Plane Travel with a 2 year old (25 months)

We just returned from a trip, our typical 3.5 hour flight.  This post explains my prep of the plane travel.  Here’s the overall report of how it went.

Honestly both plane trips were pretty uneventful.  He’s doing so well that I can pretty consistently watch the in flight movie.  Of course there are interruptions, but I can follow the plot easily still.  We had my husband with us on the way there but it was just J and I on the way back home.  Honestly, we both do better when my husband isn’t there.  I think I’m more on top of my game and J must notice that, so he’s more on top of his game. Still, we’re thrilled when dad can come!

Flight to destination: 

He did great overall.  He’s starting to request his video right when he sits down which I’m not so thrilled about.  I’d rather wait 45 minutes into the flight to get it started.  With dad there, it was easier to just let him start watching (as soon as the pilot said it was ok) which meant he watched longer than usual, about 1 hour 15 minutes worth.  We read our books while he ate half of his dinner and then started the video.  This ended with official mealtime and then we did pipe cleaners in a bottle, though he was more interested in making letters and shapes with the pipe cleaners.  That’s a good example of why I love this homemade toy so much for planes, lots of activities rolled into one toy.  Dad entertained for a while being silly.  Then he played with his cars for awhile and then I brought out his new Cars activity that I made. He worked on his vinyl sticker scene for a while before we had to put everything up for landing.  While waiting to get off the plane, a neighboring passenger commented on how well he did in the flight.  We always use these opportunities to encourage J, that his good behavior was recognized,…  Funny thing was, at the time he was eating a lollipop (saved for deboarding since he’s the most restless then) and about 5 minutes after the passenger praised him, he finished his lollipop and had a meltdown 🙂  Perfect timing!  It lasted probably a minute and was over, but what a way to end the flight!

Flight back home: 

This one was just me and J.  We pretty much ran right through the list of activities I brought, except we didn’t do the Cars activity.  I did the new sticker game instead.  He loved it and it kept him well occupied for awhile. He watched about 40 minutes worth of a video.  I did add a washcloth puppet to the activity bag which we played with for quite awhile.  He did great.  No meltdowns.  Cute and content the whole time.  TIP:  I did give him my rundown of expectations before the flight, whereas I did not do that on the first flight.  I honestly believe this helps him SO much. 

SEATBELTS: The newest lessons for J is learning to stay content seated with his seatbelt on.  We worked on this a little before when we were blessed with an empty seat.  Now that he must have his own seat, I’m teaching him the responsibilities that come with that priveledge (mostly seatbelts stay on, not kicking the seat in front of you, not banging on the tray).  For the first flight he struggled with it a bit.  The returning flight he did great.  When he did mention wanting the seatbelt off, I just explained to him that I understood it could get uncomfortable but that he needed to keep it on like the pilot said. I pointed out that I had my seatbelt on too.  I would sometimes fiddle with it and say something like, “There! That’s better.  It’s more comfortable now!” (making him think I fixed the problem, when I really did nothing; gotta enjoy the benefits of toddlerhood while I have them!)


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