THE pepper EXPRESS: Flying with a Toddler

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Flying with a Toddler

When the time was right I bought a plane ticket to Montana to visit my family. Solin will be two in March and at that time I will need to purchase another seat for her. But this time I was able to sneak her on my lap and I thought we would be fine. Before the flight, I chose our seats strategically. We needed an aisle seat with extra room. I packed my luggage, her backpack and a diaper bag full of randoms stuff. And once my husband dropped us off at the airport is when I started to panic. I thought "why did I just buy one ticket... my husband should be coming with me... this is a team effort and I don't know if I can handle the worst case scenario of Solin throwing a fit on the airplane."
We arrived two hours early. That's what I prefer and I expect that on every plane flight. We did not check any bags. However, when they were boarding the flight they asked us to check our duffle bag, which made it easier on me.  
We wondered around the terminal for the first hour. Then I stopped and bought us some dinner and Solin and I sat in an empty corridor and ate our dim sum and vegetables. I let her climb all over the place because I wanted her to release any built up energy she might be storing. 
I bought this adorable mini back pack for Solin. I put an extra set of clothes in the backpack, plus an extra diaper and wipes just in case. Then I organized all of her toys in ziploc bags. I put a few extra books in their too. And of course I had a buffet of snacks to bribe her with.
Before boarding I ran to the bathroom and changed her diaper. Made sure she had a few drinks of water and that she had eaten. We both wore comfortable clothes. I had on yoga pants and a blue sweater. Solin wore black leggings with a polka dot button up shirt. I also let her wear moccasins because they were comfortable. I put her bangs up in a pony tail so that her hair wouldn't get in her eyes. Most of the toys I brought were toys she had never seen before. Like this little skipper doll she wouldn't let go of:
In her Fjallraven mini back pack I gathered craft supplies, toys and books of an assortment. Here are a few things to mention:
  1. Ziploc bags: To put each and every toy in. I also brought extra for miscellaneous stuff
  2. Googly Eyes and Sticky Putty: This was a fun activity for her to use the sticky putty and put each googly eye all over the place. We put them on our hands, our foreheads, even the tray in front of us.
  3. Assorted Pom Poms and Cup Cake Liners: With each pom pom we would place it in the cupcake liner and then she would organize them into her very own specify order. This was her favorite. She even started putting the pom poms in my ginger ale. I was ok with it. She thought it was hilarious.
  4. The Water Wow coloring boards were fun to use. There were no markers and we only needed to use water to create magical creatures appear. 
  5. Toy Bracelets: we had fun putting the bracelets on mommy's arm and then transferring them to her arm. Sometimes I would put them on my ear and she would laugh. This took fifteen minutes of our time.
  6. Wooden Magnets: I originally thought that the tray in front of us would be made out of metal so we could stick these to. But they were fun to play with just as figurines.
  7.  Indestructable Books: These books are incredible. Solin tries to ruin her every day books by ripping them and sometimes she even spills her drinks on them for fun! The Indestructables are truly what they are. I am about to buy this one and this one for her Christmas Stocking! 
  8. Llama Llama Books: We bought the Llama Llama I Love You book for Valentines Day and Solin is obsessed. She has actually memorized the entire book. I knew there was going to be a melt down so I brought this book as insurance. I pulled out the book and read it over and over and over. When I thought I couldn't read it again. She would say "BoOoOK!"
  9. iPad with Protective Case: My husband pre-loaded our iPad with cartoons and movies for Solin to watch. We usually don't let her watch TV. But in this situation I was desperate. All the games and coloring apps were wonderful when we were in that last minute crunch. We had digital downloads of  Despicable Me , Toy Story, and Monsters Inc. But her favorite was The Animal Sounds Song. This youtube video is only 2 minutes long. But when you watch it over 20 times in a row... that turns into 40 minutes... and when you are on a two hour flight... you're ok with that.. because she is occupied!
  10. Toddler Snacks: I went to the store the night before and grabbed Yogurt Melts,  Organic Fruit Pouches, and even Mini M&M's
All of this stuff fit in her little Fjallraven mini backpack and she was proud to run around with it on her back.
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