Last week, Will and I flew to Colorado for a wedding. It was my first time out there and it was so beautiful and dry. I loved seeing all of the mountains, but my skin was parched! Anyway, on the second leg of our flight we were seated with a baby in front of us (about 2 months old) and a baby behind us (about 7 or 8 months old). As a parent, I tried to be as patient as possible. I bit my tongue while the cutie behind me kicked my seat incessantly, I bit my tongue when the baby in front of me screamed (what felt like) the whole 2+ hour flight, and I bit my tongue when I had to listen to an Asian cartoon theme song for the 8th time in a row (the flight attendant actually put a stop to that). All in all it was a very relaxing flight....
If these parents are like me, it was probably just as stressful and annoying for them as it was for those of us sitting around them. It got me thinking about ways to survive a flight with babies and small kids.
I must admit something: Although my daughter has never been on a commercial flight, she has been riding in airplanes since she was a year old. My husband has his pilot's license and does it as a hobby, so we used to take family trips in a small 4 seat Mooney. I know it's a lot different than traveling commercial, but here are some things that we do to help make our flights smoother and more enjoyable.
Check out this cool little baby hammock for airplane travel! This baby hammock by Flyebaby is a great solution to freeing up your hands while getting some face to face time with baby. Flyebaby says that this product is "Compliant with all FAA regulations", however, it is not to be used during taxi, takeoff, or landing. It is also meant for business or first class seats, where there is a little more room than economy class. I know I would be comfortable in this, I think baby could be too.
I love BabyLit books! They are Primer board books based on classic tales by the most famous authors in history. They teach toddlers about weather, articles of clothing, numbers, emotions, shapes, and etc. The books are full of color and great illustrations and are just long enough to keep your little one interested. Plus, they are small and easy to store in a carry on.
PBS is my absolute favorite and they have lots of educational Apps for kids. I try to limit Edie's screen time, but I am more tolerant if she's playing a PBS game (plus, if it keeps her happy on a plane, everyone's happy). Edie's favorite PBS cartoon is Peg + Cat and they have several apps to teach kids problem solving with math, learning numbers with music, and even some fun ones.
These passenger treat bags from Team Patterson are genius! We can't always predict our children's behavior, but these treat bags may smooth things over with your fellow passengers. You can put anything in them; these included candy, rice krispie treats, gum, ear plugs, and a cute little poem.
I hope these ideas can be put to good use.