Holiday season is almost here and people from all around the world will travel for vacations or to their relatives to spend the most beautiful time of the year. However, one thing that worries families with little kids is how to survive the flight and if is even worth it at all. Honestly, sometimes it is not easy, but nothing is impossible. The younger the child the easier the flight, because a four month old baby will stay still and stare the new enviroment, but a one year old baby will want to touch everything and move all around. I have some tips I implement to my family that have helped us and hope you find them useful too.
- Patience. This is the number one tool you will need. It might be challenging, you probably will have to walk the isle more times than you expected and be vigilant the whole time. These are what you really should be questioning yourself if you can undertake. Having in mind the worst case scenario will mentally prepare you for the challenge. However, things usually are not that serious. Kids are kids and you already know how to handle them. Personally I never had a bad flight with my daughter. There were times she wanted to play or explore but this is what I do with her everyday.
- Toys and books. I don’t recommend bringing too many toys and books with you. Babies don’t play for too long with anything. One or two toys and new books are more than enough. When they have less options they tend to be more interested and play for longer. Also, a little bit of screen time won’t hurt when things get tough. So, having a few videos with music or movies or whatever your child prefers will save you when you are out of energy.
- Snacks. Kids under the age of one shouldn’t eat any sugar, but that is not the case for toddlers. I keep cookies and sweet snacks for such occassions and will keep her calm for a few minutes. A piece of chocolate does wonders with Amelia and is something I know she never refuses. Cheerios, dried fruits, baby cookies or whatever your child loves are options for the under one babies. It is easier to handle such a little baby because they are curious about anything you give to them.
- Don’t bring everything at once. Let the child explore all the fascinating things in the plane. Opening and closing the window, pushing the buttons, playing with the table, reading the safety instructions are all interesting activities that will keep them entertained for quite a time. After you have tried these then snacks and toys may follow.
- Let them play with the passengers. If they are friendly of course. When we traveled to Crete Amelia was full of energy and i was feeling so tired. Luckily, next to us was seating a girl who loved her and she played with her the entire time. She was a new person to my doughter, that means an interesting one. She even held her for a while and I can’t thank her enough for that. I hope you understand that I don’t just give my child to strangers, it was a one time thing. What I want to say is that most of the passengers love babies and are happy to play peekaboo, smile or wave to them and you should take advantage of it.
- Buy a separate seat for the kid. For a long flight and if you can afford it I would definitely suggest buying one more seat for your baby to sleep in. On our night flight from Malaga to Athens I held her all the way from 1 am till the morning. Both me and her were exhausted the next day. Had I known better I would have taken another seat.
- Fly smart. Plan your trip during nap time. That way you have more chances the baby to sleep, also don’t forget to ask the flight attendant a pillow, it makes everything more comfortable, plus in case of turbulences it is an extra safety for baby’s head when sleeping.
- Hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes. Hygiene is important, specially with very young babies and washing hands is not an easy task with when in an airplane. Moreover, you might want to disinfect everything that may end up in kid’s mouth.
Do you have any other smart tip? Let me know in the comments below.