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How to Entertain an Infant on a Long Flight


Our son was exactly one year old when we flew from Dallas to Mumbai, India (via London).  I was pretty confident in our 4 year old’s ability to be entertained on the flights, but Mr. A was just 12 months old and not too fond of being confined to our laps for any length of time!

We didn’t know it at the time we booked our flights, but British Air has a special infant seat (like a car seat) that attaches to a foldout shelf on the bulk head seats. We found out about this just in time to call the airlines and ask to reserve the “cot seat” for myself and the baby.  Thankfully the were also able to accommodate my husband and Miss A on the same row – all for no extra charge!  It worked out perfectly.  Mr A is totally happy in his carseat and stroller, but if someone is holding him, he knows he can escape and he won’t give up until he is successful!  So the inflight “carseat” was perfect – he liked playing there when he was awake – he could see lots of people from his perch – and he slept comfortably there also.  The only downside was that he had to be removed when the “fasten seatbelt” sign came on.

I knew he would’t sleep the entire journey so I tired to plan ahead and pack a few lightweight toys that I hoped would entertain him more than just a few minutes.  So aside from snacks and baby food, I packed the following toys (these were all new to him at the time so that also added to the fun factor)

1. PipSquigz – these fun suction cup toys were perfect to stick on the wall of the airplane or trains once we were in India.  They won’t fall to the ground and get dirty and the best part is the baby loved them!

2. A Travel Magna Doodle – He was happy to “draw” with this for quite a decent time.  This was one of his favorite toys during the trip.  And I didn’t have to worry about any messes to clean up!  Sadly ours broke mid journey but we were able to replace it in India.

3.  Soft blocks that could clip onto each other or anything else to keep them off the floor!  Mr. A was going through quite the “stacking” phase (he actually still is!) So I thought these blocks would be great since they were squishy and didn’t weigh much and I could keep them clean by keeping them off the floor.

Other things that worked to entertain a 12 month old:

pots and pans

  • A box of crayons – he was not really into coloring much at the time but he loved taking the colors out and putting them back  This trick not only came in handy on the planes and trains, but also during church!  Of course the “game” was all over when he got bored and decided to start putting the colors in his mouth. But with close supervision he did remarkably well for his age.
  • Plastic Snack containers and something to “hide” inside.  He would open and close it over and over again.
  • Small cars that he cold roll back and forth.
  • Books – we tried to limit the number of books we took due to weight, we opted for paperbacks instead of board books.  Just be aware that they might get torn up – so don’t bring favorites!  I hit the Dollar Store before we left and found some good choices.
  • Water bottles – never underestimate the entertainment power of cheap plastic!  Just be careful of the lids – Mr. A had not yet mastered unscrewing the lid so we were able to give him the bottles to play with without too much worry about him getting the lid in his mouth.
  • He was given a Shape Box in India, so he enjoyed playing with that while we were there.  We chose not to bring it home with us because we already had one at home, so we passed it on to another child before we left.
  • Pots and Pans and Wooden Spoons – he loves “cooking” so we would find all sorts of steel vessels at my Mother-in-Law’s house and we would throw the shapes from the Shape Box inside and he would stir them up and just generally play with all of that for a long time. This didn’t work for the airplane but was great when we were in houses that didn’t have any “toys.”  This could be modified for the airplane with empty plastic cups, and plastic cutlery if your flight attendant will bring extras.
  • A plastic chair – again not for the flights – but he was just starting to walk (he actually took his first steps in India!) and he would push the plastic chair around the house like a walker.  Worked great on the granite floors in India!

Those are some of the things that worked for us in our travels.  What have you done to keep little ones entertained while traveling?


Ready, Steady, Go!

The other day, my 4 year old daughter, “Miss A” said: “Ready, steady, go!”
A friend who was visiting, said: “Do you mean, ‘Ready, set, go?’
Jumping in to “translate,” I said: “I think in India, they say, ‘Ready, steady, go’.”
And {snarky} Miss A jumped in and said: “Well, we are Indian, so we say that!”

Whichever way you say it, “Ready, Set, Go!” or “Ready, Steady, Go!”  – IndianTies is relaunching!

I’m ready. I have been planning for a “comeback” for a while…and I’m super excited about some new ideas and direction that I have planned for IndianTies.  Even in my absence, the blog has been generating lots of hits and buzz, and our Intercultural Blogring, Desilink Blogs, has one new blog after another joining {check it out if you haven’t already!}.

I’m Set. I’ve got lots of posts planned, (see below) And I’ve been waiting for the right time for a return. So I hope you’ll reconnect with me here at IndianTies, and let me know in the comments!

And Go!  I’ve missed interacting with the Desi Intercultural Community & am eager to catch up and move forward!

we welcomed our new Indian-American Baby

Here’s what’s been keeping me too busy to blog & a quick update on our family:

  • Our son “Mr. A” was born in May of last year {he is 9 months old already}
  • Miss A is 4!  She amazes us each day & we try our best to keep up!
  • We moved!  We said a sad goodbye to the Pacific Northwest of the USA, and packed a BIG moving truck and moved across the country to…Texas!
  • My husband started a new job at a University, you probably guessed that one, right?
  • We are planning a summertime 2 month trip to India!

Here’s what I have planned for the blog:

  • Regular posts – I’m planning to take it slow for now, but look to hear from me at least once per week
  • Continuing to highlight great resources for intercultural families
  • Support for those in intercultural relationships
  • More about my journey towards “real food” & great Indian “real food” recipes
  • Resources for raising intercultural & interracial children

I hope you’ll join me for this new ride & I would love to hear from you!

Nice Deals on South-Asian Inspired Kids Clothes and Baby Blankets

I was browsing Zulily today and found a couple of cute collections.  The first is a beautiful line of clothing that is handmade in Nepal by local artisans.  We are heading to India soon, and my four year old daughter would love some of these colorful styles!


Rising International Kids — up to 45% off! (Starting at $16.99)
Imported from Nepal, the beautiful clothing of Rising International is handmade by local female artisans and purchased through a variety of charitable and nonprofit organizations. Every piece of this exquisite and colorful collection tells a story, and you can wear it knowing it makes a world of difference. Find the deal here.


The second thing that caught my eye, were these Indian-inspired handmade baby blankets by Rajer Rabbit (scroll down or search for Rajer Rabbit on Zulily)  Our 9 month old baby boy would look adorable wrapped in some of these styles! Their blankets are vibrantly colorful, bold, playful… yet soothingly simple. They are light, durable, and can be used in countless ways: cuddling, swaddling, snuggling. Made from breathable, durable and soft muslin cotton. And beautiful patterns of block printing – one of the world’s most time-honored methods of printing, rooted deep in the soul of ancient India.

In case you miss the Zulily sale, you can find Rajer Rabit blankets here on their website. You can find Rising International clothes here (they have women’s styles too!)

A Belated Christmas Greeting!

Miss A & the rest of us hope that your holidays were filled with this much wonder & delight!  Needless to say we had a wonderful first Christmas as a family of three.  We have been traveling nonstop for the past several weeks, my apologies for the lack of updates.  Hopefully we will get back into a normal routine now that it is the new year! Miss A has now met ALL of our family members who live in the States, including my husband’s side of the family in the Chicago area.  Now we are looking forward to our big India trip this year!  Happy New Year everyone!!!