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Amy

Stickers (lots of them) and something to stick them on. That kept my 2 year old entertained forever!

Jennifer

Bring a couple of plastic bags and wipes, just in case of air sickness... This happened to us with our daughter when she was about two or three, right as the plane was landing. At that point, you're totally on your own!

Christine

Max is/was the world's worst sleeper. And at 3, he's on the low end of the charts. Studies like that are always interesting, but there's just so many factors I think it's impossible to correct for all of them. And there's rules about keeping the little beasties in cages in labs to see how they all develop in an identical environment. Sigh. The hardships of the epidemiologists.

My sister, who has no children, once came to visit for a weekend. She walked in, I was half dead from Max's sleep regression, and told me she needed to nap so could I keep him quiet? I took Max to the park. And seethed.

caramama

Good luck with the plane ride and the visit. I really wish I had good advice, but we have enough trouble with our little one on car rides! I can't imagine her cooped up on a plane, and yet I hope to start taking trips with her this summer, so I'll be looking forward to hearing tips from you then!!!

As for that sleep study... I just can't get behind it. As Christine said, I think there are too many factors to really determine that it's lack of sleep that causes X. You can make those studies say almost anything!

melissa

we recently flew with our 2 year old and five month old--a four hour flight.

i went and spent $50 on a 'rescue pack' that was loaded with never before seen books and toys. the magna doodle was a huge success, as was a sticker book. i also wrapped two die cast disney cars in wrapping paper and told my 2 year old that if he was a good boy, he would get to open a present at the end of the flight. i loaded my laptop with back to back movies and episodes of dora and diego for him. i also brought a bag of m&ms as a major, major treat.

we basically bribed our way through the flight--but both the kiddos did much better than anticipated.

Dee

Hope the sleep regression clears house and soon :-)

I second all of the suggestions Melissa made above. We did just about the same exact thing, with just about the same exact items, and it went surprisingly well. The only thing I also did was go out and buy Juliana her own "big kid" backpack and put all those new stickers, small toys, etc., in it. We didn't give it to her until she was on the plane as we were sitting on the tarmac. It was like Christmas.

I did make sure to have the other half of the new toys/stickers/etc., in my suitcase for the flight back. That way, she got a whole new batch of different stuff, in addition to the stuff from the first flight, for the way home. That and the DVD player/new DVDs were very handy for the second leg.

We're taking a longer, and international, flight (4 hours) this September. Should be interesting as packing space will likely be much more limited.

Good luck with your trip--oh, and don't forget to have bottles and/or boobs ready for takeoff/arrival to help out with little ears :-)

anita

My in-laws are retired and live in a beautiful home and travel about 3 - 4 times a year. My husband and I work full-time, have two young kids and haven't taken a vacation in forever (that is our fault, but still). I love it when my MIL says she "really needs a vacation" to me.

flaneuse

I fly a lot w/ my 2.5 year old son...we go from Italy to DC at least 2x a year...since he was born. I totally agree w/ melissa & dee's ideas. I have an ipod nano stocked w/ his favourite movies and a little speaker, it gets the most use. Walking up and down the isles is good, esp after a "meal." M&M packets and nutrigrain bars our the treats we bring. We just did a flight back to Italy over Easter and it was our best ever...no tears or tantrums. I think it was just luck though...

Hope you have a great trip :-)

Carla Hinkle

I have taken our 2 girls (currently ages 4 and 15 months) on flights of various length, including 11+ hours from California to Italy. The PP suggestions are great. I would also stress to bring a change of clothes for each kid. The times I have forgotten I have definitely regretted it.

Also, bring a spare battery for the DVD player. I got a great one at www.batterygeek.net that agve us an extra 6 hours.

And this is tricky to balance, but try to pack as light as possible. When I've flown with the kids by myself I have always cursed the extra/heavy/awkward bags. Backpacks are your friend!

Carla Hinkle

Oh and re: the "how were you people parents???" thing, I think some of our dads just didn't get that down in the nitty-gritty and so truly don't have an appreciation for it. And also people go "soft" amazingly fast. My sister was apparently a terrible sleeper for years (the reason my parents didn't have a 3rd child!), and my mom always credits my dad with really pitching in for his share of the night time crying baby duty. Fast forward 30 years, my husband and I leave our girls with my dad (60+) and his girlfriend one night to go to the movies. When she cried most of the time, you would have thought from his complaints after that he'd never SEEN a baby, let alone had one of his own that cried incessantly!

Sarah

Paretns. Argh.
My mom, in an attempt to be understanding about the pain of infertility, often says to me "I'm so sorry you have to go through this--it's just not somethign I can relate to, it was never a problem for me." I've even stopped her and asked her nto to say it, and she still.does.it. Another way you know that infertility is indiscriminate--unfeeling people get pregnant all the time.

cat, galloping

aqua doodle and/or magna doodle

Toni

Not for the Girl - but for the Boy - he'd love this. A girlfriend of mine sells Usborne - and brought these to show me...I LOVED the look of them - and the reuseability.

http://www.ubah.com/ecommerce/details.asp?sid=A2006&gid=48635440&title=100+Things+to+Do+on+a+Trip&sqlwhere=new%3D1+order+by+title

Megan

We just flew to Japan and back, with our 23-month old twin girls. Lulu's (on 5th Ave) has a great assortment of tiny toys - matchbox sized box of modeling clay, books of "tattoos" which were a huge hit, just lots and lots of little things. We also bought our first set of Colorforms, and those were of much interest as well. Lots of good luck, and hope it's a nice trip!

Carla Hinkle

I have taken our 2 girls (currently ages 4 and 15 months) on flights of various length, including 11+ hours from California to Italy. The PP suggestions are great. I would also stress to bring a change of clothes for each kid. The times I have forgotten I have definitely regretted it.

Also, bring a spare battery for the DVD player. I got a great one at www.batterygeek.net that agve us an extra 6 hours.

And this is tricky to balance, but try to pack as light as possible. When I've flown with the kids by myself I have always cursed the extra/heavy/awkward bags. Backpacks are your friend!

michelle

brooklyn girl, re: dad's comments, oh my!!!!! wow. and do let us know how plane ride goes. i'm daring to take my first plane trip, to go from mass. to new mexico with my 2-year-old in june and am already in total stress mode about the flight. good luck, i'll be sending you positive vibes both for the parental visit as well as the flight.

Jill

I'm flying with my DD for the first time next week, and I found the following website helpful for all kinds of random concerns I've been having:

http://flyingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2005/10/editing-warning-some-glitch-has.html

kd

I understand that you were exhausted and juggling kids, but....why should your dad not admit to being tired while traveling and sleeping in a strange bed? You asked how he was. He was tired and was honest in saying so. What's the crime? Your greater exhaustion doesn't mean a 60+-year-old staying in a hotel isn't _also_ wishing for a nap.

kd

I understand that you were exhausted and juggling kids, but....why should your dad not admit to being tired while traveling and sleeping in a strange bed? You asked how he was. He was tired and was honest in saying so. What's the crime? Your greater exhaustion doesn't mean a 60+-year-old staying in a hotel isn't _also_ wishing for a nap.

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