If you are a toddler parent who has flown before, I am sure you have said “sorry” to the stranger in front of your child 500 times on a flight while trying to reason with a little person that can’t really be reasoned with. Especially if you have a strong willed little babe like I do, with busy feet and a desire to always be on the move.
So this blog post will include some of my favorite survival techniques for long flights and short ones.
Things we tried that don’t work for him
(or did but don’t anymore):
Turning him rear facing.
This was great when he first turned two. But now that he has grown, it is just a way for him to kick and wiggle both seats. The top of the seat rear facing hits the seat in front of him and he usually stretches his legs in the front making both seats V into other passengers.
Reasoning with him.
I do explain it to him every single time. “Jake, it hurts that man when you kick his seat. Please don’t!” And it does work briefly... but toddlers are impulsive and curious... so often times they think about it, stop doing it and then a few minutes later think to themselves “what happens when I kick it like this” or “I realllllyyyy want to unlatch the tray table.” Or just plain “oops I forgot”. And with how quickly a toddler brain moves on from your instructions, this will most likely be a battle the whole flight.
Saying sorry to the people in front of you.
You will say sorry so many times, the word won’t even mean anything anymore... and your kiddo will still kick their seat.
What does work for us: (open seating policy like southwest)
Let’s say the flight is COMPLETELY full.
If you are a ticketed passenger on United or another airline where they ask you to choose your seats:
On any flight:
And do not be afraid to scold your child for kicking the seat. If they fuss about getting in trouble for a few min, most people won’t even notice it. The noise in the back of the plane drowns so much out. And most people wear headphones these days.
Don’t stress out too much. The short flights will be over quickly. And on the long haul flights internationally and over oceans, the kiddos will tire. It won’t be fun to kick the seat long.
(Also helps if there is on screen entertainment/movies on the seat) and they will hopefully fall asleep at some point. Jake did both flights to and from London WITHOUT sleeping. So it is possible to stay sane. He just mellowed out and watched cars... like 4 times lol.
Anyway you will most likely never see these people again. If they are rude, they don’t know the joy of children. If they are kind, shower them with gratitude.
But the best advice I can give you is: Just be kind, do your best, but don't let people ruin your experience.
They may be fussy because your child is ruining their experience with the "ticket they paid for"... but remember this, you paid for your child's ticket too. They have just as much 'ticketed value' as the crabby person giving you a hard time. So seriously, don't let them bug you.
Happy Flying! <3
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