These are just a few tips and things I've learned about flying with toddlers. Our trip? One day, two flights, one lay over, one Momma, one toddler, and an enormous bag of Just-In-Case.
What I PACKED:
-diapers, wipes, pad
-extra change of clothes for the toddler
-extra shirt for Mom
-medicine for toddler
-mini magna doodle
-doll and dog duo
-four board books
-paper and crayons
-talking, electronic, Winnie the Pooh book
-LOTS OF SNACKS
What we actually USED:
-straws to peel open from the Star Bucks I stopped at for the much needed vanilla latte
-cups from the plane beverage service, two empty ones
-the inflight magazine, which D tore into strips and then put into...
-the barf bag
-our neighbors were the BEST entertainment for him.
-the sky train at DFW, (Dallas Ft. Worth Airport) which we rode to get to our terminal
-the snacks were helpful, but with such a long layover we actually had time to get lunch at DFW and he wasn't interested in them on the plane. Go figure.
What I LEARNED:
-I always pack too much.
-Next time I'm not going to pack as many toys.
-Or if I do, I know now that they're probably not going to be used.
-Get the airport early enough to walk through security, pull of all clothing, including the toddler's shoes (because they could be a weapon!! EGADS.), squish the stroller, flatten the enormous carry-on bag, drop at least four toys, and then put in all back on and open on the other side.
-Don't take toys that roll.
-Find a coffee/tea/bevie of your choice, a croissant for the kids, and sit at a window to look at the plane. This was Diego's favorite activity pre-boarding.
-We also made it a point to run around as much as possible to tire him out, with hopes that he would sleep on the flight. It doesn't hurt to show everyone waiting in line that at least you tried. :)
-But if he does cry, and they will, forget about everyone else on the plane. They can deal with a little cry. You just focus on what's important. Remember, you'll never see these people again. Sad and true.
-Besides, every time we fly we've been surrounded by supportive people on their way to see babies or are missing babies of their own. Even the kids around us have been especially helpful in distracting and playing with D, which is trully a blessing.
-Be open to help from strangers.
-And when it's not fun, when your baby has puked all over you and you have no other clothes to change into and you still have one more flight ahead of you...just keep going. It could always be worse. And by worse I'm thinking of you, Jon and Kate plus 8, and your 5+ hours wait on the tarmac waiting for better weather with all kids tired and exhausted. You guys rock.