Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Off We Go - Plane Rides with Kids

After having two young children on multiple plane rides for varying lengths of time, I have become very skilled at meeting their needs. When both my son and daughter
were under one year, we took them to Disneyland in California for their first
time. Flying from Boston to Los Angeles can be an intimidating adventure. Some
of the key elements with infants include being sure that they are well fed and their
diapers are changed regularly. With short attention spans, it is not the amount of things that you have but rather having a few different types of things should be enough. My children enjoyed a few board books and a small stuffed item or a puppet. Mirrors can be great as well. Be sure whatever book you bring that it is something that you plan to read over and over again.

With toddlers, the trick is allowing them to move at the airport for as much time as possible. Some airports now have activity stations or small indoor playgrounds for children which can be great particularly if you have a layover. Since my children were just over one year old, I have allowed them to help with the packing of their activity bag. The trick that I have learned here is to have a bag that they can wheel through the airport that converts to something with a strap or a backpack. My kids have always started through the airport excitedly wheeling their bags. After one seven hour layover, they were not interested in the wheels anymore and I was stuck carrying the bags.
Within the carryon bag, we have always tried to include some small books, coloring books and crayons.
I have found that the crayons shaped like triangles are great for cramped spaces to avoid the roll factor.
I have also encouraged them to pack their favorite stuffed animal or doll. The carry-on bag also needs to
include enough space for any souvenirs purchased. This helps define the items that will come home with us.
With children who have just been toilet trained, the issue is the fluid intake versus the frequency that they need to use a restroom that was hardly designed for one person. Avoid salty snacks. I have always tried to take my children as soon as the “fasten seat belt” lights were turned off.
These are a few of the survival techniques that we have used in getting to Disneyland and Walt Disney World without a lot of extra issues. We have found that they have worked well. I have even found that having some
small items packed in my bag that are saved for the return trip can help as well.

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