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plane travel - Experienced parents talk about parenting
plane travel
We're flying to a wedding this September and I'm starting to realize how complicated this could be with a 16-month-old. So.. advice please??

Should we get a non-stop flight (4 hours) or take the cheaper one-stop?
Any recommended airlines?

We're planning to buy Sam his own seat. Can I book online or should I talk to someone directly about our situation?

3 comments or Leave a comment
smurfetts_lamb From: smurfetts_lamb Date: July 17th, 2007 05:13 am (UTC) (Link)
I have not flown with my son yet but, you can book online but you should also call the airline over 24 hours in advance to make them aware of sams age and that he will be on the flight.
Just like car ride try to pack a bag of never ending toys, when he tosses one put it back in the bag and pull out another one so they seem to never end and he gets to enjoy each one.
Pack his favorite foods, try to wear him out before hand, give him water during take off and landing.
I am sure i am forgetting stuff.
shy_extravert From: shy_extravert Date: July 17th, 2007 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I say go non-stop, because 2 hours in the airport + 4 hours of flying means that some part of the travel is likely to be during nap time. You really don't want to break up nap time in a strange situation where you don't have all your normal ways to comfort him. Trust me, but don't ask me how I know. I'm still hiding from all the people on that flight. :(

If he falls asleep in the car, try to time the flight to start just before his normal nap time. If he hates the car, try to time it so you're in the airport for naptime, or nap after you land.

You can book online if you're getting him his own seat. Remember that officially you cannot hold him during takeoff/landing if he has his own seat. Chances are that the flight attendant will be just fine if you need to hold him then, but there is the slim chance that you'll be told to put him in his seat and keep him there no matter what until the seat belt sign is off.

If he's a picky eater, take tons of food that he likes. If you bottle fed and he still uses a bottle, take more than you think you'll need.

Take lots of books or new toys.

If you babywear, you can keep him in his carrier through security (as long as there's no metal, so no ring slings). If you take your stroller, you'll have to fold it up and send it through the x-ray machine.

If you don't nurse or bottle feed, and he doesn't use a pacifier, um, ask your ped about ways to keep his ears equalized during take off and landing. He doesn't know how to yawn on command, and he can't chew gum. :) Otherwise, nurse/feed/give him his paci.
shy_extravert From: shy_extravert Date: July 17th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC) (Link)
To add, of course I meant that some portion of travel would be at nap or bed time, rather than just nap time.

Oh, and get an aisle seat so that you and he can walk up and down the aisle. And make nice with the flight attendants. They don't have to let you stand back in the galley, and a mean one may decide to kick you out of the galley.

Our most recent flight, kiddo was 13 months old. It was hard, but it gets easier each trip. The 5 hours + layover flight with a bottle-fed 4 month old who ate every 3 hours...that wasn't fun.
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