Traveling with kids on a plane can be exhausting, frustrating, even humiliating. No one wants to be known as “That parent” who has a wailing baby. I knew I was petrified of attracting all the irritating gazes because my baby can’t stop crying. Why did I fear that? Because I had been on the other side of the road, and I knew exactly how it felt.
I can say I was so careful with my baby that I immediately became the first-ever loved mom on the flight for having the cutest and most pacified baby, but that would be a lie. I learned through the course of my own rough patches on what to do and especially what not to do the next time.
Through the years, I was finally able to pick up the best tips on traveling with kids on a plane. For all the moms out there that don’t want their baby to be an excuse to give up on traveling, it’s time to wave your fears away.
Book a direct flight
Some people believe that connecting flights are better when baby traveling, to relax the baby and themselves more. Well, let’s get that straight first; it is not.
Connecting flights should always be put to the minimum as landing puts pressure on those little ears, leading to screams. If you want as few tantrums on the flight as possible, try to spend the minimum time in transit.
I remember this one occasion when I was traveling to China with two connecting flights. As we got closer to the landing, I was filled with glee to finally let Nathan off my nerves and ease out a little. But as the plane started going down, the voice of his screams kept going up, and with that went the level of my embarrassment. In that flight, no turbulence was as big as my child, and that’s how this tip came in handy.
I thought its normal for babies to cry while landing but a little research revealed that landing causes pain in the baby’s ears, hence the yelling. A few years back used to rock him, rub his chest and tummy, check his diaper, feed him, even sing to him to make him stop crying. Turns out I wasn’t bad at parenting, I just needed a little more hands-on experience and information.
Tip to remember: Whenever you face any issue with your child, instead of playing I-know-it-all, ask help from a fellow mother, research online, or consult a doctor.
Get a separate seat for your kid
If you plan to board a long flight and intend to travel with convenience simultaneously, I would recommend you get a separate seat for your child. Even though kids under two travel free, you must get adequate room for your family to spread out and relax.
You wouldn’t want your arms to go in slumber after holding and patting your child for hours. If you want to keep some energy stored in you, you should get another seat to give the kid his own space.
I still vividly remember this trip when I was informed that my safety belt was broken upon my boarding. And the first thing I did was bless my dear friend for lending me the idea of getting another seat. I immediately buckled up Ethan and sat down in mine. There wouldn’t be a single parent on Earth who would be willing to risk their baby’s life, and this is a safety precaution that is imperative
Tip to remember: Considering the level of safety that all parents desire for their babies, remember that it is the CRS and not your lap.
Double up the necessities
Always carry little extra baby products from the amount you think you will need. A baby is only cranky or cries if he is
Needs a diaper change.
And while you’re on the plane, the last thing you’d want to deal with is hunger or a dirty diaper while stuck in a storm. Because that’s what I saw a fellow mother suffering from on the flight, I could see her at the brink of crying as her baby couldn’t stop shrieking, and the entire flight could smell the reason. So I went to see if she needed help with the diaper changing or was she just anosmic. Her tense face told me she was out of diapers, and I luckily had a few at hand.
So I gave her one and learned a lesson in return. Since then, I make sure to double up all of my kids’ accessories and keep them near at all times to attend to their needs immediately, and so should you. Traveling with kids on a plane requires you to be extra-vigilant with your packing by being more concerned about the formula and baby food rather than the color of scarf that you should take along.
Don’t forget a pacifier
The major part of handling a baby during a flight entails pacifying him. Sucking on a pacifier helps with the ear pain caused by the pressure and can save you from embarrassment big time. Chewing on a cookie or cracker can also help the toddlers keep away from showcasing their voice range.
Other than this, getting a baby to sleep on a flight is another challenge that drains you because the only way you can catch your z’s is if your baby catches them first. And for that, it needs as few stimulants as possible around. So I always keep little plastic earplugs with me to lessen the pressure and pain and keep him asleep at night irrespective of the noise around him. This is an essential tip that helps you restore your battery before the kid’s energy kicks back in.
So, let’s revise the tips:
Chewing on a cookie or cracker
Little plastic earplugs for the baby’s ears
Distractions are important
Distractions are integral, especially if you want to keep your sanity intact. There are kids who hold some toys dear and can’t sleep without them, like my Ethan. So, I always made sure to keep his favorite stuffed toy in the essentials while traveling.
You must also remember to keep all their toys and snacks packed in a carry bag to keep them engaged throughout the flight. The more they stay absorbed in playing, the more convenient the flight will be for you and the people around.
Traveling with kids on a plane can turn out to be pretty hectic, and even after implementing all the tips above, there might be chances of your baby still being a pain in your neck. You just have to be careful with the needs of your baby and pack accordingly. A little vigilance can go a long way!