Flying with a 2yr old !

Harmony - posted on 02/26/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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We are taking a family trip from Arizona to Florida. This will be the first time our 2yr old son has been on a plane.Its a 4 hr flight. Any ieas on what to bring on bored, whats ok to bring on board, and ideas on how to calm his nurves if he gets all worked up? or just anything helpful from recent exsperiences would be wonderful! thanx!

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Jennifer - posted on 03/06/2010

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We recently traveled for the first time with our three year old and 4 month old. I do not like flying myself so I was VERY nervouse about the trip. We brought carseats for both boys, most airlines will do half price and I do not regret it in the least. My three year old understands having to sit in his carseat and it transfered that idea to the airplane, we had no problem with him even wanting to leave his seat. We bought "special" snacks, including gummies for take off, and water after security so we wouldn't have to worry about declareing his stuff (we had to do the babies bottles). We did bring his water bottle to pour drinks in to avoid any spilling incidents. We had an additional 3hr car ride upon landing so I saved the DVD player for then, but if that were not so and it had been a longer flight I would of used it. Instead I packed his backpack with new books, sticker books, hot wheel cars, and kids meal toys. Everything was new to him and he had the extra distraction of opening things. I had gone to the dollar store and it wasn't all that costly. My son is a horrible napper so I just prepaired for him not to nap and possibly be grouchy, but he wasn't. If you can count on him napping though it would of been nice because then the adults (I was consumed with the baby) could of had a break but it was fine as it was anyway. I did also bring him his own blanket and his lovey just incase. Have fun though! As much as I dislike flying I definately do it so our family can have the wonderful adventures we have!

Carla - posted on 03/06/2010

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We adopted our son from Kazakhstan, and had a very long trip back. 2 days flying and changing planes. We also fly to see family near Vegas, we live in Atlanta. So our son has done alot of traveling, and he has just turned two. Bring an empty sippy cup, snacks for you and him (there are no snacks on planes anymore unless it is a really long flight...more than 4 hours. and even then it is skimpy!) take your stroller to the gate and check it there. Since he is 2 now, he can't go as a lap baby, so bring your car seat. He will need it if the ride gets bumpy, and you will have it available to install in a rental car when you get there (the one time we rented a car seat with the rental car, it smelled like smoke and was absolutely filthy!) bring books, soft toys (in case he throws things) and any "lovey" comfort blankey or toy. Also, get a leash and let him carry a little backpack with his diapers or toys in it. (he will like his own luggage.) My husband and I only travel with carry-ons... even on international flights....and we usually just plan on making a trip to walmart or some other store to pick up essential toiletries when we get there. We also use backpacks as our personal item and pack a wheeled carry on bag for each of us. You would be amazed what you can fit in 2 backpacks and 2 carry-on bags! Just remember that you will have to lug all the stuff through the airport and you will be amazed what you think is non-essential after that! A small crib blanket for naps on the plane (use it to cover his head so the light doesn't bother him). You may want to consider giving him some benadryl to keep him calm and somewhat drowsy, but you will want to test it first... it can have the opposite affect too and make some kids VERY hyper. Let him sit next to the widow and draw his attention to the stuff outside the plane while you are waiting to takeoff/land. A mini doodle board with an attached magnetic pen was a great hit too. we practiced his letters and drew pictures with him. He only cried once when he was really tired. Allow plenty of time to get through security and to the gate.

Harmony - posted on 02/27/2010

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Thank you so much for all the ideas and addvice! Its was all very helpful! The dvd player is an awesome idea, I never would have thought about that! Thank you again guys!

Jenny - posted on 02/26/2010

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I flew with my 14 month old last Saturday from Germany to Florida. It was a 16 hour day including two layovers. He didn't quite understand as much as your son will so it was eventful. I unfortunately flew in a single seat with him which made the ten hour flight (from Munich to Chicago) very difficult. Thankfully the attendants had saved seats for when they took their break so they let the man next to me sit in one of them for the first half of the flight so Riley (my son) had his own seat for a while. The thing that saved my life for the first 3 hours was our portable dvd player. If your son as a favorite movie or dvd, it's a great thing to put in front of them. I know that they sell specialty headphones at BabysRUs which are like a hat with built in speakers. He got cranky for a bit when the man had to sit back next to us but I held him tight until he fell asleep and then laid across my lap (I had the nicest guy next to me who didn't mind Riley's head entering his personal space). Since the last half of our ten hour flight and the last flight were intruding into his bed time, he would fuss and fight me and then pass out.

I know that I'm not too much of help because of my situation. But from what my friends told me who have flown with older children, it is a good idea to give them there own seat so that they have their own space. Plus I am pretty sure that since your son is 2, he is required his own seat.

If he doesn't have a pacifier or anything - it's good to get him a cup with a straw and give him something tasty, or a treat of some sort. I had bought apple juice in Germany, not even thinking that it was carbonated and put in his cup and gave it to him just as we began to lift off and he was so consumed by the new flavor that it kept him sucking until we were up.

Since he will have his own seat, it is probably a good idea to bring something that he can play with on the pull down tray - like a puzzle or leapfrog.

I agree with Serena and also from my personal experience that flying during bed time or nap time is a great idea.

One more bit of advice that may or may not apply to you before I go. To help with the time change (depending on how long you'll be gone) - it helped me to keep him really busy once we got to Florida (which is 6 hours behind Germany) and avoid a long nap, if any so that way they crash that night.

I know that I might not have had alot of help because our situation is different, but thanks for you time and I hope I helped a little.

Good Luck.

Serena - posted on 02/26/2010

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The first thing I learned don't look at other passengers lol. I have flown with my 3 year old now, was two when we flew to hawaii the first time which is almost 6 hours. The best thing if possible is to fly at night when they usually sleep but if thats not possible see if you can pick your seats. We usually sit close to the back of the plane where people usually aren't so they don't bother anyone. Plus its near the bathroom.
I brought lollipops for the ride up and down, but lots of toys and dvd player works wonders. The only thing is try to get him used to headphones if possible before the plane ride eitherwise the dvd player is useless.
We usually started talking about the trip hyping it up at least two weeks before so they are ready. When we went to the airport I let him pick out a toy at the shop, which usually they have airplanes which you can use to show him he's going on.
They usually do alot better than we predict, so good luck and have lots of fun.
Also, we just learned on our last flight two weeks ago that you can bring liquids for them such as water in bottles or juiceboxes, you just have to declare it at the checkpoint.

Gabrielle - posted on 02/26/2010

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We flew with our daughter when she had just turned 3. We brought her car seat, the stuffed animal she uses for a pillow, and her lovey, a blanket, books, snacks, drinks, and a DVD player. She was great. We talked about flying in a plane and how fun it would be. We brought gummy snacks to help with popping her ears during take-off and landing. She likes to watch Little Einsteins, so we had her pretend that the plane was Rocket and she went through all the motions, etc they use in the show. It was so cute and it gave her something to do. She never showed any sign of fear, even during bad turbulence.

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