Do you know why? Every kid is different, and every trip is different. What worked wonderfully for someone else might not work at all for you. What worked on the flight TO your vacation might be the worst thing in the world on the way BACK from vacation. (If your child is anything like mine, nothing ever works twice, so you're used to inconsistency. If not, welcome to the club; let your creative juices flow!) What works great for one of your children, may not be the right fit for a sibling.
I do have some advice about how to make your trip go as smoothly as possible, though, and it all boils down to just two things.
1. Over PackIs your child still wearing diapers? Pack way more than you think you'll need. If you get delayed for any reason, you don't want to run out!
The same goes for extra clothes. Even if your kiddo has been using the potty for a while, you never know what's going to spill, leak, rip, etc. Pack extras of everything - for you and them in your carry on.
Things to do, too. Distraction will be your friend for passing the time. You know your child and his or her interests - follow them. Pack small toys, books, paper, crayons, stickers....whatever will keep them occupied for a while. Electronics are fine too, if you use them. I suggest making them a last resort - once they come out other things don't always seem so cool anymore. A few new surprises never hurt, but familiar favorites are great too! (We packed everything in an individual back pack for each boy. They felt special getting to carry their treasures, and it made them easy to get to when we needed to switch activities. All except the lap top - that was stored safely in Daddy's carry on when not being used!)
2. Create a Mental Blueprint
|Mr. L. shows off his approximation |
of Daddy's explanation
We had to re-iterate this fact several times, but it helped Mr. L. (and big brother, Mr. I.) make sense of their situation, connect to something they did have experience with, and have a successful flight. In fact, but the time we got on our connecting flight, Mr. I. was using classifiers to explain to the stranger sitting behind us what was about to happen. (Thankfully, she was very accommodating, albeit a bit thrown off.)
If all else fails....hope they nap!