Flying with a 2 year old
  • WheredidIgoWheredidIgo
    Posts: 126Member
    So we are flying from New Jersey to Florida 2.5 hour flight straight through thank goodness. BUT, we have never done this so ANY and ALL advice on how to survive with a VERY high energy, moody, tantrum ridden toddler would be GREATLY appreciated :) My daughter is 6 so she will be easy but him...omg....we are really scared...LOL
    The time you need to do something is no one else is willing to do it and say it can't be done.
  • ChristyJChristyJ
    Posts: 982Member

    1. Give Benadryl 30 minutes before boarding flight

    2. Buckle in seat

    3. Give telephone or something with easy apps or electronic games he can play

    4. Sit next to Sister who, hopefully, can also help keep him engaged.

    5.  Pray and practice your apologetic smile.


    Imperfect and proud of it.
  • WheredidIgoWheredidIgo
    Posts: 126Member
    Awesome thank you...haha. The only problem is he is one of those children that Benadryl has the opposite effect, makes him that is a bummer...maybe some of my Ativan? LOL j/k
    The time you need to do something is no one else is willing to do it and say it can't be done.
  • organicbabyorganicbaby
    Posts: 2,020Member
    I get sticker books, the ones that restick when I fly with DD It keeps her engaged for an hour or so. We also walk in the plane for entertainment and eat some snacks. Phone apps are also a good idea.
    He will most probably cry at landing due to ear pain.
  • stinkersmommystinkersmommy
    Posts: 1,887Member
    Make sure both kiddos have gum or suckers to combat ear popping. Don't sweat it 2.5hrs will fly by esp with a window seat! Also car seats aren't required so if he would be happier out of it just check it (baby gear flies free) We did FL to HI with a 4 yr old and it wasn't to hairy
  • shate98shate98
    Posts: 5,020Member
    snacks. sippy cups- esp for take off and landing (helps clear the ears)
    blanket to put under seat so the toys don't hit the dirty floor (have you seen how dirty a plane floor is???)
    window seat
    bag o toys/books

    shot of vodka and earplugs...for you :P
    "As you wander through your life, whatever be your goal,
    keep your eye upon the doughnut, not upon the hole."
  • WheredidIgoWheredidIgo
    Posts: 126Member

    Ya'll are the best...always a good laugh and very valuable help..(honestly)! Great ideas, didn't even think about the ear deal, thank you all SO much!! Ugh...the floor ewwww...never even thought about that one..LOL

    I made sure to get us all on 1 row and the aisle next to us so DH and I can swap him out and raise cain in the row we are on...poor people. :( I think I'll buy a shot of vodka for everyone on the plane then maybe they won't kill us and we will make it to Disneyworld alive... :)





    The time you need to do something is no one else is willing to do it and say it can't be done.
  • KiinuKiinu
    Posts: 1,233Member
    I flew DS from MA to FL last year when he was 2. I packed a toybag for him. And we brought a laptop so he could watch a movie, and we were sitting up front where there is more space. Color wonder makes a Travel Tube that has 3 markers inside it and the paper rolled ont he outside. the back of the paper has a low tack adhesive so it stays put where you place it. it's like $5.

    We used a sippy cup for take off and a dum dum pop for landing. we did okay, there was only a minor hissyfit when he had to go back into his harness. We didn't bring his carseat, I think if we had he might have been better, he LOOOOVES his carseat, but we had rented one of thjose kids harness things that connect to the seatbelt and back of the chair. I brought a whole tube of those gerber baby poofs too, that helped.
  • unforgivenunforgiven
    Posts: 12,718Confessional Manager
    When I flew with my 2yo I took...
    Snacks sippy cups, paci, blanket, diapers, wipes, extra pants, coloring books, stickers, dvd player and dvds, a few figurines/toys, a comfort toy or stuffie, meds, crayons, my phone for apps, head phones, basically anything to keep her quiet..


    "What looks like torture is a time to rejoice
    What sounds like thunder is a comforting voice
    When what is beautiful looks broken and crushed
    And I say I don't know you
    But you say it's finished"
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    Does Advil or Tylenol make him sleepy?  Either is fine to give him if he's that hyped up.  But @ChristyJ said pretty much what I would have.  If you can afford it (or have a laptop) get a portable DVD player and take some of his favorite movies/TV shows.  If you have an iPad or other similar there are a ton of great education kid apps, as well as cartoons/stories etc. that you can download.  the only drawback is take off and landing when you can't have electronics.

    Crayons and coloring books are also great for the time when you can't turn on the movies.
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • Willow
    Posts: 22Member
    I've flown with DD3 several times; 6 months, 8 months, 13 months, and just under 2 years.  Every time she's done well except the return flight (IL to CA) at 8 months.  By the time we landed she'd gone through all of her clothes and was wearing only a bib and diaper, and the guy next to me and I were both wearing baby puke :(

    Try tylenol or motrin pre-flight and a sippy with milk for take off.  I used a carseat each time.  I felt like it helped her to have at least her seat be familiar.  A favorite toy and blanket.  Toys to play with, especially something new that he hasn't seen as a last resort.  Stickers and coloring books.  Play-doh if you are brave :)  Snacks he likes (DD loved the Gerber puff things).  I know he's a little young, but you can start trying to talk to him about going on the plane and looking out the window for birds and things that might get him excited vs not knowing what's going on.  A DVD player was a life saver on our last flight (Seattle to Tokyo).   DD loves milk, so I had the flight attendant bring me a carton of milk to put in her sippy before we landed so she could have that for the landing.

    My biggest thing was to not be afraid to get up and walk with her when she needed me too; as long as the seat belt light isn't on, you can get up and do a little bit of walking if it will help him.  And get to the bathroom early for diaper changes/bathroom breaks.  (only made that mistake once)  Good luck!  I'm sure he will do just fine.  
  • LiquidPeppermintLiquidPeppermint
    Posts: 841Member
    I've flown several times with my daughter, most recently when she was 18 months.  Everyone here has talked about how to survive the flight, but what about surviving security and the airport?  Here's my advice:

    Bring an umbrella stroller.  You can purchase one at Wal-Mart or Costco for about $15.  Your child won't need to be in it long, but a stroller that won't fit through the security scanner is a pain in the butt!

    Don't bring milk to the airport.  In fact, don't bring any drink for your child.  Any liquid will just result in delays at security.  It's so much easier to shell out a few dollars for one at a restaurant, and it'll still be cold.  Also don't carry anything that MIGHT be considered a liquid or gel, including Skittles, jello, etc.

    Look for the family line at security.  In most airports, they'll see your harried look and stroller and direct you there anyway.

    Leave your child IN the stroller as you prepare yourself to go through the security.  Take him out and stand him with his feet between yours as you fold it so he can't get far.  You do NOT have to take your child's shoes off.

    Once through the check, rewind your going-in act.  Put your child in the stroller and strap him in FIRST, then get your shoes, etc.

    Find your gate immediately and ask to gate-check the stroller. They'll give you a tag to put on the stroller, but they won't take it.  You'll still be able to use it in the airport. If you wait until you're boarding, it'll be a pain in the ass, and you'll get dirty looks from other passengers and hostesses alike. 

    While waiting for your flight, show everything to your toddler.  The airport is a new, fun place!  He may want everything he sees in a book store, so have on hand a new toy or two that he's never seen (maybe a toy airplane! One that doesn't cost $24.99 like the one in the book store). 

    Let your child OUT of the stroller, and even roam with him a bit so he'll be less energetic on the plane.

    Take advantage of the pre-boarding opportunity, if given, for parents with children.  You'll need it!  When you begin the boarding process, keep your child IN his stroller until the last minute.

    As for a DVD, I just bought a Pyle DVD player for my daughter from for about $45. It's an off brand, but it plays all kinds of files, uses USB or SD card (so you can put 4 or 5 movies on a card and not carry a bunch of discs), and has so far stood up to a TON of abuse from my daughter. It was an excellent price for what I got. Off-brand, yeah, but it definitely keeps her happy when we're in the car.
  • LiquidPeppermintLiquidPeppermint
    Posts: 841Member
    I also saw an idea (somewhere, maybe here) where some parents of a baby made up "bear with us" bags with a few candies and a note apologizing to other passengers for their child, in case the baby started crying. The notes reminded the other passengers that at least THEY could get off the plane and be done with the baby, whereas the parents had to continue to contend with him. They handed these out to EVERY SINGLE passenger on the plane!  They also bought the tiny bottles of tequila and offered THOSE to every adult passenger within two rows of the baby.
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    Actually, I've never really had problems with liquids at the long as they are specifically labeled for infants/toddlers.  I use Gerber nursery water for dd, even now at 4 because we're on a well.  I would go to Target or Baby's R Us and get the 8 oz "sports" bottles of it.  Definitely take don't want to depend on airport food or plane food.  I made that mistake once.  We were going coast to coast and stuck in the very back of the plane.  By the time they got to us with the crap they make you pay for, they had nothing but snack boxes left.  The only thing good was that particular snack box had hummus.  That whole trip was a nightmare from the flying portion, dd was 18 months at the time, and quite a seasoned traveler even then.

    Most airports now have lines for family's so it's much smoother.  The stroller thing can be a bit of a pain in the butt, but I most always took mine.  I did buy one to leave at my mother's, though it was more of an accident than a conscious thought...we were headed to the zoo, and had forgotten her stroller, so I stopped and bought one.  

    Bite me, cupcake!
  • BellaBefanaBellaBefana
    Posts: 10,374Member
    And just a hint:  while what @LiquidPeppermint said about the bear with us bags is cute and a nice idea, you really don't need to do anything.  I've been a business traveler for 20 years, and the little ones never bothered me, even when they were screaming, unless they were kicking the back of my seat.

    Most people are quite understanding of people traveling with little ones.  I used to take Disney DVDs with me everywhere and loan out my laptop to a parent who might need it.
    Bite me, cupcake!
  • organicbabyorganicbaby
    Posts: 2,020Member
    If you take liquids for your son, like a baby bottle, just take them out in a tray. TSA will stop you, tell you they have to check them and to please open them, they will check with one of those cotton swapping thingies and let you go. I usually wear my shoes and gather my things while they do. Also, no stroller for me, I travel with a baby carrier sling, TSA randomly may or may not let you wear it to walk through security.
    I also travel a lot. Remember, the plane is not quiet, the engine noise covers most of the children cries or screams.
  • irishlassirishlass
    Posts: 7,057Member
    I did a 5 and a half hour flight with a 2yo earlier this year. Lots of snacks and treats are good. I couldn't afford a dvd player so I got a cd player and a couple of cds that were read along books. He sat quietly for a good 30mins listening to the stories! Also I brought some nice music. Songs that were familiar but not too crazy.
    Also I would do maybe 6 little toys from a cheap shop, like a little car etc in bags, wrapped up so that he can have a present every half hour that's new and will distract him.
    2.5 hours will fly in, honestly! If you are relaxed, he will be too.
    At the end of our flight one of the air stewardesses who had been working in the middle of the plane ( we were at the back) saw him and did a double take and was so shocked there was a kid back here because she didn't hear a peep! All the staff were raving about him and how good he had been. I was a proud mama.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter." - Dr. Seuss
  • bombkittybombkitty
    Posts: 306Member
    Get some goodies that the kids don't normally get.  I let my kids have pop-tarts and granola bars b/c we never buy them at home, and I pack some cool craft activity.  The precut, self-adhesive little foam shapes are awesome, fill a little baggie with them and something to decorate with them.  Last flight, from Germany to Turkey, I picked up little packs of modeling clay.  Not ply-doh, b/c it falls apart and is a pain in the ass, but the sticks of modeling clay.  We didn't need anything else on the whole flight, kids just made little creations.  I actually participated in that, too, it was fun.
    Good luck!
  • meandmy243meandmy243
    Posts: 9,474Member
    Try coffee...
    let them eat cake! because id rather have pie!!!
  • msfinallyhome
    Posts: 10Member
    We brought the car seat and strapped it in to her plane seat. She is used to long car rides so, we think she just felt like it was a long car ride. We had no problems (Except changing a poopy diaper across our seats mid-flight.) Now that she is 3 the DVD player definitely helps.
  • goldie
    Posts: 109Member
    When one of my kids was that age he would scream like a maniac at take off and landing because of the pressure change.  They used to make these things sold in drug stores called "earplanes" that look like ear plugs.  They helped him immensely.