What a wonderful trip to Montana we had! My parents are so hospitable, and we had a great time with them. Christian had fun with 'Tana Nana & Papa, but he didn't sleep too well the entire week. Naps and bedtimes weren't very fun. Other than that, it was a perfect week...oh...except for the whole "flying in the airplane" part.
I know I only flew once with my one year old, but I feel compelled to throw out some travel tips for anyone who is interested...
1. Bring new toys (I received this tip from several people, and it is a good one). However, if your child is inconsolable, no new wheel, monkey or book will put a smile on their face.
2. Bring good finger foods / snacks along with a sippy cup. However, if your child is inconsolable, said finger foods and sippy cup could fly into the seats of those around you, and that old lady behind you could get hurt by a sippy cup filled with juice.
3. Bring a portable DVD player with favorite cartoons / shows. We brought Baby Einstein and Home Alone. This worked for the car, but not for the airplane. Though it did divert Christian's attention momentarily, his fingers found their way to the buttons on the DVD player and his feet then kicked it.
4. PREPARE. If you are looking forward to a time change with your toddler, begin adjusting his/her schedule up to a week ahead...gradually. (Breakfast an hour later...etc.). Look at your itinerary and plan the way in which you will get your little one to nap in the airport / on the plane at the scheduled time. Make sure they eat on time, and food that agrees with them.
5. Give yourself time at the airport. Two words: security checkpoint. Not only do grown ups have to take their shoes, jackets, hats and belts off, but so do toddlers. Moo cows, blankies do too. If you are bringing milk / juice with ice packs, you have to declare them and they will be tested after you go through the checkpoint (while you are juggling toddler, putting shoes back on, and grabbing your purse as it comes out of the x-ray). I found that having a good umbrella stroller was helpful at this point, as we could toss Christian into it while we put his shoes on and got situated.
6. Have a game plan for the crankies. If traveling with your spouse and toddler, have a plan to handle a meltdown upon take-off, landing, or anywhere in between. Whether it is providing cuddles with the toddler, or you, it is a good idea to have some sort of idea what to do when it gets out of control.
Christian was so very tired on our way home from Montana (he skipped his afternoon nap), and combined with over stimulation he screamed the entire flight from Montana to Salt Lake. He did better on the second flight, but hardly slept. He was over-tired, and so off of his schedule that I don't think he knew what to do. :-( Our fault there...lack of planning. Thankfully, my darling hubby stepped in to help...perhaps he was afraid I'd strap a parachute to Christian and let him make a descent a different way. ;-) Danny did a great job, but I realized we should have talked about what to do before we got into that situation.
Anyway, I am looking forward to sleeping in our freshly painted, clean bedroom. Time to sign off and visit dreamland!