Summer is upon us and that means travel and family vacations. I think the hardest time to travel with your child is when they are a toddler.  While a 1-2 year old child is adorable, they are also like a teenager.  What do I mean by that?  A toddler is moody and temperamental, just like a teen. One minute they love you the next minute, not so much. They are prone to tantrums, meltdowns, and “going to the dark side” as we called it.  

If you are heading for a plane trip with a toddler, you just never know what to expect. A lengthy plane ride is somewhat challenging for sure.  While driving to the airport all I can think about is security lines with a toddler.  The lines are longer in the summer and trying to keep your child entertained while standing in a long line is akin to climbing Mt. Everest. It is even worse than sitting in the pediatrician’s office, at least we have toys!

So, once you get through security you still have to wait to board, get settled into your seats (holding a lap child is not easy) and then pray that your flight is not delayed on the tarmac.  I was fortunate as when my boys were little you could still get up and walk up and down the aisles with a child to entertain them. Even then it was difficult to keep your toddler’s hands to themselves. You cannot walk those precious toddlers up and down the aisles anymore, and sitting in that seat for hours is just not what a toddler wants to do. They want to MOVE!

One of my patients’ is getting ready for a move to Australia. This couple has a adorable 16 month old and they are getting ready for a 17 hour trip and asked my advice. I wish you could “Fed Ex” your child ahead. 

This cute little boy has a lot of words and during his check up in my office he kept pointing to the door and saying “OUT”.  Stuck inside a plane is not going to be his idea of fun...he would rather be at the park.

But parents do what they have to do......so I advised them to look for new toys and try to bring out something different throughout the flight. They are great young parents and have not yet introduced their child to the I-pad, so they can now “pull out” this new gadget to help entertain their toddler. I also told the mother to pack a ton of snacks and even “forbidden snacks like cookies and candy might be used to coerce the child to sit in his seat. I have a hard time sitting still, so it is reasonable for a toddler to be antsy as well. 

I just hope they have wonderful seat mates (on this journey) who want to help entertain a little boy who just wants “out”. They hope to have another baby while in Australia. The return trip could even be more fun.