Flying with a toddler: How to prepare
When traveling with kids, the flight itself can sometimes be a little unpredictable. When you finally settle into your seats, you then need to think about how to keep everyone entertained. Here is our guide on how to limit the hustle of traveling and prepare beforehand.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
In a dream situation, your kids will rest the whole flight and you can watch a movie or even have a snooze yourself. However, this is not always likely and it's great to be prepared as much as you can. For an infant, the pressure during take off and landing can sometimes be uncomfortable. A pacifier, breastfeeding or sucking a drink through a straw can help.
Whatever happens, try to not get too stressed. If your child is screaming and crying, it will pass. You'll probably never meet your fellow passengers again and the likelihood is that they'll want to help in some way. You're doing an amazing job, so be kind to yourself!
Having a range of activities ready for your children is a great start to the flight. A great tip is to fill a small bag for each child filled with coloring books, pencils, cards, books and some of their favorite toys (you don't have to be anything new, it can be toys they haven't played with in ages and have likely forgotten about!). Otherwise, games, pre-downloaded movies or tv shows on the tablet or the phone are very likely to help. For babies, sensory toys that are lightweight and quiet can be great at entertaining them and keeping them stimulated.
Be sure to bring a selection of snacks to eat during the flight. Even if you pre-bought a meal on the flight or if you ate at the airport, it's never a bad thing to bring snacks with you as well. Bring something you know they like and is easy to bring along. You will have to make sure that you are allowed to bring it through security.
Bring a Baby Carrier
If your child is 2 months old or 2 years old, bringing a baby carrier is a really smart idea. In airports you can often borrow a stroller or if you have a compact one that fits the overhead bin you can bring your own. But a baby carrier is much more comfortable for both you and the child. Airports can be busy and there is a feeling of security, having your child attached to you. The child will also appreciate it, being surrounded by noise and crowds of people.
Going through the airport and security, the baby carrier will leave you with two free hands. That can be helpful to carry the luggage, push a stroller or holding the boarding passes.
Plan where you are sitting
If you can choose a seat in the back of the plane then it can be beneficial. You'll have easy access to the bathrooms as well as being able to the leave the plane quickly after landing. If you can afford it, you could consider buying a spare seat for the infant/toddler so they have space to lie down and nap. Extra space, especially on long flights might definitely be worth the money.
These tips will hopefully get you thinking about how you can prepare for traveling as a family. It doesn't need to be stressful and it can be a really fun part of your overall trip!