If flying with small children makes you tremble, don’t worry. It just takes a little planning in advance to have the best flight experience possible.
Tips for smoother air travel!
• Ensure you will be seating next to your small children. Sometimes they’ll ask you to pay an extra fee. It’s worth it. If paying for two seats, ask for the seats up the back (last three rows) as little one can look out the window and you are not be blocked in by someone in the aisle seat.
• Get isle seats or the last row of the plane. When taking a long flight with a baby you can always request bulkhead seats and a bassinet, a folding crib that attaches to the front wall.
• Feed your baby on take off and landing. This keeps their little jaws going so that their ears can adjust to the changing elevation… and keeps them from screaming their heads off.
• Come armed with your child’s favorite low-mess snacks, like pureed foods sold in a tube, dried fruits, grapes, apples, string cheese, protein bars (they induce sleep) and lollypops. Make sure you take food for YOURSELF! A hungry mummy is not a good thing.
• Ensure you have everything you need in a bag that will fit under the seat in front of you- and keep it well organized! There’s nothing worse than having to get out of your seat to get something from overhead luggage.
Plan in advance
When booking plane tickets, if you have a choice between a 30-minute or 90-minute layover, choose 90. This will give you more time to change diapers, stock up on snacks, and play. Get to the gate early and blow off some steam. Even a young baby can benefit from stretching out on a blanket in between flights. Wakeful time at the gate can optimize naptime on the plane.
Preventing is the key to a smoother flight. Pack small toys, books and computer games; load your smart phone with toddler apps and take child-friendly headphones. Try changing the toy or activity every half hour. Very important: take a small toiletries bag that will fit in the seat pocket, with a small pack of wipes, nappy bags and a fold-up change mat. Your baby will thank you!