This is fresh on my mind since we just go back from a family vacation, and flew with a 1 and 3 year old. Flying with kids can be a daunting task. It can limit your travel locations because of the flight time. It can be really tough!
We were brave with my first daughter. She flew 8 round trip flights during her first year and a half of life! Let me tell you how nervous we were for that first flight when she was 2 months old. We planned the flight time around her feeding schedule so that she could eat right before we boarded. We got to the airport early while lugging her around in her infant seat. We all piled in the family restroom while my wife fed her 20 minutes before boarding time. Our timing was precise!
Unfortunately, Murphy's Law kicked in. Our flight got delayed 2 hours. So this threw a wrench in our perfectly timed plans. We went to Chili's after that and ate an early dinner and indulged in a cold beer. Our plane eventually boarded, and guess who was ready to eat again? It worked out great because we fed her as we were taking off so that helped with her ears popping. Everything was going great!
If you have been around babies enough you know what comes next after a full tum tum. Yep, she started filling up her diaper right after take off. Luckily, this was before solid foods so it did not smell terrible. We rolled with the punches. Eventually, we landed and she did great! She slept the majority of the way, and did not cry once. She was the perfect traveler!
I did mention she flew 8 round trips the first year and a half of her life, right? Not every flight went that smoothly. She had a cold once when we flew, and she screamed the majority of the flight. Talk about nervous sweats the entire flight! We got more sympathy looks than dirty looks. Most people understand how stressful it is traveling with kids. The ones that do not can shut the you know what up! Believe me, the parents don't want their kid screaming or crying a lot more than you!
Traveling with kids is a necessity. The older they get, the easier it is. I am a big advocate for iPads, books, snacks or any other attention-grabbers to make your flight less stressful. We love traveling, and flying with kids is not going to prevent us from experiencing something fun! We are still waiting to make that long road trip with the kids! We are not that brave, yet! Stay tuned!