Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Family Travel

The first time we flew with my son, he was 5 weeks old.
Living a five hour flight away from my in-laws, at the time, we knew we were going to be frequent fliers.
In the first three years of my son's life, he's flown at least 20 times on flights ranging from 1 hour to 6 hours.

Here's what I've learned.

Rules for the airplane:
Rule # 1: Bring one more diaper than you think you will need, and an extra change of clothes (I learned this the hard way when multiple diaper explosions left us landing in hawaii with a baby in our last diaper and no shirt or shorts).
Rule # 2: You must have a portable DVD player - if you do not own one, borrow from a friend.
From the time my son was 8 or 9 months old, this was an invaluable traveling tool; not only on the flight but in the hotel room
Rule # 3: Pack lots of snack choices and napkins!
Rule # 4: Let the kid have the pacifier if he/she wants it (and make sure you have the clip-on thingy - there's nothing more disgusting than picking up a pacifier off the dirty airplane floor) - oh and always bring extras!
Rule #5: If you are going to give your child medicine to make them drowsy on the plane, be sure to test it out first at home (I learned this one the hard way as well- I gave my son a dose of benadryl on a flight, without making sure it would actually make him drowsy. It made him bounce off the walls!!!)

As my son got older, I needed to get more creative on keeping him entertained. For a recent flight we had planned (where he and I were flying without my husband), I went to the toy store and bought about 5 or 6 toys (each costing between $1 and $5). Then I handed them out, throughout the flight, as "presents" for being a good boy. It worked like a charm and he really enjoyed his presents and played with them, keeping him busy. When he'd ask for another present, I would tell him that he needed to wait and be a good boy for a bit longer.

Most importantly, I've learned to just RELAX. Your child may scream and yell on the airplane, or in the airport, and you just can't let it get to you. I just try to take the attitude of - I will never see these people again, so what do I care what they think of me/my child?