Confined spaces & toddlers DO. NOT. MIX. Period. End of story. If you have flown with toddlers before, you know this all too well. My family and I recently took a spontaneous trip to Texas & I’ll be honest, the trip there was not well-planned on my part. There were some necessity items that would have made my life a lot easier had I packed them.
We were THOSE people on the plane with the insanely fussy toddler. The whole flight. Two and half hours of a screaming toddler. I mean the whole nine, y’all. Kicking, crying, screaming, throwing his head back, pushing me away kind of tantrum. Needless to say, I was so exhausted by the time we finally arrived I probably looked like a zombie.
It actually didn’t even start on the flight. It started when we were going through security. It didn’t help that both kiddos were trying to get sick & were already not feeling well. Of course, the airport security guards had me pull EVERYTHING out of the diaper bag & fold up the stroller. All the while I’m lookin’ like a hot mess mom who doesn’t have her you know what together. I had one kid in my arms flailing around and crying because….well I don’t even know why…just because. And another kid throwing a fit to the point of me having to drag her over to my sister [who was with me and I’m so thankful] so she could take her through security. All because she wanted to sit in the stroller I had to fold up and put on the track.
I was literally on the tipping point of a breakdown when this sweet old woman came up to me and said, “Sweetie, do you need some help?” I know, so gracious and sweet. I told her kindly, “Thank you, but my sister is just right there and is helping me.” It was apparent that the struggle was real with this momma.
I hope my terrible experience will be a lesson learned for all of you parents of toddlers out there 🙂
My first piece of advice is be prepared for crying
There will be crying. Unless your children are perfect angels and never cry or get upset about anything, there will be crying. The sooner you accept that, the better. If people around you don’t understand and sympathize with you, well you probably won’t ever see them again so don’t sweat it 🙂
This was the 30 minutes of peace I got on the flight. He fell asleep immediately after take-off. He’s my little Tasmanian devil, but he’s still the cutest 🙂
Bring medication. Be prepared for any kind of pain they may experience. Tummy aches from motion sickness, pain in their ears from the pressure changes, and just assume your toddler will be teething during the flight. Better to assume and be prepared than be like me and have to buy a $12 bottle of infant Advil at the airport. Just bring it. You never know. And go ahead and give it to them BEFORE you get on your flight. That way it will begin to work its magic before you even take off. Being proactive is key!
You can’t go wrong with food! Just like that insane $12 tiny Advil bottle, everything at the airport is so expensive. Just save yourself some sanity and money & pack your own snacks. Then pack some more. My kids almost went through an entire gallon Ziploc baggie packed full of snacks. Gummies, raisins, goldfish, cinnamon sticks, granola bar. You name it, I probably packed it. I may have forgot the medicine, but I never leave the house without snacks. Something I didn’t pack though was some suckers. I think suckers are a great thing to give your kiddos to help their ears pop when the pressure is changing. And what kid doesn’t love candy right?!
Headphones & iPad
Judge me all you want, but some kind of a screen will probably save your life. Luckily, on our flight back to California the plane had those fancy TVs on the backs of all the chairs. Disney movies were all free, too. Score! But on the way to Texas we were not so lucky. Before everyone gets all “too much screen time is bad” momma on me, I don’t normally let my children stare at a screen all day. But if Toy Story 3 will keep my kiddos calm for a 2 hour flight and save me some sanity, you bet your sweet tush I’ll let them sit and watch the whole thing. I was a bit proactive with this one and brought our iPad from home for our 2 year old along with some headphones as to not bother other passengers on the plane [literally laughed as I typed that]. But my little guy didn’t have anything like that to keep him busy or distracted on the flight there.
Also, just do yourself a favor and buy the wifi. It was like $12 for our whole flight home and totally worth every penny.
Proud of myself for this one because I was on top of it. My children are so attached to their blankies. Especially my son. He literally cannot do anything or go anywhere without his blanket. He can’t even sleep without it. It’ pretty much just apart of his anatomy at this point. Throughout the entire flight there, pretty much the only thing that comforted him was his blanket. Whatever comfort item soothes your child, bring it. A stuffed animal, blanket, pillow, a toy, sippie, paci, anything. Bring it and thank me later. Clearly daddy is a comfort item too 😉
All my non-screen parents out there…if you really wanna stick to your guns and have no-screen time, or you don’t mind the screen time and want to give your kiddos some extra options, here ya go. Bring coloring books, crayons, stickers, stamps, dolls, cars or anything else you know your kiddos are interested in. I made the mistake of not bringing any of this stuff on the way there. Some toy cars or colors may have distracted my little guy for a little while. On the way home, my daughter had two barbie dolls she got from her awesome aunt and uncle while we were home. Those kept her busy and happy for a good bit.
I’m pretty sure every little kiddo loves the window seat! If you are able to pick out your seats when you book your flight, make sure you get a window seat for your toddler. My kiddos loved to look out of the window when we took off and once we were in the air. We flew stand-by on our flight to Texas and luckily all got window seats. But if you are in the same situation and get assigned to a middle or aisle seat, I find that most people are nice enough to switch you if you ask nice enough 🙂
I think the nature of your child’s temperament has a lot to do with situations like these. If you notice, a lot of my issues on the flights had to do with our son. He has more of a difficult and fiesty temperament. When my daughter was his age, she did much better on the plane. But their temperaments are very different, she’s much more calm and cautious. So just be aware of your little one and be patient with them. Our flight was rough. Not gonna lie. But I can’t blame a one and a half year old for being squirmy and fussy on a flight. He needs to run around and have a bit of freedom with his movements. A plane does not give you that luxury. It can be an exhausting trip, I know. But don’t forget that. I hope this helps you and maybe gives you a good laugh. Or maybe some of you an relate to my horror story! Either way, I love sharing my experiences with y’all.
Items I used:
As always, God bless †
Dogtags, Dolls & Dinosaurs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com