- Book a direct flight. Factor in sleep times whenever possible. Pack special lovies/blankets that will make it easier for them to fall asleep.
- Use the TSA Pre-Check. This rapidly expanding program costs $85 and allows you to speed through domestic security lines without taking off your shoes, belts, etc. Kids under 12 can go with parents who are part of the program.
- Pack some new toys along with some tried-and-loved ones. Choose favorite books, an iPad/portable DVD player if they’re old enough to sit still and watch TV/movie, and crafts such as, sticker collages (sheets of stickers are easy to pack and provide a lot of entertainment, especially for toddlers), edible crafts (bring fruit loops and make edible necklaces), body art (tattoo pens are a safe, easy, and washable creative outlet).
- Must-haves in your carry on. A hungry toddler is an unhappy one so bring plenty of snacks and empty sippies to fill on the plane. Pack more diapers than usual and a change of clothes in case of a particularly tragic potty accident.
- Make friends with your fellow passengers. Upon finding your seats, pass out a little goody bag filled with chocolates and ear plugs to everyone in your immediate vicinity, apologizing in advance for anything that might happen.
- Bring a cheap lightweight stroller. Umbrella strollers are great for gate-check and to easily wheel around the airport. They also hold diaper bags and other items you’re carrying when your child isn’t riding.
- Choose a seat in the back row. Forget about airline status and head to where the other families are. It’s much easier to have understanding people around you if your kid cries.
- Hit the aisles to stretch legs. Get up and walk up and down the aisles a couple of times with your child during the flight when possible. Better as a preventative measure when things are calm than trying to escape with a screaming child during drink service.
- Cut out the kicking. Does your child love to torture the passenger in front of them with constant kicking? Sitting in a car seat makes this worse, since it leaves even less legroom. If you want to forego the car seat, but still prefer a more secure restraint, try a CARES restraint system (http://www.amazon.com/CARES-Child-Aviation-Restraint-System/dp/B0012E4FV8/ref=sr_1_1).
- Bring rewards: Buy tons of small toys and snacks and keep them hidden in a carry-on bag. When your child is well behaved, they get a prize from the bag every 15 or 20 minutes. The ultimate prize is a giant ring pop, which might keep your child occupied for up to 30 minutes.
Check out what products are on my Love-It list here at What to Expect!
If you are interested in creating your own Love-it Lists, sign up now! There is currently a giveaway on WhatToExpect.com where anyone who creates their own Love-it List will be entered to win a gift card to Babies “R” Us each day for the rest of November!
Hurry before the giveaway ends!
Exceptional quality, unsurpassed comfort and distinctive styling have made the award-winning company the fastest growing children’s footwear brand in the United States. pediped® footwear has been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for the promotion of healthy foot development, and preeminent orthopedic medical professionals, Dr. Mininder S. Kocher and Dr. Thomas W. Vorderer, deem pediped® shoes an excellent choice for parents/caregivers who want their children’s feet to develop naturally and healthily. In 2011 Earnshaw’s,the premier media resource serving the children’s market recognized pediped® with Earnshaw’s Earnie Award for Company of the Year and Best Footwear. In 2012, Earnshaw’s recognized pediped® for their philanthropy efforts of nearly $2 million, and pediped® was awarded the Earnie Award for Company for Good.
pediped® footwear is sold in over 2,500 stores in the United States and 40 countries worldwide with an offering of more than 140 designs for boys and girls between their three lines, Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex®. Originals®, Grip ‘n’ Go™ and Flex® are available in EU sizes ranging from 17 to 33. For more information, visit www.pediped.com.
• Facebook address: http://facebook.com/pedipedfootwear
• Twitter address: http://twitter.com/pedipedfootwear
• Instagram address: #pediped
Because of this they have instilled an inherent quality in not only my brother and sister, but our spouses, and our kids (nieces and nephews) as well.When I was growing up as a toddler, I remember going to “Family Reunions” in the Midwest, where everyone at the park, or the house, was a relative. I could never believe how many uncles, aunts, and cousins I had. It seemed like a natural bond of love and caring that was unconditionally given by all. It felt like a fraternity, or special club that I belonged to simply because I was part of the family.
I saw places where my dad used to play when he was a child, I saw the church my parents were married in, I slept in the basement of my granny’s house in the summer where my mom was raised.
So why does it take Holidays to bring the family together?
There are plenty of movies, and TV shows about the family getting together for Holiday celebrations, from the dysfunctional, to the new loves, to the aging and dying. For me, any of those shows can bring a tear to my eye, and smile to my cheek.
I believe in tradition, and celebration of family, and if it takes a Holiday to get it done, then that is OK with me. I can only thank my mom and dad for bringing us all together, teaching us about the importance of family, and instilling in us the desire to continue these traditions for our families and the generations to follow.
If you are reading this, and you were not raised in a family of tradition, holidays, and celebration, or you missed out for one reason or another, it is never too late to reignite the fire within, teach those around you, and start a fresh journey no matter what stage of life you are residing.
Robert “Daddy” Nickell