Advice for FLYING with my April '08 Baby

Stacey - posted on 03/02/2010 ( 38 moms have responded )

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It's our very first plane trip, and just would love to hear what everyone else has packed for their 23 month old to do/eat on the plane!?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!

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Jerrilynn - posted on 03/09/2010

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Just got back from a trip this weekend to Seattle with my 23-month-old (and solo, my hubby stayed home). I got her a couple of books at the Target dollar spot and put those and a couple of small favorite animals in a zipper bag. She loves to take things in and out of bags. Also brought a couple of snack traps of cheerios, pirate booty and goldfish, plus a small bottle bag (with an ice pack) with a sippy of milk and another for water. You can take the milk through security - just pull it out of your bag and declare it. I didn't buy an extra seat for her since its not required yet. We were on Southwest though and ended up getting an extra seat that was open. (Most people will avoid sitting next to a toddler). On the way back, we did not get an extra seat but she had caught a cold and the poor thing slept the entire way home. My daughter has been flying since she was three months and has been on about a dozen trips so far (longest - 7 hours to Hawaii). So she's really used to it. We count all the airplanes and trucks out the window before we take off. She also likes to look at the magazines and safety cards. I would also recommend a binky (or four) to have your child suck on for taking off and landing (helps with the ear pressure) and plenty of antibacterial wet wipes. The planes don't get cleaned that often and my daughter touches everything! I also stick a reusable shopping bag (the kind that stuffs into its own sack) in the seat pocket in front of me. That way everything I stuff in there is in a clean place, plus you can just grab it when you leave the plane rather than try to stuff it all back in your carry-on in that small space.

Molly - posted on 03/03/2010

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Pack a spare set of clothes! One-sie, pj's and pants if you have room! I learned my lesson. Extra plastic bags, like the kind you put diapers in are great! That way you can toss tissue or wipes or any garbage you collect all in the bag and not have to hold it and wait for the attendent. Giving my son a juice box during take off and landing helped with the pressure. On our last flight at christmas I got him his own waterbottle (a little batman one) and that way I could bring it through security empty and just fill it up at the water fountain! He really liked it, just be careful of a full diaper! Have a great trip! And all the advice about toys and books is great too! A must for this age!!!

Cel - posted on 03/09/2010

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I have traveled with my 15 month old son to Asia (Philippines). A 14 hours trip from Toronto to Korea and 6 hours stop over there and from Korea to Philippines 3-1/2 hours. It is his first time to travel on the plane. It turn out good. I brought his favorite toy (cars) and a book about cars and make sure you always give water/fluid and snacks like every couple hours. For a long haul, it is pretty dry in the cabin so give lots of fluids. Kids becomes fuzzy when they feel uncomfortable.

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Honestly the best thing that we did when we flew from CA to NY last September (my daughter was about 18 mos or so) was we made sure that she had her own seat AND we brought her car seat. My daughter is as squirrelly as they come, but she's like a whole different kid when she's in her car seat. She was quiet, read books, of course we had plenty of snacks and a sippy cup for takeoff and landing. It was a bit annoying lugging around the car seat, but it was well worth it!

Michelle - posted on 03/27/2010

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We first had our plane trip with a 9 month old and a 30 month old and it was over 9 hours!!!! We survived by packing a bunch of smaller toys, colour/activity books with crayons. I made sure all the things we brought were brand new (from a dollar store of course to save on money, the trip was expensive enough!). Most planes have a kids station on their in flight movies now that helps. Definitely bring a change of clothes in case of unforeseen accidents (you don't know if their tummy will be able to handle it). Maybe also take their favourite thing they like to sleep with cause it can be difficult to get them to settle down to sleep.

Mei Len - posted on 03/25/2010

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We recently flew with my April 08 son and 5 yr old daughter to Costa Rica...7 hours flight total with a stop in the middle... Here's what worked for us:
1. I booked flight times when it was his nap time or night time...it worked...and a stop in the middle to let him run around was a blessing. I traveled with my husband and daughter and we booked 2 seats in front of us so that if he kicked the front seat (which he did) then it would be my daughter's seat.
2. If you buy an extra seat, which I believe its worth the $...take the car seat so that your baby has the expectation that she is going somewhere and can't get out like the car. She is probably already used to that. I also got traveler wheels "Go go babyz" from "one step ahead" that fit into the carseat to use as a stroller....so worth it.
2. Bring an old comfort toy or extra binkies and buy "new" things: Coloring, playdough, bottles with caps to open, puzzle pieces in a zip lock, sticker books, bought a plane toy at the airport...he loved it since he could relate to it. I also prepped him by buying a plane/airport book before the trip so he can relate more...
3. DVD player!!! a must...
4. Snacks- chocolate pretzels, fruit sticks, yogurt bites, lollipops, juice/sippy cup ..when traveling..I am more prone to anything goes on the flight...
5. extra clothes, diapers, meds, a small blanket...
6. All else fails I took him to the back of the plane to "stretch" and change his diaper in the bathroom. It is cramped, but most bathrooms have a diaper table.
Good luck and have fun! :)

Leah - posted on 03/24/2010

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We flew to Australia from Phoenix, AZ last October. An hour flight to LA, 6 hour layover, and 13 hours overseas! It actually went very well. A friend loaned us her portable DVD player (which saved us on the plane and in the airport during the layover), and we packed a bag of goodies. We took stickers, books, Color Wonder Markers and coloring books. Some new toys that have not been seen or played with might also help to keep your child occupied. We also had plenty of snacks; fruit snacks, cut-up apples, suckers, goldfish crackers, and juice. Security will probably test the juice by holding a little strip of paper over the open container, so be prepared. Also, I don't know if you are planning on taking a stroller, but we did, and it was so nice to push her through the airport easily. We just used one of the little umbrella strollers, very easy. Be prepared to take your child out at security and fold up the stroller to put it on the x-ray belt. Most airports have a line for families with small children because it does take a little extra time to get through security, so plan accordingly. Also, someone once told me not to feel badly or apologize to anyone on the plane, if your child does not behave like a perfect angel; because, really, who can expect a small child to sit still nicely for that long. If anyone has a problem it's probably because they have no children and do not understand what it's like. That's their problem, not yours. We also used our nighttime diapers for the flight, for the extra protection, because you may not be able to get into the toilet right away. That's all I can think of...Good luck!

Jo - posted on 03/24/2010

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I flew alone with my very active 20 month old from UK to Australia and wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be - he slept most of the way - no drugs or anything! Lots of great suggestions already, toys etc. Long flights, try to get departure time around kids bedtime. Before departure and transits get them to run around as much as possible. Def change of clothes or two - and one for you in case they are sick on you (didn't happen to me but was great suggestion from friend who did experience it!). I also found as nice as it was to be given priority boarding on the plane, it was easier to board towards the end, otherwise we had to wait for ages while everyone else boarded and DS was really fidgetty. If you have a fussy eater, maybe take something you know they'll like even like baked beans or something. Also found they didn't have cereal for breakfast on long haul, so next time might take a little pack of cornflakes. Generally i found the kiddy food on the plane wasn't really for toddlers. Good luck, hope it all goes well.

Holly - posted on 03/23/2010

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i flew with my daughter about a month ago and i packed tons of stuff and i never even used any of it!! i should have only packed diapers and wipes thats it!! Southwest gave her apple juice and pretzels and she was very happy with that and she enjoyed looking out the window at the clouds and other than that the plane made her sleep

Sharon - posted on 03/20/2010

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I'm so glad we bought a portable DVD player for our recent holidiay to Egypt. He was more than happy to sit and watch it. I didn't' bother with headphones. It wasn't loud enough to bother others, especially over the sound of the engines.
Also, I bought him a couple of new toys and books. A few plastic animals and a mini Thomas library. He was chuffed to bits with his new things and they kept him entertained a lot longer than any of his old stuff. I was kicking myself for not buying something else new and keeping it packed away to present him with on the flight home!

Renee - posted on 03/13/2010

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I changed my daughter in the bathroom, Yes it was tight and yes she cried but she got over it very quick

Renee - posted on 03/13/2010

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I just flew about a month ago with my daughter alone. i was nervous but it was great. She had her own seat which i think was a good idea. We brought portable DVD player and it was awesome. She sat there with her snacks, drink, and fav DVD and did great. I was worried b/c she is not usually content with the car so i wasn't sure.

Kristin - posted on 03/10/2010

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My son has flown twice and the first trip I purchased him his own seat and did not put him in his car seat and let's just say the trip didn't go so well. The second flight my friend recommended me putting him in his car seat and we had a GREAT flight! I think he enjoyed his car seat because it was "normal."
The DVD player is a must and also new snacks and toys! Good luck!

Yuki - posted on 03/09/2010

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hi, i actually just came back from japan last month.what worked with my son was i let him walk the whole time at the airport before getting on the plane. i used one of those bracelet retractable string for us to wear (so you don't have to hold their harness or leash that goes on their wrist)that i got at babiesrus and let him tire out. it was international flight and so we had to check in 3hrs before departure and so it was plenty of time for him to get his exercise and he was sleeping when the plane took off for a couple of hours.it was 11+hrs to japan and 9hrs back. have your baby's favorite drink or water when the plane is deceiving, i was waking my son up when he was touching his ears in a sleep and have him sip a drink and didn't have any problem with ears, depends on what flight you are taking but for international,they let me use bassinet for babies up to 22-24lbs(depends on the company) had diapers(so i could travel with minimum) and had banana and some other snacks,that my son could eat,and i could reserve post weaning meal. but for domestic,I'm not sure how much service companies offer but i would check with them and so you don't have to bring everything!! baby's favorite snack, would bring sandwich and banana something filling in case he/her get hungry when there's no service.i would save baby's favorite snack till baby cries or fusses. i was traveling by myself and didn't want to(couldn't) bring a lot of things and so in stead of DVD player i brought Nintendo DS( i normally don't give it to him! but that is why it worked!)and drawing kit and some stickers.he was happy the whole 11hrs!!! and destruction works the best and we walked in the isle back and forth to stretch out.good luck!

Rebekka - posted on 03/09/2010

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I have flown with my son twice. The first time at 14 months and then most recently at 21 months. My son enjoys watching Blue's Clues and the "my Baby Can Read" series, so we bought a portable DVD player. This kept him entertained during the flight. They also do allow "baby food," which for my toddler included some cereal bars, Goldfish crackers, and a few unopened juice boxes in his diaper bag. He also had his sippy cup which did have to go through a special check at the gate. Otherwise, security was more than helpful in expediting the already tedious process of traveling with an almost 2 year old. I also did have a couple of his favorite smaller toys and books on hand. Also, remember that the diaper bag should not be included in your 2 allowed carry-on bags. Good Luck and relax. It goes alot smoother than you would think. As far as the ears popping, our first trip my son still took a bottle for naps, so I just planned accordingly. My second I was fortunate my so had since had tubes in his ears. The ENT advised his ears wouldn't pop because of the tubes (they keep the ears always open, even under the pressure.)

Jessica - posted on 03/09/2010

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We flew with our son to Florida in Jan - so a long 9 hour flight. But it went a lot smoother than I expected. He was just so excited and wanted to walk up and down the aisles and round and round. Passengers were great about this - it was the flight attendants who got annoyed trying to push their trolleys along! I took books and small toys but he didn't play with these for long. Actually the problem was getting him to sleep and we both ended up very tired. Take lots of food as they don't get given any - take stuff that keeps OK, doesn't get squashed or go bad easily, and isn't too messy. A portable DVD player would be great if he/she has a favourite DVD.

Tami - posted on 03/09/2010

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We are going to be flying at the end of June with our little April 2008 baby. Would you suggest taking the car seat on the plane? She will have her own seat and I have heard that is the way to do it.

Karen - posted on 03/08/2010

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We played 'flying on a plane' with double seat belts and the safety presentation before flying from Australia to Bermuda. Sophie was occupied by her portable DVD player. Found crayons and colouring too fiddly in such a confined space. Food was a huge distraction but we needed more water as the AC was very drying. Sugar gave her too much of a high/low mood so we kept to protein snacks. Good luck and have fun

Rene - posted on 03/08/2010

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hi yes we flew to melborne and pack up colouring books also a magnadoodle for one of the cheap asian shops, stickers which were stuck in to a plain paper book, and some books to read. they also let you hire a digi player which alot of dvd for them to watch its $10 for the flight. food wise we pack le snacks and fruit and jelly and made some sandwiches. hope this help there always is fengan which is for over 2's for help with plane rides makes them sleepy i really recommend.

Geralyn - posted on 03/08/2010

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I will be flying, too, at the end of March with my April 2008 little boy. Great tips, moms! Thanks! What the heck to you do to change diapers on the plane? The idea of taking my son into a bathroom that I can barely fit into and can't trust that its clean makes me uncomfortable. Yikes!!!! Help! I have a 5 hour flight with no stop....

Michelle - posted on 03/07/2010

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We will be taking our first plane ride with our "april 2008" baby April 1st 2010. I'm really nervous.

Terri - posted on 03/07/2010

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My DH is a pilot so our DD has flown more times than I can count. I always bring snacks, a few books and larger toys. I know that might sound strange - large toys but I know my DD tends to throw items on the ground and on a plane small toys can disappear fast. So I might only bring two books and 1 toy. Also change of clothes and anything your DS would absolutely need if you made it and luggage didn't (that has happened to us). We check a large bag, put DD in stroller and I carry a small Diaper bag and a small bag for myself. 99% I fly its just me and DD - I have it down. DH actually can't manage as well with DD alone flying as I do. After our last flight (few weeks ago) I made the decision that we wouldn't fly again without DD having her own seat just to big and fidgety. HTH

Amity - posted on 03/07/2010

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We do a lot of traveling so it's become routine for me & I always seem to travel alone. I carry my son using an ergo backpack so it keeps my hands free. I carry a portable dvd player, a few toys along with a NEW toy, and lots of snacks that I know he will eat. I also try to schedule the flight during his nap time so he sleeps the entire time. That is a trick if you can do it. I don't worry about taking off and landing part since he was an infant.

Enjoy your flight!

Catherine - posted on 03/06/2010

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I have been asking this same questions and have gotten great tips. Buy the twist up crayons- easy to use and won't break- with a small note pad (he can make beautiful pictures for all the nice people around you :) ,, play dough, DVD player with short "movies" for kids, music, books to read or turn pages, lots of different snacks, straw in wrappers so he can open them up, a "doll" with button, zippers, snaps and such, a small box like an old bandage case (tin ones) that he can open/close, open/close...,

Oh, when I travelled at 2 years and such, my mom would let me and my sister run around at the terminal- so we would sleep on the plane- at least for part of it- we had a 12 hour flight.

And don't forget to bring an extra change for yourself just in case :) Have fun!!

Mouna - posted on 03/06/2010

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We just flew last month... the flight was about an hour but we were stranded at the airport for 3 1/2 on the way out. We brought a change of clothes, books, a comfort toy, bananas and other snacks, an empty cup, and a cup full of water. They served drinks on the plane so that was good. Lollipops would be good, Trader Joes has small organic ones, perfect for little hands. For a longer trip, I would def say bring a portable DVD player. Have a safe flight.

Mai - posted on 03/06/2010

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last month i travel just me and my daughter 22month.the flying was for 3 hrs i bring with me her favor toys &and also she have acard about animals she like it very much and already they give her couloring book all these thing help ,but even that the last 30 mints she want to move so i start to sing and read astory for her .so my advice is prepared good take every thing u feel might help ur baby keeping buzy and also feel comfortable ,wish u enjoy ur flight

Nicole - posted on 03/05/2010

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We have been flying with my son since he's 3 months old (which was alot easier back then). He's now 22 months and it's not so bad as long as we have the right provisions. Make sure you have snacks and some of his comfort toys and books. My saving grace, however, is traveling with a portable dvd player so that he can watch his favorite dvd's. This strategy has worked for us for the past year.

Steffi - posted on 03/04/2010

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My daughter has been a well travelled baby since she was born in China. Depends on how long the flight is, I prepare differently. One important thing to prepare is her water bottle so you can keep giving her water to swallow to release the pain from the ears when the plane takes off or lands. Also, you should pack some toys, books and snacks. Oh, dont forget extra set of outfit just in case...

Mandy - posted on 03/04/2010

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New Toys & tons of his/hers snacks. Make sure you have lots of wipes too. To pop those little ears sugar free lollipops and their favorite drink. Finally don't let the other passengers bad attitudes get to you, you can only control so much!

Stacie - posted on 03/04/2010

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I wish I would of had this advice earlier of what to do, but I'll be glad to tell you what worked for me. My husband and I and my daughter who was around 20 months old at the time flew for the first time on a four-hour plane trip to Las Vegas. My husband had purchased the tickets on priceline so our seats were not together. Since we had taken a previous flight about 1 hour long and she did better with him, I decided to let him take her. He said it was the most embarrassing moment of his life. One mistake he made was I had brought a booksack full of activities, snacks, favorite toy and everything and none of it worked, but he didn't take it. So I did some research before the flight home, and found what she really loved and the things that would keep her calm. So I purchased a portable DVD and her favorite movies, Barney and it was a godsend. Snacks did come in handy also. If you think they would sleep then try to book around their naptime, but with all the pressure on the plane she had a hard time and screamed right before. If your little one is really tired, he/she will fight it with all their might. So the best advice I can give you is BE PREPARED and have everything you think you might need. Diapers, wipes, sippy cup, snacks, favorite toy, blanket, lil pillow, activities and if it keeps your little one calm movies with a portable dvd player. Good luck and wish you all the best!

Shayla - posted on 03/04/2010

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Has anyone done a 15 hrs trip with their little one? (two 5 to 6 hrs plane rides and stop overs in total). It would be In July so he would be 2 yrs and a bit. I do not think he can handle that, we are probably going to postpone. He has been good on the 1½ flight, we take each year. Any suggestions or advise?

Holly - posted on 03/03/2010

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Take lollies for toddler to chew on during take off and landing is good for the ears and travel sickness. A book for baby to read/ look at or a cool toy

Shelby - posted on 03/03/2010

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My last experience flying was great. I brought a sticker book, color wonder markers, and a magna doodle. I also brought his favorite book blanket stuffed animal and a glowy man (not sure what they are really called), since our flight was overnight, it helped with making sleep more comfortable. Do bring extra clothes for you and the child (bad food poisoning experience). Lots of wipes and hand sanitizer (make sure it is travel size). As far as snacks I took the little ritz cracker, teddy grahams, and M&Ms. As for take off and landing I used bubble gum, worked great until you make them spit it out. Make sure every one takes a bathroom break if you have lay overs. I always flew without my husband, so leaving my child alone to go to the bathroom was impossible. Make sure you have all meds on board, especially motion sickness. Other than that set back and enjoy the flight. Oh before I forget, I would always ask for the pilot to welcome him aboard while making preflight announcements. Both my boys loved that. Have a great trip and dont be afraid to ask for help!!!!!

Noelle - posted on 03/03/2010

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We just flew with our 23 month old in January. I had bought a couple of packages of puffy Thomas the Train stickers, coloring books, and we even brought a portable DVD player along with movies for him. Seriously though, the stickers entertained him the whole time. He stuck them on the seat in front of him, on the tray, and on his grandma. He had so much fun with those stickers. To eat we brought the Gerber yogurt melts with us. They are his favorite thing to eat. We also had a small package of the mini m&m's. They let us bring a sippy cup of juice with us, but they did scan it to make sure it was a food product in security. He did really well. We made sure he had his pacifier for take off and landing, and he didn't seem bothered by it at all.

Cassie - posted on 03/03/2010

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We fly all the time with our 22 month old son. He loves the Crayola Color Wonder Markers. They are the ones that only mark on the special paper. He also like to take little toys (he likes little dinosaurs and a little airplane we bought him). As far as the snacks, we like to pack small crackers and gummies. If you have a portable DVD player, I suggest taking that along too depending on the length of the flight. My son will wear kid head phones but I wouldn't worry too much about it if your's won't. Most folks would rather hear a little bit of the Backyardigans than crying! I hope this helps.

Ebony - posted on 03/03/2010

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Wow, I didn't think to put up this same question. Me, my daughter, and her dad is taking a trip to Florida (7 hours) there and back for the first time for them, but for me like 4. Were visiting my mom for our honeymoon from June 1st to the 6th, can't wait!!! I hope you and your daughter will experience a safe and good trip on the plane.

Diana - posted on 03/03/2010

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I have used a magna doodle for my daughter on the past few plane rides and she loves it and I love that its not messy. I also stick with easy snacks like goldfish and grapes to keep her happy. I am taking her on a trip in a week and got her a new sticker book to play with once we get on the plane, and I put movies on our ipod that she can watch if she gets really bored (3 hours in a seat is a long time for anyone). Good luck and remember that most people will be nice and helpful if your kid does act up, but you will get a grouch so just apologize and forget about it because life goes on.

Jodie - posted on 03/03/2010

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Hi, We always take plenty of crayons and colouring books, also at most airports you can get magnetic books that have have little magnetic planes and other vehicles that you would find at an airport that stick to the book which you can make stories with, we found them great to explain to our little ones what was happening when the plane was taking off and landing. Also take plenty of snacks (little bags of pre cut fruit etc) and if you can get them to chew on something when taking off and landing it will help to stop their ears from popping.

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