Ever gotten on a plane and settled into your seat only to see a mom with twin toddlers ambling down the aisle? You cross your fingers and mutter under your breath, “Please not my row, please not my row, please not my row,” until they squeeze in right next to you?
I’m that mom with the twin toddlers.
And while I’m not sorry — kids gotta fly sometimes too, y’know! — I totally understand that specific dread. Trust me: No one was more terrified to take their toddlers on a flight than I was. I was haunted by flashbacks to my single days when I was the passenger annoyed by parents with young kids… and I now had two toddlers to handle.
But I am happy to announce I found the ultimate remedy for restless plane-bound kiddos.
Fellow passengers no longer need fear the seating arrangements, because my 18-month-old twins will not cause a ruckus. Instead, they will sit quietly and engaged, focused and well-behaved, until the humming of the plane lulls them to sleep. How? Three words:
VINYL. STICKER. BOOKS.
Now maybe you’re already hip to this trick. (If so, good for you, smartie.) But if, like me, you were just frantically Googling “how to entertain an 18-month-old on a flight,” you’ll find a handful of mom boards that make the same suggestion. (I tried every recommendation, and this is the only one that worked for both twins on the entirety of our flight.)
Here’s why the vinyl sticker books work so well:
1. They’re new toys. YAY!
2. Most vinyl sticker books feature things or characters your toddler already loves — from farm animals to outer space to Disney princesses — so that’s a built-in win.
2. Sticking requires a lot of new skill sets (fine motor skills: peeling off, applying on; problem-solving skills: removing and replacing; creative skills: arranging images in a pleasing way).
3. Y’know how your kid is into repetition? Vinyl stickers can stick and restick and restick again and again and again. (And if the stick starts to fade, just dampen with a little water and voila!)
4. Kids love the freedom of stickering anywhere they want in the book.
5. Kids even more love the freedom of stickering anywhere they want on the plane. (Don’t worry flight attendants, Mom can easily remove them!)
6. Once the stickers are in place, you and your toddler can read the sticker book as if it’s a real book and make up stories together. (It’s basically a bonus toy!)
7. If you’re taking a particularly long flight, bring multiple books and a little tote to keep them in. That way, your kiddo can swap between books and stories, and put the books and stickers in and out of the tote over and over again.
8. You child will be so focused and entertained that she won’t even realize the white noise of the airplane is lulling her to sleep. Enjoy a cuddly snooze and watch her wake refreshed once you reach your destination.
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