Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Suggestions please!

Ok, so in a couple of weeks, Elizabeth and I are flying across country to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Maine. I am so excited, not only to see my parents, but to finally get to introduce Miss Elizabeth to many of my East Coast friends. Fun!! However, I am kind of nervous about the plane rides from CA to ME (we have two stops). Elizabeth doesn't have a seat, so she will be on my lap the whole time. Anyone have any suggestions for flying with an 11 month old?? Some of you reading this have had very long flights with your babies. I plan to take lots of snacks for her (yay Cheerios!) and some surprise toys that she has never seen before. Any other tips for keeping her happy and me sane? She is a super good baby, but active, and not going to be happy about being confined so much. Also, where did you change diapers? Will the fight attendents heat a bottle for her if I ask them? Do you think an aisle or a window seat is better?
Ok, my bloggy peeps, help!


Connor and Brandon's Mom said...

Wow Anne! I have done the trip back east, to NH, many times but always with help. My first suggestion is the most expensive on but its get her her own seat. Kids are used to their car seats and when they sit in them on the plane they seem to understand better that they need to stay confined. If thats not an option I would take your car seat to the plane, sometimes there are extra seats and they will let Elizabeth have her own seat for free. I also HIGHLY suggest that you do NOT check her car seat. If the airline looses it you can't leave the airport when you get to Maine. You can take it all the way down the ramp just like your stroller and they with both be there when you get off the plane at each stop, you never know when that free seat may be available. If the plan you fly has the bulk head seating w/o the exit I would suggest sitting there and taking an aisle seat. That way when the seatbelt off sign is on she can play in that area and you can block her from the aisle with your leg. Gives the kids a little time to move around. Have her drink something or use a binky going up and down, is really helps with the ears. Lots of snacks are a plus as are new toys she has never seen, and books if she likes those. I have a harness thing that attaches to you and your seatbelt that Elizabeth wears so she is buckled too, you are more than welcome to use it, I have two sizes. Its hard to change diapers in the plane bathrooms, just use your seat and hope the poops are while you are at an airport. You'll have fun!! Know too that traveling with kids is no longer a "vacation", its a "trip".

Eliza2006 said...

I have traveled quite a bit with Eliza. In the past year and a half we have traveled home from China, 2X to California, Hawaii, Mexico and next week SC and NJ. I have checked her car seat every time and haven't had a problem. The less stuff you have to lug around airports the better. There is no way I would ever lug a car seat around airports with 2 layovers...I guess I'm willing to take the risk. When she was smaller I wouldn't even take a stroller, I just had a backpack with her loot and I put her in the front carrier. Now I take an umbrella stroller and check it at the gate. This upcoming trip will be the first time I have had a separate seat for her since she is now 2 (darn!). My biggest piece of advice is to remind yourself that it is only temporary. If she is terrible it won't last forever and if she is good it is a bonus! I like the window seat. I don't know why, I just do. The minute you board the plane you should ask the flight attendant if there is any way you can have the seat next to you free (if there is room). Some have offered this immediately, probably for the sake of the person riding next to me, and some haven't. Be sure to ask if they don't offer. You can buy water or have a restaurant fill her bottle with hot water and mix it with cold the minute you pass security and then take it on the plane. If you want to wait until you get on the plane they will do it there for you too. There is a little diaper changing station in the airplane restroom, so you can change her diaper there. New toys and fun snacks will be helpful. You'll be just fine! I 100% agree with what the previous commenter's not a vacation, it's a trip! So true!!! Let us know how she does.

Heidi said...

Hi Anne -
Will keep posting ideas as they come to mind. A few to start:

Surprise Toys - a must!
Crayola Wonder Markers/Paper
Magna Doodle type board
Board books w/flaps to open
Snacks, snacks & more snacks
Your bracelet, earings or whatever
Keep as many toys/treats hidden as possible and time there "surprise" appearance as needed
?Did I mention snacks? pretzels, goldfish

The airline was unbelievably strict on our recent flight regarding liquids. With formula/baby items they are much more leniant, but you must **be prepared to assert yourself**. Departing from Bangor, they ALMOST made us throw out our snack - dole fruit cups in fruit juice - original packaging - bec. there was more than 4 oz of liquid. Ugh.

Kelley said...

These are great suggestions you've only flight with Chloe was the one home from China when she was 9 months old.

The flight attendants should be very'll be OK. I'll be interested to see how it goes!

Luiza said...

John just suggested a laptop, an ipod and noise cancelling headphones...oh- that would be for you :) Seriously, just relax and take it one leg at a time. We have also always checked our 2 car seats (you can buy a carseat carrier bag at LLBean) and never had a problem - but it's true it might be nice to have it if a seat is open even on one part of the trip. I agree, take your umbrella stroller to the plane so you don't have to carrier her every step of the way. The layovers might help because you can let her run around a little (and put the carseat in the stroller to lighten the load. Having her suck on something for takeoff and landing will help with the ears. Sometimes flights get cold so a sweat shirt to layer as well as an entire change of clothes (ok that might be obvious advice). Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

Michelle Smiles said...

If she still takes a bottle, I found a bottle during take off and landing helps with the ears. Other than that, it is a crap shoot! Sabrina did well both times I've flown with her but I find it stressful. Good luck and enjoy the trip!

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