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Sunday, January 05, 2014

10 Tips for flying with your toddlers

It is very easy to travel on your own or with a group of friends. However, when you have to travel with kids, you come to understand how much of a pain travelling can actually be. Travelling can be extremely nerve wracking for people with toddlers due to a large number of issues. Your problems are not just limited to the external environments and the plethora of rules and regulations that come with flying. You are also subjected to the constant mood swings and problems that your toddlers create. It’s not just about feeding them. You need to take care of their entertainment, restlessness and crying in order to ensure that passengers around you do not get disturbed. What makes it worse is that you can’t even take your glass of wine and fall asleep as you need to take care of your toddler. To make things easier and simpler for you, we have compiled a list of the top 10 tips for flying with your toddlers.

10. Remember to pack everything that you can possibly think of for your child

There are numerous cases where families travelling with toddlers get stuck at the airports because they ran out of diapers or milk. It is extremely important for people travelling with toddlers to pack a load of books, toys, food and diapers. Yes, might make your hand baggage heavier and you might have to stash away some of your own stuff into your check in baggage, but it will definitely be worth the effort, especially on those long haul flights. Remember that you also need to account for flight delays and you would be better off being safe rather than sorry.

09. Paying a little bit extra for legroom and window seats is definitely worth it

If money is not a huge factor, always purchase some seats with extra legroom. This offers you with more space to hold your child and makes the journey more comfortable. There is more room to keep the diaper bags as well. Not to mention, it also allows your child to stand next to the seat and do their thing without making you run after them. It also helps to embrace the window seats. The views from the airplane windows can prove to be a great distraction for toddlers and give you those precious moments of peace and quiet in the flight.

08. Always carry dish towels

This is something that is almost always overlooked by all parents. Carrying baby wipes on an airplane is not enough. You need to carry a few dish towels as well. Remember, spillage and mess are a part and parcel of having a child and you need to account for your toddler to spill something on the aircraft. If you have dish towels, you can get rid of the mess quickly and save yourself from the glares of your fellow passengers. You can also ask for a Biohazard kit from the air hostess to help you dispose of the vomiting. Be on the alert during take off or landing as most kids tend to vomit in this period.

07. Charge your electronics at home

Having electronics and Smartphones can be a huge lifesaver on an aeroplane. Not only do they offer you with something to do other than take care of your toddler, they also prove to be a great distraction for your kids. Just give your child an electronic gadget and buy yourself at least 30 minutes of peace.

06. Try to delay your boarding as much as you possibly can

Most airlines offer families with the preference to board after the First Class and Business Class passengers. If you’re travelling first or business class, well just get on with it and enjoy your luxurious surroundings. Even your toddlers would be quiet initially due to the vast number of luxurious distractions on offer. However, if you’re travelling economy like the rest of us, make sure that you delay getting into the flight until the last possible moment because boarding the plane means sitting in a tight spot for a while longer. However, make sure that you don’t miss your flight all together.

05. Feed your baby during takeoff and landing

This is one of the best tried and tested tips to help your toddlers to adjust to the cabin pressure. Provide your kids with a bottle of milk or a cup of water during take off and landing. This distracts them from the process and mostly helps you to avoid the ear shattering wails which would otherwise follow.

04. Carry ample of treats and toys

Yes, you should not give your child a lot of sweets and candies to have. However, aircrafts are one exception to that rule. Carrying a lot of toys to keep your toddlers engrossed and an equal amount of candies to keep their mouths stuffed can actually make the aeroplane ride simple and stress free. The moment your toddlers see a candy, they will instantly channelize their attention to the lovely treat that they just got and stop irritating you or the other passengers around you.

03. Make a note to remember the old favourites and utilize whatever you have

Remember to carry your child’s favourite toy and the favourite blanket. You would not want to leave the teddys or the dolls behind as well. You can also utilize whatever you have to divert their attention. For example, your kids might not be allowed to touch your sun glasses normally. All you need to do is give them those very sunglasses and watch them play with it quietly. They’re bound to look extremely cute in the process as well.

02. Always book a seat for your child on a long haul flight.

If money is not an issue, you would be better off booking a separate seat for your toddlers if they are over 1.5 years of age. Anything below that age bracket would simply be a waste of money. However, if they are around 1.5 years of age, they are at the phase where they simply cannot sit idle, can sit on their own and always need something to do. If you need to face this while the child is on your lap, you’re in for a pathetic flight.

01. Remember that its gonna end sometime

Whenever you feel like screaming or pulling at your hair, just remember that the ordeal is going to end soon. The best way to ignore time is to never look at the watch until you become really desperate. There is no worse feeling than looking at the watch and realizing that you still have hours of travel left – that too when you’ve almost given up.

Irrespective of how much advise we give you, what ultimately matters is what happens once the cabin doors close. Just try to make the most of what you have and pray that your child doesn’t create a scene and embarrass you in front of all the passengers.

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