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We just got back from a wonderful trip to California! We attended a family wedding and spent a lot of quality time with my husband's family. I'll be sharing more about our trip but first I want to share a little bit about how we did on the flights to and from CA.I was a little worried about keeping the babies entertained for 6 hours! We have flown a few times with them but only for 2-3 hours and not when they've been so mobile. I did a little research and asked for advice from some mom groups but came back with little info. So I did what I always do and totally overpacked and brought everything I could think of to possibly entertain them based on past flights and the babies' interests. Despite my giant, literal bag of tricks, we ended up with a handful of things that worked on the flight there and back, as well as for car rides. Here they are!
1) LEGO Duplos. These are one of the babies' favorite toys at the library. I had some I used when I was teaching and I brought exactly 4 and that was all they needed. They chewed them, put them together and pulled them apart, and banged them together.
2) Dollar Tree Calculator. Best dollar I ever spent! Both kids like to push buttons and this gave them a ton of buttons. We brought it to restaurants and it was a great distraction there too. We keep a very close eye on them when they're playing with the calculator because I'm nervous about the buttons coming off, although they seem very secure.
3) Pip Squigz. One mama's suggestion for 2 years olds on a plane were Squigz by Fat Brain Toys. They are little suction cup toys. I found that they also make a larger version, Pip Squigz. The regular Squigz seemed like they could be a choking hazard since my kiddos put everything in their mouths so I went with the bigger size. Ben and I stuck them together and pulled them apart, which they babies found hilarious. We stuck them on the trays to play with, and they are apparently delicious. Now that we're home, I stick them on the fridge, kitchen floor, tubby, and high chair trays!
4) Pura Kiki Water Bottle. We use Pura Kiki straw bottles for water so I brought those with us. I offered them during takeoff and landing, as well as throughout the flight (I get super dehydrated on flights!). I also gave them small, unopened water bottles offered on the flight to play with, which entertained Baby B pretty well.
5) Little Duck Organics Tiny Fruits. My kids LOVE these! They are tiny bits of freeze dried fruit. They taste good and they take a long time to pick up one by one, which is a great time-killer. I also had pouches and disposable bibs which were handy to have.
6) Carrier. We each brought an Ergo and mine came in handy when baby A was overtired and very unhappy sitting in her carseat on the way home. Once we were up in the air and I gave up on trying to calm her hysterical self while she was buckled in, I popped her in my Ergo and she passed out for a pretty decent nap. Carriers are also my go-to for traveling through the airport!
7) Tegu Magnetic Wooden Blocks. We got a set of Tegu blocks for the babies' birthday. They are magnetic wooden blocks and they are awesome! Both babies enjoy putting them together and pulling them apart. I brought 4 with us and that's all we needed.
8) HABA Shakin Eggs. These eggs make 5 different sounds and one of them twists and clicks. The clicking egg was a great source of entertainment for both the car and plane but they enjoy playing with all 5!
9) Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat. We bit the bullet and bought these as a second set of travel carseats instead of lugging our hefty Chicco Nextfits with us through the airport and onto the plane. We had a 75% success rate for carseat naps as baby A was not having it on the way home. I'll be talking more about our experience with these seats but having somewhere safe for both babies to nap on the plane was great when it worked!
In addition to these things, we also got cups from the flight attendants which the babies played with for a while. We tried showing them Sesame Street on the iPad but they weren't really into it. Baby B watched for a bit, zoned out, and fell asleep on the way home but it wasn't really a great tool for us right now. The touch screen TVs on the back of the seats though - they were a hit, as well as the buttons on the armrests!
This is pretty much all that will go in my bag on our next flight! I don't need to carry around all the extra things we didn't use or the babies weren't interested in.
What are your best tricks for flying with busy babies?