Monday, March 26, 2012

Up in the Clouds

Flying with a toddler.  Sigh.  Talk about anxiety inducing.  Especially going at it alone, which is how it always is.  Poor Mike can never have off of work when Addy and I are jet setting around, so it's me, myself, and I with a toddler in tow.  It's a whole different experience from flying with a baby, because not only do you have to keep them entertained, but you have to keep them still.  Not an easy task.  So I made sure that I was as prepared as I could possibly be.  I read blogs about flying with toddlers, I got together Addy's favorite toys/distractions, and I made sure to have plenty of snacks.

The week before we left I ordered her a pair of child headphones so that she could watch her favorite shows/music videos on the I Pad without being horribly annoying to the other passengers.  Needless to say, she was not thrilled with the headphones at first.  In fact, she wouldn't even let them near her head, much less on her head.  But, based on the recommendation from one of the blogs I read, I practiced with her every day for that week leading up to the flight, and eventually it worked!  She realized that she couldn't hear her shows without the headphones and she began to wear them.

It was amazing!  I was so excited, so I downloaded four episodes of Addy's favorite show, The Fresh Beat Band.  I also downloaded the only Giggle Bellies music video that was available on I Tunes, which was The Wheels on the Bus.  Between those two and Peek-A-Boo Barn, I figured it should be enough to entertain her for part of the trip.

The number one most important thing to keep a toddler happy on a plane is snacks, hands down. 
Number two would have to be the I Pad with headphones.

Addy also liked to look out the window when taking off and landing, but I made the mistake of showing her the shade that you can pull down on the window.  And then she was obsessed with putting it up and down, and when I made her stop she started crying.  Ooops!  On our next flight (which is coming up in 3 days!!!), I will NOT draw attention to that shade.

Another thing that worked well at keeping Addy occupied was books, and the safety pamphlet in the seat pocket.  Ha ha!  She loved that thing and loved to point to the pictures of planes crashing into the ocean and the people in their life vests sliding down the slide.  It was comical, but it kept her happy for awhile.

I brought a sippy cup of her milk and then some extra in a bottle so that I could refill her sippy cup if needed.  I just kept these two things out during the security check and there was no problem.  And I tried to encourage her to drink during takeoff and landing (and anytime that my own ears were popping), but she wasn't always so cooperative with drinking on command.  That is where snacks came in handy.  As long as she was swallowing something, I figured that was good enough.  And it never appeared as though her ears bothered her at all, so that was a relief.  I've also read that lolly pops work well for older children, but I tested that one out at home, and she is NOT ready for lolly pops yet.  She became a sticky disaster in a matter of seconds.

So, we had snacks like Mum Mums, Motts for Tots fruit snacks, gold fish crackers, puffs, and string cheese.  We had her milk.  We had the plane to look around in.  We had books.  And we had the I Pad.  All of that combined pretty much kept her occupied for the 1hr 40min flight.

For good measure I threw in Addy's blanket and her bunny that she sleeps with.  And MUCH to my surprise here is what happened on the way to Florida....

Addy Marie fell asleep!!!  Never in a million years did I think that would happen!

Notice that her panda headphones are right there in case she decides that she needs them back ;)

She probably slept for a total of 20 minutes, but it was 20 minutes of peace and relaxation.  I got to play a few games of Angry Birds and I was a happy camper :)

On the way home from Florida there was no sleeping involved.  But there was a lot of this.....

And notice that both seats next to us were empty on the way home! 

Yup, I had my fair share of the Fresh Beat Band and Giggle Bellies.  Look at how intent she is :)

And the last thing that I think helped make our plane ride smoother was that I let Addy run around in the terminal before we got on the plane.  So she was pretty content (for the most part) to just sit and relax on the plane.

And you can see that Mom was there in the terminal while we waited to board the plane home.  Tina was also there because they were flying Southwest too, and their flight was about an hour later than ours.  So it didn't have to be me chasing little Addy around the terminal.  I had plenty of willing helpers, which was nice.

I had Addy's diaper bag and a beach bag filled with my stuff as my two carry-ons.  And I pushed Addy in her umbrella stroller right up to the plane and then checked it at the gate.  In her diaper bag I had all of the things mentioned above, along with about 5 diapers and an extra outfit for her just in case.  Luckily we didn't need all 5 diapers or the extra outfit, but you never know if your plane will be delayed, so you have to be prepared.  Like I said, I was ready for anything.  And it seems as though the more prepared you are, the less likely it is that things will go wrong.

I'd have to say that all in all, the flights to and from Florida were very smooth for Addy and I.  No major meltdowns, which was all that I could hope for.   Here's hoping the next one is just as smooth!  Fingers crossed!!


  1. At least this flight will be even shorter! I can't believe she slept on the plane either! Can't wait to see you guys Thursday:)

  2. Supermom! No way in a million years would I try that by myself.