What it's like traveling with an 18 month old...

Well, at least our 18 month old...

--Be prepared for wiggling...airplanes aren't designed with jungle gyms and an 18 month old doesn't like sitting still. Have an arsenel of motion games ready (up and down, where's daddy's nose?, hang upside down)

--Snacks help to kill time and relieve congested ears...throw your eating schedule out the window and allow snacking to preserve mental sanity.

--Persuade the person sitting next to you to play with your 18 month old...or at least be nice to him/her. At this age, boundaries haven't quite developed fully and my 18 month old will be in your space.

--Bring a blanket or lovey to help your 18 month old sleep...plan your trip with a decent layover, if possible, since this might be the only chance for a nap.

--Bring enough food to avoid paying inflated airport prices...spending twice as much for something as it should cost might cause you to never want to travel again. And then Grandma will be sad. And so will your 18 month old.

--Make use of pre-boarding even though it means you'll be sitting on the plane an extra 30 minutes before take-off. At least you'll have room in the overhead compartments for your carry-on. And hopefully you can get ahead of all those 'elite travelers'.

--Bring a lineup of quiet, small toys that your 18 month old will enjoy...such as doodle pads, cars, books, and anything with buttons to push. Don't take a DVD player if you have a hands-on child who thinks button-pushing is more interesting than watching the screen.

--Gate check your stroller so you have somewhere for your 18 month old to hang out while you're in transit. And somewhere to sleep.

--Don't bother bringing jars of baby food in your carry on...cheerios/chex are a lot simpler and don't have to be run through extensive testing in airport security.

--Drink your daily requirement of water before entering the airport since you won't be allowed to take your own water through security and the water inside the airport tastes like warm horribleness. Consequently, try to pee it all out before boarding the plane.

--And finally...enjoy your flight!!