Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I’ve talked about our successful international trips, and in my opinion, traveling with an infant is way easier than traveling with a toddler. It was much simpler when Hallie would sleep the 6-hour flight away. Although Hallie surprised us (and fellow passengers) by doing so well on such a long flight, it was still exhausting, and I’m glad we were prepared. However, a well-stocked diaper bag will still fail you when your toddler is tired of sitting. You’ll need to get creative with how you handle these moments.
It doesn’t matter when they sleep.
Screw keeping track of new time zones and when your child should sleep. It really doesn’t matter, because the second you get to your destination they will be bouncing with excitement. Their little body clocks will be screwed up anyways, so if your child will sleep at any point on the plane, let them.
Walk around the plane.
You might get some stares from grumpy passengers about “disturbing their flight” or “blocking the aisle” but screw them. You are not being disruptive, as long as your child is walking quietly and keeping their hands to themselves. It’s a good idea to stretch your own legs, and your child will appreciate the break from sitting for several hours. Just keep an eye on the flight attendants, because you really don’t want to be in the way of them doing their jobs.
Toddler headphones are a blessing.
If your child will sit and watch a movie, be grateful and consider yourself one of the lucky ones. International flights often have kid zones on the screens with tv shows, movies, and games. Hallie didn’t care much for those options, but she was a huge fan of the children’s music channel. We were able to sit and listen to music in the last leg of the journey, when Hallie had truly had enough of our crap.
Apologize for disturbances.
I can’t help having a frustrated child, but that doesn’t mean I have to completely disregard those near me. While I probably would have bit the head off anyone who had dared question my parenting, I still felt bad for the man that Hallie through some crayons at. Luckily, he was very understanding and chalked it up to a stir-crazy toddler. Hallie’s crayons were instantly put away and I apologized profusely. You can’t prevent every incident, but you can at least do your best to recognize that your toddler is a tad inconvenient to everyone close by.
Definitely have things to keep your toddler occupied but expect the unexpected. The return flight home was harder than our initial flight, probably because Hallie had enough of adventure. Hallie is also a seasoned traveler, so that might have something to do with it. If you plan on traveling with kids, my best advice would be to start doing so early.