Air travel with your toddler can be a nerve-racking experience, especially the first time around. You don’t know what to expect and you can never predict how it’ll go. You’re worried about your baby’s comfort and the comfort of fellow passengers who can sometimes be very obvious with their nasty stares. Moreover, it’ll disturb the baby’s schedule and that's never been a pleasant experience. We hear you, dear parents!
We understand that there’s a lot on your mind but that should not stop you from taking that much-needed vacation with your family. With a little bit of pre-planning and these expert tips, you can actually guarantee yourself a less stressful flight.
11 Things To Keep In Mind When Travelling With Your Toddler In A Flight!
1. Book an early morning flight
Not only are early morning flights cheap, but they are also the least crowded. If all goes as per plan, your child will most probably dose off by the time the flight takes off.
2. Reach the airport well in advance
Goes without saying! Keep at least an hour extra then what you usually would. You want to be able to get through the whole check-in process at a calm pace. You also need additional time to feed your baby and make sure he/she has been to the washroom before the flight.
3. Use your mileage upgrades!
Travelling with kids for a long duration flight in economy class can be quite a nightmare. This is when you should pull out your flyer points and ask for a business class upgrade. However, do remember that few airlines do not allow children below a certain age to travel business class. Check up with the company well in advance.
4. Dress your little one in layers
Flights are cold, so are airports. But instead of making your toddler wear uncomfortable heavy jackets, dress him/her in layers that you can take off or put on based on the temperature.
5. Make a packing checklist
Unfortunately, flights do not have much in terms of baby food, medicines or other essentials. When travelling with your toddler, make sure you have enough kiddie snacks, meds, sanitizer, diapers and wet wipes. You may want to carry an extra pacifier and sippy cup too, just in case you lose or dirty one.
6. Keep surprises handy!
The only way to keep your kids interested, happy and busy on a flight is to carry gifts for them! Be it a snack, a new toy or a storybook- keep surprising them with a new present to unwrap every hour.
7. Tell them about the journey…
A new mom told us that she actually briefed her child about the plane journey for a whole month in advance. Tell your child about an aeroplane, what to expect, how to behave and about the journey. Show them cartoons with aeroplanes so they are not entirely taken aback on their first trip. It’ll legit get them excited for the trip!
8. Pull up diapers are a lifesaver
Even if your kid has outgrown the diaper phase, when travelling in a flight pull-ups are a must. They ensure that you’re not running to the washroom every few hours or the seat is not accidentally spoilt.
9. Headphones & iPads come in handy
As much as we’d like to keep our kids away from technology, sometimes it's our only saving grace. If you’re okay with indulging your children once in a while, come equipped with an iPad and baby headphones. Do make sure that you download all their fave shows!
10. Keep a change of clothes for yourself
Things can get messy and while you’re carrying change for your toddler, don’t forget to carry one for yourself too. You don’t want to be sitting with their vomit on your shirt for the entire journey, do you?
11. Be prepared for the air pressure
The ear-popping sensation during air travel is hard on adults, so we can only imagine what a child goes through. There’s not much you can do except making your baby drink plenty of water before and during takeoff and landing. Swallowing opens the Eustachian tubes which reduce the air pressure in the ears. Yawning helps too.
Remember, there’s always a first time. While it all may sound stressful now, it’ll also be one of those moments that’ll you’ll want to add to your child’s scrapbook. So, ready to book your tickets?