Flying with a 2.5 year old

Becky - posted on 05/12/2013 ( 9 moms have responded )

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In September, we are going abroad. What can I use to help with his ears and keep him entertained?



And also as he isn't potty trained. What are the best swimming nappies to use?



thanks in advance

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Dannica - posted on 05/15/2013

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Hi! I have a 2.5 year old boy and we're flying back home this weekend. I've flow w him several times but never for the distance we're about to travel. I've gotten over the intense anxiety of these trips (for the most part) and its due to ocd level planning! I always take 3-5 diapers (I've never had to change him during the flight and I pray I never do! Good luck w that) and some wipes. I take 2 EMPTY bottles and fill them up w juice, milk or water (which you can bring if the seal is unbroken) AFTER the security check. Or else you have to shlep all your bags, his teddy bear and blanket and both your shoes and an over stimulated toddler to a table where they take a minimum of 5-10 minutes to test the liquid for bombs. I also pack a pad and pencil or a magnadoodle along w small toys and books (the laptop and DVD and or iPad work the best though but the batteries dont last as long as his attention span.) also some quick mess free (ish) snacks, cheerios, apple slices, crackers, ECT. When you're waiting for the flight I say let him run around as much as possible so he gets a little bit of it out of his system. When you sit down, keep everything placed at an easy arm's length so you can reach it when your tray is covered with cereal and a half filled juice box and some hot wheels that are determined to roll off under the seat in front of you never to be seen again.at take off and landing give him the juice for his ears. You can always get more from the stewardess (who seems to be all to willing to accommodate the mother of the toddler who could explode at any moment-if he isn't already) Bring a surplus of imagination, patients and a thick skin-some people feel the need to shoot you THAT look as soon as they realize you're on the same flight as they are. But I've found that most people are either grandmas, mothers of 5 or wish they were either one! So you'll be in (mostly) good company! 😊 Good luck!

Sherries - posted on 05/14/2013

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Make sure you have a bag to carry on just for your son. One you can fit under the seat in front of you so you don't have to store it above in the compartments. Makes it much easier to get stuff out. We bought our son a VTech toy. Not as expensive as a DS. Lots of little kid games to play. Plus it came with ear phones. If you have a portable DVD player I would suggest bring it. Lots of movies in a protable case. Let him choose the movies, makes a little game out of it for him ahead of time. DON'T FORGET THE CHARGERS! Made that mistake one time and had to buy them when we go to our vacation spot. Oops! A favoriate stuffed animal, small enough to fit in the bag with other things. A few books, and a few little toys. Crayons and coloring books are good but we prefer the color wonders stuff that comes with markers that only color on the color wonder paper or coloring books. A blanket and little travel pillow also for naps if the trip is long. Talk to your doctor about anything you can give him ahead of time to relax him for take off. Some people give their kids benedryl to make them a little sleepy before hand. Never tried it but my kids usually fall asleep on the way to the airport so they get a little cat nap in before so boarding the plane is not a hassle. A sucker if he can have them will help with the ears popping or juice in a sippy cup. With his age I would find out how much water/juice you can bring on board for him to have during the flight. Snacks if you can bring them on. Lots of snacks. I would invest in overnight pullups for the trip in case you can't get up from your seat and he has an accident. Wow didn't think this would be such a long post. Huggies has great overnight pullups and water pullups for in the pool. I would check him every once in awhile while in the pool, #2 and water do not mix, even with a pull up. If you have time between now and your trip you might want to see if he's reseptive to starting potty training. We use two m&m's (everytime she made it to the potty) and it worked like a charm for our 2.5 year old daughter, granted girls sometimes are easier to train than boys. Make a list, keep adding to it as you get closer to the trip. Sometimes what you write the first time makes sense then you remember something else you can fit in the bag. I would also make sure you put diapers/pullups and wipes in his bag. Hope this helps. Have a great trip.

Neshma - posted on 05/14/2013

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All these are great tips, what I used to carry with me when flying with my boy who is 7 now was a portable DVD, 2 or 3 coloring books with crayons and washable markes. just in case he decided to color somewhere else besides the coloring book while you closed your eyes for 2 seconds. Also it seems to work, letting him know in simple words what was about to happend, that way you give him or they a chance to make his own decition about what they prefered to bring with them. It might be a favorite blanket, a stuffed animal, a toy (put away the noisy ones before you do this) a small lpillow. It can be whatever, as long as he or they fell confortable. Sometimes the game memory can help, even when they are not old enough for this game, just paying with whith the cards guessing what the picture is, or practicing animal or figures names can be fun for them. For the ears, definitly drinking form a bottle helps. Hope these tips help somehow. And I apologize in advance for any grammar error. English is not my first language. Good Luck!!!!

Loueze - posted on 05/13/2013

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Most smart phones/tablets, etc work in aeroplane mode, so you could research some great toddler learning games or fun apps that might keep him occupied for a while (I only took my phone abroad for the kids - I had to contact my provider to take it off roaming, so I wouldn't be charged - I didn't need it as a phone while there).
Another thing I found useful, was to pack a small bag (backpack - or a large pencil case) full of small 'new' or 'forgotten' toys and not give it to him until the first boredom moment on the plane (there's a lot of excitement on a plane, so wait until he's over that). I gave my girls a large pencil case each with a new set of wind-up crayons, paper, sticky-notes (although, in hindsight, these weren't a great idea as the seats ended up with sticky-notes all over them), little toy cars, a kiddy card game and a few 'treats' - like a box of sultanas, a bag of pretzels and a couple of chocolate frogs/lollipops.
With the ear thing, I agree with the previous response that to have him drink from a bottle is best (or breast if he's still being breast-fed) - or have a lolly or something to suck on. I always warn my girls about what might happen or what they might feel (ie: the bump when we land or the turbulence in the sky). I also didn't worry too much about their sleep. We were going into a different time zone and there was plenty of excitement. They slept a bit, but not as long as I'd have liked. I didn't get much sleep either, but didn't want to exert myself in trying to force what probably wouldn't come. I just tried to keep them calm and cuddled until they drifted. We were quickly able to catch up on sleep at the other end (comically by not being able to book into our hotel until about 6 hours after we arrived, so driving our hire car to the carpark of a local shopping centre where we all promptly slept in the car - ha ha).
Finally, I wouldn't stress about how other people on the plane might react if your child is a little excited or noisy. I've noticed when we fly that many people seen to roll their eyes or 'tut tut' if they find they'll be travelling with a toddler and I tend to apologise in advance. I'm not sure why I do that, except that I like to keep the peace. Kids are people too. Just remember that you'll never have to see these people again and it's not long out of their lives that they may feel uncomfortable while your little one battles sore ears or exhaustion from over-excitement.

Claire - posted on 05/12/2013

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Hi I have been flying long haul 8 hours plus on average twice a year with my 2 boys since the youngest was 4 months old and oldest was 5years, With regard to their ears, the bigger planes don't impact as much, but I found it very helpful to have them drink from a bottle, something they have to suck on as that helped with the pressure change or get them to chew a chewy toffee with the take off and landing as that action also helps with the feeling of pressure. I usually chew gum, though don't like my kids eating gum at this stage. with regard to the nappies, the stalls are really small and awkward to move around in so the pull ups work about the best as they can stand on the toilet seat while you change them, also a tip, the toilets can be really noisy especially with flushing, so I would advise you take them on a "tour" and let them see and hear it before you have to deal with a messy nappy. for entertainment, most of the long haul planes have fairly good entertainment on board and I let them watch videos etc, I also took favourite books and that special toy and blanky with in their own special plane backpack, as the seats are not comfortable for naps at all. I also spent the extra and bought both kids their own seats as its just easier and for long flights it was a necessity to keep my sanity, your body is battered by the time you land from kids climbing all over you and sitting on your lap, also make a game with seat belts I let them pretend they were race car drivers and said they couldn't watch tv without them on as the tv wouldn't work if it wasn't buckled, as letting them keep them on for most of flight is much easier than, having to disturb them from napping or fight them to put it on each time there is turbulence. Good Luck and lots of deep breathes,

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Cecilia - posted on 05/15/2013

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suckers for ears. he only really needs it for take off and landing. Just make sure it's something that can fit into his mouth so he can put it in his mouth and suck. My 12 yeaqr old gets motion sickness easy so we found her some peppermint suckers. She still ended up puking on landing but we learned how to deal with that. My one year old at the time had no issue with a normal sucker. She fell asleep before we leveled off again.

As for keeping him busy, you don't need electronics to keep a 2 year old busy. Its simple, what would you bring with you if you were to sit down at a restaurant? Some crayons, paper, matchbox cars, play-doh, maybe some legos? You know what will keep his attention at home so you would be better suited to know what to pack.

Make sure if he has a lovie or a blanket he "needs" you pack it for the plane ride. It will help him feel comfortable. It can be scary for them. Keep this in mind.

When we flew, they gave us no issue about having bottles of juice and formula. I did have a note from the doctor that it was a special formula that we might not have been able to find where we were going, although they never even looked at it. They simply had to test any open containers or bottles of it before we got through security.

Barbara - posted on 05/14/2013

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It's been a long time since I flew with small children - mine are in their 20s now, but these are the things that worked for me: For really little ones, a bottle, sippy cup or pacifier works great for take-off and landing. For bigger kids, I always had gum. If they will be bringing along their own backpack carry-on, make sure it isn't too heavy for them to lug through the airport on a layover. I always bought a few new toys (inexpensive) that they didn't get to see until we were on the plane. A new coloring book or action figure work well.

Mommy - posted on 05/14/2013

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I'm so glad I saw this...we are going on a plane ride with out kids, and it will be their first time as well. One is 9 months the other is 3. For the ears, I know when I have my headphones in during take off and landing I don't have to deal with the pressure change, I was thinking maybe getting ear plugs for take off and landing for them...but not sure if that would work. I was also told the same as the other two responses to have them drink or chew something.

Becky - posted on 05/13/2013

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thank you ever so much for that. I feel so much better now about taking him away

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