Any tips on traveling via plane with a 3, 2 and 1 yr olds?

Sofia - posted on 10/08/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am a mother to 3 children, ages 3,2 and 1 (wil be 18 months at the time of travel-f lap child) flying to visit my parents in Miami, FL during the holiday season. My husband is also flying with us and we have never flown together-let alone fly WITH children! I have never flown with a child, so I am new to this. I have also not flown since 2007, so i am not familiar with new procedures.

We are planning to bring a "travel pack" per child (small carry-on back pack filled with paper, crayons, playdough, a snack, etc). We ARE planning on bringing our car seats for all 3. We are flying American Airlines, and I was told I could bring a car seat for our lap child in case there is a seat availible on the plane. If not they will check it lastt minute-at no charge (or so they say). in that case I plan to have with me a flight vest to keep him attatched to me. (FAA approoved).

For my husband's carry-on, we are bringing a bag with food and diapers/wipes for the trip as well as crosswords or something to keep us and baby entertained.For my carry-on, i am bringing the umberella stroller. My double is too big and heavy and too expensive to trust the baggage claim with it. we are packing one medium luggage for clothing for my husband and I, one medium luggage for the children's clothes, and one medium luggage for diapers/wipes, baby-proofing and toys to keep them occupied in my parents highly modern apartment. Oh, and my grandmother (former diplomat's wife with PLENTY traveling with children experience) advised me to no bring the fourth luggage there, and to lay a thin duffle bag flat at the bottom of one of the suitcases so that we can bring it back with us filled with the christmas gifts we will recieve as the fourth luggage. sound confusing?


If I have forgotten something, please let me know! i can use all the advice I can get!

thanks!

PS: still breastfeeding 18 month old....so I plan to do that during take-off and landing and throughout. coved up so no one compains (not that they should)

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Montana - posted on 10/09/2011

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Definitely bring an umbrella stroller... they will take it from u just as ur entering the plane n it will be waiting for u as u get off. My kids did great at 4 and 18mos. I brought his card and he played with the fold down table thingy. Pediatrician told me to give them allergy meds like zyrtec or claritin or benedryl. I did and I think it helped. Good luck.

Christy - posted on 10/09/2011

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Valium for you and husband, too. Just kidding. :) Sounds like you have it all in order. Good luck!

Katherine - posted on 10/09/2011

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Oh, the planes have movies now. For kids. They could watch those.

Tricia - posted on 10/09/2011

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Definitely bring small, quiet toys for the kids to play with. I tend to pack a small bag of new toys (cheap little cars, animals, silly putty, etc) to bring out one at a time as interest wanes. Definitely bring snacks. I usually avoid anything chocolate or runny (yogurt, etc) since it tends to make a big mess. You should be allowed to bring either a sippy cup or one juice box per kid. I usually do the sippy cup and just refill it with the plane drinks. My son is entertained for at least an hour by watching videos on our laptop so, if you happen to have one of those, it's a huge help. Make sure you bring kid friendly headphones so others don't complain about that. Check with your airline directly about luggage with your kids since it's different for each one. For example, Continental allows the infant without a seat to have their own luggage, but most other airlines only allow a diaper bag and stroller or carseat to be checked without paying. I usually pack two backpacks as carry-ons just because that is the easiest thing to cart around and still have hands free for the kids. Airports are crazy so I try to have a way to contain everybody. For example, this time I'm thinking about getting a harness backpack for my two year old. (I know...terrible ;-) but it sure beats losing him in Atlanta airport!) If you have longer layovers, be sure to look into kid areas in the airport since many have small indoor playgrounds now and it's a great way to let the kids burn some energy between sitting so long. (This is also a good reason to let them walk from terminal to terminal if you have time.) I do not recommend pre-boarding with kids. It's easier for other people since you can settle carseats, luggage, etc without bothering the people around you, but it's so much longer that your kids will have to sit in the same place and be quiet. We board at the last possible minute. I often ask the boarding people to let me know when the absolute last opportunity is and then we get on. People will thank you later when your kids aren't already screaming before take off! Try to have your older two chewing on something or drinking as the plane takes off to help them tolerate pressure changes. And last, but certainly not least, try to just relax. Flying with kids can be so stressful especially because so many other people seem bothered by them. Just remember, you paid for your kids to be on the plane and in the airport. Everybody's kids cry or throw tantrums at some point and, after a long day in an airplane, who doesn't want to cry a bit?! Don't let the people around you intimidate you into changing how you interact with your kids and certainly don't feel intimidated about breastfeeding the youngest one. Whatever it takes to help them be as comfortable as possible! You'll do great!

Katherine - posted on 10/09/2011

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A stroller may be handy, instead of the car seat. At least that's what I've heard from most parents. It sounds like you have everything else you need.

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