Travel with a 13 Month Old...

Updated on February 11, 2009
D.P. asks from Minneapolis, MN
10 answers

I have a trip planned to surprise my dad for his 60th birthday. I am taking my 13 month old with me (my husband thinks I am crazy.) It's a 2 hour flight and timed a little bit qround nap time which might help. I plan on a DVD player, food, pacifier, toys, bulkhead seats. Anything else I am missing or not thinking of? He is very energetic and into walking (and a little yelling) so I am somewhat nervous he won't want to sit still or might be loud (hence the pacifier.) Any advice?

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So What Happened?

My trip went great! He was sooo good! My flights were timed around his naps so he slept most of the time. When he was awake, he looked at his books, played with the overhead light and had some snacks. Many people on the flight commented on how good he was. The hardest part of the trip was getting through security because of all you have to do to get through, but we managed!

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answers from Madison on

New and novel toys and books. I bought used books so the expense of "new" wasn't bad. Stickers work too. We did a lot of walking up and down the aisles too. Container type toys are great too so he can put htings in and out.

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answers from Appleton on

First of all, don't be nervous--children are children, and the people around you will be fine for 2hrs. I travel frequently for work, and sit near kids all the time. They are no bother to me or my co-workers-- I think us Mom's stress too much about the others around us.

Second, leave the DVD at home--too much to take. Your child will be very interested in watching the people around him/her. I would take snacks, some toys, and NUK definitely. I traveled with my daughter on a 4 hr flight around 13months. I got up quite a few times and let her walk the aisles. This kept her EXTREMELY happy, and the other passengers socialized with her as well.

You will be surprised how well your child will do-- and the hum of the plane is great--my daughter, who is also VERY ACTIVE, fell asleep each plane trip because of the hummm of the engines. It is the sweetest thing when they curl up on you! My best advice is keep yourself relaxed, then your child will be relaxed! :) And have fun!! We took a bunch of picture of her first flight--she got some wings...have fun with the new experience!!



answers from Minneapolis on

Leave the dvd player at home, don't get mad if you can't get bulkhead I always ask and get denied.

What has worked for me is lots of snacks, and getting on the plane last. They say anyone traveling with small children who need xtra help to board first but then your stuck sitting that much longer. Let him get his wiggles out a the airport let him run run run...... then get on the plane.



answers from Minneapolis on

I've flown alone with TWO under age of 2 (3 month old son and 23 month old son), and now 4 months later, I'm about to do it again.

Kids will be kids, and people will stare. Just remember that you don't ever have to see the other passengers again, and let them stare and think you child(ren) is loud. Who cares? Enjoy this experience with your son



answers from Minneapolis on

I flew to Naveda with a nine month old and no one else. It went fine. Allow extra time for security and boarding.

My advice:
Hook those linking rings to his toys and pacifier and hold on to one end of it. I did this the last time I flew. It prevented the teethers from falling on the floor and between seats (yuk!), and I didn't have to keep picking things up. The in flight magazine is popular for the little ones to look at, the barf bags make good puppets and the window will be fun for him to look out of even on a cloudy day.



answers from Minneapolis on

You will do fine. When my oldest was only 6 mo she went on her first flight. Yes it is a little more difficult with only 1 adult but not impossible.

I always err on the preventive side and gave my children children's motrin and sudafed before take off. The sudafed is a decongestant to dry up any congestion that may be present and get in the ears and cause pain (they recommend it for adults too before flying). The motrin is for pain in case the sudafed doesn't work. One of the main reasons kids cry on planes is because of ear pain.

Besides the diapers and wipes, plan on an extra change of clothes (for spit ups or diaper leaks) as well as extra food in case the plane is delayed. If you have a layover I recommend getting one of those carts ordered ahead of time to get you to your next gate.

Have fun and enjoy!



answers from Minneapolis on

Don't stress too much about this. I traveled from MPLS to KY with my then 16mth old granddaughter a few years ago and had NO problems and we even had a 2 hr layover in Chicago. I packed large bag with snacks (no liquids until after security check-in), books, color book w/8pk crayons, her night-night (blanket), sippy cup, and her favorite baby. Had thought about the dvd player, but left it at home. I packed my stuff in a small backpack and took a umbrella stroller. Sounds like a lot but the roll bag hung off the stroller handle and I put on the backpack while we maneuvered thru the airports terminals.

Most people don't mind a little one on a airplane. I find it amusing to watch them walk up and down the aisles, stopping to "chat" with everyone.

My husband thought I was crazy to take my granddaughter on a plane alone, but it went so well I am thinking about taking her (now 4 1/2) and our grandson (also 4 1/2) on the same flight to KY. Now that MIGHT be crazy and we will have a dvd player with us.....

Good luck,




answers from Duluth on

Two hours with a 13 month old shouldn't be too bad. He's old enough to be occupied; perhaps more important than bulkhead seats is finding others who will enjoy your child. Find another family, a grandparent-ly sort, a parent traveling without children--ANYONE who might smile and make faces at your child for five minutes. My dad, who was NOT a touchy-feely sort growing up, has actually switched with people who do not want to be seated near children now that he has grandchildren--he knows how hard it is for us to travel with small kids, so find someone sympathetic. If it's anywhere near a meal, bring a meal that is easily cut-up-able: apple slices you can dole out slowly, raisins, a sandwich cup up into tiny pieces--things that take a long time to eat. I even give my kids skittles in the car because they are sticky and I can give them ONE at a time. Stickers can occupy kids for a while. We often board last rather than first; I know the exit info and my kids are too young to care, so we take that time to get settled. We spend a lot of time pointing out this and that and the next thing; my kids both love flying and we've only had one bad flight in five years of combined flying. Oh--and prevention--walking around before your child gets cranky and while the beverage cart is not in your way--seems to be helpful. People in the aisles will smile at a happy child; not so much at a cranky child. And, a happy child is apt to WANT to smile back and STAY happy; a cranky child does not want a stranger smiling at him. Good luck and have fun--you're not crazy.



answers from Appleton on

Find a favorite movie and buy a portable dvd player. toys snacks ect. We just went to Flordia for christmas with a 1 1/2 yr old and a 7 month old so 2 not fun 1 would be ok. Find something to pre occupie their time. also when you take off and land try to get them to drink a bottle or juice the swollowing will help their ears pop



answers from Duluth on

My son was 16 months when we took a 2 hour flight to CO, and I was 5 months pregnant--talk about crazy, all by yourself! My son has a severe peanut allergy, so I contacted the airline ahead of time to see if there was anything I should be prepared for. They told me to bring his car seat, and that if there was an empty seat, they could rearrange people so that he could use it (I still didn't have to pay for an extra seat!), and if the flight was full, they would just check it at the gate for free. I recommend asking if this is an option. Then the flight was just like an extended car ride, and it was great! My son stayed put, and it was totally much less stressful than I anticipated! I still brought some Color Wonder markers and books, and I bought a doctor's kit, because there were several small toys in there that were quiet, and I could pull one out at a time to keep him occupied. You could also stockpile little happy meal type toys to pull out. Cheap, easy, doesn't matter if they get lost, and usually quiet. ;)

Oh, and then you don't have to arrange for a car seat wherever you end up--we already had, but it turned out really great anyway! Good luck!

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