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Parents Magazine Article

The latest issue of Parents magazine has an article on traveling with toddlers:


I can vouch for several of these suggestions based on my experiences, but I also have a couple of things to add.

First, the suggestion that your child should have some time to run around before boarding a flight is a good one. However, the article doesn't suggest taking this into consideration for layovers as well. A 1-hour layover may sound just perfect to an adult, but for a young child, there probably won't be enough time to get out of the stroller and run around before boarding for the next flight begins. The adults will have had the chance to stretch their legs walking from one gate to another, but that 1-hour layover becomes another consecutive hour of sitting still for a baby or toddler, which will make them crankier faster. I have learned from experience to try for layovers of at least 2 hours, longer if we have to go through customs and immigration. When booking our upcoming flight to Munich, we chose a 5-hour layover in Philadelphia over a 2-hour one because we would rather risk boredom than not having enough time to get out of the stroller and play. I'm not saying that the extra time guarantees good behavior, but I know that it's harder for my daughter to keep it together when she hasn't had the chance to blow off some steam between flights.

Second, the article did not mention the value of traveling with a smartphone. Mine has been a lifesaver. I load episodes of children's shows so my daughter can watch them on the plane. I also keep her entertained by narrating as I browse through my phone's photo album: most of the photos are of her, so it holds her attention! Sometimes my daughter will fuss a bit when we start our descent and I have to put away the phone, but the entertainment value is worth it and her complaining doesn't last long if there are coloring books or other low-tech toys around.

Posted by amikulski 20:39

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