You know, I give all you moms props who flew on an airplane with a child, period. Let alone toting a child who has discovered walking and moving around is the greatest thing ever, and being held by you sucks. I read so many posts on how to entertain a kid while on the airplane, and what to do and how to pack, and I am here to tell you that zero of that worked with our kid. Zero. Imagine like the squirmiest worm you can find — one that screams and cries and kicks, and that was our kid on the airplane.
I am not kidding.
I read post after post after post on how to keep kids calm, on how to unplug their ears, on what to download for them to watch, what to bring for them to eat.
None of it worked. He was just starting to really not need a bottle, so throwing a bottle at him and expecting him to get nice and full and pass out was out of the question. Our kid has zero interest in watching any sort of TV, ipad, whatever — and this is NOT a humble brag, I WISH he had something that would keep him still for .5 seconds. We brought snacks, but hey guess what? They don’t work if your kid isn’t hungry. And we had a pediatrician on the flight who told us to plug his nose to get him to clear his ears — so clearly everything I read about making sure a paci or something that he could suck so his ears would pop was complete and utter bullshit.
So my husband and I endured the two hour flight from ATL to Philadelphia throwing a kid back and forth between each other, trying to shove a pacifier in his mouth, and putting him in between his legs hoping that maybe his feet touching the ground would give him some peace of mind (ps – it didn’t). Luckily there were three other babies/toddlers on the flight who hated it as much as our kid.
To say we were dreading the flight back home is an understatement– we called the airline to see if we could even buy a seat for the kid so that we could bring our car seat on the plane — he does MUCH better when he’s actually restrained by those things and not human arms. We could have for the low low price of $300. No, thank you. So we sucked it up, and prayed for a quick flight, with maybe a nap.
For whatever reason, the kid only slept a total of twenty minutes in the car from my mom’s house to the airport — good sign, we thought, at least he’ll be tired. And he’d developed a little bit of a rash while up in PA, so we went and got him some Benadryl – good deal, we thought – Benadryl makes you drowsy.(Turns out, after a doctor visit when we were back home and Sheffield had broken out into full-on hives, he may have just been stressed out from all of the traveling — me too, buddy). We were so proud of ourselves, since it seemed like we were setting ourselves up for success. We got through security fairly quickly, got him his first Happy Meal at the gate (first Happy Meal!! super important milestone!), and waited to board. While we were boarding he got super fussy, and wanted to get down. B and I looked at each other, like, well, we tried. When we sat down on the plane, B did something magical. He put Sheffield under his seat belt with him!!! It was like he was restrained in his car seat!! He took his book and his paci, and within twenty minutes was passed out!! B and I high-fived (very, very quietly), and sat back to relax during the flight.
He woke up about ten minutes before landing, but seemed pretty occupied with looking out the window. We did it!! We weren’t shitty parents!! No one looked us like, control your kid people!! It was more like, job well done you two!! We patted ourselves on the back; we had made it.
I don’t have any advice for you – I really don’t. I guess the moral of the story is, is that a million different things work for a million different families – you just have to find what works for you.