Seeking Other Moms Experience Flying with a 23 Month Old!

Updated on January 12, 2009
C.K. asks from Oceanside, CA
5 answers

I wanted to get some helpful tips from moms that have taken trips with a little one, I will be by myself and my two daughters almost 2 & 7, We have a long flight and also a hour and half lay over! I cant wait to go see my sister in North Carolina but at the same time I am so worried about the flight.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and have flown with her several times since birth. I would second everything the person who wrote the first response said - that was excellent feedback. I just want to "second" that it is important not to overpack - be reasonable but keep it to necessities. Resist the urge to pack extra things because you are scared of not having it!

The portable DVD player (while bulky) is a winner with my daughter. She doesn't watch TV very much at home, so it's really fun for her to have it on the plane. The battery lasts 2-3 hours, and I purchased an extra battery so we've never run out on a trip yet. For me, it has been worth the effort of toting it around.

I would also highly "second" on the idea of showing photos of where you are going to your kids, and getting them interested in what they will be seeing and experiencing. Our daughter got to talk to the pilot before our last flight and that was exciting for her. Now when she sees a plane she says airplane and "pilot." She gets it that somebody flies the plane - it's amazing!

There will be a few bumps and/or frustrating moments, but that is okay - try not to panic or spin-out. Stay calm and breathe deeply. Make up games, play I-spy as you are walking around in the terminals (look for colors, glasses, funny shoes, etc. etc.) Also, enlist your kids to help you, too. My daughter holds something 'important' for me, or she pushes her own stroller.

And last, give yourselves plenty and extra time when traveling. Fortunately, when you travel in the US now they have "family" lanes at security -- keep your eyes open for these or ask a security officer and they will point it out. Trying to rush small kids in such a big, new environment can lead to struggles.

I know the idea of traveling with kids isn't fun, but in actuality it can be alot of fun when they are learning and discovering new things. I hope your travels are safe and enjoyable. Good wishes.

R. K.



answers from Los Angeles on

Last summer my family traveled to Europe. Our daughter was 23 months & turned 24 months while in Paris. First and foremost all things will work out, so don't worry yourself to the point that you will diminish your patience for the experience of travel. Travel as light as you can, or send your bags ahead of you. (My neighbor travels to N.C. every summer and ships her baggage ahead) Be prepared to keep your little one entertained during the flight. We were counting on the in flight film, but the plane we boarded had the entertainment equipment out of service. Luckily we had lots of snacks, crayons, books, small toys, & a portable DVD player (battery can only go for a short time anyway)
Prepare your daughter for the many changes in traveling to and fro. She will want to walk for herself and literaly stop to smell the roses. She found so many things to stop and explore. We arrived at the airport only to learn our flight was delayed, so this allowed the time for her to roam and use up energy before sitting for long stretches of time. We took a night flight counting on the fact that she would sleep during hours that were normally her sleep time. This wasn't the case everything was too new and exciting for her. In fact, while in Europe she never adjusted to the time difference, and often times my husband would go ahead sightseeing, while I stayed to watch her sleep 6- 8 hour naps. You should be fine the the 3 hour time difference. Also don't be disturbed or take any fellow passengers comments personally. I had done my own research in getting ready for our trip and many commented that we may get lucky and sit with child friendly passengers. Again this was not the case, there were people huffing and puffing, but I didn't fret next time they can buy themselves or me a first class ticket.
I also printed out photos of sights we would see, just to prepare her and have them be somewhat familiar to her when we arrived. Despite the changes beyond our control, we managed just fine and would most definitely do it all over again.
You can probably look up other travel related reguests here on Mamasource and read all the helpful tips that helped me get ready for our trip.
Good luck and have fun.



answers from Los Angeles on

ok i assume your youngest daughter will have her own seat. what i did with my daughter when she was 15 months old ant we flew to MI (7 hour flight) was pack only what i needed for the flight.
i carried on 2 bags and her carseat and her -
in the diaper bag-
i brought 1 change of clothes
10 diapers
travel case of wipes
plastic diaper bags for dirty diapers
1 cup
all her needed meds
lots of snacks (i also packed breakfast and lunch for my daughter we had a really early flight)

in the second bag i packed -
small quiet toys (some new)
back up snacks
coloring books and crayons
a blanket

** also i made sure i took my daughters shot records and a copy of her birth certificate. all my things i needed ofr the flight i put in her diaper bag (ie - id money and tickets). a good thing to know is to have your little one drink on the way up and way down.

good luck on your flight!



answers from Los Angeles on

You have already gotten some great ideas! I do have two to add.... 1.) Benydryl - it opens up all the drainage canals and this helps alot with landings, (they can be pretty painful for little ones ears.) 2.)A "secret snack" you can "find" when landing - anything to keep the jaws moving this also helps with the ear pressure.
We have always flown alot 2-5 times a year and although I didn't find out about the Benydryl till later these two things have saved my girls from alot of torture we see in the other kids on the flight. If you have a nursing or bottle fed lap-baby this is the time to feed. The same results occur as when an older one is chewing.



answers from San Diego on

I have only done short flights (6 hours), car rides (10 hours) and ferry trips (1 hour), but here's what I learned . . .
1. Start planning at least two-weeks ahead. Make a list and check it twice.
2. In a gallon sized zip-lock bag back an outfit with a diaper and a sandwich sized zip-lock with 5-10 wipes. This makes it VERY easy to do a diaper/accident change. I usually carry 2 of these. I tend to pack clothing in zip-locks so I can use the bag to hold the dirty item.
3. Don't forget about yourself. If your child gets sick or has an accident, it will more then likely end up on you too. In another zip-lock baggie, pack an extra shirt and undergarment.
4. Take extra zip-lock baggies. These make great trash bags, store messy clothing, and are a leak/smell proof sickness bag.
5. Keep food as normal as possible. My children do great in planes and cars, but not so good on the ferry - so I feed them as little as possible and things that are bland, colorless and (sorry to be gross, but) easy to throw and clean up (think bananas, crackers, applesauce, oatmeal).
6. Carry-on an assortment of medications and band-aids.
7. Buy the extra plane ticket. On domestic flights, a child under two can travel for free on your lap. Free comes at a steep price and the extra elbow room is worth every penny of the ticket.
8. We've always taken our car seats, checked the older one's booster and carried the younger one's seat.
9. Take every advantage of layovers to let those little legs exercise - they need to move.
10. Quiet toys for your child and mini chocolates for those seated around you.

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