First Airplane Trip with Twins

Updated on July 29, 2010
K.B. asks from Henderson, NV
10 answers

Hello Moms!
So, my husband, my sister, myself and my twin 16mo. old girls are flying from Las Vegas to Portland, OR in about 3 weeks and we are a bit apprehensive about the trip! My hubby is especially NOT looking forward to the plane ride; he has little patience and doesn't do well himself with flying. My question to you is: what are some tricks with keeping little ones entertained or even possibly sleep on the plane?? And, do any of you have experience with training husbands to chill out and just go with the flow when it comes to handling unhappy children?? LOL.
Thanks in advance for the advice!

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answers from Los Angeles on

These ladies all have great suggestions. When my b/g twins were almost 2 years old we flew LA to NYC (with a stop in Chicago -ouch!) and it was all about the backpack filled with toys they'd never seen before, plenty of snacks (we did the lollipop idea too), and we still had bottles actually. But it sounds like you already have the magic ingredient that never fails- a good attitude. You have twins! So exciting! The best favor I've ever done myself was to relax, breathe, and allow my kids to be kids. As long as you are trying your best and both you, your husband, and your kids together don't have a total meltdown- call it a success. If any passengers can't understand or empathize with your situation- shame on them. Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

We flew with my twins from one coast to the other when they turned almost 2, so consider it's a plus that you're not going as far. Definitely purchase a middle seat between you and your husband. You'll need the room. My two would not sleep and needed to be up and about constantly. We purchased small doodle pads and toys that we didn't show them beforehand, so they were new and intriguing during the flight. Have a fresh stash on the return flight. If you have a smart phone that has kids apps (like the iPhone), get some free and inexpensive toddler games (that was a big hit). Bring plenty of snacks and books too. I will say that our trip was exhausting and it required both my husband and I to be in it fully. So you may need to have a talk with your husband that it will be a lot of work and he should prepare himself. Getting books from the library about airplanes for toddlers is very helpful so I suggest having your husband read some of those to his girls. The more you can do to prepare everyone, including yourself, mentally, and to not have great expectations that everything will go smoothly is key. When it goes ok, it feels like a triumph.

Also, it was hard work to get everyone and everything (diaper bag, stroller, kids with shoes off, etc.) through security. There are restrictions, I think, still in place about the amount of liquids you can bring on a flight, such as Purell. So I made sure to pack essentials, pack lightly, and got the kids some easy-to-pull-off shoes. I also confirmed with the airline about where I could leave our stroller and most will allow you drop it off right when you enter the plane. It should be waiting for you on arrival as soon as you exit the plane.

Tell your husband: suck it up and to go with the flow. Having twins is a lot of work but is rewarding and special. Good luck to you!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi K.. We have 2 girls, 20 months apart. We've taken them outside of the country (12 hr flights) twice when one was 3 yrs and the other was 18 months. Here are a few things we would recommend: We never asked to be seated at the back of the plane because if there is any turbulence, you feel it the worst back there. Ask for seats towards the front. Bring a portable DVD and have them watch their favorite shows. On a 12 hr flight, it saved our sanity. We also brought favorite toys, favorite snacks, and favorite books. Make sure to have them drink water only (no sugar) before the flight. Let them run around and get tired. This worked for us a couple of times when the girls were so tired out and just went to sleep as soon as we got on the plane. Also, their ears might bother them during take off and landing so have them chew or suck or drink something. Gummy bears worked wonders as it kept them chewing and sucking, thus alleviating ear aches. This is a trick we learned from my brother in law, who is a pilot for American Airlines. And the best thing you can do of all? Stay calm and relaxed. Children take their queu from their parents. It will be okay. Have a nice trip!

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answers from San Diego on

Hi K.-

What I did for my kid's were to get a new cheap backpack with tons of pockets in it and stuff it with fun cheap stuff. I had crayons & doodle pads in one pocket, mini etch-a- sketch in another, stuffed animals in another. ..ect. They could only open one pocket every half hour. The kids loved it, and it made the time go faster! I also brought TONS of snacks! One of my friend's went to Hawaii with her child and she bought See's suckers for all the people around her. So on one cross country trip I passed around See's suckers shortly after take off. My neighbors loved me, but my kid's were fine so it was unnescessary. Also remember to bring goodies for the return trip.

I also always brought my kid's car seats for the plane ride. They were comfortable in their seats and already knew that they had to be strapped in for safety reasons.

As far as your husband goes. Can't help but maybe try to nicely validate his feelings by acknowledging to him that you understand he's nervous about flying himself and flying w/ the twins but please try hold it together because you are really trying to take care of the twins.

Good Luck, let us know how it worked out!


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answers from Los Angeles on

Well the good news is that the plane trip is not too long. I started flying with my son when he was 6 months old from LA to NY and he was great. Until he was about 4 years old, the sound of the plane engine would put him to sleep right away and he'd sleep most of the trip. Hopefully your kids will sleep.

Make sure they are drinking or sucking on something for take off and landing so their ears don't hurt. Landing is the only thing that really bothers my son.

Take favorite toys (that aren't noisy and don't have too many pieces), lots of snacks and drinks. A portable DVD player was the best thing we ever got. It's great to keep their attention for an hour or so. Bring some books to read to them. If the plane has TV's on the back of the seats you can put on a kid's movie or cartoons or Animal Planet.

Your husband needs something to calm his anxiety. He should ask his doctor for something.

Good luck! Hope this helps!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Okay, so a few months ago I drove cross-country with my very active 3 year old.... I was freaking that she'd be fussy and an unpleasant experience, however, I was pleasantly surprised! I had a portable dvd player with several movies, books and other assorted toys and snacks. I had been talking about the trip the week leading up to it. Maybe bring a pacifier or something they can chew/ suck on for take-off and landing. Good luck and have fun!!!



answers from Las Vegas on

I have always nursed my son, that's my secret backup for the plane. Of course, if you aren't nursing, that doesn't help you. A few simple tips, bring a lot of snacks, and try to get them worn out in the airport. That's a really short flight (I have done LV to Seattle with my son, and am doing it again next month), so it shouldn't be too bad for you. We have flown cross country multiple times, those are the really hard ones. I have found that toys and things don't help my son, he just wants to explore. One thing that really worked for us on our last over 4 hour flight was him sitting in his car seat. We have always had him on our laps (he is almost two), but it is so worth buying a seat and taking a car seat if one or both of your children is super active but likes the car seat. He was great in it, and even went to sleep on his own, which he he only does in his car seat. Something to think about.



answers from Los Angeles on

Oh my, sounds just like me, minus twins. I want to fly from LA to Michigan to see family with my 13 month old. My husband is very type A with no patience. I'm more nervous to have my husband go than my son! I flew alone with my son when we moved from Delaware when he was 2 weeks old. I bought earplugs for the other passengers just in case, but er didn't need them. That might make your husband feel better. I have several friends who have flown with toddlers. They have said to buy a brand new toy or toys for the plane, bring snacks, favorite toy, dvds, and try to have flight during naptime. I'm going to ask Dr about benedryl. Not sure if it would be ok, so I'm gonna check, just in case things get ugly. I'm hoping to find someplace to let him run around before we board. I also want to board last so he's not too antsy. I'm expecting the worst and hoping for the best. : ) Good luck.



answers from Los Angeles on

I've flown many times with my daughter, with and without my husband and she's done well every time. We've done countless hoppers (1 hour) from SoCal to NorCal. We've also flown 1/2 dozen times to Hawaii (5-6 hours) and New York & Boston (5 hours). I usually try to plan travel around her naptime. Planning flight times worked well - she usually ate after her nap. I'd be guaranteed several hours of nap, followed by food/snacks.

When she was younger, I'd nurse her and she'd fall asleep. As she got older (and stopped nursing), I'd dole out activities during the trip. Stickers are fantastic - easy and cheap. Aquadoodle is good - no mess. Books worked well for us. Lacing cards were new on our last trip to Hawaii. My daughter doesn't watch any tv or movies, but I have friends who swear by the portable DVD player. I also had a bunch of snacks and made them last. She'd have to count out a certain number of Cheerios or puffs or whatever. I'd also be sure to use containers she could open and close herself. It added to the novelty.

It's a quick flight - try not to stress too much about it. Your girls will most likely fare better than your husband. *wink* Oh, and if you get a new toy, make sure it has volume control. Most neighboring passengers are more irked by the constant noise from toys than the crying.

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