Travel with a toddler

June 1, 2009 at 10:26 am (Uncategorized)

This was not our first trip with Alexis on a plane, last year she went to Nashville and to Toronto.  However this was the first time traveling with a toddler, rather than an infant.   What I was most afraid of, the plane ride was the easiest thing both ways.  I did give her 1/2 tsp of Benadryl.  I know a lot of people think this is “drugging” their kid, etc etc, but I really don’t have those reservations.  I asked my pediatrician and she said it was ok and told me how much to give.  Her only caution was to give it to her before the flight by a few days first just to test out her reaction since some kids get hyper, I did that with half the dosage and she got mellow.  So on the way to toronto I gave her the Benadryl about an hour before the flight and she was very relaxed.  We didn’t have a seat for her and she needed to be on our laps the whole time.  Normally, this is not a good thing for her.  She does not like being held, she wants to be put down and walk.  She normally squirms and whines and cries, and that is what I was afraid of.  It wasn’t only for the benefit of other passengers, it was mostly because I knew that she would be miserable being forced to sit for 3 hours.  So, she didn’t sleep very much on the flight there, only about 45 minutes but she was very calm.  She watched some shows on our DVD player, she played, we read books, she ate a little bit and that was it.  On the way back, she slept most of the flight.  We had an extra seat so we had her car seat there.  She fell asleep as soon as we pulled away from the gate and slept until about 20 minutes before we landed.

Now  the  real issue was the trip itself.  Alexis is very used to her “routine”.  I’m not crazy strict about it but she normally gets 2 naps a day around 10am and 2pm each an hour and a half.  Bedtime is 8 or 8:30.  I do make exceptions for days when we have things to do where she will skip one nap or go to sleep later, no big deal.  But this was 7 straight days of chaos.  She got one nap a day – maybe.  Some were in her car seat others were in the hotel.  Sometimes they were 2 hours, but most days, less.  bedtime was NEVER before 9 and most days it was after 9.  She didn’t sleep well in the pack and play and would wake up in the middle of the night crying and wouldn’t go back to sleep, so we brought her into bed with us.  So, what does all this mean?  Well, now that we’re back home she needs to re-adjust to normalcy.  She is napping just fine, but so far her bedtime has been a battle.  My normally easy to put to bed daughter who usually falls right to sleep when I put her down.  Well, now she starts crying immediately when I walk into her room.  Not just fussing or whining – the kind of hysterical crying where she makes herself gag – hysterical.  I tried leaving her, but I couldn’t do it.  I let her cry for a few minutes but it didn’t stop so I had to calm her down.   Anyway, since she goes down fine for her naps then I’m sure she will figure it out again and be fine, I’m not worried.   But even with all the craziness, she did great.  She was always in a good mood, no meltdowns.  She had her moments every now and then, but she was really good the whole trip.

Other than that, the trip was very nice.  It was Marc’s grandfather’s 100th birthday and that was the real reason we went up – to celebreate.  It was a very nice party.  We spent time with family and we also went to Niagara Falls.  My parents came out with us for most of our trip and they came with us to Niagara Falls.  Unfortunately it rained most of the time we were in Toronto so we weren’t able to do as much sigh seeing as we would have liked, but we still had a nice time.  I will not travel with a toddler for a week again though.  It’s too long.

A funny tidbit about our trip to Niagara Falls.  Alexis has a white noise machine in her room for bedtime and naps.  We went on the Maid of the Mist – the boat that goes to the base of the falls – it’s really cool.  You get wet and it’s cold and they give you these ponchos to wear.  Anyway, as we got closer to the big falls and the roar got louder, Alexis got a little squirmy and I sat down with her on my lap and she fell asleep.  I mean – OUT!  Within 2 minutes of me sitting down, she curled up and was out.   Definitely a creature of habit!



  1. Samantha said,

    I’m so glad your first flight with a toddler went really well. That is soooo funny how she knocked out while at Niagara Falls.

  2. Melanie said,

    You are so lucky she slept on the plane!!!! I had Zoe awake for both flights to and from Philly the entire time, ugh! Toddler travel is not fun! Hope she gets back into the swing of her routine again soon!!!

  3. Lynn said,

    the noise machine thing cracks me up!

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