Flying with a child

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Trevor3431, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Trevor3431

    Trevor3431 Filing Flight Plan

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    I have been entertaining the thought of taking my two year old daughter and wife on a trip to visit my parents (roughly two hours in flight).

    Does anyone have experience or tips for flying with a two year old? Also, any advice on what headset is best for a young child would be much appreciated.
     
  2. wayne

    wayne Cleared for Takeoff

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    I bought some children's headsets before, but they seemed to have high clamping pressure. The kids were 7 and 9 at the time, so older and bigger than your daughter. We quickly switched to regular headsets for them.

    How is your daughter in a car ride? After getting use to flying, my youngest would just fall asleep. Often she'd be asleep before we hit cruise altitude. At first it was all novel and she spent the time looking out the window. The other isn't much of a napper and would read or play games. A car seat in the plane will help her be safer and boost her up higher so she could see out the windows. For a young child like that, having Mom sit in the back with her can help. Not only emotionally, but being there with her if she needs anything.

    How does your wife feel about it? Just thinking if she'll stress and your daughter will pick up on that. The first time I flew our two youngest kids, my wife wasn't with us. I flew one up to Chattanooga to spend the week with my parents and picked the other up there from her week with her grandparents and flew her home. They both had a blast and loved it. Now, they had both flow since infants, so planes were not new to them, just small planes and Dad flying the plane was new.

    One potential issue for a two year old could be a bathroom break. That's right around potty training age. A two hour flight with no bathroom can be a challenge for a toddler. They often don't know when they have to go, until they have to go right now. If she's still in pull-ups, then you're probably fine. If she's doing well, then maybe limiting liquids beforehand and having her go before getting in the plane will be fine.
     
  3. RudyP

    RudyP Line Up and Wait

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    Ours isn’t quite a year old but she has done just fine on multiple trips in our cirrus. She wears these passive ear protection only cups (no comms) that we got on amazon and seems happy with them. Can’t comment on potty training since she is still in diapers. I’ve found that as long as mom is on board, it is no big deal.

    Here is a picture of her shooting a partial panel ILS when she was about 7 months old
    94751E69-C856-4453-834E-4523AEF49564.jpeg
    7DAF9595-08B8-408B-A403-E8ED4E4EAF51.jpeg
     
  4. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    I’ve flown with mine since they were younger than 2. Wayne covered it well.
     
  5. Trevor3431

    Trevor3431 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you all for the replies!
     
  6. Trevor3431

    Trevor3431 Filing Flight Plan

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    My wife is another issue. Flying just doesn’t interest her but she will deal with it. Especially to avoid the 5 hour car.
     
  7. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Great pictures, @RudyP !

    At age 2 I'd recommend just a normal adult headset. Something to keep them happy/distracted is good, too. And make sure to get pictures of them flying the plane.
     
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  8. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    When my wife would fly our 2yo daughter in the chief we had an older headset with little clamping pressure because it was do big. But do not have active (plugged in) mic boom in front of the their mouth especially at or near a controlled airport. They will sing and babble for awhile.

    2 hours would be long for a first flight. Car Seat. Make them potty 5min before starting up. Simple crackers to snack on. Crackers or sippy cup (water only) will help with clearing ears. Definitely wife in back for longer trip with book or i-thingy to distract when needed.
     
  9. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Academy sports has kids shooting muffs for under $20. Works very good. Toys, LeapPad, etc keeps them entertained.

    I’ve used the ones Rudy has...... mine were too rambunctious and liked to pull them off. Still got them in the flight box too. Good for a calm infant. Not so much on a curious one.
     
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  10. Jamie Kirk

    Jamie Kirk Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Make sure mom is calm. You couldn’t handle a freaking out/complaining wife and the upset 2 year old.
     
  11. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Try a fist flight in the back between a couple of them. My AP couldn’t keep up with the shifting C.G.
     
  12. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My 2 and half year old LOVES to fly. His first flight was when he was about 6 weeks old...the ear muffs are no problem with him. He is now aware of ATC and want to listen... 20181223_143212.jpg 20181223_143647.jpg
     
  13. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    We used Mack's silicone or wax earplugs and ear muffs like the ones pictured above on all three of our kiddos. When they are that young, it's a good idea to use two kinds of hearing protection because there is a high likelihood that some of it will get removed. It's not a bad idea to have an older person in position to put the ear muffs back on when they get tossed. With our 3 boys, actually getting to the destination with all the hearing protection where we put it was rare.
     
  14. Shepherd

    Shepherd En-Route

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    Glad to see you are starting them young. :)
    The earliest memory I have in my head is my Dad piling parachutes up on the back seat of a PA-11 (on floats) so I could see out the windows. I couldn't have been more the 3 or 4 at the time.
    I have no memory of the flight itself, I was just so excited to be sitting on the parachutes.
     
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  15. TheFB

    TheFB Pre-Flight

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    I got a set of Corwin ANR, Bluetooth wireless headsets for around $60 on Amazon. My kid first flew at 7 but those hooked up to an iPad with his apps is the ticket.

    For the wife, it is photography, and a bit of wine or rum. She likes the views and utility of getting there faster. Overall, she doesn’t love flying in a single engine plane.
     
  16. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Mine turned 2 yesterday, and he's gone on about a dozen long trips in the Mooney with us... And loves airplanes. :)

    For hearing protection, we started with the "Ems for bubs" headset that you see in @RudyP's picture. At age 1, we upgraded him to the "Ems for Kids" one similar to @Kelvin's picture. Around 1.5 years old he was wanting to take the headset off and was being a pain about it, but on our most recent trip a couple weeks ago he was really eager to wear it, and even wanted to wear it for fun on the ground before and after the trip. Yes, he even cried when mama put it away after the trip. :) I do want to get him into a normal headset sooner rather than later, but as long as he's content with that one we'll keep using it.

    For a seat, we just have always used whatever car seat he was in at the time. We've always faced him forward in the toddler seat in the plane. He sits in the left rear seat so that the car seat doesn't impede anyone else from getting to the exit in an emergency. My wife sits in the right rear seat.

    When he was <1, my wife would nurse him for the entire descent from cruise until about TPA, when she would put him back in the seat and strap him in for landing. Now, we'll make sure he's got a drink or a pacifier for the descent. Also, I'll put something in the Remarks section of the flight plan about him being aboard and no fast descents please... Worked great on our first trip which was down to see @Ted DuPuis, the KC approach controller must have had kids of her own too... She stepped us down 1000 feet, then waited a couple minutes, stepped us down another 1000 feet, etc... I really appreciated that. Whatever you do, plan your descents and don't exceed 500 fpm.

    Have a great flight! :)
     
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  17. Trevor3431

    Trevor3431 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you!!!
     
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  18. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    I think my rear child seat is going to be to cavernous feeling for my lil guy... I also dont feel the small 140 cockpit is a spot for a kid on moms lap... I may have to wait to take him until he can go comfortably in the right seat alone, as in okay without mom. Any thoughts on that?
     
  19. JCranford

    JCranford Pattern Altitude

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    Duct tape. Lots of duct tape
     
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  20. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    Im thinking I'll just have to go get my club's 172 once its nice flying Wx, but man now that I have my own its just not the same... But at least mom could go with him in the club plane... He loves planes, so now that I'm back at it I can't wait to get him up. In fact I got him and I matching shirts for Christmas that say "I don't always stop and look up at airplanes... Oh wait, yea I do..."
     
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  21. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Pre-takeoff checklist

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    All I ever hear about is flying young kids in their car seats. I have a C150. No chance that the carseat will fit in that front seat next to me. I do have shoulder harnesses, so if I can get my 2.5 year old up in the plane, I guess I will just have to strap him into the seat next to me. Anyone else fly with a 2-4 year old without using a car seat?
     
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  22. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't crash. Or have a landing mishap...

    I would expect that a booster would help the situation. Also, does your 2.5 year old follow instructions well enough to not mess with the yoke or other controls? Mine just turned 2, but I can't let him in front right now because any sight of buttons, knobs, lights, etc. completely overrides the part of the brain that remembers daddy telling him not to touch!
     
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  23. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    Thats why I won't put my guy up front solo... Hes a good kid, easy going but he loves button and knobs... And even though he's not a regular fit thrower, he is 2.5... They happen and frankly I think a 2.5 year old throwing an all out fit in front seat of an airplane would be more than a typical distraction... So yea I think hes going to have to just go in the club plane for a bit once in a while. I suppose I could take him for a taxi or something sometime, as he is infactuated with "Dads Plane"
     
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  24. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep, sounds exactly like mine! He even points to the model of the plane we have hanging from the ceiling in the living room and says "Daddy's Plane!" :D

    IMG_2693.png
     
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  25. bluesky74656

    bluesky74656 Line Up and Wait

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    The first time I let a kid sit in the front, I think he was 3 at the time. I had a responsible adult sit in the seat behind him. The adults job was to subdue the kid if he got out of hand in the front seat. Luckily I’ve never once had a problem with him other than needing to remind him that takeoff and landing time is a bad time for questions.
     
  26. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    I think 2 of my four, the youngest two, will be my airport buddies... though ive been shocked my oldest at almost 16 has been more interested in talking aviation more lately... im wondering if the thought that hes now old enough to take a lesson is interesting him... id love to toss him the keys to go up with one of our local instructors, both are great...
     
  27. Somedudeintn

    Somedudeintn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Here is a link to a new carseat that came out that is FAA approved and very light and compact. It will likely even fit in a 150! I took my 4 year old up the other day in the 182 and it worked great.

    https://wayb.com/