Flying from Birmingham to Seattle is a long flight with a mandatory layover, so it’s definitely not a hop and a skip away – it’s a jump. A really long jump. And when you are trying to contain your extremely active toddler and easily flustered 4 month old baby, every minute feels like an hour.
My brother graduated college and his commencement was Saturday (8.25.18). Since it’d be preposterous for me to come up without the girls, Aaron graciously came with me and we brought both the kiddos too for a long weekend (8.22-27.18) trip to our home-state.
You have to prepare for any trip, but when you’re bringing two kids under two years old, the preparation is even more intense. But we prepared as best we could and the rest was up to God.
So because I think this “first time ever!” moment is worth documenting, here’s a breakdown of how everyone did with our travel experience.
Last time I flew I had 7 month old Rylie who was an amazing plane-baby. Over a year later and being in full on toddler mode had me anxious, but the Lord says to replace anxiety with prayer. So I’ve prayed. A lot! hahahaha
But considering what we had asked of her – sitting in one place for 2 1/2 hours (5 hours on our way home), Girlfriend did an amazing job! She did have a fussing episode towards the end of the 5 hour flight, but I really couldn’t blame her.
Prior to our flight, I did some research on good ol’ faithful Pinterest to see what others recommended to keep toddlers entertained in a confined area for so long. Every blog post I read was pretty similar – bring snacks, stickers, books, electronics (even if you’re not a screen family) and more snacks! And the goal is to make every activity last as long as possible.
Ultimately, every parent knows their child best, and since Rylie is 21 months old (1 year and 9 months old) and coloring is not a successful activity for us (she colors on everything except the paper. Humans, clothing, books, furniture, and for the first time on Tuesday (8.21.18), the wall! **face palm**), we chose not to bring crayons / a coloring book. Likewise, we did not invest in stickers because we were convinced they would end up on the plane and we’d be unable to get them off…
So this is what we packed:
- books – I got two new books in my free book haul specifically for this flight. I got “That’s Not My Plane” & “That’s Not My Monkey” –> both were a huge hit! 😃
- toys – Monster University, Toy Story and Cars
- movies – we downloaded her go-to movies: Moana, Frozen, Tangled (<– do you see a theme here? Haha) and How to Train Your Dragon.
- snacks – raisins, cheddar bunnies, fruit
She loved looking out the window when we took off and touched down. And by the flight home, she was pointing at the wings and saying, “plane! Plane!”
Oh, and can I just brag about God for a minute? Our flight on the way home was from Seattle to Atlanta – a 4 hour and 50 minute flight. But God was SO sweet to us and the seats next to Aaron/Rylie were empty the entire flight, so Rylie had lots of room to move about without disturbing anyone! Talk about a huge destresser lol
Rylie even got wings 😀 (a little pin that is from the airline)
Emmaline had absolutely no issue with the planes whatsoever. She drank her bottle on the way up but never showed signs that her ears were bothering her. She played a bit and did have a good conversation with those in earshot a couple times, but she fell asleep at some point on each flight, which was great for me 🙂
The only real things I brought for her was bottles, formula and a couple toys she’s been showing interest in lately (a ring of teething keys and a Hello Baby! Rainbow Colors book from Usborne Books & More).
She did have a blowout between flights, so we had to change her outfit.
On our flight from Denver to Seattle, Aaron and I had to sit seperately (turns out there is only 4 air masks per row, so there wasn’t enough air masks for both of us to have kids together), so I had a middle seat. While we were taxiing to leave, I heard Emmaline pooping, and I knew that if I didn’t change her she would cry. But I couldn’t get up because we were about to take off. So I set her down on my lap to change her. I peaked in the side of her diaper and saw (to my horror 😛 ) a watery poop. “Lord help me!” I said under my breath as I grabbed wipes and prayed that it wouldn’t stink, spill, or get on anything. Meanwhile, Emmaline is crying because I’m changing her stinky diaper. I am pleased to report all the waste stayed in the dirty diaper and I actually got it done pretty quickly, but well I was buttoning her onesie, the flight attendant from first class (I’m sitting wayyyy in the back of the plane… so that was great.) came up to me and asked, “what does baby need?” in a concerned but also “what will shut it up” tone… I replied with a smile saying, “she just had a stinky diaper, but she’s good now. Actually, if you can take the diaper so it doesn’t stink up the cabin, that’d be great!” and I started handing her the diaper. She hesitated saying she needed gloves, but quickly came back and took it from me. Emmaline slept the most of the flight and every flight we had she kind of surprised me because I was mentally preparing myself for push back but she did an amazing job! I really can’t complain!
MOM + DAD
Knowing my attention would be focused on the girls, I didn’t pack anything for myself outside of my phone and headphones in the realm of entertainment. Aaron came prepared with his phone, headphones and iPad. Aaron has flown so much that he’s really narrowed down what he uses on the plane, which is great. This is by far the lightest I’ve ever packed for myself, and literally 90% of what we packed is for the girls.
Going through security was a pain when we left Birmingham – they made us unpack pretty much everything! Wipes, formula, snacks, bottles, my pump, on top of our electronics, shoes, etc. Basically our whole bag Everyone seemed so grumpy and I was just trying to be nice in the midst of the unexpected inconvenience while trying to keep the 4 month old content while she was informing me her stomach was growling. But the security leaving Seattle was much more pleasant and we knew what to expect so we were mentally prepared too.
Aaron and I were completely wiped after flights – flying with two under two is no joke and not for the faint of heart! When we got home, we were both like, “hello bed! I will be crashing on you tonight and you might find some droll in the morning.” 😝
Even though every flight attendant we had told us the girls were amazing, we’ve agreed we are not flying with young kiddos again. We’ve got some good stories though 😀