How To Take The Stress Out of Flying With Young Children

July 31st, 2016   •   no comments   
How To Take The Stress Out of Flying With Young Children

Flying with babies and toddlers is one of parenting’s greatest challenges. A well-timed tantrum can ruin the start of a dream vacation, turning five hours in an aircraft cabin into a little slice of hell. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways for parents to deal with nasty surprises and fits of tears. These handy tips should reduce the risk of your getaway turning sour before it has even begun.

 

Be Prepared For the Worst

 

You might get lucky, but the fact is that on a long-haul flight accidents will happen. Cover any messy eventualities by taking an extra set of clothing for your child — and don’t forget to bring plenty of diapers and wipes in your hand luggage. Your airline should have a changing table in their bathroom, so make a bee-line for it when the need arises. It might also help to request an aisle seat from the outset, just to put your mind at rest.

 

Create a Place to Sleep

 

Ideally, your baby will sleep most of the way, but getting them to doze off can be a challenge. Try to recreate a familiar environment for your child. Bring along their favorite toys, and pull down the window cover to shade them from the sun. If you need to sing gently to them. don’t be ashamed to do so. The benefits of a nice long sleep outweigh any short term embarrassment.

 

Reward Your Child for Good Behavior

 

Kids love presents. We all know that. However, not many people apply this logic to flights. If you give your toddler a present every hour or so, and allow them to unwrap it, they will have the pleasure of a gift, and feel rewarded for behaving well. The presents could be anything from small toy cars to candy bars or stickers, but always something for kids to enjoy in their seats.

 

Remember the Cabin Climate

 

Aircraft cabins are strange environments, with dry air that can gradually dehydrate passengers. With this in mind, be sure to provide plenty of drinks to your baby or toddler. The air pressure in cabins can also be a problem for babies, but giving them a pacifier to suck on as the plane takes off tends to help.

 

Layer up Your Baby To Prevent Tantrums

 

One of the main concerns of any parent when they take to the skies is minimizing tears and tantrums. You’ll never eliminate the risk of a flood of tears, and babies will always make noise, but by keeping baby warm, you can help to keep them peaceful. So bring layers of clothing, and wrap him up if needed.

 

Tell Toddlers a Story About Their Journey

 

If you have an older child, they will naturally become restless over long flights. Channel this restlessness into excitement about where they are going, and why. Tell them about the sights they will see, the food they will eat, and the characters they will meet. That way, they can set their mind racing about the vacation ahead, instead of racing around the cabin at full speed.

 

Charge Your Entertainment Devices Before Leaving

 

These days, many kids are pacified electronically by the games they play or the music they listen to. If you rely on handheld gaming devices to keep your child enthralled, be sure to charge them fully before boarding.

 

Plan Out A Schedule of Fun

 

Kids tend to have short concentration spans, so break down your flight into short “slots” — each one involving a different activity. You could move from a cartoon show to coloring, then playing with toys and snacking. The key is to keep youngsters occupied and involved with what they are doing.

 

Comfort is King

 

On longer flights, adults and kids benefit from a few creature comforts, and younger toddlers and babies in particular. Bring along a travel pillow or two, so that you can cushion your child as much as possible. A warm, soft blanket is another soothing and welcoming addition, as are soft caps or hats that can also help to block out the cabin lights.

 

Try to Avoid Too Many Sweets

 

It’s tempting to use candy as a bribe. Most kids adore chocolate or chewy sweets, and for a while they will keep them happy. But what happens when the sugar rush kicks in? Instead of high sugar snacks, think about fruits like grapes or raisins, which are both tasty and healthy.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Staff For Help

 

Nowadays, almost every airline trains their cabin crews to be attentive and accommodating for parents and young children, so don’t feel like you are imposing. Other passengers will understand your predicament too — but they won’t be happy if you fail to take action, and understandably so. Don’t be afraid to request extra water or sanitary wipes from cabin crew — they will be happy to do what they can to make the plane a more pleasant place to work.

 

Managing kids during flights isn’t always easy. Keeping them happy and calm is sometimes down to luck, but with these tips you should be able to minimize the risk of a nightmare journey. Above all else, keep calm, give yourself plenty of options and you’ll be fine.

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