July 22, 2005

The Best Five Bucks We Spent On Our International Flight

doodle_pro.jpegThe kid did pretty well on the flight to Japan. [Not as well as last year this time, when she was five months old, and slept 11 of the 14 hour flight in her chair, but still, she was nowhere near the loudest kid on the plane--and on long flights, that's the most important grading scale.]

For starters, we flew from DC to Tokyo via Los Angeles, so we broke the trip up into 4 and 10 hour flights, which helped a lot. We resisted upgrading, because we weren't able to get all three of us up (the kid was on a frequent flyer ticket), so we were in Economy Plus; those extra few inches made a big difference, too.

But the secret weapon, the thing that held the kid's fascination more than anything, was the Fisher-Price Doodle Pro, which my wife picked up at Target in the smaller, clip-on size. Perfect for travel. She'd spaz out and doodle on her own, but what transfixed her were my drawings of the little plane with the trail behind it, copied from the little monitor in front of her. Recognizing the image and staring at it intently was the highlight of her flight.

The Fisher-Price Clip-on Doodle Pro is $5.99 at this random online merchant, but I'd buy it at a store so I could pick the color and avoid licensed characters. [babies travel lite]


How old is The Kid? We're heading to Ireland in November and Dude will be about 15 months. We have only flew a few times and he's been amazing, sleeping on every flight even a crop duster into South Bend. Still, I'm nervous about international. All advice welcome.

The airlines should stock travel doodles in with the pillows and blankets for all toddler passengers. We wore one of those things out in about 6 months of travel during the toddler phase.

We recently got the larger, Fisher Price "Little People" version from Buy Buy Baby (more of my online shopping...).

Baby loves it. The larger version comes with magnetized shape stampers that can be used to embellish baby artwork.

Good to know that we can get a smaller version for our transatlantic Christmas trip...

See http://www.buybuybaby.com/shopping/prod_detail/main.asp?uid=40A92DA2-4712-4DFD-9C4E-02C11322A862-2392784&MainCatID=3&catID=163&sl=0&productID=154082

Yes, the mini magna-doodle is toy number one in my book.
No batteries to go dead.
Very hard to lose the attached pen.
Cheap and small.
Good for multiple age groups (our 4 year old and 15 month olds all love it)
Draw, play tic-tac-toe, vent frustration with rorshach-like scribbles, etc.
Hours of fun on planes, trains and auotmobiles.

As far as what else to bring- we always have baggies of homemade kiddie snack mix. Mix veggie booty, goldfish, nuts, raisins, whatever together and pack in multiple small snack baggies. (M and Ms or other candies not reccommended, if you wish your child to remain seated)
This way you can give your kid the bag, which will occupy them for some time, picking out the individual pieces they want. Plus if they dump it on the floor, you have more for later.

Oh, and X? If you fly Aer Lingus to Eire, they will give you Guinness in a sippy cup to quiet the kid down for nap time.
OK- I think I'm kidding about that.
But why not, it's got lots of B-vitamins, too!

i, too, love this toy. it's great for diaper changes. we have an 18 month old.

FYI...I work for Babies Travel Lite(the link to the Doodle Pro) and all colors are unisex (red, green)and they don't have any licensed characters.

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