Monday, August 31, 2009

Flying with a Toddler

by Mama E

I’m not shy about saying that you need to buy a seat. Even if they’re not yet two and you’re not required to. Most importantly it’s safer. In the event of turbulence or a rough landing, you don’t want to have to hold on to them. If they’re in their own seat, they’ll most likely be sitting in their carseat. They know they don’t get out of carseat – which means you’re not chasing a toddler down the aisle. A car seat also puts them up a little higher so they have a good view out the window. And, if they have their own seat, all your row-mates will like you better.

Here are some other things to bring along to make your trip manageable:

  • · Etch-A-Sketch or Magna-Doodle Toy
  • · Small, Happy Meal Type Toys, like Matchbox Cars or plastic animals (bring one out every few minutes, so there is always something new to keep their attention)
  • · Richard Scary, I Spy or Where’s Waldo Book. Not a book to read, a book you can spend 15 minutes looking for different things or describing the scene.
  • · Coloring books. You don’t need a whole box of crayons, just a few.
  • · Sticker Books. Stock up when they’re at Costco. Even if they’re not old enough to stick on the “right” pages, they can stick them all over the window or anything they can reach. They’re easy to remove while you’re landing.
  • · Bring good snacks. Trail mix or dried cereal take longer to eat than a granola bar – and every occupied minute is precious. Oranges, apples, and bananas help keep things relatively healthy. Cheese and hard-boiled eggs are good portable protein sources.
  • · Anti-bacterial or alcohol wipes. I prefer the alcohol wipes. Granted, I’m sure they’re not allowed by the TSA, but I stash a few in a plastic bag and will plead the fifth if I’m caught. I can use them on surfaces and grubby hands.

And if at all available, fly a carrier with seat-back TVs. Even with no sound, Meerkat Manor will be strangely compelling to your two-year old.

1 comment: