FL Trip: The Importance of the Placement of Pack-n-Plays

Kudos to the person who came up with the idea of renting baby equipment to vacationing families. We rented two pack-n-plays and a big bin of toys from Visiting Baby and it was worth every penny. In fact, we saved money not having to check two pack-n-plays and the new-to-the-kids bin of toys was most welcome on rainy days.

All of our kids were in one bedroom. Sophie was in a twin bed; Owen and James slept in their own pack-n-plays. The first time I put the boys down for a nap they giggled—for an hour. I thought it was the novelty of vacation, of having flown on a plane, of a new place, of a new sleep environment.


Turns out I left their airplane backpacks within reaching distance. They not only reached them, but they dumped the contents into their pack-n-plays, passed items back and forth and then, after a good hour of this, finally fell asleep on top of everything, covered in stickers, having eaten snacks and dumped out flash cards.

“Yawns are not the only infectious things out there besides germs. Giggles can spread from person to person. So can blushing.” —Vera Nazarian

Three Kids Under 4 On a Plane

Early June Andy’s parents gifted us a wonderful vacation with them in St. Petersburg, Fla. The trip included five plane tickets, which I was both very grateful for (it’s a long drive) and terrified of (the boys have never flown). Confession: Worst case, though, I thought whatever happened would make a good blog post.

Fortunately, unfortunately, I have nothing super exciting to post here.

I prepared. Sophie has a backpack. I bought the boys backpacks. And filled them with things they don’t normally get—fruit strips, fruit snacks, Teddy Grahams, cheese crackers, these fantastic activity books, diapers for the boys, an extra pair of panties for Sophie, wipes for everyone, sunglasses for everyone, flash cards and empty Thermos drink containers.

Now you would think such excess would have kept them occupied for a flight to Paris. But after putting all the stickers all over themselves …

and eating all their treats much too quickly …

and going through the flash cards 10 times …

we resorted to letting them turn the overhead lights on and off, on and off. Thankfully, the flight was packed with kids (as it was going from Cincinnati to Tampa in the summer) and everyone seemed to agree that a flickering overhead light was better than a crying child.

It went well. Really well. Andy’s parents flew with us on the way out, helping us when needed. Owen kept saying “airplane” over and over. Sophie was beside herself with the idea of fruit snacks in the morning.


“Airplane travel is nature’s way of making you look like your passport photo.” —Al Gore