Sunday, May 30, 2010

How we are preparing for a long flight with our toddler

I have read articles about traveling with small children. I have spoken to many other moms on Twitter who have traveled with their kids. There is plenty we can do to make our long 20 hour journey more pleasurable with our 18 month old. First, I think we just need to be very organized and plan things well. That's my department so like most of my projects, I research and make sure I have enough time to figure and plan everything out.

There are a few tips I am following from the article "Fly and cry: Babies divide air travelers." Specifically, I'm going to do the following:
  • Because of the change in cabin pressure, I'm going to make sure Tristan's water bottle is nearby so that I can let him drink when we take off or when we make our initial descent. In fact, we're going to offer him water constantly because the air is dry and he'll be thirsty.
  • We're not going to drug Tristan. I know a lot of people do but I don't feel good about it at all. I can understand how some parents would be tempted though. Maybe if we remember, we will ask our doctor about it on Tuesday to see what she thinks and what she can recommend that would be safe.
  • We're bringing along familiar toys and books from home, and we'll be taking shifts walking around the plane with him every so often. We'll do this even if he doesn't cry.
  • We're bringing along new toys he has never seen before. I will wrap a few of them so that he can enjoy opening them.
  • We'll both have our iPod and iPhones and all of Tristan's favorite music will be on it.
  • We will try our best to quiet Tristan when he is too loud or is crying. As the article points out, "if other people see you trying, even if you're not succeeding, they will feel at least you're ... doing your best to stop it. And they'll have some sympathy for you."
  • We have lots of snacks! Some are old favorites and others are fairly new. We have tested all the new snacks on him already but have only given them once or twice so he may not even remember. I may even wrap a box and put some snacks inside just for fun :)
  • In case of emergency, we'll have backup outfits for everyone. And of course, we will all be dressed comfortably and for Tristan it will be clothes we can remove easily.
Since we're not purchasing a separate seat for Tristan and he sits with us, he won't be receiving a meal. I'm going to pack him a couple of meals and he can eat some of our food as well. I'm still trying to figure out what the best food should be though. I'm going to ask if the airline will let us borrow their fridge. If not, we will feed Tristan earlier and then give him lots of snacks like bread and fruit. We're allowed to bring as much milk as we need as well but the problem is we may need quite a bit and I'm worried that it may go bad if we can't borrow a fridge. Freezing milk and his meal has crossed my mind but I'm still not sure. I'm definitely going to make him cream cheese and salmon sandwiches since I know he loves that and he can eat that at room temperature. Once I contact the airline with all my food questions, I'll have a better idea of what to do.

The airline we are flying with, Air Transat, has a Kids Club parents can join to register their kids. If you register, you get a traveling bag for your child that includes activity books, games, colorful headphones etc. Fill in the information online and they will mail you your welcome kit. However, the club is for 2-11 year olds so I don't think Tristan will qualify for it :( I think he is old enough to enjoy some of those things so I may ask about this too. It seems like they may also give out the bags at the check-in counter.

Once we leave the house for our trip, our entire routine will go out the window. Well, I hope not everything so I'm going to program multiple alarms on my iPod. With our iPhone and iPod Touch, we will be able to view the times in both Paris and Vancouver at the same time. In fact, we can add as many different cities as we would like so we can see the time differences. Based on Vancouver time, I'm going to program meal, nap, and diaper times for Tristan. This way I won't have to worry about that at all :)


harriet glynn said...

Have a great trip Susan. I'm sure it will all go swimmingly. You seem to be very well prepared. I'm taking notes for our Toronto visit this summer (not that it's nearly as long).

Bon Voyage!

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