Moms and dads know the struggle of having little ones on board. If this is your first time to travel with your tiny tots, I’m pretty sure that your mind is full of questions already. “What if they don’t stop screaming? What if they won’t fall asleep? What if they get sick?” And let’s not forget the anxiety that you are currently feeling as you imagine the glaring eyes and possible complaints from other flyers.
If you want the whole experience to become less stressful, make sure that you plan, pack and prepare ahead of time. Remember, being prepared or should I say, “over-prepared” is the key to make flying with kids a breeze.
1. Pack all the essentials on your carry-on.
By essentials, I mean snacks, water (buy after you checked in), medicines, extra clothes, wet wipes, pull-ups, coloring books, headphones and all forms of entertainment that you can shove inside your bag. You can never have too many of these essentials! Better safe than sorry.
2. Communicate with your kids.
Before the trip, take time to sit with your child and describe the experience of flying. The details of course depend on the age of your child and his/her level of understanding. Get them excited about it by talking about it often or reading books and watching shows or movies. It’s a great way to let them know what to expect and make them see this as a new big adventure.
3. Dress them comfortably.
Dress your child in the comfiest way. On the plane, you can dress them in their favorite pair of pajamas to keep them comfy and snuggled up.
4. Check in early.
Obviously, you want to ensure that you will all be seated together.
5. Book a bassinet for your baby.
If you have an infant, it’s best to pre-book a bassinet once you have your plane ticket because the numbers can be limited.
6. Get organized.
Once you get to your seats, have all the essentials stored in the pockets and under the chair – just to make sure that you have everything that your child may need, easy to reach. You don’t want to keep reaching on the overhead compartment every time you need something from your carry-on. Not only that it’s tiring, it’s annoying for other flyers too.
7. Pack plenty of snacks.
A hungry toddler becomes a little monster and you don’t want that. While waiting for the in-flight meals to be served, keep them munching on their favorite snacks.
8. Arm yourself with a variety of entertainment.
Now is not the time for screen time control. Get them distracted and keep them entertained by letting them watch movies and play with games on your phone or tablet. So before your trip, make sure your gadget is loaded with games, songs and kid-friendly films and shows. Make sure you have other back-up forms of entertainment in case the gadget runs out of battery like a book, a puzzle, coloring books, etc.
9. Prevent ear pain.
You know that ear-popping pain we feel during a flight’s take-off and landing? Well, it’s even worse for babies and smaller children. Give them a gum to chew or a hard candy to suck on during take-off and landing. For babies and toddlers, you can give them a bottle or pacifier to suck on. Why? Because swallowing opens the Eustachian tubes – which make it less painful when the pressure changes.
10. Comfort them.
When they are uneasy or crying, that’s probably their way to express fear or anxiety. Instead of scolding your toddler, cuddle with them and talk to them to make them feel safe and secure.