The fear of flying is huge for a lot of people, including myself. But something even scarier? Flying with kids.
Our son Anthony has been on five round trip flights in his first two years, each one getting more and more difficult as he gets bigger and more active! Our most recent flight was to visit my husband in Wisconsin who was there for several weeks on a business trip: my very first flight alone with Anthony.
What got us through:
- The grace of God.
- All kinds of cheap toys that hold interest for even 2-3 minutes at a time. Teeny animal figurines, glow sticks, stickers, etc.
- Snacks, snacks, snacks.
- Letting my newly-exclusively-sippy-cup-kid have one of his coveted and much-missed bottles.
- Our Amazon Kindle Fire.
My husband Chris and I have a family iPad which is what we used for flights 1-3. However, lately Anthony has insisted on touching the screen and holding it in his hands, and so the iPad became an adults-only toy! Right before our 4th flight, our longest yet (to Hawaii), I bought an Amazon Kindle Fire for him and it was the best money I ever spent! I bought a foamy case for it that protects it from drops, gives Anthony a place to hold it without touching the screen, and fits PERFECTLY in the magazine holder in the seat in front of us on most planes that have one. The handle can also bend to prop it up on a flat surface like the tray table.
The Kindle Fire uses Wi-Fi, and we have Amazon Prime (another post soon soley devoted to how amazing Amazon Prime is, obvi) which allows you to download a certain number of TV shows and movies to watch offline for free. So before every flight, I made sure to download a few episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Sesame Street, and a movie for myself in case he fell asleep (WHICH HE DID ON THE FLIGHT HOME! PRAISE JESUS!).
FYI, Netflix and Xfinity apps both let you download shows to watch later offline too! But Daniel Tiger is on Amazon so that is our #1 jam. In addition, you can download ebooks to the tablet to read offline too – I got a bunch of great ones from the library and it was an awesome way on our trip to still do our daily reading without physically bringing all the books he insists we read…I would be bringing a whole second suitcase just for them!
I bought Anthony a pair of kid-friendly headphones, and he does like them sometimes, but he’s not a huge fan of things on his head (hats, sunglasses, headphones) much to our dismay. Thankfully, he is still super interested in the muted version so he was captivated even when he refused the ‘phones. The thing I love about the headphones we bought is that I am able to use them too, when he fell asleep (see above, biggest miracle in my life so far). But, I have kind of a small head so that might not work for everyone!
If you are traveling with a kiddo, I can’t recommend this enough. I’ve even seen used Kindles on Craigslist for next to nothing! You can restore factory settings and set them up with your own Amazon account to activate it with your own settings.