It is not always avoidable to fly with an infant in tow. So, before takeoff, here are some helpful tips to keep kids happy during air travel that could save yourself and everyone around you from a horrible flying experience.
1. Bring snacks or plenty of food for the infant
If you are nursing, for example, bringing a personal breast pump and bottles may be necessary. For older children, buy lots of colorful and flavorful snacks. Keep in mind they do not have to be unhealthy snacks. Letting a child push around a few M&M’s in a trail mix with Gerber puffs and natural fruit gummies on the seat tray works both as a game and a snack. Feeding or nursing your baby during takeoff and landing periods could be the easiest way to distract them from the changes going on around them, and keep your little one calm and content.
2. Pack items that are both entertaining and stimulating
Depending on age, this could be an array of small toys that light up or could be a few coloring books with a pack of crayons. The most important thing is to know what entertains your child, and bring along items that are in that category but not something they’d see every day. And remember, not all kids will like being stuck in front of an iPad for the whole flight, regardless of how many activities you have installed on them.
3. Car seat or stroller
Know before your trip if your infant car seat will fit into an airplane seat or else you will have your child sit in your lap the whole flight. If you are bringing a regular lightweight stroller, remember to gate check it so that it’ll be at the jet bridge waiting for you when you deplane. If possible though, bring along a small umbrella stroller that fits in the overhead storage compartments so you always have it.
Check with your family doctor and find one that will work for your child. Changes in altitude will cause your child discomfort, which could lead to very loud crying. Decongestants can help keep your babies sinuses open and clear to avoid the painful sting of pressure changes that cause ears to pop.
5. Hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes
They will be your best friend so don’t forget them! Airports and airplanes are filthy and your little one could catch something very easily from you and others during your trip.
6. Changing your baby’s diaper before boarding the plane
Changing your baby’s diaper before boarding the plane and booking your seats closer to the lavatories could save you long walks to the bathroom during your flight. Struggling to change a fussy baby’s diaper in an airplane bathroom is nothing short of a wrestling match. So when the gate agents announce that they will begin flight boarding soon, make one last stop to the airport bathrooms and check on your baby’s diaper.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Flight attendants and TSA officers are there to make flying easier for everyone. If you are holding up the lines because you can’t get your stroller to collapse or lift your bag over your head while holding a baby, ask for help. Not only will this be helping you, it’ll help other passengers proceed as usual once you are required.
8. Bring headphones
Have your child listen to music or watch videos without having the sound disturb other passengers while waiting to board or during the flight.
9. Remain calm and understanding towards both your baby and the other passengers
Sadly, some people are less than understanding when babies cry uncontrollably during a flight. Be ready to take some rude comments on your baby’s behavior.
Not every experience when flying with a small child or infant will be wonderful, but there is no reason that flying should be awful as well. Hopefully this list of flying tips makes your next experience a little bit easier for both you and everyone around you. Safe travels!!