Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tips for Travelling with a Baby (18-24 Months)

This is it. Our last set of free flights with Adventure Baby. We really maximized our opportunities over the past two years and are staggered by the numbers she's accumulated:

Flights: 28
Airports: 19
Countries: 8
Continents: 4

Thank goodness we didn't have to pay for any of those!

Our Thanksgiving trip this year, coming in a month before her second birthday, was quick and filled with good-quality family time. There are only a few things we wanted to share that may be helpful if you're travelling with a little one who falls in this age gap.

Before Your Trip
We spent a fair bit of time in the two weeks leading up to our trip talking about planes. We enthusiastically pointed them out in the sky, we read books about planes, and we talked through exactly what would happen on our trip from leaving our house to arriving at Erin's parents' place. This book: Hello, Airplane! by Martha Day Zschock was especially helpful. We talked about how Baby would have her own backpack that would go through the security scanner like a train (choo choo!) including Bunny. We even described the exact snacks she'd have on the plane...She was super prepped for the experience. The airport was an absolute breeze. It was the first time we didn't take a stroller. She wore her own backpack and walked herself to the gate. Craig boarded first with our bags and Erin and Baby waited until the very end, running around, watching the planes, and significantly cutting down the time aboard waiting before the plane took off (what we always find is the worst part of the journey).

During the Flight
We found this to be the EASIEST flight we've taken so far with Baby. She was so much easier to entertain and she understood that us being on the plane was a temporary situation. She also understood that we were going on the plane to see Grandma, Grandpa, and her cousins, so that really motivated her through the journey. Having her on our laps was no problem at all. One of the biggest challenges we find with a lap infant is how difficult it is to access your stuff. But at 22 months, Baby could hop down, crawl under the seat and pull out things we asked for. It was super handy!

We did a short play when we first got on before the plane started to move, then watched out the window for take-off and said "up, up, up!" as we rose into the air, which she loved. We had a snack with lots of food that takes a while to eat like Cheerios and blueberries. Then she played some more with her toys. This was the first time we had downloaded a couple of tv shows on our tablet so we cuddled and watched a bit of t.v. Then we changed her into her pj's at her normal bedtime, read a few stories and told her she'd have a short sleep on the plane before we got there. There was a little protesting but she eventually got to sleep for about 45 minutes before landing. We used our usual Sleep Sounds app to help her fall asleep.

What We Took
Her backpack held:
- Bunny
- 2 small board books and 2 small bath books
- Munch Mitt bag filled with tiny Robert Munsch stories
- Paper and washable crayons
- Buckle Toy
- 2 small bath toys (on the way home she also had the 3 Boon ducks her cousins had given her)

We also had a couple of games downloaded on our tablet which she played on the flight home instead of watching t.v.

The quality family time we got was priceless. We're so glad that we were able to squeeze in this last trip "home" before we have to start paying for Baby's seats. We'll see you all on the "other side."

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