Just Another Manic Mommy
Flying Solo with a Toddler
Dear Manic Mommy: I need some advice. I am traveling to Florida on an airplane with a 21-month-old BY MYSELF! Can you offer some ideas or tips to keep my daughter occupied? This is not her first time, mind you, but it is the first time where it is just Lila and me. I know I’m crazy, but her nana and papa miss her, so off I go! Thanks! Jenn
Manic Mommy: Hey, Jenn! My parents are a nana and papa, too, and they’re also in Florida! On my first solo trip to visit them, I traveled with Ajers, who was 2 at the time, and Diva, who was just 6 months old. Fortunately, my memory has faded from that trip! Just kidding — it wasn’t that terrible. I lucked out and sat next to a nice pregnant woman traveling by herself, and she was all over Diva!
When traveling with Lila alone, you should bring anything and everything to keep her entertained; go to the bookstore and get new board books she has not seen. Bring along a lot of snacks, and if you can manage to get an aisle seat, that would be good, too, in case she gets cranky and you need to take her for quick little walks, but remember to stay in your seat while the seat-belt light is on, no matter how loud she may be screaming. That’s important.
Small toys from the dollar store will entertain her throughout the trip, too, and even giving her the magazine in the pocket in front of you to let her rip to shreds would be fine — whatever it takes to make your darling happy during that flight!
If you don’t mind spending a little extra, you might want to look into purchasing a portable DVD player; they’re very affordable. One Disney movie should get you all the way to Florida, especially if Lila will sit through the previews.
Also, if she’s still taking a bottle or a pacifier, or if she’s breastfeeding, try to make sure she’s sucking on something during takeoff and landing. Diva and I just took a flight, on her 9th birthday, and even she had ear problems on the landing!
And you’re not crazy about taking a trip to visit loved ones. In fact, you’re very, very smart to want to be prepared. You’ll definitely be ahead of the game if you bring snacks, mini-books and little toys or stickers — small items that you don’t care if she tosses all around the plane and things that you won’t mind losing during the trip. Your main concern is to keep her happy and comfortable on the plane ride. And when you get there, you can shove Lila into Nana and Papa’s arms and then hit the pool or the beach!
Have a great time!