Monday, March 31, 2014

flying with Henry

I posted last week about my worries for our first flights with Henry. Very thankfully, and much to my surprise, everything went smoothly. For 2 out of our 3 flights, Henry fell asleep during our ascent. The photo below was taken just after take-off on our 6:55am flight home from Oklahoma City on Sunday. I am by no means an expert on flying with a baby/toddler, but I thought I would share some tips from our experience anyway. 

Henry's a walking, running, crouching, rolling machine these days, so we knew that if we didn't let him roam around the airport concourse, he would be hard to keep still on the plane. My #1 tip, if you have a mobile little one, is to let them get all of their wiggles out before you board. A friend gave me that tip before we traveled and I thank her SO much for it. This makes things so much easier on everybody. Odds are they will tire themselves out and, if your lucky like we were with Henry, take a nice nap for you during the flight. 

Tip #2.. Bring only a couple of your toddlers favorite books and small toys. We brought more than a few books along and my shoulders paid for it in the long run. Diaper bags are bulky enough as is without over stuffing them with too many books/toys. I swear ours must've weighed 40lbs! Or at least it felt like it did. If your toddler gets bored quickly with what you bring, show them how the window shade raises and lowers or how the tray table goes up and down. Henry was kept entertained for a while by those things! Or, heck, give them your empty in flight drink cup to play with or a crinkley bag or peanuts. Kids are fascinated by a lot of ordinary things. 

Tip #3.. Give them something to eat or drink to help ease ear pressure pain and popping. I tried to nurse Henry during take off each flight. When he wouldn't nurse, I offered him his sippy cup or some yogurt snacks. They seemed to help. On one flight, he slept straight through and I didn't have to worry about giving him anything. On another, he slept for awhile before I felt him moving around and pulling on his ear. I adjusted him and let him nurse and he went right back to sleep.
So there they are. My tips.. Maybe these are no-brainers that everybody knows to do. Maybe they are more helpful than I think. 

**also! I was worried that other passengers would be rude to us because of Henry and I couldn't have been more wrong. I swear this kid of ours made friends with about 5 people per flight! They didn't mind at all when Henry peeked over top of the seat at them or fussed. In fact, a lot of them said reassuring things like "don't worry if he fusses on my account. I've got 6 grand kids" or "I remember my daughter's first flight...and he's doing awesome!
It was great to be seated next to people like that. 

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