[Parentsgroup-list] toddler traveling - harness pros/cons?

Ian Stokes-Rees ijstokes at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Wed Nov 12 05:43:50 EST 2008

Judith Scott-Clayton wrote:
> 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.

Travelling at that age can be difficult.  We did several flights of 3-12 =

hours with our daughter between the age of 1 and 2.5.  Some went well, =

and some were hard.

> 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?

Have lots of food and water for them.  If the airline doesn't offer =

"personal entertainment" so you can let them watch some kids videos, =

take a laptop along with some kids DVDs.  In any case, if your child =

will watch videos you should get over-the-head headphones, rather than =

the common behind-the-ear style (which most airlines now use) which =

don't stay on most kids' ears.  Ear buds normally don't work well =

either.  Consider buying some kids headphones ($10-$20 on ebay, I think).

My daughter could amuse herself for 20-30 minutes doing "sticking" with =

bits of paper and glue stick plus stickers.

The airline probably won't let your child runaround in the aisles, and =

even if they do, your fellow passengers won't thank you.  A few =

accompanied trips to "explore" around the cabin can burn 20-30 minutes =

in total.

If they'll sleep, a bed on the floor under your feet may work.  I used =

that technique several times, with an airline blanket covering my daughter.

I don't recommend this (and have never done it), but I know some parents =

give their kids infant tylenol to knock them out for the flight, on the =

basis that it is best for everyones well being.

Depending on the airline, a bulkhead seat is not always better -- you =

can't have any bags on the ground, and there may actually be less space =

than a normal seat.  I flew Turkish Airlines London<->Istanbul with my =

18 month daughter and they gave us a cot which was great.  She was way =

too big for it, but climbed in and went to sleep.  Virtually no =

"western" airline will let you do this with an 18 month, however.

Good luck!

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