Well, we made it. To say that I was nervous about flying across the country from North Carolina to California with my 17 month old Boone – without my husband – was an understatement.
Flying with him by myself at the age that he is isn’t altogether ideal. However, since getting word a few weeks ago that my 92 year old grandmother’s health is declining, Geoff and I decided it was best that I take advantage of this time of year when we’ve got a little down time as far as the business is concerned and go for a visit.
Before I left for my trip put out a tweet soliciting advice/tips for flying with a toddler and thought I would share some things that I found particularly useful for our 1 hour flight to Atlanta, 1.5 hour layover, and 5 hour flight on to California….goodness, it was a long haul!
The night before I left we took a trip to the dollar section at Target to hunt for some new toys. We ended up with a slinky (which was a big hit with Boone), a coloring book and lots of stickers (we didn’t get to use these on the flight out, but will definitely take advantage of them on the way back) and a totally random plastic cow that he quickly attached to. We also picked up some travel packets of anti-bacterial wipes and hand-sanitizer, which I used what felt like every 10 minutes during our travels. As it turns out, his favorite “toy” was my empty starbucks cup…he loved putting the stopper in and out and fitting the cup base into the sleeve…provided two 20 minute installments of fun.
A few other items we brought along:
– A mini-dvd player with some of his favorite dvds….I had no problem digging out “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” for this trip….whatever works!
– Before we left I had Geoff screen capture “The Elmo Slide”
and put it on my laptop. This child LOVES this dance. Geoff also put some home videos we had taken of Boone on the computer…also a favorite. 🙂 And although we didn’t have the iPad with us, the app “Talking Tom Cat
” would have been a hit as well.
– A pillow. Totally worth it. It really helped keep him comfortable during the flight…he even fell asleep at one point leaning back against it while watching a show.
– Paci and sippy cup for drinks…especially helpful on take off and landing for those hurting ears.
– Snacks, of course. Lots of snacks including string cheese, goldfish, granola bars and applesauce. A lot of people said to try lollipops, so we’re going to give that a go on the way home.
All in all, it was a pretty good trip out here. I took the advice of a friend who suggested boarding last instead of pre-boarding. The least amount of time we needed to be confined to a small space, the better. After we had landed in San Francisco, I thanked the three young business men sitting in front of us for never making me feel like they were irritated and frustrated even though they were probably very much so just that. Lucky us, one of them had a 1 year old, a 2 year old and a 3 year old….and another had a one month old…so they were very understanding. Made all the difference for me!
I think one of my favorite pieces of advice from a friend on facebook was to have a sense of adventure about the whole thing and to embrace “whatever happens, happens”. Great tip in putting myself in the right frame of mind.
Here’s a few quick articles with some more flying with small children tips…
We fly back to NC a week from today – I would welcome any other tips that any of you with small children would like to share! Thanks in advance. 🙂