My dad recently celebrated his 70th birthday in Memphis. While I was excited to join in the celebration, I was dreading the 4 hour flight to get there.
If you don’t have kids, or haven’t traveled with small children, you have no idea the level of concern I felt for the month leading up to this.
Once you’re up in the air, your options are pretty limited as to what you can do to occupy a 15 month old boy. Luckily, I had my sister to help entertain Morris, so I could focus on Bronson. Boy, did I get a workout. No one wants to the “that mom” on the flight with the crying/screaming baby.
I planned out the flight very meticulously. I wanted to make sure I was fully prepared.
Here’s what I learned:
1. On a previous flight, I tried Motrin to help “assist” him in sleeping on the flight. Didn’t work. He was awake the entire time. This time I turned to Benadryl. Didn’t work on the first leg, but he slept for 1 hour on the return flight. I’ll take it. Any sleep is better than no sleep at all. (As always, check with your pediatrician before giving any medication)
2. We bought him his own seat. It was just more comfy for him and me. Also, this enabled me to take a car seat on the flight in hopes of him falling asleep easier in it. (He didn’t, but I tried).
3. Get chummy with the flight attendants. They turned out to be my best friend. They gave Morris snacks and didn’t bug me at take off or landing about anything. They even seated passengers around me in another row just so I could have more space.
4. I dressed nice. This might sound dumb, but for some reason, strangers seem nicer and more understanding when you’re wearing a dress rather than sweats.
5. Take tons of snacks. They were great diversions. Bronson really enjoyed sucking on lollipops (look for the sugarless ones) and they made me feel like the sucking was easing any discomfort in the air. He managed to sit still while he ate his lollipops. Throw your no candy rule out the window on a flight. Lollipops were a lifesaver for me.
6. Be prepared to entertain. You will not be kicking back on the flight reading the newest John Grisham novel. I was like a circus clown the whole flight, constantly pulling tricks out of my bag. My kids never liked the baby toys. They always seem to go for the ipod, camera, blackberry, remote…you know the expensive stuff. I indulged Bronson with this on the flight.
7. Strangers can help. Normally, I ignore and avoid strangers at all costs with the kids. However, on a flight, any help is good. Many grandmas and grandpas loved giving Bronson attention. He liked it too. I let them play patty cake, peek-a-boo, and all the other trusty baby games mid-air.
My best advice, take a G5 if you can.