How to: Fly With a Toddler.

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Hello and Happy Wednesday! 

I travel quite a lot with my family. For one because le husband is stationed in Congo; and soon Somalia. If he wants to see us we fly halfway, he flies all the way or we fly all the way to see him.  It is always something new but then again exciting. It is not easy to travel alone with a toddler. It was not easy to travel with Petit Joel when he was just five weeks old; then again my mom and I managed. We flew so many times by now that he and I have the main drills down if we fly alone. Whenever we are fortunate and le husband flies with us it is of course a lot easier. I wrote a post on flying with a baby a while ago if you would like to read it. 

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What usually freaks me/us out when flying  are time changes. We tried many different options already. Flying really early but then we needed to get up at 3 am. Or flying late in the evening and at night and wake up in the new country. It has all its pros and cons. We just figured out what works best for us and I would like to share some tips and tricks today. Enjoy! 

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Wear your child(ren) physically out if you fly in the evening. I don’t even remember how many times we went back and forth on this escalator. He loved it so much. We ran around with him at the airport. Even though it is stressful and you would love to just sit down and read a book (those times are pretty much over when flying with a toddler), but let him discover. You want your child completely exhausted so they can comfortably crash on the plane. 

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NO SUGAR! I thought it won’t hurt to give Petit Joel a bit of milk chocolate or a chocolate croissant. Well, it did hurt. A lot. In my head. He had even more energy after eating this garbage than without. Obviously. With this being said, it is important to keep some sort of rhythm. We try to eat meals according to clock time. This way our bodies adjust quicker and a lot better to the new sleep schedule. Usually, whenever we arrive late somewhere, I give him a little snack and something to drink, if he wants to, before bedtime and he is fine and sleeps right trough. I have to mention here that my son is one of the best baby/toddler-sleepers I have ever met. [Sleeps through from 8. 30 pm until 10.30 am! almost every single night]

For him to sleep that well, he needs complete quiet- and darkness. The room literally has to be pitch black. When we rent houses they usually have blinds that work pretty well. But if not, we just attached a blanket to the window somehow. Le husband is pretty creative in that department. [Barcelona!] A well-rested toddler is a happy toddler so we try everything possible to make him (and us) as comfortable as possible. An extra hour of sleep, I mean c’moooon, right! We all usually adjust to the time change within a day. 

We always take my his iPad mini. I downloaded a bunch of great apps for toddlers and this keeps him entertained for a long time. Petit Joel will be three years-old in October and he is more familiar with the iPad than my parents. Some think this is bad but I do not. He has educational apps on it, he knows how to count to ten in English and German and learnt so much more with this amazing tool. We live with it, we learn from it; this is the future. At the same time he also plays in the dirt and runs around naked, duh! It is all balanced. 

The obvious you need to take is something to eat and drink. Always make sure you have enough (sugar-free) options available. I usually take pretzels, crackers, Knäckebrot and of course water to nibble on until airplane food arrives. He is a picky eater still, but anything pasta works!  My son LOVES apple juice so I keep a bottle of it close by and mix it with water. 

Airlines usually offer pillows and blankets and I don’t take anything like it with me. I just have my son’s favorite blanket that serves as a pillow and if he needs something to cover I take my jacket. I travel light and minimalistic, even with a toddler. And it works. 

Happy travels to you! Do you have other tips and tricks that work well? 

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