1st plane ride!

Clista - posted on 12/18/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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In january, we will be taking our 16 month old on her 1st plane ride. she wont be sitting in her own seat, she'll be in one of our laps, and im wondering what others moms with children this age did to occupy them while on the airplane. I'm afraid it will be a nightmare....any advise?

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Stephanie - posted on 01/09/2010

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Hi Clista, I took my 15 month old Daughter on her 1st plane ride a few years ago.She as well sat in my lap.I did make sure she was tierd before the plane took off, so she slept for some of it, more rather than less.You can put the table down and color with her too.Small box of crans with a couple peices of paper in your bring on bag and her favorite doll or stuffy.We sang songs quietly and clapped our hands, just stay calm and she should follow.Hopefully your not going to far we went a little over 2 hrs.Good Luck! Stephy(ps bring a couple of her favorite books you read her too)

Clista - posted on 01/08/2010

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Thank you so much for all the suggestions....everything sounds great! We will def. try snacks and toys....hope it works!! Thanks again everybody

Kara - posted on 01/08/2010

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My son Dylan had his first plane ride at 6 mo. and his second at 12 months. When he was younger it was no problem, but 12 months was much trickier. I suggest you pack some favorite snacks and several small favorite toys. I flew Virgin from the UK to the US and it was not great. I was by myself with Dylan and luckily I had snacks and toys to occupy him with. People were also helpful. Not the stewardesses though! Since you'll be flying together it should be easier and you'll have to just take turns. Also take some advil and be prepared for a numb arm if your flight is a long one like mine was!

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My son is 16 months as well and started flying at 3 months old. I was very nervous as well but he's a super traveler. The best thing you can do is to not stress out yourself and keep things fun! Bring toys along, snacks, and let her fun around in the plane so she doesn't feel like she's restricted. Good luck!

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i took my son on an airplane rid at 6 months he did great just have a bottle ready for when the ears pop. my son slept the whole ride so hopefully yours will do the same

Lindsey - posted on 01/07/2010

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I took my daughter on her 1st plane trip at around 11 months it was a lil over a 3 hour trip....I brought lots of snacks and juice and her favorite toys/books, but what really saved me was the portable dvd player!! We watched Elmo in Grouchland (

her favorite at the time) twice each way! It kept her pretty calm, it also helped that I had two other family members with me so she wasn't just on my lap the whole time! Every kid is different tho.....I had lots of friends and relatives suggest some "bennadryl" right before we board the plane to help make her nice and drowsy.....just make sure you have something for her to drink when the plane is taking off/landing to help with her ears popping!

Renee - posted on 01/07/2010

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Hi Clista!!
We've travelled alot with our little guy and our last trip was to Vegas-which was around 6 hours of flying time! We had brought our portable dvd player which was great, books and snacks. Zachary took a nap as well so the flight wasn't too bad. Good luck!

Lauren - posted on 01/06/2010

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we had a afternoon flight to florida, after nap time so snacks small toys, or try to skip nap n they will fall asleep like a car ride.... my daughter was 15 months and a 4 year old! it wont be as bad as u think....good luck

Kate - posted on 01/06/2010

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Hi Clista-
Quick questions for you... How long is your flight? What airline are you flying? International or Domestic?
I can totally relate to this question. My daughter is 16 months and we have just completed 6 flights in two weeks for a total of 30 hours of flight time. I can share with you what we did...
BEFORE FLYING -
1st - call the airline in advance and request the bulk head row
2nd - explain that you don't have a seat for your infant, but that if the flight isn't full, could you please have an empty seat beside or near you.
3rd - ask questions about the configuration of seats and type of plane (ex are you in a 4 person row? Is it a 747?)
4th - 24 hours before your flight - call back and see if they have confirmed the bulk head
(also depending on the size of your baby, they have bassinets that can attach to the wall in front of the bulk head row - you can request that. There are a lot of families that request the bulk head, so request it as early as you can. Also, this means that most likely you'll be sitting with other families, so they will be empathetic)
5th - buy snacks, and yes, cheap toys (as Renee said), pop-up books are also good. The snacks are for eating on take off and landing - to help with his/her ears.
6th - pack baby tylenol and/or benedryl (We used benedryl - as it helps clear up any congestion, as well as helped her sleep)
CHECKING IN -
1st - you can also explain your situation to the person checking you in and they have a bit more power to change your seat assignments at the airport.
On five out of the 6 flights, we were able to get an empty seat next to us. It does make ALL the difference.
ON THE PLANE
6th - if none of this has worked, talk to a flight attendant on the plane and see if they can ask people to move for you (This worked for us, a couple moved out of the bulk head to the back of the plane, which made the world of difference for everyone on the 12 hour flight)
ON TAKE OFF/LANDING
1st Have your child eating or drinking to encourage swallowing to protect her ears (notice when your ears are popping)
Also know they will, or should, offer you a belt for take off an landing that will attach to yours to put her in. They should also give a little packet with a life vest for her.
I agree with Kirsty - take a favorite toy, my daughter loved having her little pillow and she used it to tell us when she wanted to sleep.
I hope this helps! Good luck. I hope you have a great trip.

Alauni - posted on 01/06/2010

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Hi Clista - first time my 16month old went on plane she was 6months and again at 8months - mind u different at this age - cos she just slept, drank milk.....

depending on how long flight is and when u fly out - dont let ur child sleep - that way she will tire and sleep longer (u hope) - occupy her with fav toys, books, do wat u know ur child loves - ask to sit either in front or back of plane - easy access to toilet and to let ur baby stretch her/his limbs walk up or down aisle.... have cup ready or give panadol for pressure of ears....
good luck, let us know how u go :):)

Rikki - posted on 01/05/2010

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We just returned from a trip out of town and our little girl sat in my lap. Surprisingly she was great! She slept almost the entire way. When she was awake we played with puzzle pieces, books, and flashcards and had some healthy snacks for her as well. Hope this helps. :-)

Rebecca - posted on 01/05/2010

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Our 16 month old has always done much better in a car seat than on our laps. We have never purchased a seat for him but always have to travel with a car seat. We always check at the gate to see if there are any empty seats available on our flight. If there is an adjacent seat available, they will allow you to keep your daughter in her car seat.

Other tips that have worked great for us:
- have a bottle of something (juice, milk, etc.) for the ascent and descent to keep her ears from popping.
- Favorite toys or books are key (maybe a new toy or two to grab her attention)
- Snacks!! I don't know about your daughter, but food makes everything better for my son :)

Christine - posted on 01/04/2010

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My husband and I took our 16 month old son on a plane ride from California to Indiana. Thought it would be a nightmare too. But have some thing for them to suck on for popping their ears, pacifier, Sippy cup, bottle whatever she is used to, Then as I am sure you know attention spans are short so have several small toys that you can rotate. My son love to play with things that he thinks are no,no's. So I bought a deck of cards that are his always stashed in my purse for back-up he loves them and I don't care if the get lost or ruined and defiantly don't forget the sleepy toy. Good luck.

Dilek - posted on 01/04/2010

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Quoting Clista:

1st plane ride!

In january, we will be taking our 16 month old on her 1st plane ride. she wont be sitting in her own seat, she'll be in one of our laps, and im wondering what others moms with children this age did to occupy them while on the airplane. I'm afraid it will be a nightmare....any advise?


Well, I also have a sixteen month old and she is taking her 4th plane ride tomorrow!!! i find books useful and crackers.  I suppose it depends on the temperament of your baby too and what they enjoy doing.  I'm not sure how long you are going to be on the flight for but if its a short one interstate i would just recommend some little books you can alternate some snacks to eat and perhaps a small toy that requires concentration.  good luck but you know what, dont stress about it, she will just feed off your anxiety and play up, be calm and remember its annoying and boring for them too.....i sing songs with my little on and take her for little walks.  it will be fine. Enjoy your trip!!! 

Kye - posted on 12/22/2009

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my daughter was 11 months 4 hours on a plane to turkey she fell asleep it was a night mare at first to keep her ocupied got there in the endd goog luck

Renee - posted on 12/21/2009

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When I took my son on his first plan ride I did all sorts of research to prepare. He was just turning one. I have to say that I was so scared and it went a little better then I thought. I was so lucky that everyone around was so nice and would peak over the seats to say hi and play peek a boo. I also read somewhere to get some cheap toys that your child has never seen and pull one out when your little one starts to get cranky. That worked really well for us, even though at the time he was not into toys to much. Now that he is older I bet it would work even better. Another thing I tried to do was to keep him up the whole way to the airport and until we were about to take off (a bit of a sacrifice for those in the car, but once we got into the airport there was so much to look at it was fine). That way he would sleep threw most of the 4 hour flight we were on. This worked well also. It was a lot for me to have him on my lap the whole time, definitely try and get an extra seat next to you. This was a lifesaver for me.And I was with 3 other adults to share the lap holding. We also talked to the pediatrician and he gave us ear drops to help with the pressure, but we didn't need them. But when using medicine to help with sleeping try it prior, sometimes it works opposite then what you want and I wouldn't leave anything to chance. And Mom, take a breath, relax, and know that it will be over before you know it. Good luck!

Nikki - posted on 12/20/2009

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my son is 16 months, he has been on 7 plane rides so far the last 2 being in the lat week, the 1st 1 was horrible flight was 2 and half hours he screamed 4 2 hours of it i let him walk up and down the isle 2 keep him happy cause he wasnt going to sit still, also asked 2 be up the back because if they do play up the whole plane wont hear them and also when u check in ask if the flights full, if not then they r usually more than happy 2 block the seat next 2 u helps my son enjoyed sitting on his own seat when the seatbelt signs were turned off also good to have a space 2 sit your baby bag, on the way home he was very good i gave him some baby panadol so it would help him sleep (a mother on the 1st plane ride told me to do that) it will also help if the pressure makes there ears feel abit funny, i packed a nice lunch (that took up a good half hour) and also took pens and paper and let him draw he enjoyed that very much. good luck there is always 1 kid playing up i think people dont expect to much from little ones!!

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