Surviving Airplane Travel and Vacation with Small Children

Surviving Airport and Vacation with Small Children

As I write this post I am relaxing while my children take naps.
Our family (and I mean my husband’s ENTIRE family-18 of us) are all vacationing this week. It has been Ah-mazing, and has opened an opportunity for a good “how to survive…” post. If you’re not lucky enough to be able to hire a private jet with Jettly, read on!

So, here is it: How to Survive The Airport and Vacation with Small Children

1. Food- When all else fails FEED THEM. I packed a bazillion snacks for our plane ride. As a matter of fact, I carried an entire back pack full of snacks. Fussy? feed them. Ears hurt? Feed them. Tired but won’t sleep? Feed them. Bored? Feed them. Talking too loudly on a red eye flight? Feed them. (oh yea, if they’re hungry you should feed them too!)

Surviving Vacation & Airplanes with Small Children

2. Seating- On an airplane you can make sure your family’s seats are together by logging into your account online (or calling, I’m sure). Our planes had two rows of seats, 3 seats wide. So for us, with a family of 5, it was best to have: number 1 child at the window, number 2 next to number 1, then daddy on the aisle seat to help managed them, while mama sat across the aisle in the aisle seat, with baby. That way if we needed to hand/trade off we could. I could easily pass baby to daddy while I made her bottle/got her food out, etc. Also, brother (2.5yo) could come see me when he needed to. Also be sure to check your seating arrangements the day before you fly because they could have been changed without your knowledge!

3. One Activity- For us, drawing and writing is infinitely interesting to our kids, most of the time. Whatever it is that occupies your kids at home (that isn’t huge or require a lot of little pieces), take it with you for the plane and long lay overs in the airport! **Don’t take a TON of things. Chances are your kids will be just as content (if not more) having only one or two things to focus on. However, if your kids are at the “throw down and lose everything/have mom pick it up” stage, skip this entirely and let them play with the magazines on the plane!

4. Personal Backpacks– If your kids are 2 years and older, chances are they can carry a small to medium sized backpack with ease through the airport. With most airlines, each person that has a seat/ticket on the plane gets to take a carry on bag. That means even children can “carry” a bag on the plane. Take advantage of this! My daughter (4yo) took her own small backpack that had her “planner,” pen, a favorite book, and lovey for sleeping. In her brother’s backpack we carried them both a change of clothes, extra diapers for him (for sleeping and to prevent frequent bathroom breaks), and his sleeping lovey. Bringing a backpack is especially useful for long haul flights. We’re thinking of taking a trip to England since we found some good deals on stratford hotels. I’ve always wanted to visit that area but we’ve always been put off going due to the long flight. I might just wait until the kids are a little older though.

5. Change of clothes– This is HUGE. I never would have thought to take a change of clothes for the plane (this is my husband’s tip). But if you are flying over night, or all day long, a change of clothes can go a long way for everyone! Putting kids into their pajamas at night when they would usually be getting ready for bed sends a sleep que to them, and can help them be comfortable and relaxed. Also, a change of clothes (undies, shirt/yoga pants, shorts, or dress) for mom and dad is also nice. After all the loading, moving/running through airports it is nice to be able to change just your shirt. Don’t carry an entire new wardrobe, just enough to help you feel refreshed/clean/better.

6. Wear Baby- I found that wearing baby was a life saver! I didn’t really know how much I would use my carrier, but it turned out to be awesome. Now, don’t go get a carrier the week of vacation; you will want plenty of time to use it and get comfortable using it with and without help. I wore #3 on my front for the plane, and on my back at the beach. I did need help getting her in the carrier for my back because without a bed to drop her on (accidentally) I am just not comfortable doing it blind. What carrier should you get? That’s up to you; I love love love my Baby Hawk Mei Tai. There is also the BabyHawk baby Carrier that snaps! I sorta wish I had seen that one when I bought my mei tai before #3 was born… snaps are fast and easy, though not as versatile. (Just make sure you read how to properly wear baby, please! High on your chest/back, no facing outward, etc)

7. Sleep!- Let them sleep! I know on vacation it is hard to stop all the fun and going/doing for naps. But, for us, everyone is much happier and can go and do much, much more if they are well-rested. If the kids are exhausted and can’t function, how can you have a good time?! So, take a few hours, go rest, then get up refreshed and ready to go! The best way to get refreshed and energized by a good nap is if you’re staying in a beautiful and welcoming hotel while vacationing, like Boutique Hotel Downtown San Jose. This way, you and your child can rest up with a comfy bed while staying in luxury!

8. This thing: Trust me, you need it! Leave the pack n play at home and carry this for travel sleeping arrangements; we LOVE ours

What’s your favorite tip for traveling, flying, & vacationing with little ones?

Baby Summary Weeks 8-9

I know, I’ve been slacking. I am running behind on Max’s updates.  Things have been very … crazy around here.  But crazy good!

For the last week, Mister has been waking at 4:00am in the morning!  Sometimes as early as 3:30am!  I knew this was a possibility, that he would go from sleeping so well, to waking early.  I also read that sometimes before babies start sleeping through to wake up time, they may teeter-totter going from 3:00am, to 4:30am, back to 3:00am, etc.  That’s exactly what Mister did for the last week.  Then suddenly, at 10 weeks old he slept through to 6:00am!  Woo Hoo!  
Now, the last two days he woke at about 4:00am or so, fussed for a minute, then went back to sleep before I even got to his room.  I think this also has to do with us starting some CIO. At first I let him cry during the day for anywhere from 10-20 minutes, depending on how he was crying.  And so far, things are going really well; he is only waking for about 3-6 minutes now, fussing and falling back asleep.  It’s amazing!  I’m not doing hard-core CIO; I didn’t do it until 8 months with Lexie, but i didn’t really have to until then.  With Max I need him going to sleep on his own sooner than she did, so that’s why I am trying it earlier.

Anyway, for his weeks 8-9 everything was pretty much the same as before.  Week 9 he started eating more at each feeding.  He will nurse and now takes about 4-5oz after nursing… So he is a hungry little Mister!  His schedule is the same, based on a 3 hour routine…  He is talking a LOT, super snuggly, laughs at mommy, daddy, and Lexie all the time.  He is staying awake for a little longer now.  His wake time is about an hour to an hour 20 minutes, depending on what we did during wake time.  If he was super stimulated (ehum, by Big Sister) then he may go down earlier.  His wake time includes: diaper change, eating, burping, playing, talking, diaper change, and swaddling/wind down for nap.  That’s a lot to fit into an hour and 20 minutes, so there isn’t much “playing” quite yet.  I am anxious for the day he is awake longer, but I know it will come.  I’m just ready for him to get to interact with all of us more.  =)

I’m making Mister’s summary shorter this time, because Sissy has MUCH bigger news going on these days than Bubby does!

playing with Mister

Love Bug is back in school, two days a week.  We were getting read to put her in gymnastics when JTom remembered that we put aside a rather large chunk of his paycheck at the beginning of the year for mother’s day out.  Our plan was to have her home w me after I stopped cleaning houses, which was at 7 months pregnant, until max came.  After Max came we would do mother’s day out one-two days a week for Lexie’s sake and mine.  Well …. we FORGOT!  So, to use up the rest of the money (because it’s a cafeteria plan we will lose it if we dont use it) she is going 2xs a week through january.  Then she will drop to once a week.  However, we are still doing gymnastics- and she LOVES it!  We went last Friday to try it out.  She was already a beginner tumbler, she’s had so much practice in her crib and all … so she fit right in!


Speaking of cribs … we are in a big girl bed now!  Scary I know- but so far so good.  She loves it, the transition was an easy one.  She is still in her sleep sack, not sure when we will discontinue it, but she can’t get out and roam as long as she wears it.  =)  Plus, she loves her “night night gown” … i think she feels secure in it.



A few weeks ago Payne came to visit us, and then the next weekend Granny and Mia came to visit.

Payne and Max

Just a singin’

curls

gymnastics

wasn’t so sure about the foam pit

Life is Good!

Granny and Max

Mia, Max, and Lexie

Granny and Lexie cooking “greens”

Bed head

Lookin like her Mama

Counting her “monies”

New clothes from Granny

Such a precious girl



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