A child’s first time flying is both exciting and scary. The same goes for parents who have not flown with children in tow. Many parents find traveling on air with kids stressful but if they start the kids young, the kids will soon get used to it!
Here are the 6 things to think of before heading to the airport!
1. Plan flight times
When parents fly with younger kids, it’ll be helpful to have the flight near the kids’ nap times. This way by the time the family boards the plane, the kids will doze off. It’ll be less stressful for parents too.
2. Pack strategically
List out what you need to pack into a carry-on backpack such as diapers, sweets (to relieve ear pressure), wet wipes, jacket or mini blanket and maybe even plasters. You’ll never know when you need them.
3. Ways to manage pain due to ear pressure
Other ways to relieve ear pressure other than sucking sweets include swallowing and yawning. Since yawns are contagious, try yawning yourself to ‘trigger’ kids to yawn too. Parents should be aware that it can sometimes be so painful that your kids may cry or scream.
A trick for parents with a newborn is to breastfeed their babies during takeoff and landing as these are the two times changes in ear pressure are likely to occur.
4. Have their own backpack
Toddlers can have their own mini backpack where they can bring their favourite toy or comfort object. It’s also something they can hug if they feel bored or uneasy.
5. Think of distractions
Kids can’t sit still for a long time so it’s important to think of some activities they can do in flight. Simple distractions that don’t weigh too much include their favourite storybook, a colouring book or simple games such as Ludo if they are old enough to understand the gameplay. Having items they can squish or manipulate such as Playdough or sensory toys will keep their urge to climb on seats at bay.
6. Be mindful and keep calm
Finally, sometimes your best preparations don’t work a hundred per cent. However, try to remain calm and be respectful to the cabin crew. Cabin crews are sympathetic to fliers with young kids but they’ll need your help to clean up after yourselves too. If your kid spills a drink, wipe it up yourself as much as you can. Simply put, be mindful of any trash or mess you made.
Feature image from Family Travel Association