Have you flown with your pre-schooler?

Katie - posted on 04/04/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My family and I are moving to Washington this month, and part of that transition involves my daughter and I flying from Akron Ohio to SeaTac in Washington. I'm suddenly terrified! My mind is flooding with scenarios where she won't wanna stand in line and I'll have to drag a crying screaming angel who wants investigate God knows what rather than comply with my need for her to just stay on the mission.



ANY tips on how to keep a kid reasonably compliant and on task for a cross-country plane trip would be mightily appreciated?

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Alex - posted on 04/04/2010

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I've flown regularly with my kids from when they were 8 months old (my eldest is now 7 1/2) & found as long as you have some treats & toys with you you'll be fine, (the colour wonder/magic pads rock- no mess to worry about!!!). We also play spot the red top, blue suitcase, yellow hat..... you get the idea! One other thing I have done is to load up my ipod with childrens songs & stories & let them listen to it - ok so you have to wipe the kids stuff off & reload your music after, but it works! The biggest thing is just to try & stay calm, you know how kids pick up on your tension & play on it! Good luck with the move - I'm sure you'll be fine.

Sharon - posted on 04/04/2010

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The lines aren't that bad. Well, I suppose it depends on the airport.. but Tucson Intl, Phoenix Intl, LAX - not that bad. My preschooler understood "later" & "after this". IF he complied with my wishes/needs then we indulged him "later" & "after this." I let him play on the floor at my feet w/ a couple of toys. I brought rare food treats to dole out.. McDonalds, lollipops, chocolate kisses (chocolate ONLY given out if we had time to wash up before boarding!! haha)



buy some of those crayola color wonder pads.. one pen, one pad..so EASY! My daughter was in kindergarten and flew to Texas with her grandmother with two of those pads. There isn't anything creative about them, its just the novelty of having colors appear and fill the pictures. Actually she did get a kit with a few pens - my mom dumped out her travle makeup bag and stuffed them in there and clipped it to her carryon purse for easy access. SHE kept the pens and gave them one at a time to my daughter. All the pens were lost AFTER she came home, lol.



it'll be easier than you think...

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Tia - posted on 04/04/2010

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I just researched this on the TSA website because my 18 month old and I are flying coast to coast next week. I am pretty nervous about it too as it is our first flight together. If you plan to put your child in a carseat on the flight, it has to be one the airline approves of. You may want to check with them.

Amy - posted on 04/04/2010

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It also helps if your meeting someone when you get there to make them want to get on the plane, like if daddy is meeting you there!

Amy - posted on 04/04/2010

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We flew with my son in October, he was 3. We brought our laptop with all of his favorite movies, we made sure our I-phones were fully charged so he could play his games on them. Then we made sure we had some of his favorite toys and had a window seat so he could look out. It actually went really well and he gets really anxious about new things. Good luck I was just as nervous as you were but he fully cooperated!

Phyllis - posted on 04/04/2010

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The car seat in flight is a great plan, as it keeps them from running amok on you. I always use the car seat for my guy when we fly.

Sharon - posted on 04/04/2010

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I think airlines don't care if there is a car seat or not... really who survives a crash, right? LOL such a positive thought... I took mine on the plane. I talked to the airline before hand and arrived early to make sure someone would be able to help out... managing toddler and awkward carseat... not easy!

i'm trying to think of some way to make it easier on you... luggage carrier... I loved mine but are you taking a stroller? managing both would be awkward.

Katie - posted on 04/04/2010

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Thanks so much Sharon! Tell me, am I right to figure her carseat into the travel plan? I KNOW I'll need it anyway when we arrive, because of the drive away from the destination airport. . .but should I check it with the checked luggage, or will they want her in it in-flight?

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