Monday, June 4, 2012


When I stress out or get really nervous about something it helps when I go on a run. While I am running I can zone out and try to decipher what I can do about whatever situation I am anxious over. If anything it calms me and allows me to make a better decision about what ever I am dealing with.  Lately I've been stressing out about our flight to San Francisco at the end of the week. I want to go but I am nervous about keeping Judah in our lap the entire time. Scott wanted to try flying with him on our laps one more time before he reaches the age where we have to purchase him a seat. I went along with it since he flew on our lap last year but now I am getting nervous about our decision and now I think if we wanted to purchase him a separate seat we wouldn't be able to because we are so close to our fly out date.  Now I am nervous that the flight to California and the flight home with a toddler is going to be a nightmare. Especially when we have to hold him in our laps.

 Since I've been thinking about our flights allot I took Judah on a run to clear my head and hopefully come up with a solution that would give my anxious heart peace. We ran around the university for four miles. Then I ran him up to the local high school so he could play at the park there. 

While I was at the park I realized we still had a mile to run back home. Making our total run 5 miles. It barely felt like I ran two because my brain was working overtime on what to do. 

While I was at the park I decided I was going to ask my readers if anyone has flown with a toddler before? Have you flown with a toddler on your lap? Our flight from DC to San Francisco will be 5 hours and we will be sitting in the back of the plane. Do you have any suggestions (please no nightmare stories) on what I can do to make this an amazing flight for everyone, including the other passengers. 

I would really appreciate any positive advice you have for this flight. Its an early morning 6 am flight so we are hopeful that the plane will be semi empty and people can move their seats away from us in case Judah is a total nightmare. 

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  1. I've flown lots with Matilda on my lap, including overseas flights when she was 18 months! It honestly isn't that horrible, especially when there are two of you to wrangle!! Lots of snacks, iPad or iPhone with games, coloring books, a new small toy... All of these things kept Matilda's attention pretty well (our longest flight was 8 hours!) good luck!!!! Judah will do great!

    1. Rachel I LOVE YOU!!!! Okay Judah is 18 months and its 5 hours... we are brining the iPad,iPhone w games and snacks and a few new toys...okay I am keeping a list and getting this stuff this week
      (ps this makes me feel so much better that you have flown w matilda when she was 18 months)

  2. I flew to Austin by myself with Laelia right before she turned two (lap riding). I thought it was going to be horrible, because she was kinda distraught before we took off (she was confused as to why Daddy wasn't coming with us). I sat with another woman who had a child on her lap, but then, just as we got settled we had to move because there would not have been enough oxygen masks for us. When the stewardess asked if I could sit next to the couple in front of us, he actually asked for free drinks because "he had to sit next to a baby"! But, right before we took off, she settled down, and we drew in coloring books and watch movies on my phone, and ate some snacks. At the end of the flight, the couple I sat next to commented about how great she did on the flight and how behaved she was! On our flight home, our plane was delayed SEVEN HOURS. But she hammed it up with the staff and even the single guys my age that we sat near, and then slept about half the ride. It went wayyyy better than I expected! And even if it starts bad, it can get better! Good luck! xoxo

  3. My advice is the same as Rachel's. I flew with Millie at 18 months and kept her entertained with the iPod and iPad. We ha games and Dora and little Einstein shows. I also have her little snacks (she especially loved the treats she doesn't normally get like m&m's) I'm sure Judah will be fantastic!!!

  4. Jess, my parents use to fly with me like that All the time. And since I loved to cuddle sitting in their laps was no biggie . That's why I think for Judah you will be fine.just remember if you are calm they are calm. Plus me and wolf ride the train all the time and the best part is saying hi to everyone . So no sweat!

  5. We flew Chicago to Copenhagen, Copenhagen to Paris. Milo was 2, Molly 4, me 16 weeks pregnant, Scott two rows ahead of me. They did have their own seats, but lots of snacks, books, iPhone with apps loaded, crayons and paper, small quiet toys. You'll be fine. You can always get up and walk the aisles once you reach cruising.

  6. We flew with our boy 9 hours to England when he was 16 months and one thing we did was buy a new entertaining toy and wrap it for the flight, that way he's entertained by opening it and hopefully it will keep him occupied. You'll be fine, just think positively and pray, alot ;)

  7. I've done two trips with a toddler. Once with a car seat and once without. DON'T buy a seat for Judah. The lap trip was without any problems. The trip with the car seat was a waste of money. She couldn't understand why she was strapped to her seat when there were two readily available laps right next to her. Tantrums ensued. It was also a total drag to haul the car seat around the airport (and it was a trip to Mexico with a layover and customs - UGH!)
    What toddler doesn't love hours of their parents undivided attention? Sure there might be a tantrum or a loud moment here and there, but everyone whose had a child would understand and those who don't have children should be inconvenienced more often, in my opinion. I can promise you this, if you go into that situation catering to the other passengers on the plane and letting Judah get away with murder to keep him quiet, you'll regret it in San Fransisco. Kids think boundaries don't exist when they are in a new environment and mommy's acting strange and letting them get away with things. He'll sense you want him quiet and use it to his advantage. Then once you're in San Fransisco, it'll take hours to get him back to the rules and boundaries he understands. By then you will have lost your sanity. The other passengers get to walk away from your toddler. You have to keep him. I always remind myself this when I get funny looks from people because my child is throwing a tantrum on the library floor and I'm ignoring said child. It's nice that you are concerned for the other passenger's flight, but it's a tiny little portion of their life that they will shortly forget about entirely.

    Enjoy your trip!

  8. We just got back from holiday with our 16 month old which included 3.5 hour flights with him sitting on our laps. We had an early flight on the way out too which I was a little worried about but was fine. We've flown once before with him we he was 5 months and he was great, just nursed and slept (miracle!)

    For our first flight we had to wake up at 4 so I was hoping by the time our 7am take off he would be ready to go back to sleep. I was travelling with my partner and my mum and her parent so there were lots of helping hands too which helped. We sat in a row of three with me and him in the middle. I'm still nursing which I frying helped as just before take off he nursed and carried on until he was asleep and we were in the air. He slept for nearly an hour which was good, but I was hoping for longer! After this we played on the iPad, gave him lots of snacks and let him have an explore up and down the aisle with daddy. The other passengers were fine with him as he was smiling and waving at them all (a charmer like Judah!) it did get a little bit tiring as he did want to climb and explore most of the time. We distracted him with playing with the window blind and reading books! It was ok in the end, no tears or screaming! (even though he does tend to screech when he's excited but there's nothing I can do about it except just try and quieten him down)

    On the return journey we decided that as there were empty seats on the first flight we would try and save a whole row to ourselves. We checked the night before to see if the flight was fully booked which it wasn't, so that was good. We just thought that if it wasn't full people hopefully wouldn't try and sit with us anyway! So when we boarded we got a row and I sat at the window an my partner on the aisle and theo in the middle. Most people thought that he was probably old enough for a seat of his own anyway so didn't try and sit with us (who wants to sit with a family with a toddler anyway?! I wouldn't!) again he nursed just before take off and fell asleep, and when we could take our seatbelts off we gently eased him off my lap into the middle seat. This worked so well as he could stretch out and be a lot more comfortable. He slept for nearly two hours! When he woke up we did the same with him as the first flight and he seemed happy. On landing I nursed him again as they say sucking or chewing helps with the air pressure changes.

    I know our flight wasn't as long as yours will be, but I hope this helps. I'm sure you will be fine though, and I think the flight attendants should be fairy helpful and understanding. Also hopefully the other passengers will be, some them will Hae probably been there themselves so have some empathy! And if not, then try not to worry what they think, you have every right to fly with a toddler and if he gets upset he's the most important thing to worry about and not what other people are thinking!

    But good luck, hope it all goes well and is peaceful!

  9. Done it w/Jack many times...I always made sure I had an army of new little toys to sprinkle through out the trip and new vids w/old favorite vids...books, play dough (who cares if it is messy), and Google plane activities/ideas for toddlers-I'm sure there are more new ideas now...and always offer to buy folks around you a drink if he becomes unbearable.. .humor goes a long way and everyone appreciates the gesture...and as a former business traveler and then mom flyer I've worn both hats...and walk him-every chance you can...SF planes are usually bigger...going forward- take a small layover...usually helps to change it up a bit...that's all I know! Have fun, relax-he's smart and will sense your stress, embrace this adventure w/your boy, and try to focus on experiencing what he is experiencing and not worrying about others! You can do this and so can he!xo-S

  10. Oh, let's talk about this on Thursday. :) I have flown with N and it was (mostly) a pleasant experience! Don't be nervous!

    Also, do you have a jogging stroller? I would like to start running with N in a stroller but we don't have one & I don't want to spend the $ on one. Thoughts?

  11. it's always worse in our heads than it will actually be. you have a TON of excellent advice here!! I let deegan walk up and down the aisle to stretch his legs. and if you can, request the bulk head row or very first row....that way Judah has room to sit on the floor while in the air and play and you get a moment to yourself. delta is really good about giving that row to parents with lap babies. try some chamomile tea is his zippy cup, too to relax him. you guys will all do great and you'll be happy you saved the money for something fun!!!

  12. First of all, I wish I could run like that. I hate running but want to love it so badly so bravo on your 5 mile run! If you are in the back of the plane on a 5 hour ride just get up and walk around the plane with him. It's been so long since Logan was that age so I don't have any other words of wisdom. I will be thinking of you and sending good vibes your way! It's going to go great and you guys will have a blast!


  13. Sounds like I need to start going on runs! Good job on the 5 miles, that's awesome. Unfortunately, I have no ideas to share bc we haven't flown with Mason yet. I will be interested to hear what worked/didn't work for you. I will keep you guys in thought and pray for a nice, smooth flight!

  14. I'm just popping over from Deanna's blog... I have a trip coming up with my 18 month old too and I'm terrified! It will only be me this trip with my little one, it's a 5 hour flight with one layover and I'm 5 months pregnant. Needless to say, I'm thankful for all the reassurance here as well! Please do a follow up on your flight!!!


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