Taking 14 Month Old on Plane

Updated on April 20, 2009
E.G. asks from Frisco, TX
4 answers

Any tips on how to handle a demanding 14 month old girl on air plane? She wants what she wants when she wants it and i am dreading this trip. She is not a cuddly baby that will just lay on me. She flew at 6 months, but slept the whole time there and back, this time.... i am just anticipating a very different kind of trip.

Any tips on air travel?????

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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answers from Dallas on

You can do it, E.! It just takes a lot of work. My DD has been flying every few months since she was 3 mos old (all family is in northeast or midwest). To be honest, 14 mos was the most challenging--younger, like you said, there was more sleep. Now, at 2 yo, DD understands what's going on, knows the drill, can color, and will watch a DVD (she maxes out after about 30 mins, but at least that's 30 minutes!). My DD, also, is super active. The trick is to bring A LOT of snacks, new toys, new books. Just keep changing it up. Your job, for the entire flight, is to be her entertainer. Don't bother bringing a magazine, you won't read it. We, also, never felt we could afford the extra seat (of course, now we don't have the choice!). What we DID do a couple of times, which was GREAT, was pay the extra $30 or so for the "premium economy" seat with the extra legroom, if that's an option for you. I could then sit cross-legged in my seat (here's hoping you're a yoga buff, like me!) and DD could play on the floor in my "extra legroom." You should bring a mix of old favs and brand new, exciting things for DD to play with. Nothing big--finger puppets are great. I'd try a sticker book, to see if she can manage that yet (stickers got us all the way from DFW to Chicago at 19 mos). I just hit up the dollar store and spend $10-15 before each trip. We abandon most usual eating rules on flights--if she wants to eat, she can eat, no fixed snack or meal times (although I'd avoid candy, since you don't want a toddler with a sugar high on an airplane!). Unlike the previous poster, we DO get to the airport a little early, and take her for laps--just walk up and down the terminal to tire her out (she walks herself, no stroller rides)! Sleeping on the flight is, of course, ideal, but it can be tough. Just keep your sense of humor, and know that this, too, will pass--it may be the longest (however many )hours of your life, but it is just a few hours! Oh, and one last tip--you may want to pack, in your carry on, an extra change of clothes for YOU, as well as DD. At 15 mos, we did a 7+ hour trip (thanks to flight delays, etc) with no nap and I got peed on--DD got all new clothes, and I had to sit on the plane wet! Won't make that mistake again! LOL!

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answers from Dallas on

I understand your concern!!!! My son has been on a few plane rides now, and he does okay, but not great! He's so active and wants to run and play! Last October he was 16 months, and we took our laptop and let him watch Elmo in flight, and let him look out the window wwhen taking off/landing. He did pretty good, though he did get a little fussy towards the end of the flight. Take snacks and drinks, and any favorite toys/books. We're flying again next month, and I'm dreading this flight with an almost 2 year old. I know everyone says to get the extra seat, but it's so expensive, and for us it's just not feasible. I just deal with it and have plenty of stuff to entertain him. Most people are very understanding if kids get fussy, and don't worry about anyone who seems a little irritated. It'll be over before you know it! Oh, and take a stroller to check at the gate (there's no fee for it).



answers from Dallas on

I, too, have flown with a child about the same age. Entertainment is key and Meg C has lots of great suggestions about new toys and books and a DVD. Another trick is the possibility of getting a seat free, although with less flights available I'm not sure how often that happens anymore. We lucked out last summer on a flight to NJ. You just show up at the gate and ask if there are any open seats can you have it for your child? We brought my daughter's car seat to the gate with the hope of a yes; if the answer was no then they would check the car seat at the gate for you. Unfortunately it didn't work on the trip home because a bunch of flights were cancelled due to stormy weather and we got re-booked to a very full flight. Luckily I was assigned a seat with extra leg room so my little one spent a lot of time on the floor. Now she is 2 so we have no choice! But I will say that having a seat was the best and easiest. She was buckled in her car seat just as in the car and she understands that she needs to stay put and she is more patient and content. But without the car seat I couldn't get her to sit still for very long!



answers from Dallas on

first, buy her her own seat if possible. you'll both be more comfortable and safe. secondly, two rules i live by in these situations: keep them fed and entertained. pack snacks and new toys. thirdly, don't arrive at the airport too early unless you want her running around it bored. fourth, read an age appropriate book to her/watch a movie before you go so she'll know what to expect.

all these things have worked wonders with my 2 boys, one who flew at only some months old with no issue. they are pros now and handle traveling better now than i do at ages 11 and 5!

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