Toddlers and airplanes don’t often mix. Babies and younger children can often experience anxiety, get bored easily, or just simply be antsy. However, there are many things a parent can do to help their child stay occupied and happy while flying. Check out these tips to make that ride easier!
Do understand your child’s schedule
Traveling is difficult no matter what, but you do have some say-so in what times you travel. If you can get your children traveling at times when they are the least hungry, most tired, or least energetic, try and plan your travel times accordingly. If your child is an afternoon napper, traveling near their nap time usually helps. If you have to take late flights, have your kids wear pajamas on the plane, hopefully helping them realize that sleep is a requirement on this flight.
Do bring plenty of snacks for your toddler
One of the easiest ways to calm a child on airplane and combat the ear pressure caused at takeoff and landing is to have little snacks ready for them. Small crackers, grapes, cut-up fruit…all of these can work in a pinch!
Do bring a variety of toys to play with
Children will get bored on airplane. It is important for you, as a parent, to understand this, and to plan accordingly. If they are old enough for a tablet, use it! Bring coloring books or small toys that won’t get lost as well!
Do let them have the window seat
The window seat is a coveted spot on the airplane, even for children. By letting them have this seat, a parent has a lot more control over the movement of the child. You can also sit them in the middle, between two parents, but the more control you have in this situation, the better.
Do have fun
It is important to keep the situation light and fun, and not place any additional stress on the situation. The last thing anyone wants is a cranky child on airplane! Do what you can to avoid your child throwing a fit or being unhappy by keeping them occupied and satisfied.
Do not get crabby
Children pick up on the attitudes of their parents, and often times respond by either mirroring this behavior or getting worse. For the sake of a peaceful travel and a more fun experience, do you you can to stay calm yourself.
Do not forget carry-ons
Kids love to have some responsibility, and having their own carry-on with their own special toys or books is a great way to have your toddler more responsible for their journey. It’s also a great way for kids to have control over their toys and games. Get them a backpack and let them pack it and carry it on the plane themselves.
Do not let your child rest first
Some parents want their children well rested before flying. This is actually not a good move. Getting out as much energy as possible before getting on the plane is preferable, leaving the child with little energy on the plane and more likely to rest or sleep.
Do not fly ignorant
A lot of airlines have different rules regarding plane travel for young children and toddlers. Make yourself aware of the rules and set expectations accordingly.
Do not ignore your child
Sometimes parents look at flying as a good time to have their child in an enclosed space, and don’t plan or space their time in the best way to make the flight experience easy on all involved. Make sure to answer all questions that children have and prepare them as much as you can!
Children can either be the type of child that people love to see on airplane, or the exact opposite, an unruly bear incapable of calming down. It is up to you as the parent to lead them into every experience, and flying is an inevitability that taxes every emotion a parent and child can think of. Find your own style and your own ways of making the traveling experience the most fun it can be!