Traveling with toddler - snacking our way across the country

Posted by Stacy Baas on August 08, 2012 1 Comment

Zoe and I just got back from our round trip to Missouri and I wanted to share some a few little notes/tips/ideas-to-tuck-in-your-back-pocket, based on our experiences:

- Southwest is the best. I know some people hate this airline (mostly people who never fly it, I've found), but when you've got a kiddo (or two or three) they are understanding, cheerful and yes, even helpful at times. Not to mention they have non-stop flights to all of those fly-over states where many of  us grew up and routinely fly back to to show off our children. Oakland non-stop to Kansas City, who would have guessed?

- Stickers, stickers and more stickers. I keep stickers tucked in just about every secret corner of my car, house and handbag. They were invaluable on this trip as well. I had purchased some puffy stickers from a company called Kawaii USA that is known for its colorful erasers. They make these awesome re-stickable stickers which meant we could decorate our window seat again and again and AGAIN. And we had something to do during landing (collect all of our stickers), when the iPad was off-limits. No less than an hour of fun on our flight. Plus, the flight attendants loved it (they must not see that very often), and were extra nice to us as a result. Or maybe they are just that nice on Southwest.

- Band-Aids are a great "quiet toy": When Zoe got tired but wouldn't sleep, she laid her head on her seat, put her feet in my lap and covered her body with bandaids. We identified where each "owwie" was, then chose a bandaid to fit. Another 40 minutes killed. 

- When in doubt, have a snack: I brought all of Zoe's favorite "special" snacks that she doesn't get every day, and whenever we had a questionable moment (you know the kind, where a meltdown is possible, but still containable), I'd pull out another one. The TravelTote is great for hiding snacks, one of its best features, I think.

- If you want (and expect) your child to sleep, be sure you're prepared to sit in the same position for a long time: Kids just don't sleep in their seats, they sleep draped all over their parents (a quick look around any airplane will tell you this). I don't think I have appreciated my TravelTote more than when I reached gingerly for my iPad after Z fell asleep in my lap, then grabbed a snack and a drink from the other pockets for added enjoyment. For the next 2+ hours while my kid slept (a dream come true!), I read, munched and generally pretended I was flying solo to a tropical destination. It was heavenly.

 - Get an iPad: I know, I know, you already have one. And if you don't, you're one of those people who has something against them. But seriously, on an airplane, there's nothing better for a squirmy kid. Borrow one, download a few episodes Sesame Street (or Thomas or Dora) episodes and dole them out like carrots in front the good-airplane-behavior cart. 

- Make "the captain" your fall guy: Weeks before we flew, we started telling Zoe all about the "guy who drives the plane," and his preference for "quiet kids," and how important it was to do everything he says. It worked! She was obsessed with the pilot and did whatever I told her he wanted her to do. Will it work next time? Probably not, but one flight at a time, right?

Below are a few pics from our flights.


Watching Sesame Street on the iPad, with sticker motif in background


Fiddling with a Band-Aid (destined for her tummy)

Z's TravelTote in-flight (with feet for scale). She can reach everything now, which made it easier on both of us.

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Comments (1 Comment)

Posted by Johnd111 on August 20, 2014

I value the post.Thanks Again. Awesome. adbdfekkabck

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