28 April 2010

airplane ride + baby


in a few weeks we are taking a family vacation. a real family vacation. flying in an airplane and everything. i can hardly wait. i already have my suit packed. we've been wanting to introduce benji to the beach since he was tiny. (and i've been wanting to re-introduce myself to pinkberry since my last spoonful.) we lived in southern california for a year, so there are some hot spots i definitely want to re-visit (hello, plums cafe!) but i'd love to know your favorite things to do with kids in california.

please feel free to leave me any advice about taking a toddler on his first airplane ride too. am hoping for the best, planning for the worst. please tell me we can handle a short airplane ride sans handheld devices. unless you count crayola wonder markers & coloring books. that's about as savvy as we get around here.

come back soon for today's giveaway post.

43 comments:

Debbie said...

I'm looking forward to the advice you receive. We haven't taken a *real* vacation since the kiddos have arrived and we're wanting to plan a trip for the fall - with a 2-yr-old and 8 mo old. ha!

Have a blast!

Terry said...

Definitely have something to drink or suck to help with popping ears, especially for the 8 month old.

Mara from Motherofalltrips said...

I love Los Angeles and was just there - is that where you are going? We also lived there for three months when my son was 2. If you're going to LA I have lots to recommend: renting bikes (you can get helmets and a child seat) on Venice Beach and riding to the Santa Monica Pier; going to the LA Zoo and Travel Town in Griffith Park; Seeing the cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum and then going to the Farmers Market for lunch; checking out the LaBrea Tar Pits and the Page Museum. I'm not usually into self-promotion in my comments on other's blogs, but if your interested in more information, see here: http://www.motherofalltrips.com/category/weve-been-here/california-weve-been-here

I've always found that packing a bag with new books and a few small new toys has made flying with my kids a breeze. For more tips on flying with a toddler, I recommend Delicious Baby - this post in particular is a good one: http://www.deliciousbaby.com/travel/family-travel-tips/making-travel-days-with-kids-work/air-travel-with-babies-toddlers-kids/

Hope you have a great trip!

Feather said...

good luck and have a great trip! my mother always says to tell yourself always that it will go well. and if it doesn't, and something goes wrong, there will always be someone to help you. it seems to always work for me. and i've flown a few times alone with three young *young* children.

--r said...

i know i'm not trained in the art of toddler travel, but my guess is that benji (with all his road-tripping experience) will handle things pretty well. besides, all the new things about being in a plane are bound to be good distractions for an inquiring little mind, right?
good luck!!!

Monika said...

Maybe a mini diary with photos of beachy/California-y/vacation-y type photos adhered and you can "read" the book during down time. Or, maybe an I Spy type mini diary with things he might see in the airplane, airport that you can let him make a mark in the book so that he can show everyone what he saw while on his trip.

I have also heard that pilots are more apt to let little ones tour the cockpit after arrival rather than before take-off. Just an idea.

Have fun. Be patient. And have plenty of snacks and wipes!

Heather said...

just be sure to bring new toys. last year we took a road trip from washington state to san diego with our 3 boys ages 6 months-4 years. they were awesome. i just went to the dollar store and got some fun new toys and gave them a new one every hour or so. read books on the plane. look out the window together. and bring lots of snacks!

have fun!

Anonymous said...

be sure to tell the flight attendants that it is Benji's first flight -- he should get a certificate and an airplane pin (we did this a few years ago & not sure if rules have changed but it doesn't hurt to ask!!!)

prepare for the plane bathrooms to not have changing tables - my husband had to change our little guys diaper while sitting down on the toilet seat (cover down obvs!) and laying him in his lap! he gets father of the year award for that!

HAVE FUN!

Karmen

Kelly in Canada said...

My Benjamin went on his first flight when he was 2 1/2. The advice to take something for popping ears is good advice...I took along a home made 'trail mix' of cereals, raisins, marshmallows and chocolate chips and it kept him chewing and kept the problem at bay. His water was in a Sigg water bottle with the pop top attachment so that helped too. We had some books and a few tiny toys but I didn't even really need them because he was so excited about the whole thing that we just talked about what was happening and then once the hum of the engines got him, he fell asleep! I really think kids are better at taking things all in stride than we give them credit for. Your little guy will probably just roll with it. It's in the name!

Krista said...

sid loved just looking out the window and watching the other airplanes and ours take off. then he slept the rest of the time. hope you're as lucky.
he also LOVES the zoo and wild animal park! have fun!!

emily said...

about that plane ride. post-it notes, garage sale sticker dots, and tape. i've traveled from east coast to utah and back many times and my boys seem to love sticking those things on seats, papers, tummies,etc. and then taking them off again. oh! and cards. one time i cut out a bunch of cardstock credit card size and stuck them in an old wallet. my oldest had a grand time taking them in and out of all the slots. good luck!

Travelin'Oma said...

Take Christie along to help with the diapers. She's an expert on airplanes!

leigh said...

We just went to the beach with our 4 kids (I've been feeling the same way as you - kids need the beach!)

The only thing I found funny is that my 2 year old is afraid of the waves. Last year, when he was around Benji's age, he was even more afraid of the waves. But he still LOVED the sand. So just make sure you have a shovel and bucket.

As for the plane, hopefully it won't be too long, right? Stickers and treats are always good. New things that you can give them when they get bored with the old.

leigh said...

I forgot to say - have fun!

Marla said...

I read once (a long time ago) that the 3 best things to bring on a plane to entertain a little one are twizzlers (not at all messy, "lowish" in sugar and fun to chew), a roll of scotch tape (because how often to you get to play with one), and a small notebook with three crayons (but this was before the days of color wonder)! I have tried it and it works!

ampersandity said...

ooh, i've never been to plums cafe & i live in socal! will have to put it on my list of things to do :]

must in socal: disneyland in anaheim (of course) & pretend city in irvine.

Eeny said...

I am not a mama but I was an Au Pair and went on airplane trips with my family and my little girls. New toys will defenitely do the trick - they are exciting so the little ones won't get bored too fast. And a crayola wipe off board was a great thing to bring along - you will never run out of paper with that one =) Or what about a new book about airplanes and a toy airplane?

Katie Mitchell said...

I took my 7 month old on her first airplane trip last month. We took our portable DVD player with a Baby Einstein DVD, and she did great! She was happy and smiley most of the flight. Good luck!!

Jennifer said...

I am a fan of big suckers on plane trips. You need a package of baby wipes to go with it, but it's a novelty, it keeps them occupied for a long time and it keeps their jaw opening. Good luck and enjoy!

Cat said...

We took jake on his first trip when he was about Benji's age age and we had to get up early for our flight. That was great because he slept almost all the way! I would suggest his favorite blanket and teddy.
I also noticed that we got a lot of VIP treatment because we had a stroller: we rarely waited and just rolled in front of everybody, without asking!

KJ said...

something for benji to suck on during take-off and landing (pacifier, sippy cup, suckers). Plenty of diapers, wipes, snacks. A little more than you think you need. A comfort toy, a book, an maybe one or two new little prizes, like a toy airplane, and the color wonder is a great idea. An extra outfit is wise as traveling often brings on some tummy issues for little ones. we've only taken 2 plane trips with Max, and both went very smoothly. No DVD players. Yet. Bneji will probably have fun peering over the seat to smile at passengers behind him, who will smile back. You will be fine. Have a wonderful trip!

Eric and Lydia said...

Benadryl - helps him sleep, and will help with any possible congestion that may make the ear pain even worse. I used to make all my kids take it before getting on the plane (mom of the year, I know). Believe me, it works!

crissy said...

We took our first plane ride family vacation earlier this month. That meant 2 toddlers to handle in a confined space for 2 hours by 2 people. You have it easy since you've only got one toddler between the two of you.
Don't take a million things to try and entertain him, because that's a million things you have to keep track of and put away. We took a couple of books, and never even pulled them out. Truthfully ours were happy enough to play with the magazines and things in the seat pouches. Plus we took some chewy candies for take off and landing. It was a nice little treat that helped to keep them happy. (Gummy bears/gummi worms)
You can't take water through security, but have a sippy on hand that you can fill at a drinking fountain.
Dress him in comfortable clothes, change his diaper shortly before you leave, and he should be fine for the flight, (it really isn't that long,) but have a couple extra diapers on hand, just in case.
If he has a comfort item/lovey (stuffed animal/small blankie) make sure to have that with you. It helps to not only keep them calm on the plane, but also while away from home (but you probably know that ;) )
Good luck and have fun :)

Chad, Rachel, and Paxton: said...

We just took Pax on an airplane to California too. I bought a back pack/least (I know, I swore I would never use on of these), but it was amazing. Pax got sick of always riding in his stroller so we would get this out. He loved it because he thought it was just a backpack!
Airplane... toys and something to suck on. I just took a sippy and a sucker. Take off was a breeze. It was that dang landing that got him. Pax loved looking out the window! The airport is the worst part!! Take your stroller right to the gate with you!
Have fun!!!

Abby said...

I'm so excited for you. Benj will love looking out the window. Jake was glued to it during take off. I would suggest a sippy cup (I even got some apple juice through security), a new toy (airplane, car, something little), and if he has a blanket or pillow or something he has to have at home. Don't over pack. Our trip back from Florida we had so much carry on crap it was a nightmare. Neither of my kids made a fuss during any of the flights we've taken.

As for LA area, Kelly took me to Pretend City in Irvine which was a lot of fun. The beach (of course), and even though Benj is young I'm all about a day at Disneyland. We took Jake at 13 months his first time and he has loved it everytime since. I think you're never too young to start that. AND Benj is free - so its a little less expensive. you can do both parks in a day and just see how he does. When are you going?

talesofahummingbird said...

planes with toddlers are easy, especially with two laps two scramble between. he'll be fascinated with watching out the window while you're on the ground. in the air, use a small bag that you can keep in the seat back pocket with tiny toys. little bitty cheap new toys wrapped up in pretty paper are a fun treat to open and enjoy. mini m&m's are a great snack that last on and on. if he still likes his milk, horizon makes a small juice box sized type that doesn't require refrigeration which has been clutch on the plane. you can bring anything you want on the plane with a toddler - a whole huge ziplock full of applesauce, milk, tylenol, anything goes, they just do an extra tiny bit of screening for explosives that takes 2 seconds. bringing your stroller through the airport makes getting from point to point a snap and you can easily check the stroller on the jetway and it'll be waiting for you on the jetway at your layover or destination, easy! bring an extra outfit for benji, traveling in pj's is the best however. :) enjoy! and no, you don't need any mini dvd players or laptops or special gizmos. airplane traveling is fun, especially with his favorite mom and dad in tow.

Hannah said...

Sit over the wing. The engine lulls babies to sleep.

The short flight to CA will be easy peasy. Some treats and a coloring book should suffice.

Have so much fun. Visit our favorite spot: The Getty Museum.

Uno Kidney said...

Airplane rides! In January I took my little guy (only a few weeks younger than yours, I think!) By Myself. To Kansas City from Boise. Which included a layover, some plane changes and some stress. BUT I had a bag full of toys he hasn't seen before, snacks etc.

The very best best thing was a huge sticker book (found at target: elmo!)where the stickers can peel off and on the pages, and we stuck them all over the pages, the plane, the windows, the seat back, etc. A fine investment for about 6 bucks!
A few tips;
1. Be super nice to the flight attendants, but they love a cute babe (usually)
2. Something to suck on for take offs and landings.
3. Ask the desk attendant at the gate ahead of time if there are any empty seats you and your husband can be positioned next to on the plane, that way you can have a little extra elbow room. I always said "Is there an empty seat i can be placed next to? It will make EVERYONE'S trip more enjoyable"
4. Curbside check your stroller! and you can check your car seat and/or stroller free of charge
5. Bring some new, never before seen toys. Anything you don't mind getting dropped and/or left behind.
6. Again: Sticker Books Saved My Life
7. If you do bring toys that are wrapped, they will make you unwrap them in the security check

Okay, I think that is plenty. Mightgirl.com has some good posts on navigating the airport and plane ride that i think are fantastic!

Happy Flying

Gabi said...

Less is more. Don't jam your diaper bag full of stuff. You won't need it and it's hard to scrounge through a bag in those tiny seats.

My favorite in-flight items:
A paint-with-water book and q-tips.
A bunch of dum-dum lollipops.
Model magic clay.

Wear one of those party-favor necklaces with a bubble wand pendant around your neck. When he's absolutely crazy, you can hypnotize him with teeny-tiny bubbles.

Have fun!

Uno Kidney said...

Oh! and I forgot: I took some anti-bacterial wipes and wiped down everything that I would touch (the possibility of germs on airplanes grosses me out).. like the air vent, the seat back, the tray, the light things, etc.....
Just in case you are a germophobe too!

Mommy of three said...

It depends on where you are going, but here are some of my tips for LA/Orange County/San Diego area. I think that an almost 2 year old is pretty easily pleased. Mine have been and still are at 6, 4 and almost 2. it just depends on how excited you are.
In LA, the train options at Griffith Park are so, so fun for little boys. There is a mini train to ride, the Travel Town Museum and if you are there on the right Sunday, the Mini Steamers. Just google any of those and Griffith Park and you'll get the detials.
Even little kids like the gardens at the Getty Museum and you can poke you head in some of the exhibits.
For an aquarium experience, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach is fantastic. For a cheaper, less overwhelming but still awesome for 2 year old aquarium visit, try the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro. Then you can drive up to The Korean Friendship Bell for gourgeous views and a picnic. A drive further into Palos Verdes is also very beautiful.
Oc has great beaches. You should visit Crystal Cove and then Laguana Beach. Crystal Cove is so beautiful, you can see tidepools and eat on the sand.
The San Diego Wild Animal Park is very fun for little people. My kids like it better than the zoo.
Balboa Park in San Diego is a great place to walk around. There is a railroad museum my kids love and a little train to ride on. We also love to just walk around and see the sights.

If you have any questions, just email me and I'll give you more details.
Have fun!!!!
Greta

summer said...

hooray! i'm so excited for you, mart! i'm sure 'back to cali' 2010 will be pure fantastic. i'm so jealous of the pinkberry stops that are sure to occur. any disney plans in the works? that will forever be my fave place on any vacation.

ps. is in-n-out a big deal to you guys? it's a HUGE deal for me. if i were headed to california, it would be first on my list. cheeseburger with extra toast. and a chocolate shake, of course.

Allison said...

I've never traveled with babies or toddlers myself (not since I was one, at least), but a couple years ago I saw the cutest little guy at the Walk of Fame (in front of Graumann's Theatre? I think?) toddling his way down the sidewalk and placing his hands against every single handprint. So adorable!!

Also, speaking (maybe a little selfishly) as a traveler who frequently gets frustrated at security check...BE PREPARED for checkpoints and lines. Have all those liquids out and ready to go, fold the stroller up *before* getting in line, etc. Get to the airport early enough that you can avoid a big crowd, if possible.

Have fun! Can't wait to see the pictures of Benji's first time in California!

Mindy said...

You're going to do great. I started making the trek from Washington D.C. to Salt Lake City with my little guy when he was six months old. I was nervous the first time, but it soon became old hat. I agree that you'll want him to have something to drink during takeoff and landing. Take a few little toys, some books and your imagination and little Benji will be content the whole time. You'll also want to have snacks, wipes and

Johanna said...

how exciting!!!! enjoy your first real family vacation. I can't wait for the day that happens in our family!

kate reymann said...

I totally second the less is more. My kidd, who is about two months younger than Benji, NEVER plays with the toys I bring so something new would be good. He will spend a good five to ten minutes examining the seat belt buckles and then spends the rest of the flight moving everywhere he is not supposed to. A sticker book is a great idea as well.

I am sure your Benji will be good as gold but honestly I would pay really good money for someone else to fly with my kiddo.

Anonymous said...

I currently live in the south, but am a midwesterner. Needless to say, we travel about every 3 months by plane. I have a 21 mo old and a 3 and 1/2 year old. I must admit for my older child, I do rely on a new (or library loaned) DVD, but here are a few of my tips:
multiple big baggies full of smaller portions of lots of new snacks. novel toys/or not really toys (wallets stuffed with cards you no longer use-shopper's cards are good). stickers. photo book with familiar items or people in it.

I noticed someone mentioned no diaper changing tables on airplanes, but I have definitely seen them and had to use them! Good luck!

also, anti-bac wipes are the best!!

Ginnie said...

A box of bandaids goes a long way. My kids loved opening them up and sticking them all over their bodies.

I Heart Naptime said...

Since you've gotten a lot of advice on traveling with a toddler, I'll offer a little about S. Ca. since it's my hometown.:) Plums is amazing but you should also try:

Haute Cakes - 17th st/Irvine Ave. Breakfast or Lunch. Great food and a great outdoor area to enjoy and a place for the kiddo to cruise around if need be. ;)

Javier's at Crystal Cove- hands down best mexican food & margaritas ever.

Crystal Cove Beachcomber - Breakfast or Lunch. It's right on the beach. Beautiful beach to spend the day, walk, etc.

San Diego Zoo or Wild Animal Park

Disneyland...of course.

BTW - The Shore Break Hotel in Huntington Beach is supposed to be great.

Hope that helps! Allison

Anonymous said...

I took 2 (yes!) International flights with my 2 year old and 4 year old last year. I did have lots of snacks ... but things that won't cause kids to crash too badly (organic lollipops, granola bars, raisins, crackers, animal crackers). I also am a big believer in new toys (for my 2 year old son I put new cars in a zip top makeup case for one trip, Thomas trains for the other) I also HIGHLY recommend new books. I brought a sketch pad for each of them with TRIANGULAR CRAYONS (Melissa and Doug make great ones) -- they don't roll off the tray table -- and lots of stickers. But here is my BIG TIP -- Get one of those accordian files with the band that keeps them shut. You can store the art supplies, coloring books, reading books in their own place, organized and together. I had two ... one for each child. It makes scrambling for a new thing to entertain much easier in those small seats. And don't worry ... it will be much smoother than you fear! Have fun!!

Ann said...

#1 The Beach (You already have that on your list).

#2 YOGURTLAND!

That is all you need for the best vacation experience ever! All day, every day. Pure happiness.

Season said...

I live in the OC, so I have to second the Beach Comber at Crystal Cove. It's my new favorite place to take visitors. You can make reservations online, if you go to their website. Then you can go there, have a delicious meal without waiting (breakfast is the best!!! try the souffle french toast, you won't regret it)and then spend the day in the sand. And also walk by the beach cottage where they filmed the movie "Beaches" with Bette Middler. It's the blue one, the furthest one out.

Plums is great too, but the location isn't as beachy. :)

And Haute Cakes is just down the street from Plums and it's got great breakfast too.

Have fun!

Erin said...

My boys have been flying ever since they were tiny babies (my little guy went to Hawaii with us when he was just 2 months old) and they always do better than I'm afraid they're going to. Something about the fun of the airplane, all the people to look at, the new toys you've got for them ... the plane rides usually just go by really quickly! Have fun in so cal - I so miss living there!

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