Zane’s first plane ride at 17 months- OH BOY!!!

Let me preface this by saying I love Zane with all my heart, but being midair at 30K feet with a little boy in hysterics, was blatantly  NO FUN!!!! When I first heard we were going on a cruise and it was going out of Florida, which was a 3.5 hour trip, I was scared. Sure, we took Hayley on a plane starting at 10 months but she was, how should I put, it a calm baby. Zane on the other hand is as rambunctious as they come, so I knew taking him along would be difficult. However, I had no idea truly how difficult it was!

I read up on other blogs, as well as friends advice, to give me suggestions on what to do to keep him occupied. I had a whole suitcase filled of snacks, and we stocked up on drinks once we got through security. I also brought my iPad which has picture apps of his favorites, Elmo and Cookie Monster. At 17 months old, he has zero interest in television, despite my valiant attempts to try to turn into a television lover. Gasp… Okay, maybe not a television lover but it would be nice if he sat through 10 minutes of any show! But alas- no such luck with bringing aboard a DVD player.

We decided not to buy him a seat, as the prices on the planes these days are exuberant! So, he was a lap child- or at least that is what I thought he would be. I told my husband the smart thing would be to be one of the last to board because I knew that would leave as little time as possible to get himself in trouble. We boarded the plane at 12:35 with a takeoff time of 1:00 pm. Since we had only 25 minutes between the time of takeoff and boarding, I was able to keep him occupied with my cell phone. He loves my cell phone but honestly don’t all little ones. Then it was time to shut off the phone and take off. He did excellent taking off. I, on the other hand, was scared out of my mind because we were hitting a big storm but I digress. Anyway, about 10 minutes after takeoff, he started screaming. Nope it had nothing to do with his ears but rather he was BORED. I also knew it was nap time but unfortunately this is the only flight that was available.

I proceeded to get up and walk around the plane. He was quiet for a few minutes until he ran down the aisle so fast that he knocked into a lady drinking cranberry juice with a white shirt. You can guess what happened next…. The woman was very nice thankfully. After this incident, we returned to our seat. He would not have it. Cried…Cried…Cried. I counted ┬áthat he was in hysterics for exactly 2 hours, 45 minutes of the flight. It was miserable- truly miserable!!!!

Thankfully, once we got home, I put him to bed and he slept 15 hours straight. I guess you can say, he was TIRED. I know that I won’t be traveling anytime soon with him on a plane. Maybe at Hayley’s age, I will try again..We will see. I think I am permanently scared. On that note… Do you have any good or bad stories with flying with young kids? Any tips you have? I am sure we would all love to know!

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  1. says

    Our son first flight was last year and he was 9 and he loved it. Our daughter has never flown. I’m sorry it wasn’t a great flight maybe better next time.

  2. says

    What a nightmare! I remember when I went to go look at colleges in Texas with my mom, we brought my youngest brother, who was like 9 months old. He screamed the whole time. People clapped when we landed and got off the plane. On the way back, though, we let him have the window and he got obsessed with opening and shutting the window shade, so he didn’t do as much screaming. Still not fun though!

  3. says

    Aw, poor you! That does not sound like fun at all. I’ve never taken an itty bitty on a plane before, but that is something I fear happening; a total meltdown. At least he slept for you afterwards.

  4. says

    Oh, I’m sorry about the plane ride!! I will tell you when you are a mother and you hear a baby crying, your heart goes out to that mom! When we took Quinn to FL there was a baby probably around Zane’s age and she criiiiied the whole time. The entire time I just kept thinking I wanted to give that woman a hug!

  5. says

    Oh no! My son is 17 months too and getting ready for his first airplane ride. I didn’t buy him a seat (flight is an hour)… but now I might change my mind. Eek!

  6. says

    Oh! I feel for you! We took our son on his first plane ride when he was 15 months old and to our great surprise, he was a real champ! No crying, no fussing, no crankiness! Following the airline representative’s personal suggestion, since we were flying in a small plane with 3 seat rows, we reserved the seat next to the window and the one next to the aisle, thus leaving the middle seat free. We obvsioulsy didn’t buy our son a seat because it wasn’t worth it. Well, get this… on all FOUR flights (because we had a layover between destinations) the middle seat was free!!!!! So our little guy had all the room in the world to move around!

    I heard that you can give your children some liqui gravol right before the flight and it knocks them out cold, so they sleep throughout the plane ride… never tried it since our son behaved but could come in handy for some parents!

  7. says

    I am so sorry to hear you had such a terrible traveling experience. Poor, exhausted Zane. At least the people on the flight with you were nice, especially the woman who got cranberry juice knocked all over her white shirt. Whoops.

  8. says

    You are braver than I! We have 3 boys and I haven’t been ready to take flight with them (of course, I airplane traveling is painful for me). Horrible or not you did it so good for you!

  9. says

    Oy! I am so sorry it was like that for you. FOOD! That is what we used. We flew with Jude to Spain when he was 16 months old. Jude sounds like Zane…all boy! So it was hard but thankfully with the food and entertainment of his grandparents we had a successful flight…sleep too. It will get easier. We take Jude on planes at least 2 times a year and now he is a pro!! I hope you had a good trip!

  10. says

    Oh goodness, I’m so sorry! I had to do an international flight with two babies on my own. Way too many connecting flights, with two kids under the age of 3! will never do that again! They got bored way too fast, the headphones hurt their ears, they couldn’t hear the movie. they were tired (it took over 24 hrs to get to our destination and they didn’t sleep well on the planes). yes, I know the feeling and I’m so sorry.

    Thankfully I had plenty of snacks to help keep them occupied for some brief moments of sanctuary. Suckers were definitely a big help, although very messy with little kids. Thankfully I also had understanding flight attendants that weren’t rude saying, “can you please keep those kids quiet”. yeah, that wouldn’t have helped.

  11. says

    You’re so brave! I’m sorry it didn’t go well. Your son might have just been having a bad day. Ice in a cup from the flight attendant has entertained my daughter when we traveled and she was your son’s age. Also maybe a special surprise to present when you’re on board, like a coloring book. Good luck!

  12. Kassie says

    We first flew with Aiden at 6mos to Cleveland. Luckily he fell sleep to me rocking him in my seat and slept the whole way. The second time flying he was 14mos , to Baltimore and we took a flight that was around bedtime. I put him in his PJ’s just before we took off and, I’ll admit it. I gave him some Benadryl to help him nod off. Not a full dose, but just enough. He did sleep a little. We didn’t fly again until last Thanksgiving to Detroit. Aiden was fine, Rebecca started off cranky, but within 20mins I was able to get her to drift to sleep since it was nap time for her. The return flight she only slept half the flight and wasn’t too bad. Next spring we are planning a trip to Disney so we will see how that all goes. Hopefully it will be better since both kids will be older. And we’ll load up on Mickey episodes.

  13. Kasee Johnson says

    When my first child was 3, we took a trip to Hawaii with my parents. I had everything packed in his own little backpack and a bunch of new games and toys were in my bag. He’s a really great kid and knew how to sit still for long periods already, being a seasoned car traveler. But none of us were prepared for what happened. As soon as the plane started to taxi down the runway, he needed to go potty. Has anyone tried to tell a potty-training 3-year-old boy that he has to hold it? Yeah, that didn’t go over well. THE PLANE PULLED OVER ON THE RUNWAY SO MATTHEW COULD USE THE POTTY! I was mortified. Luckily, the pilot came back to our seats later in the flight just to thank Matthew for giving him a great excuse for being late.

  14. Michelle says

    My father in law is a pilot, and he couldn’t understand why I always paid for a seat when my child was under 2. Best money ever spent in my opinion! No way I was struggling to keep a kid on my lap the whole time (6 hour flights).

  15. says

    Oh! What a trip! JDaniel loved getting to use this iPad on our trip west last year. Thankfully he stayed seated most of the time. I think I would be ready to sleep or 15 hours after a long plane flight.

  16. says

    Our daughter loathes the car. We drove to my hometown in North East Ohio from our current location in Chesapeake, VA. It is 8.5 hours driving the speed limit with two bathroom breaks and an additional stop for lunch. We’ve made the trip 3 times (all while I was pregnant non-the less). We decided to leave at 3 am so our daughter would sleep at least the first half. She did sleep…for an hour and half. Then she screamed the rest of the trip. Which took us an additional 4 hours because we kept stopping and I tried nursing her for comfort and maybe so she’d go back to sleep for a little while. No luck. It took us 12.5 hours to get there. I felt like my last nerve had been shot hours prior to arriving and had no idea how we survived the hours of her screams. The trip back was a little better. We left at 11 pm and drove all night. She slept a little more, and I was able to keep her a little bit busier, but it’s hard to entertain a 4 month old for a very long time in a car seat.

    There is a pretty big family gathering every Halloween back home so my oldest sister graciously offered to pay for us to come home via plane. Just the baby and I (since Hubby cannot make it). After days of thinking about it – even with he being 8 months at the time we would be flying- I had to decline. She is not good at being in one place for any length of time. She likes to be free to move around.

    Kudos to you for your plane ride! I know it could not have been easy : )

  17. Sarah [] says

    That was *the* worst age with Braden that we have experienced yet! I don’t think you could have paid me enough money to take him on a plane!! You’re brave but you lived to tell about it good job!!

  18. Melissa says

    I bet believe it feels great to be home. While I loved the vacation, flying with Zane is not on our radar anytime soon! Thanks everyone for your comments!

  19. says

    So brave!! I’ve never been on a plane in my 21 years of life! So great to get them started early so they aren’t afraid later on!

  20. says

    Oh my gosh, that stinks. Sorry that you had a bad experience. :( We had to take Gwen on the plane to see my grandfather a few months ago. She fell asleep both times, the first was right at nap time, the other was a 9 pm flight. It wasn’t easy, but I was SO thankful she fell asleep.

  21. says

    Aaaaah, Melissa. I feel your pain! I have to take a 3 hour flight to get to where my parents live, and so my 11 month old daughter has already been on 8 flights. Most of the times I have gone without my husband, and sometimes with my dog as well. It is always a nightmare. My daughter is also extraordinarily rambunctious. She does not like sitting on my lap at all. She gets super restless and bored if she has to sit still for more than like 5 seconds. Oy. I am not looking forward to the next trip!

  22. maria says

    aww melissa, i am so sorry to hear!! that sounds tough. my friend flew alone with her one year old daughter last year and had a rough experience. her daughter wouldn’t stop screaming and crying the whole flight and she kept getting mean stares and could hear people talking about her. she of course felt horrible and embarrassed. and was pretty much sitting there in tears. she said it was the sweetest thing when she went to get off plane – a nice older man handed her a piece of paper and smiled. on it, it said “you are a wonderful mother.” i would have cried again. lol.