get new, small trinkets to keep them entertained. And since they're inexpensive, it's not a big deal if they get lost, trashed, or broken! Good luck!

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S.G.

answers from Savannah on

I myself would call the airline and ask them specificaly what you can take. My daughter flies by herslef over the summer to her dad's house and this year they (security) took an unopened bottle of water out of her backpack which was her carry on!! So I had to spend 6 bucks on a pack of gum and another bottle of water for her to have on the plane after we got through sercuity!! Needless to say I wasn't a happy camper about that. But we've always been ok with putting granola bars and stuff like that in her bag though.

Good luck!
S.

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J.

answers from Spartanburg on

we've flown 3 times this summer with a 2 year old and 4 month old. They have let us bring one sippy cup of milk and one yogurt through security. We also pack a cheese stick, a lunchable junior and cheerios and goldfish. as for toys, the macaroni beading mighit get messy. we bring one of those travel size doodle pads with the attached pen (i'm blanking on the name right now but kind of like an etch a sketch), a few books, and the best thing ever invented- the portable dvd player. we also started having her sit in her car seat- made a huge difference in her not whining about playing on the floor or walking in the aisles. the only problem with sitting in the car seat is that the tray can't be used so we didn't use her crayons and coloring book. good luck and it won't be too bad. just pack enough food to sit on the tarmac for an hour (we did that twice).

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L.Z.

answers from Atlanta on

Wikki Stix keep my kids busy waiting at restaurants and on planes, but our best weapon against them getting bored was the portable DVD player. It kept my daughter busy all the way to London.

I don't know if they'll hassle you about the freeze packs or not, but when I took several bags of frozen breast milk through I had two of those squishy freeze-gel packs and they didn't say a word. If you're worried, use bags of frozen peas. You might feel like a goof, but it'll keep things cold. :)

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M.P.

answers from Spartanburg on

I brought an empty sippy cup that i would fill up at a drinking fountain because i just didnt want to have to deal with the liquid stuff, you can bring snacks, i would stick with the non liquid like peanut packers in a container, just to not have to deal with it, i saw someone last time that i traveled that wasnt prepared had a ton of medicine sippy cups etc and she had to go back and find her luggage and put it in it. I also purchased a candy ring that kept her busy for awhile. Also i would recomment not boarding at the early call for small children, just extra time to sit still in a seat. GOod luck.

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K.R.

answers from Savannah on

Hi D., I must have missed this one the first time around.
I have flown with my son but it was 5 years ago and alot has changed since then. I am about to do it next year with my daughter at 2 so it should be interesting because she is much more active than my son ever was.
How far do you have to fly is the real question? We flew to England for 9 hours and it was rough to put it nicely but if it is just for a few hours.....it s houldnt be bad. Im almost positive you cannot bring perishable food. Snax only probably. You could try a pb&J maybe. I brought those little chef boyaree (sp?) mac and cheese and they heated it for him. I think they want things that are sealed. I would think frozen juice boxes would be a great idea.
As far as entertainment, I did crayons, color books. Books to read to him. They should have tv's for her to watch a movie on but we all know at that age that wont keep them entertained long. I think you are on the right track with some little toys to pull out. I would do one t hing at a time to keep her interested. They are very curious of the plane so they will be hyper so once you are stable in the air ask the flight attendant if you could give her a tour. That is what I did but I had to pull out everything I had. They are usually really nice about it. Also, dont forget to bring a lolly pop for the take off so her ears dont pop. They need something to suck on for take off.
I hope you have a happy and stress free ride. Ha!! No,its alot of fun for them so try to remember that during that stress.
Good luck.

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D.S.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.-
My husband works for TSA and he said that you can bring a few juice boxes for the child. You can also bring a freeze pack if it is frozen solid. If it is partially thawed you will not be allowed to take it. As far as the go-gurt,it is generally not allowed but if there is a child with you they may let you take one or two. I have brought those freeze dried fruits for snacks as well.

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A.M.

answers from Atlanta on

sounds like you have got it covered...but i'll give you one more suggestion...lollipops...for the ears. the only other thing that i've done is used the screens on the back of the seats, when they are available, and they can watch cartoons...sometimes we bring movies and show the kids on the laptop. you might get lucky and she'll fall asleep...good luck

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R.O.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.~
How long is the flight? Window seats usually work for me. Not sure about the TSA things, seems that it changes every day. Lots of different snacks are wonders. You can always call and talk with someone if you aren't sure on the day you leave. Can bring empty kids cups, just in case the juice boxes are taken from you. Get something from one of the shops, or food places usually have juice for the kids.
You also have the right idea about the things to bring, watch the "small" things, if they fall, make sure to bring antibacterial wipes for that and clean the tray table too.
Yes I am a germafobe (sp) :O How about with the Doodle Pad/paper go thru the alphabet/name things that start with the letters with her. Wrap a couple things for her to open, sorry to say, but bribing helps. I found the Doodle Pro (magnetic screen saver and pen) travel size helped. If she is a napper.... hold out if you can, she may take a snooze on the plane. Good idea for you too, cause you'll be busy.
By the time you are keeping your little one busy, the flight would be over.
I have a 4 year old and he has been flying since he was 3 months old.
Hope this helps....
Safe and happy travels to you.

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L.

answers from Atlanta on

HI!
It actually sounds like you have everything you would need. I don't know about the freezer packs but you probably wouldn't need it. Usually you do get a snack on the plane and can ask for juice there too. Don't forget she will be interested in looking out the window and checking out her surroundings too. She just might sleep as I have been lucky enough to happen. I don't know how long the flight is but for a 2 1/2 hour flight you will most likely not use everything you have mentioned, but it is definitely better to be safe then sorry! Don't forget story books so you can read to her. A change of clothes b/c somehow they manage to get wet or something. By the way a car seat goes a long way for keeping a little one strapped in during the flight. Hope this helps.

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C.E.

answers from Savannah on

I have never had any problem with drinks (bottles & sippy cups, extra juice) when traveling with my children. TSA likes it when you have them in the zip lock bags and I also found that it helps when grabbing stuff out of your bag, spills, etc. Expect to break down the stroller to put through the x-ray. I let people pass me as I prepare all my stuff to put through. Most people are patient and helpful when they see you have your hands full.
The graduate freeze dried fruits are great for traveling. You can buy juice and granola bars in the airports too. Nothing gooey or sticky! If your 2 yr old likes some tv shows - it's worth bringing the portable dvd player. I have a son and we always made sure we had some hot wheels cars & a couple small books. A small etch-a-sketch (sp) is a good idea. I wouldn't bring too many items that will fall and disappear to the back of the plane.
If your child still enjoys a binkie - now is not the time to make her give it up! It can help with air pressure on the ears. Try to have your child drink when taking off and landing.
I have never taken the car seat - too much trouble. You can check a car seat (I wrap it up in a black garbage bag) and it does NOT count as extra luggage.

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D.M.

answers from Atlanta on

Where are you traveling to? Is it far? That makes a difference. I've travelled with my two boys since they were babies from as far as Portugal to a 15 hour drive to San Francisco to Newark. I can give you some advice if you tell me where you are going. You can keep things pretty simple. Also, has your daughter been on a plane before?
You can email me at my home email: [email protected]____.com

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A.T.

answers from Athens on

Looks like you have gotten some good responses this time. I flew with my 2 1/2 yr old daughter back in Jan. What a nightmare! You can take juice boxes and snacks (unopen). Coloring books, games, videos, her babydoll, and anything that will occupy her. I had nothing. The flight attendents were really good about talking to her and trying to work with me. Take gum for her ears and a little tylenol wouldn't hurt either. Good luck.

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L.S.

answers from Spartanburg on

I have travled with my daughter numerous times from 1yrs old until the present, she is now 2 months shy of being 3yrs. Make sure you check the ounces on your juice boxes or they will take them from you. Freezer packs are still liquid and so you will need to be careful with those too. I always purchase bottled water once we are past security. They usually have a wide variety of drinks available now.
As far as food, I have taken snack foods that are health, such as trail mix, fruit that doesn't have to be cold (apple, grapes cut up, raisins). I tried a pb&j sandwich once but it was a mess.
As far as entertainment, my daughter will watch a DVD on a small DVD player, use a magna doodle, we read books, and play with stuffed animals or dolls. I learned the hard way that things with lots of pieces either get lost in my carry on or on the plane.
Be careful of the size of your carry on bag too. One time when my daughter was younger when I had to carry diapers etc.. they tried to tell me I would have to check my carry on because it was too big. I had to talk them into allowing me to keep it, explaining how ugly the flight might be for everyone without it.
I hope you have a wonderful trip and that my tips are helpful.
L. S.

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J.M.

answers from Atlanta on

portable DVD player is all you need! And they have juice on the plane and snacks. We travel with our kids all the time...ages 3 and 6 months. Recently I took both of them away by myself and we got stuck in the ariport for 8 hours. Thank god for the DVD player!!!

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H.M.

answers from Savannah on

I have not flown recently with my daughter however, we flew quite frequently when she was between 8 mos. and 2 years. I always used Crayola's color wonder markers because they make less mess and she loved them. I also took mini packs of play dough and small erasable magnetic writing boards. You can find htem for only a couple of dollars at Walmart. I like the noodle idea. My daughter always loved to play like she was feeding and caring for a small baby doll. Lots of books!!! Does she like to watch TV? The portable DVD player has been our saving grace on long car trips recently. As for snacks, I always carry nonrefrigerated snacks like puffs, cereal, crackers, cereal bars and fruit. I also take a cup of juice that is full but a lot of times there will be juice as a beverage on the plane that you can use to refill. I always packed candy such as lollipops or a candy necklace for an emergency fix to irritation and fussiness!

I was always nervous about flying but my daughter always did wonderfully. Try to relax and just entertain her like you would on a long car trip. She'll enjoy it more because you're not preoccupied with driving.

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O.O.

answers from Atlanta on

I've taken lots of lonh (10 h) flight with my little one. I bought a cares harnes so that I didn't have to bring the car seat on board. This means that there is a little more room and she doesn't tend to kick the seat in front. I also apologise to the people around me at the start of the flight which helps to disarm them!! Don't bring too many things that can spill as it is a pain to try and pick them up. Triangular washable crayons are great as they don't roll off the table. Make sure you blame the captain for all the rules. I have a smell Diego wheelie bag that she helps me pack with toys etc for the trip. Lollipops are great for take off and landing. You can often book a childs meal with the airline 24 hours in advance (the food is still awful but you get it before the main meal service so you can get your little one fed before your food arrives). It's not usually as bad as you think it will be as long as there aren't too many delays. Remember they react to your stress so leave plenty of time and make it as fun and involving for them and you as possible. Also don't be afraid to ask for help most people love to play with children especially if they can hand them back!

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M.N.

answers from Charleston on

Where you have bought your daughter a ticket, BRING YOUR CAR SEAT! She will sleep better. You will not have to be holding a screaming wiggly toddler. It is also much safer to have your child in her car seat. If you hold her any type of air bump you hit, she will go flying no matter how tight you think you are holding her, the force will force her out of your arms. Also it is not safe at her age to just be in a seatbelt. If there is a crash of any sort, the seat belt can damage internal organs and she can bleed to death, also she may hit the front of the seat infront of her. I know it is a hassle, but it is safe. You would never put your daugher in a car seat belt at that age, why would you do it in an airplane?

Olivia 4.26.04 37lb 44in Britax Regant/Graco Nautilus
Makayla 9.16.06 25lb 33in RF Britx Wizard (happy b-day to me!)

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S.K.

answers from Myrtle Beach on

We fly with our (almost) 2 year old all the time. The last trip was a 4 1/2 hour flight to California. The BEST entertainment is a DVD player with her favorite Elmo/Sesame movies. Also if your child likes music, I'd bring one of those singing DVDs. You can also get an airline headset and let them listen to the music from the plane. We get a couple of pillows from the flight attendant for her to lay down on. The best coloring thing for us was the magic pen coloring book. There is no ink or colors that they can draw on the plane with and the color magically appears! I buy her a couple new books and don't show her any of this until we get on the plane. It is new and keeps her interest. As far as snacks go, grapes (cut in half), cooked pasta, goldfish, raisins...does your child like any of those? The airline doesn't let us go through security with cold packs or liquids, so we just buy bottled water to put in her sippy cup whe we get through security.
Good luck, hope this isn't too late! AND I hope some of it helps!
S. K.

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