[Parentsgroup-list] Toddler travel/cautionary nanny story

Kara Swanson kswanson at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Nov 10 13:24:24 EST 2008

Hi all,

On the toddler travel thread -- having done a lot of it -- I second all =

the advice, and add an emphasis on manipulatives -- someway to engage =

little bodies when they can't move.  I got great mileage out of lacing =

kits (sewing around cardboard shape -- even better if you can sew a =

train and play with it).  One trip was saved by a beading kit with big =

soft sponge-like beads, that required that the hole be punched out =

before they could be strung -- punching out the hole was an engaging =

challenge for the right age.  And finally small jars of Play dough -- a =

bit messy, but not too bad, and very tactile.  I always brought lots of =

new stuff.

Separate thread:  I just heard a unfortunately true cautionary nanny =

story from old friends, and I pass it along on the hopes that it will =

never happen to anyone else.  Their long-time nanny, whom they had taken =

great efforts to make legal, by paying her employment taxes, formally =

putting her on their car insurance (as she drove their kids), etc., fell =

down their basement steps and badly injured her head.  She was =

hospitalized, unable to work for months, and incurred large medical =

expenses.  They learned to their horror that their homeowner's insurance =

did not protect them because she was on their property as an employee, =

not as a guest, and that they are fully liable for her costs.  (She had =

no health insurance).  What they needed, they found out too late, was =

workmen's compensation coverage, which their insurance company never =

talked to them about.  Not sure how this plays out for those of us who =

rent, and their saga is in a different state, but I pass it along, =

because raising the issue with one's insurance carrier now could save =

one from what has become a big emotional and financial strain for their =

family. =



On 11/10/2008 12:14 PM, parentsgroup-list-request at lists.hcs.harvard.edu =

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> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Today's Parentsgroup Digest:
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Today's Topics:
>    1. Re: toddler traveling - harness pros/cons? (Jennifer Roloff Welch)
>   =

> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject:
> Re: [Parentsgroup-list] toddler traveling - harness pros/cons?
> From:
> "Jennifer Roloff Welch" <roloffje at gmail.com>
> Date:
> Mon, 10 Nov 2008 08:30:06 -0800
> To:
> "Andrea Heberlein" <heberlein at wjh.harvard.edu>
> To:
> "Andrea Heberlein" <heberlein at wjh.harvard.edu>
> CC:
> Judith Scott-Clayton <Judith_Scott-Clayton at ksgphd.harvard.edu>, =

> parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> Dear Judy,
> I have traveled several times by plane with my little girl who is now =

> almost three years old.
>  =

> About the harness: I got my daughter a little monkey backpack/harness =

> from Walmart, which worked perfectly to be able to grab onto the =

> little "tail" so she could be walking on her own, but I could have a =

> hold of her in case there was lots of pedestrian traffic (at the =

> airport). She also loved the backpack idea, and I put special little =

> new toys in the little zipper part---surprises which she could pull =

> out along the trip. I highly recommend this backpack/harness for peace =

> of mind and to let the little one explore without giving you a panic =

> attack. When the tail/handle is not needed, I just tuck it in the =

> backpack itself, and then it just looks like a backpack. I've also =

> used it at the apple orchard where there were lots of people walking =

> around. I don't see anything inhumane about it, and the one I got just =

> looks like a regular backpack...it doesn't hurt and it's not used to =

> pull her around, only to grab hold if she gets too far away. She also =

> loved to be able to walk on her own without my holding her hand or =

> pushing her in the stroller. And since I was wearing a backpack too, =

> she enjoyed having the "same-same" as Mom.
>  =

> I also recommend "various other doodads" as A. does below---little new =

> toys, gadgets that your child hasn't seen before, that will capture =

> her interest during the flight.
> And drinking or sucking a pacifier or thumb during take-off and =

> landing is very important for their little ears.
> Best wishes!
> Jenni
> On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 8:21 AM, Andrea Heberlein =

> <heberlein at wjh.harvard.edu <mailto:heberlein at wjh.harvard.edu>> wrote:
>     Seconding the present idea-- I took a couple of 13-hour flights
>     with my son at 15 months and books of stickers (with pads of paper
>     for sticking them on), and various other doodads (spinning
>     light-up toys, etc.) were a life-saver.
>     Another thing to consider: I'm not sure if your kid is still
>     nursing (or ever did), but pressure changes on planes can be extra
>     painful for little ears, and swallowing during take-off and
>     landing can help a lot.  (One less reason to scream en route!)
>      Our ped. recommended tangy candies (e.g. Skittles) for our kid
>     when he was a little older than yours is now-- he now thinks of
>     Skittles as "airplane candy". Bottles or sippy cups of some
>     favored liquid are good too-- the only time our kid got undiluted
>     apple juice was for flights, because we could be sure he'd guzzle
>     it at take-off and landing.
>     Good luck--
>     A.
>     At 10:43 AM -0500 11/10/08, Ceceley Chambers wrote:
>     Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
>     Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
>            boundary=3D"----_=3D_NextPart_001_01C9434B.1CC40446"
>     The best advice I got about traveling with toddlers is the present
>     idea:  You get a bunch of little toys, books, small activity set
>     type things and wrap them.  As the trip progresses you give her
>     one toy to unwrap and play with, and as gets bored with one item
>     you give her a new item to unwrap!  This worked so well for my
>     daughter when she was that age and it still works when they get
>     older (the last time we traveled she was 4 and it still worked
>     beautifully).  Also, you don't necessarily have to buy new things,
>     you might even be able to take some of her older toys that she
>     doesn't play with as much and wrap those.  The fun is in the
>     unwrapping and discovery.
>     As for the harness, I have always frowned upon them for many
>     reasons- but the main one being that it really doesn't gave her
>     that much more freedom.  I always found that a back-carrier or
>     stroller and lots of snacks worked well for us as we walked around
>     the airport and pointed out all of the new and exciting things.
>     Good luck!
>     Ceceley
>     Ceceley Chambers
>     MDiv II
>     Harvard Divintity School
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>     <mailto:parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu> on behalf
>     of Judith Scott-Clayton
>     Sent: Mon 11/10/2008 9:45 AM
>     To: parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
>     <mailto:parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu>
>     Subject: [Parentsgroup-list] toddler traveling - harness pros/cons?
>     Dear group,
>     We're taking our 18-month old on a big adventure for thanksgiving
>     involving two 3-hr flights with a layover in between.  From what I
>     understand from other parents, 18 months is a rough age for
>     traveling and I have to admit we're a bit worried as she really
>     doesn't want to sit still for any length of time.
>     Two separate but related questions:
>     1. We're considering looking for one of those harness-y type
>     things so that Astrid can have some degree of freedom to run
>     around the airport without straying too far.  I've seen these in
>     use before but have never actually talked to anyone who's used
>     one. Are they inhumane?  Thoughts? Better ideas?  It's difficult
>     to imagine how one actually gets the child in the harness, given
>     that right now it's a struggle to get her in the stroller or even
>     the backpack, but maybe kids like it?
>     2. Any other miracle tips for plane travel with 18-month old who
>     doesn't want to sit still?  Or is it just a matter of "grin & bear
>     it" until we get to our destination?
>     Advice appreciated,
>     Judy
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> -- =

> Jennifer Roloff Welch
> Advanced Doctoral Candidate
> Harvard Graduate School of Education
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-- =

Kara W. Swanson, B.S., M.A., J.D.
kswanson at fas.harvard.edu

Raoul Berger -- Mark DeWolfe Howe Legal History Fellow
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, MA 02138

Ph.D. Candidate, History of Science
Harvard University =

Science Center 371
Cambridge, MA 02138

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