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pcsing with a 16 month old..... its going to be a long flight, need advice!!

Posted by on May. 2, 2014 at 8:04 AM
  • 15 Replies

At this time next week my family and I will be flying out to Japan where DH will be stationed for the next 4 years. This whole thing has been both exciting and stressful and I'm amazed that I have any sanity left at this point. Anyways we have two children the older one has been on airplane since he was very young and as long as we keep him busy while on the 12+ hour flight. I don't see there being a problem.... The baby on the other hand I'm worried about.

Where talking about a little guy that hates having to be in a car seat or held. He would rather run around then sit still and this would be only the third time he has been on a plane. In the past he was still nursing and I was able to get him to sleep for the short 4 hour flights. Now he's a toddler and won't sit still for anything. I really don't know what to do, they did give him his own seat and I plan to bring his car seat, but I don't know how to keep him happy, quiet and entertained during. 

Anyone have advice? DH and family says to just give him benadryl so he will sleep and not be so cranky. But I don't believe in drugging children like that. Is there another option?

by on May. 2, 2014 at 8:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Molimomma
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2014 at 8:27 AM
1 mom liked this

First of all, if you haven't given him Benedryl before it may not do what you expect. For most people it makes them sleepy but for both myself and my son it gives us insomnia, makes us wacko, and gives us nightmares. It just a side effect some people have but it totally sucks and not something you want on a long flight. My son acts like a crazed drug addict on a Benedryl and is a very last resort when his allergies are totally out of control.

that being said...

things to keep busy on a plane:

hot wheels cars, toy air planes(Disney sells a set of light plastic ones from the movie Planes that travel well!), Magnadoodle(there's a travel version), portable DVD player with favorite Elmo, Mickey or whatever(seriously don't worry about screen time in this moment no will mind this 1 flight!), iPad (good ap for that age is Peekaboo Barn), best quiet toy I ever made was an empty spice jar with the wider holes in the sprinkle top(I used a parsley canister) then cut colored pipe cleaners the size of the canister so they fit inside, dump all the pipe cleaners out on a tray or the floor and kiddo has to feed the pipe cleaners into the holes in the top. My son is now 4 and still plays with this at restaurants. Best part is it is super light and self-contained AND CHEAP! Also develops fine motor skills :) stickers are also a good thing to have in your bag of tricks. A puppet can come in handy if you don't mind being a little silly. You put it on and can play peekaboo behind the arm rest, dance party, wave out the window, do high 5s etc. most of them are soft and squishy so it's easy to throw in the bag. I got a couple finger puppets at a Carter's store and they've been in my bag for years now. Bring lots and lots of snacks. Food is your friend! 

Good luck, hope it's an easy flight for you!

jas_momof2
by アニメの雌犬 on May. 2, 2014 at 8:29 AM

New toys and don't bring them out all at once.  My youngest was almost 1 when we flew from Japan to Charleston coming back.  He has issues, being confined for any length of time is one of them and I laugh at Benadryl.  He's one of the few who doesn't fall asleep.  In fact, that stuff wires him up.

Distractions work best.

piratepixie
by New Member on May. 2, 2014 at 8:51 AM

I thought about puppets but haven't found any that are small enough and didn't have strings attached.. we already have so much stuff we need to take with us that I was really trying to minimize things. I had to cram a family of 4's clothes into one suitcase so that the other one would just be for DH's uniforms and stuff. A smaller suitcase had personal items, we plan to get another suitcase for extra stuff we have.. But we drove across the country to see family before we left the country try and that's all that would fit in the car. I don't know where extra baby stuff would fit, I only have one bag that has to fit all the snacks and other items for both kids. It's going to be my job to keep the kids happy and quiet. DH plans to sleep on the plane, he doesn't help much when we travel. 

Quoting Molimomma:

First of all, if you haven't given him Benedryl before it may not do what you expect. For most people it makes them sleepy but for both myself and my son it gives us insomnia, makes us wacko, and gives us nightmares. It just a side effect some people have but it totally sucks and not something you want on a long flight. My son acts like a crazed drug addict on a Benedryl and is a very last resort when his allergies are totally out of control.

that being said...

things to keep busy on a plane:

hot wheels cars, toy air planes(Disney sells a set of light plastic ones from the movie Planes that travel well!), Magnadoodle(there's a travel version), portable DVD player with favorite Elmo, Mickey or whatever(seriously don't worry about screen time in this moment no will mind this 1 flight!), iPad (good ap for that age is Peekaboo Barn), best quiet toy I ever made was an empty spice jar with the wider holes in the sprinkle top(I used a parsley canister) then cut colored pipe cleaners the size of the canister so they fit inside, dump all the pipe cleaners out on a tray or the floor and kiddo has to feed the pipe cleaners into the holes in the top. My son is now 4 and still plays with this at restaurants. Best part is it is super light and self-contained AND CHEAP! Also develops fine motor skills :) stickers are also a good thing to have in your bag of tricks. A puppet can come in handy if you don't mind being a little silly. You put it on and can play peekaboo behind the arm rest, dance party, wave out the window, do high 5s etc. most of them are soft and squishy so it's easy to throw in the bag. I got a couple finger puppets at a Carter's store and they've been in my bag for years now. Bring lots and lots of snacks. Food is your friend! 

Good luck, hope it's an easy flight for you!


Molimomma
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2014 at 9:02 AM
1 mom liked this

I never use a baby bag when DS and I traveled I always use a backpack so I can have my hands free(and fit threw the isle). I usually use 1 with 3 pouches so the front has my wallet, medicines, tissues, & wipes. The middle one has the food. The big 1 in the back has the diapers, clothes, toys and books. I have only travel twice with my DH and son together, usually it's just me and the boy. Not sure where you are right now but Barnes and Nobel has the squishy puppets that fit over your hand. Carter's sells the finger puppets, those will fit in your pants pocket and are great. Everything we fly with fits in a cosmetic bag or a pencil pouch because I'm not schlepping anything heavy. I did that our very first flight with a bunch of board books and realized I was an idiot!

Quoting piratepixie:

I thought about puppets but haven't found any that are small enough and didn't have strings attached.. we already have so much stuff we need to take with us that I was really trying to minimize things. I had to cram a family of 4's clothes into one suitcase so that the other one would just be for DH's uniforms and stuff. A smaller suitcase had personal items, we plan to get another suitcase for extra stuff we have.. But we drove across the country to see family before we left the country try and that's all that would fit in the car. I don't know where extra baby stuff would fit, I only have one bag that has to fit all the snacks and other items for both kids. It's going to be my job to keep the kids happy and quiet. DH plans to sleep on the plane, he doesn't help much when we travel. 

Quoting Molimomma:

First of all, if you haven't given him Benedryl before it may not do what you expect. For most people it makes them sleepy but for both myself and my son it gives us insomnia, makes us wacko, and gives us nightmares. It just a side effect some people have but it totally sucks and not something you want on a long flight. My son acts like a crazed drug addict on a Benedryl and is a very last resort when his allergies are totally out of control.

that being said...

things to keep busy on a plane:

hot wheels cars, toy air planes(Disney sells a set of light plastic ones from the movie Planes that travel well!), Magnadoodle(there's a travel version), portable DVD player with favorite Elmo, Mickey or whatever(seriously don't worry about screen time in this moment no will mind this 1 flight!), iPad (good ap for that age is Peekaboo Barn), best quiet toy I ever made was an empty spice jar with the wider holes in the sprinkle top(I used a parsley canister) then cut colored pipe cleaners the size of the canister so they fit inside, dump all the pipe cleaners out on a tray or the floor and kiddo has to feed the pipe cleaners into the holes in the top. My son is now 4 and still plays with this at restaurants. Best part is it is super light and self-contained AND CHEAP! Also develops fine motor skills :) stickers are also a good thing to have in your bag of tricks. A puppet can come in handy if you don't mind being a little silly. You put it on and can play peekaboo behind the arm rest, dance party, wave out the window, do high 5s etc. most of them are soft and squishy so it's easy to throw in the bag. I got a couple finger puppets at a Carter's store and they've been in my bag for years now. Bring lots and lots of snacks. Food is your friend! 

Good luck, hope it's an easy flight for you!



twinkersmom
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2014 at 9:03 AM

You got good advice here. I had to entertain my four month old on a 25 hour flight. (layovers and the flights themselves). We were coming home from Guam to see family. Then we had to transfer back to the states when she was one. No help from dh at all. He slept most of the time. So I was glad to hand her over to grandparents to get some rest. She did good all the way till we got from Hawaii to Guam. I invented the puppet monster out of a spit cloth.  You mommies today have more options invented for them which helps. :) Good luck. Try to see if they will give you bulk head seats. More leg room.

SlapItHigh
by Platinum Member on May. 2, 2014 at 9:32 AM
No experience, just wanted to wish you well. It sounds like you are getting good advice.
sbranom
by Bronze Member on May. 2, 2014 at 9:52 AM

All these are good ideas. When we PCSed from Germany back to the States, DS1 was 17 months and DS2 was 2 months. DH couldn't help because the cat had a bad reaction to his sedative and spazed out, so DH had to keep him contained the whole time. The kids' movies on the plane helped to keep DS entertained as did the couple new toys I bought. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on May. 2, 2014 at 9:16 PM

Good luck to you! My mom had to PCS to Japan by herself with a 2 year old and a 3 month old. *shudders*

darbyakeep45
by Darby on May. 3, 2014 at 5:17 AM

Good luck!  These ladies have some good advice:)

cocoroo
by Coco on May. 3, 2014 at 12:02 PM

Good luck.  I never had to fly with babies.  But, I do think your dh is being selfish.  Why isn't he willing to help with the baby?

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