Trip with 1 Year Old

Updated on March 03, 2010
H.G. asks from Saint Paul, MN
12 answers

Hey Mamas!

I have 2 questions.
First of all we are flying to Florida on Thursday and it's going to take about 3 hours. How in the world am I going to occupy my 1 year old daughter cramped on a plane where she can't run around?? All she is going to want to do is run, and I don't know how to keep her busy. She sort of likes movies, but not 3 hours worth of them. I'm going to make sure she is good and tired in hopes of her napping, but I for sure can't count on that happening. Any advice?

And also, does anyone have experience with imovie for the mac? I have tons of videos from our video camera and I was wondering if it is possible to burn them to a disc. Any help?


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answers from St. Cloud on

I found that when my children were that age, a special doll (for girls) or teddy bear and a book she really likes helps a lot. Good luck and enjoy.

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answers from Denver on

ipod? coloring books? food? games? makeup? toy? videos!? anything that amusses a kid.. or looking out the window all of these helped me when i flew to a different country with a young one.

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answers from Fargo on

Lots of new things. Snack foods she has never had, new DVDs (at 1 I used a new Baby Mozart DVD for my daughter), I used finger puppets for my daughter and that used up a lot of time taking them on and off our fingers and talking to them about everything. If you purchased a ticket for her, make sure you use a car seat, then she will not run around.
I love my imovie. It is very easy to use to edit and burn your videos to DVD. I also use it to make a slideshow of our pictures.



answers from Madison on

Well, we took our son when he was 10 mo and 1 yr old (it was a 2 mo trip) on a 14 hour plane ride to the other side of the world, talk about a challenge to keep them busy! Somehow it all worked out fine! Bulkhead seats are a must! When the plane is in the air and things are going smoothly it should be fine to take her for a walk to look around, go to the bathroom and explore in there, etc... We did that a lot. It is so true about them loving the airplane magazines a lot! Quite strange. Snack food is great! Anything that takes a long time to eat. :) And then new toys, maybe wrap some small new favorite toys like a tiny doll, or even get toys at the bottom of her toy chest that she hasn't played with in a while and wrap them each up individually, and whenever she is tempted to get cranky tell her you have another present for her to open (don't know if that is a bit advanced for a one year old tho...). It should be no problem IMHO, 3 hours goes by so fast and so picture this -

Get on the plane, novelty of being on the plane, taking off, looking out the window, examining the in flight magazines, checking out the food tray will occupy her for at least 45 minutes. Then put a movie on for a half hour, then give her a snack which will take 20 minutes. Then, break out a few new toys to play with for 30 minutes, then another short half hour movie. Then another snack, 20 minutes, then look out the window some more. By now you're thinking, maybe we can still go for a walk and check out the bathroom but you won't have time to do that because the plane is landing! I bet you will end up with more stuff to occupy her than you'll have time to do!



answers from Minneapolis on

When my youngest was just over a year, my mom and I flew to Pittsburgh. We had a layover in Milwaukee. My son did well on the first leg as it was so early he only stayed up for a little bit before he fell asleep again. The second leg was a bit more challenging-- in that he was awake. However I don't think I even got out a lot of things for him to play with. He was much more interested in looking around the plane, going between Grandma and Mommy, looking out the window, over the seats, and digging through the stuff in front of our seats! I didn't have a seperate seat for him, but we lucked out in that we did have an open seat near us so we were able to spread out just a little. I'm guessing that each leg was around an hour each, so by the time we could have potentially had fussyness we had to get ready to land.

I made sure that he had his nuk with him on the take off and landings and he did well with that.

I'm not sure if I've helped you out at all or not, but hopefully I've given you some suggestions!

Good luck!


answers from Tulsa on

I always bring new toys and lots of snacks for plane trips.

As far as iMovie, you can burn those to a CD by just dragging the files onto the disc and then burning them. If you want to make a DVD, you'll need to export them to iDVD. If you're using the 09 version, you click on share and you should see iDVD and you can create and save the project and go back and add more clips later. I haven't used iDVD that much, but I have used iPhoto for editing and it is great! Good luck!



answers from Omaha on

I have two words for you: bulkhead seats. When you check in, see if they will give you the seats directly behind first class. You can use your leg as an impromptu baby gate and give her a little extra room to move around. Asking the flight attendant for some extra drink cups also helped me survive a plane ride. My daughter could stack them, transfer things back and forth, and otherwise destroy them without me worrying. It kept her occupied for a while.



answers from Minneapolis on

I did not read the other posts, just wanted throw my two cents in because we just took our two kids (age 5 and 21 months) on their first plane ride last month and if your daughter is anything like our two very active boys-here's how it goes down... Make sure she's well rested, cause a nap is more than likely out of the question-the plane is too exciting. Get a window seat, cause that was a big hit. Pack some age appropriate toys that she's never seen before, so when the window get boring-theirs something new to look at. If she likes books-those take up some time. Small finger manipulating toys (rubics cube type). We brought finger puppets too. And of course, the movie-but they didn't really care for that-the idea of being in a plane was exciting and all the people around was thrilling. They did their own thing for a while too-we only got up to walk with them when our oldest had to use the bathroom. Others understand that you have a kid, so don't feel bad. Just relax and go with it. Good luck! Have a great vacation!



answers from Cedar Rapids on

I've had to do this more times than I would wish myself. I think the key is planning on some different activities and then letting the rest take care of itself. I would recommend taking some snacks that will occupy her for awhile. What about stringing some cheerios on a string and then having her eat them? Or stacking crackers up and then eating them? Alternating crackers and cheese? Take some fruit snacks or something for her to chew on to allow her ears to pop. As for books, select activity books, ones that have pop out pieces or doors that slide or open and close. As for letting the rest take care of itself, my children have always found their own diversions on the plane. Opening and closing the window blinds 100 times. Or the folding tray. They also inexplicably like the airplane magazines. And children do mercifully tend to sleep on planes. Have a great trip!



answers from Minneapolis on

Depending on when your flight is, you might be able to get her to nap most of the time. If it's an early morning flight (let's say 6:30), put her to bed a bit late the night before, and wake her right before you leave for the airport (say around 5). Give her a small snack at the airport and let her run around. If you're at Humphrey, they have a great kids play area, and the entire place is practically empty, let her run. You or your husband/ travel partner board during regular boarding, the other and your daughter wait until the very end. That way she doesn't get restless just sitting there for what could end up being almost 30 minutes or more. When we flew with my little guy, I gave him a snack, and right after takeoff, he fell asleep.

If it's later in the morning, I would still say to wake her 1- 1 1/2 hours early, let's her burn off more energy and helps with getting used to the time change.

If you're having questions with iDVD, you can always schedule an appt at the genius bar and one of them can help guide you through it. Have a fun trip!



answers from Sioux Falls on

I just traveled to FL with my 10.5 month old daughter - I had snacks, toys, etc., but it seemed like the non-toy items were what occupied her the most! She "read" the tri-fold in-flight safety manual for quite a while, played with the seat back tray - open and close, open and close, opened and closed the window shade, took her socks off and played with those for a bit, fidgeted with the arm rest buttons and pusjed it up and down. We also just stood in the back of the plane by the bathrooms for a bit to get out of the seat for a few minutes and she stretched her legs a little. We also played peek-a-boo in the bathroom mirror...
then she ate a few snacks and slept for the rest - I think the white noise of the plane helps.
be sure to have a bottle or be ready to nurse during take off and landing - helps with ears.
and remember... if things don't go as planned, you will never see those people again! :)



answers from San Francisco on

Hi H.,

On both of our trip to Hawaii, I brought movie, coloring book, and wrapped a few small gifts for our daughter to unwrap. I went to the dollar store and got a few dollar toys and wrap it and when our daughter get tired from movie and coloring book, I would then take out the wrapped gift and let her open it. It seems to work pretty well. Hope this help.

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