When traveling on planes with my children as very little ones, I've had both easy and wildly difficult experiences. I will always and forever have compassion and empathy for young families traveling. It ain't easy! I remember traveling to Europe with my 4-month old son. When our neighboring passengers saw my baby on board, they fled to distant seats fearing an unabated wail across the Atlantic, so we had many rows to ourselves. Turns out he slept for a solid 6 hours. Our trip could not have been easier and the fleeing passengers wondered what we gave him to sleep so well.
I also had a twenty-something know-it-all tell me how to parent the same son, then an overactive whining 3 year-old who was relentlessly jumping, crying and whining. She had boundless advice on how to console him - no children but had a 7 year-old niece so that made her an expert. Air rage ensued and she was asked to move - not fun. I've had my son pee on me in the bathroom as I changed his diaper, blow-out diapers without a second change of clothes, and the dreaded child banging on other passengers' tray tables and pulling hair. Trying to restrain an energetic toddler and apologize for their behavior is humbling.
I've traveled alone with toddlers and survived by the kindness of strangers. People have given up their aisle and window seats to take a middle seat to keep our family seated together. Fellow passengers have held my 1 year old daughter while I rushed to the airplane bathroom with my potty-training son.
As we get back to traveling, it's even harder with the mask mandate with little ones. But Money Crashers offers some great advice on how to make family more tolerable and even fun https://www.moneycrashers.com/tips-traveling-flying-infant/. Happy traveling, dear families!