Plane Travel with my 23 month old

I’m going to try and split up my plane travel reports into two posts…  the planning post and the final results when we return.   Feel free to learn from my successes and my mistakes!

 J will be 2 years old in about a week. We are leaving tomorrow for a fairly quick trip.  We will be taking a 3.5 hour flight.  We scheduled it for directly after J’s afternoon nap so he is fresh.  We will be arriving after his bedtime, so he will be tired towards the end of the flight and definitely upon arrival.  This is typically the best option for J though.  He does NOT sleep on planes anymore.  He is a boy that LOVES his bed.  Just like mommy, he can and will go forever unless you give him a quiet room and bed to sleep in.  If there’s action going on he wants to be in on it even if he’s exhausted and grumpy.  If possible, we never schedule flights during naps and definitely not after bedtime.  There have been trips where there was no other option.  As I backtrack our older flights, you can read about those and what I learned from them. 

Some toddlers sleep just fine on planes.  TIP:  Consider your own child’s tendencies in determining when to fly. 

Here’s what I have included in J’s activity bag for this trip.  Most of these things are saved for plane travel exclusively.  I fit it all inside a big ziploc which is placed in my backpack. 

  • Coloring Book and 4 colors (TIP: triangular colors don’t roll on planes!)
  • Magna Doodle
  • Froggie washcloth puppet (acts as entertainment, a replacement lovey, and available to help clean spills if necessary; AND I fold it up under the headphones so they don’t slide off J’s head)
  • 2 trains
  • Wallet with measuring tape
  • Shape matching activity
  • DVD player with headphones
  • Small travel board with vinyl (reusable stickers)
  • 4 books (2 small bathbooks and 2 paperbacks…not cardboard since they’re heavy)
  • Twistable Booklight
  • Ball necklace
  • Book for mom (not in picture)
  • **J requested to bring his links right before we left, so I added them to my bag. 

Snacks:  Granola bar, Kix, lollipop and an empty sippy cup

Other: 4 diapers, wipes, antibacterial wipes, Benadryl, miniature book for diaper changes, extra shirt and pants.  I keep these in a really lightweight cloth bag so I don’t have to bring the entire backpack with us to the restroom.  I stuff the bag inside the backpack when moving through the airport.

I’ve started to buy a bottle of water after security and fill his sippy there so I don’t have to wait longer at security (you CAN have liquid in a bottle/sippy if you want, but there is an extra security check for this). 

 I will review plane expectations with J both before and after his nap, so he is reminded of what will happen and what’s expected of him (hold mommy’s leg while I’m peparing for security, stay in seat/mommy’s lap on plane; act considerate of other people by using inside voice and using our words instead of whines/cries).  TIP: Reviewing expectations really helps.  I do this before we enter almost any new setting and notice a big difference.  I was surprised at how young he was able to understand me!

So, I’m prepared.  I’ll let you know how it went when we return!!


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