Friday, September 18, 2009

Help the Dude

I have so many, MANY words to say about the health care debate in the US, as well as some of the overheated rhetoric going around. But it is Friday night, I am tired and have to work all day tomorrow. Let's get back to that next week. I am sure that problem will still be there.

For now, how about a little bit of the Dude?

He is getting big . . . and strong. And in a few weeks we are jumping the pond to visit my Motown family. Technically the Dude is only 19 months old (but don't tell him that). Travelers are not required to purchase a seat for their child until they are two. The German and I discussed the pros and cons and finally decided to purchase the kid a seat. I can barely hold him still for 15 minutes in line at the grocery store; a nine hour plane ride to Michigan . . . um, no. Also at 410 Euro per person round trip, we can actually afford it. (KLM October sales rock!)

Our next problem is the seat. I want to take my car seat on the plane, because child please, that little belt is not going to hold the Dude down if he something interesting and wants to chase after it. Also, the Dude likes sleeping in his car seat, so I am hoping that by strapping him in he will actually get some shut eye on the plane.

Naturally our car seat is not the kind permitted on the plane. This is where you come Internet. Do you know anything about car seats and which ones travel well on planes? Any suggestions for activities to keep him occupied? Word of warning, portable DVD players is out. TV will only hold his attention for about 15 minutes.


Anonymous said...

See the following for officially approved brands:

I have no idea how some people do actually manage to keep their children entertained in those long haul flights but it is possible. I've seen it. If he is walking already, I see people taking their kids for a walk regularly and it seems to help. I know it helps me.

ian in hamburg said...

Did you have to pay full price for that seat? If so, he rules must have changed. Ten years ago I paid only 10% of the adult price when flying with my daughter, even though she turned two before the return flight. And she got a seat, too. Then again, maybe that's because the plane was only half-full, as they often are in the off-season.

msnovtue said...

Hi, lurker here.:)

First, accept that he's going to get restless and/or bored at some point. That is alomst inevitable.

As for toys, etc.-- how about coloring books? Also, many parents swear by buying a few small, new toys and not giving them to the kid until they're on the plane. Helps keep them interested longer. Really anything small, portable and not noisy is generally a big hit for all involved. And definitely getting up from time to time is good for you both.

Kudos to you for actually getting him a seat-- not only will it be more comfortable for you & him, your fellow travelers will definitely appreciate it. Also, while unlikely, in case of an emergency, he is *infinitely* safer in his own seat.

The best thing, though, is to try to get him to sleep. Even a little bit helps. I know some parents who keep their child(ren) up a bit the night before or skip a nap so that sleeping on the plane is more likely.

Anyway, good luck!

Anonymous said...

Stickers, new coloring books, empty notebooks (for the stickers), and new books. My 2 year old son has only flown from Minneapolis to NYC about five times, though the stickers have entertained him for about 1-1.5 hours at a stretch.

Noisy toys are bad.

- Bayern fan in Minneapolis

Julie said...

Lurker chiming in: I travelled a fair amount with my kids when they were little, though no more than 4 hours per flight. The new small toys are a great idea. I used to wrap them up, too, for a little extra specialness. One thing that entertained my son for quite a while when he was about 2 was the puppet another passenger made from an airsick bag. Don't forget something to suck on for taking off and landing.

Kudos for getting him a seat.

The German said...

Hey Bayern Fan in Minneapolis!
To be a Bayern Fan is really something special. Nobody is Bayern Fan in my region, and if he or she is a Bayern Fan, they are wired.(I could have said something else, but I think this matches)
Sorry, there are so many other teams you could be fan of, why Bayern...or is it the country Bayern--that is even worse.