It sounds like you have a fun trip coming up and you have an eight hour flight, you’re wondering how to deal with an 18-month-old. This is coming from me being a mom, not being a nurse. We’ve gone on a few plane rides with our kids and gained some personal experience and learned what works and what doesn’t with our kids. I hope these suggestions help for you as well. It’s really normal for kids to get ear pain or discomfort when you’re taking off and landing because of the pressure changes. If you’re sucking on something and swallowing it helps to decrease that pain and discomfort. In the past we’ve gotten Starbursts, Skittles or other chewy candies and given them to our kids during take-off and landing which they love because they don’t always get to have mom force treats down their throat. But this helps increase saliva production and makes them swallow more frequently which can help with that. Also any comfort items that your child has, like a blanket, would be helpful. Chances are your child will want to take a nap, that’s a long flight and a blanket would be nice to have available. Distraction is going to be key. If you can kind of prep your child before the actual plane ride that is helpful. Maybe the library has some books on what it’s like to get on an airplane and make it sound like a fun adventure. Go to the store and buy some special items that are only for the plane like activities, books, coloring, toys that are appropriate for the plane that you don’t open until they get on the plane. Because then they look forward to it, it’s a special fun thing that they get to do and that will help keep them distracted. Also talk with the airline and see if they have movies or TV available. If not we’ve found that portable DVD players or iPads have been helpful with our kids. As for worrying about what other people think, it’s probably going to happen. It’s inevitable that an 18-month-old is going to act up at some point. Those people around you who have kids will just feel sorry for you because they know what it’s like and people who don’t have kids will feel sorry in the future when they’ve had kids and they realize what it’s like to have an 18-month-old. I wouldn’t worry much about what other people think as long as you’re doing your best to take care of your child. I hope you have fun whatever you’re doing and if you have any other questions for me feel free to ask them on our Facebook page and recommend us to your friends and family too.