We are finally settled in NYC and I feel I can now safely say that 17 months is the most challenging age at which to move with twins (so far).
We moved them when they were still in my belly, at 30 weeks. That was a breeze, mostly because I got to sit with my feet up ordering people around.
We moved them again at 12 months old. That wasn’t actually terrible because they still weren’t walking much. They took a few steps here and there, but were still containable.
Now? At 17 months? They’re craaazy. I can’t contain one of them, let alone two. Sitting on a plane with them? Please.
I vaguely recall people mentioning to me that it’s easier to fly with infants than toddlers, so take advantage and schedule trips with them early on. Sure, sure. I probably nodded in agreement without giving it much thought. Makes sense. Infants barely move, toddlers are all wiggly and stuff.
But until one actually flies with a 17-month-old, I don’t think one can ever truly be prepared for such a…special experience.
My husband drove the majority of our belongings out to NYC in a rental van and I was tasked with transporting our more precious cargo out there. I enlisted the help of my parents (my amazing, wonderful, kind parents…have I mentioned how much I appreciate that they helped me conquer this feat?).
On our flight from Dallas to New York, P&G literally never sat still. I don’t remember a quiet period either. My parents had one whole row to themselves and one baby, and I sat across the aisle from them with the other baby (thanks to the rule that allows only one lap child per row). They actually had a great set up because their row had three seats and no one occupied the seat in between them, so they sat one of the babies in that empty seat and filled it with stuffed animals and toys.
We passed P&G back and forth across the aisle throughout the flight. Thankfully, my mom had the brilliant foresight to pack two “surprise” bags with tons of new toys for the babies in each one. Why hadn’t I thought of this? Because Pinterest forgot to tell me, that’s why (I blame everything on Pinterest). Luckily, you can learn from my mistakes.
Without further adieu, a few more tips if you are about to embark on a flight with toddlers:
- Bring plenty of snacks. My toddlers basically just want to snack all day long. Don’t go for anything chocolate-y though, I learned that lesson the hard way by giving G some oreos (don’t judge me, we were out of all the healthy snacks), the aftermath of which not enough cocktail napkins in the world could clean up. Sorry, Southwest.
- Stickers. All the stickers. I already mentioned the brilliant bag of new toys that my mom packed the babies. In those bags were also several sheets of stickers. P&G are just discovering the fun of stickers, which held their attention and kept them happy the longest. The best quality a toddler toy can have, I’ve found, is it’s capacity to confuse the heck out of them. Stickers are so confusing. What is this thing sticking to my fingers and how do I untangle it and — ooh it sticks to paper, too?
- Try to fly on an off-peak day. We flew out on a Monday afternoon and our flight was only half-full, hence why my parents were able to get an entire row to themselves. We also selectively moved to the least populated section of the plane (ahem–the back).
- Make friends with the flight attendants. I severely under-appreciated flight attendants until I had kids. I have yet to be on a flight with our kids where at least one flight attendant hasn’t offered, delightedly, to take a baby off of our hands and trot them up and down the aisle. And if you don’t make friends with a flight attendant, be sure to choose an aisle seat, because you will probably be making at least a few laps up and down the aisle with your restless little one.
- Find an airport play area. Back when the twins were 3 months old and we flew with them, my husband and I hung out at American Airlines’ Admirals Club, which had it’s own baby area. This time around we flew from Dallas’ Love Field airport and discovered an awesome toddler play place open to everyone. Next time we fly with the kiddos I am definitely going to do my research and see what airports/terminals offer play areas like this. It was the best way to kill time before our flight without driving everyone in the airport crazy!