I am sure you know that dreaded feeling as you prepare to board a flight with a little one in tow. Your mind is buzzing with questions and worries (will they be happy? Will they sleep? What happens if…), however, with a bit of preplanning and thought, your flight can be a cloud nine experience!
When booking your flight, check to see if you can have a bulk head seat or a seat at the end of the row (this way you can get in and out more easily) – most airlines are accommodating of parents travelling with children; if they are given some warning in advance.
Pack only what is essential for during the flight in your carry on. Preferably pop it all in a backpack so that your hands and arms are free to carry tired and exhausted little ones. Aim for a backpack with easy access pockets and functional storage such as this Alameda – Diaper Backpack or the Skip Hop – Forma Backpack.
Making flying exciting. Pack a surprise special little flight backpack for your child filled with some new exciting but quiet toys – ration these out depending on your flight length (maybe one every hour?). Some great flying friendly toys include:
– Dreamworks Magic Painting Book
– Sambro – Frozen Magnetic Scribbler Small – Blue
– First sticker book: Jungle
– a soft and cuddly toy (small enough to carry around on your travels)
– an age appropriate game that you can play together
Don’t forget to pack extra snacks that will last through the flight and can be easily reached for when your child decides they are hungry, try packing snacks in re-usable Zip Lock bags so once finished they don’t waste packing space. Tired and hungry is a bad combination, so remove the hungry and you are one step closer to a happy flight. Don’t forget a re-usable drink bottle that you can ask the crew to fill as soon as you board, having access to water at any time is really helpful.
Make sure you have all the essentials with you including:
– wet wipes (perfect for thousands of situations, grubby fingers, spills, cleaning a dirty tray table, refreshing tired faces etc.)
– comfy clothes (including spares – for you and your child)
– An easy to carry makeshift bed like this portable baby bed and bag – perfect for a nap at the gate, on the plane or mid travel.
– A baby sling to carry your little one close and will free up your arms for when you land
– an extra jumper because we all know that the air-con on flights can feel artic
And don’t forget to make the most of the open space before your board – hunt out the play area and let them loose, get the energy burning and stretch those arms and legs.
If all goes pear-shaped, don’t worry, all flights eventually land and truth is you probably won’t ever see the people sitting near you again!