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We leave for Hawaii next week!!! I'm super excited but also nervous about how Cam will do on the plane, whether he'll sleep at all in a new environment, the time change, etc. If anyone has any tips they've learned from experience i'd appreciate it!
For me, I think flying is just rough with little ones. I've never been on such a long flight though...my longest was three hours or so. My best advice is to bring a change of clothing in case he makes a mess or has a diaper issue on the plane, keep him dressed comfy...like track pants or pj pants or sweats...
As for on the actual vacay,the most important thing for me when I travel with little ones is that for me, it's absolutely vital that I have a place for my little one to sleep. Someplace that is relatively quiet and that the little one won't be disturbed. That way when we get to wherever we are staying, we always have a place to lay the baby down where he will be able to sleep uninteruppted and thus we will have time uninterupted....
That makes sense Angela! We upgraded to a room with a separate bedroom because we didn't know how well things would go if it was just one large room and he could see the bed. He's not used to sleeping in the same room as us so hopefully this makes it a little better. Someone told me to bring anything that will remind him of home or a comfort item. Problem is he's not really attached to anything like some kids have a lovie or something but he has nothing. I'm afraid he won't sleep at all at night! Hopefully i'm wrong about that. We also have an overnight flight on the way home (that was the only option) and i didn't want to spend $600 for a seat for him so he'll be on my lap unless we're able to get one at the last minute.
Shoot i just typed up a long response and lost it Anyway, if you are taking Cam's carseat please please please DO NOT check it with your luggage unless you are going to pack it all up in a box with padding int he box and stuff. It is extremely unsafe to use a carseat that is checked with luggage because the machines will beat the crap out of that thing (yes, even if its marked fragile, dh used to work in an airport) and its possible the seat could be damaged. The thing with that is that you wouldnt necessarily be able to tell the seat is damaged unless you got in an accident and the seat failed for some reason... it could still be damaged even if it doesnt have a huge crack down the side. If you arent going to use his carseat on board then please at least carry it with you to the gate and gate check it, that stuff is at least hand loaded onto the plane so its a tad better. And btw, i think you're so brave for not getting him a seat (though i totally understand with the cost), we could barely keep M contained for the few minutes we let him out of his seat when we flew back in March and he wasnt even walking yet then!
Otherwise the only tip i can think of is if he's going to be sleeping in a pack and play maybe you cold practice a few days ahead of time? and even if you dont think he's attached to anything i'de still bring something like a blanket that is unwashed. Also, take a blanket with you on the plane ours got surprisingly cold! Otherwise just make sure you take snacks and a new toy or something that he'll be interested in. He might also have trouble with his ears popping so if you think that might be a problem (it wasnt for M) try to have him drinking or eating something he really has to chew like a giant marshmallow during take off and landing. You could also give him tylenol. I agree with comfy clothes and if he's going to be riding in a stroller to the gate i'de just skip putting shoes on him also, one less thing to worry about taking off at the gate.
The carseat should be fine if you take it to the gate. It is handled differently when it is gate checked. Plus, if there is an extra seat, you would have it for the plane - so that is a good idea.
I bought a bunch of new toys for Jed when we went on a flight this summer. I also bought him a little roller backpack from wal-mart and put all his new toys in it. It seemed to keep him occupied. I dressed him really comfy and made sure on the layover that I let him eat and run around. I literally found an empty area in the airport and let him run like a maniac! Check online, because a few airports actually have kids areas to play.
I also let Jed have a sucker on the plane. It was a little messy, but kept him occupied and I think it helped with his ears. Make sure you have an extra shirt for yourself. If something happens and he spills or pukes on you - you don't want to wear that shirt for the rest of the long trip.
I took Jed's favorite blanket on the plane and that helped. It probably also helped him adjust to sleeping in a strange place.