I often have to travel for work (flying over 100,000 miles last year). I already find flying exhausting and frustrating, so I have no idea how moms with babies and toddlers manage.
I am filled with so much admiration for moms who make it look easy. On a flight this week, I was seated across the aisle from a mom with a four year-old and a 5-month old baby. She wisely purchased a seat for the baby as well as the toddler, which gave her a whole row to herself. The baby drifted off to sleep after discreetly nursing, so she got lucky there.
However, toddlers are normally a terror on a flight. I’ve been tormented on numerous flights by a toddler kicking my seat while simultaneously torturing his mother by throwing a tantrum. So I was impressed by how this mother handled her toddler. She had planned everything for the 6-hour plane ride: snacks, beverages, and quiet activities. Frankly, she deserved a medal. After the flight, I asked her what had kept her son so absorbed for six hours. She told me that she has certain toys that are only used on the plane, so her son gets excited about playing with them.
Her current toy of choice is a set of My Little Chalkboard Books ($12.95 at OneStepAhead). These books have pretty pictures and teach kids colors, animals, letters and numbers. Her toddler could write and draw in them with the erasable chalk. When he finished, she just wiped them off and got him started again. They’re a Mamanista pick for best educational travel toy.