10 Tips/Tricks when Flying on an Airplane with a Baby, Toddler, or Young Child
Here are 10 essential tips/tricks when traveling on an airplane with a baby, toddler, or young child:
· Airport check-in: I prefer to keep my stroller with me and do a gate check. This way I have extra storage while strolling through the airport. It is also great if you are rushing to make your flight (which has happened a few times), it’s much easier to throw the kids into the stroller, strap them in, and book it through the airport, as opposed to having them walk or be carried. Also, have all their food/drinks in a separate bag for easy access during airport security.
· Try to allow them time to get out their wiggles before getting onto the airplane. Have them do some hops and squats to tire their legs out a bit. If you have a crawler, find a less crowded part of the airport to allow them to move about. If you are uncomfortable with germs (me), you can put gloves or socks on their hands while they are crawling around. Some airports have quiet rooms or play spaces, be sure to ask. Midway airport in Chicago had a yoga and family room we took advantage of.
· make sure to pack something for them to suck or swallow on take-off and landing to help with ear pressure. If you are nursing, that works as well!
· Have an easy to access smaller diaper changing bag while on the airplane. It should include a small pack of wipes, a diaper, one change of clothes and a small pad. Minimizing what you bring into the small restroom is helpful. It is also best to ask the stewardess when you first enter which bathroom has a changing table. Usually, the bathroom in the front of the airplane always does.
· I organize travel toys and toddler airplane activities in several Ziploc bags to keep things organized and easy to access. That way, I can easily access one bag at a time with a few different activities without having to rummage through the entire bag.
· Pack a muslin blanket in case they get chilly on the plane. I prefer a muslin because these can be folded or rolled into a very compact size. Also, make sure to pack a front carrier for airplane naps. This is the only way our little ones would nap.
· Make sure to have a small bag of any medication your child may need while on the airplane; Tylenol, teething medication, anti-nausea etc. I also make sure to have a hand sanitizer, so I can spritz the tray table and arm rests.
· Lots and Lots and Lots of snacks! If you don’t pack a water bottle, you can always ask for a cup with a lid while on the airplane. In fact, you may also want to ask for cups with lids for you as well, to minimize spills.
· Bring earphones for their tablet. The airplane is noisy, and they will have trouble hearing their videos without it being loud enough for everyone around them to also hear.
· Lastly, if you fly on an airline that does not have assigned seating, families with children are given boarding priority. Make sure to take advantage of this. We always go to the back of the airplane, to localize the noise of our kids. If you have a lap child, try to have them occupy a seat in between you and your partner, or leave the middle seat open as opposed to a window or aisle. That way, if the flight is not full, people are less likely to pick the seat in between a family with a baby, and you just may score an extra seat for your little one.