Make Air Travel With A Toddler Easy
Source: Open Talk Magazine 16/02/2011 02:07:00
If you are planning a trip with your toddler and you are anxious about how to prepare for the journey by air, remember that with a bit of preparation and lots of patience you can have a memorable trip with your little one.
The first step towards a hassle free journey is to be prepared for the worst of uncertainties. This could be anything ranging from a sudden bout of fever to soiled clothes or even a runny nose. Along with packing the essentials for your trip, always keep a diaper bag close at hand. Pack at least 2 set of clothes, extra diapers, wet wipes, baby food if needed, a few cleaning cloths, a book or toy and medicines in the diaper bag. Remember these little tips before you begin your journey-
At the Airport
- It is important to reach the airport well ahead of your departure, so that you have enough time to check in your luggage and get seats of your choice. You could even ask to have a vacant seat next to you so that other passengers do not get disturbed. Children love to experience new sights so booking the window seat can keep your little one occupied for some time.
- Keep a watch out for special queues meant for women with kids or other fast track checkpoints.
- You could also take a stroller with you which will stop your toddler from running all over the place. It can be handed over to the flight attendant before boarding.
- Be among the first to board the plane as that gives you time to settle your kid and yourself. Ask help from other passengers or attendants as and when you need it.
When you’re on board
- The best time to change diapers or use the toilet yourself is before the flight takes off.
- If your child has his or her own seat, make sure he or she is buckled in properly or ask the flight attendant for a toddler safety belt which will be attached to your own seat belt.
- Children tend to cry due to the immense air pressure during takeoff and landing, so cover your child’s ears with your palms, keeping the mouth open or put some cotton in his ears to reduce any discomfort. You can find special ear plugs or head phones that are made specifically to reduce the discomfort of changing air pressure.
- If you booked a baby bassinet for your child, ask the flight attendant to set it up for you. If your toddler is too big to sleep in the bassinet, keeping him cozy with a few pillows and a blanket in his own seat usually does the trick.
- It is best to avoid taking any sleeping pills or other drowsy medication when you are on board as you need to stay alert at all times.
Feeding and Entertaining your kid on board
- If your child is old enough to have an in-flight toddler meal, check the temperature of the food first as it could be scalding hot.
- If your child prefers baby food; pack spoons, bibs, snacks and a plate so that you can feed your child whenever he or she is hungry.
- If your child drinks bottle milk, take a small container of milk powder along and just ask the attendants for some hot water, whenever your child wants milk.
- Don’t forget to take a favorite toy or book that your toddler can play with, if there are no in-flight programmes being screened. If your toddler likes to color, then a pack of crayons and a coloring book should keep him busy for a long time.
Putting your kid asleep on board
- Children prefer routines, and it’s advisable to let your child sleep at the same time even while travelling.
- Most kids fall asleep easily because of the airplane movements, but singing a song or reading a book to your child with the lights dimmed will work just as well.
- If you feel the need, ask your child’s doctor about medicines that may help your child sleep longer in-flight.
These are just a few tips to reduce the stress of air travelling with a toddler. Remember to wear comfortable clothes so that you feel at ease while handling any emergencies. A scarf or a shawl can give you plenty of privacy if you are nursing your child. Make sure your child is comfortable as possible as well with proper clothing depending on the time of year. Take a sweater or a jacket along in case he or she gets too cold on board. Happy Journey!