Taking a trip with your wee one can cause a lot of angst for parents. Friends of mine recently took a transcontinental flight that required one stop and a two–hour delay with their two–year–old. Thankfully, they were bumped up to first class where each family member had their own seat. Unfortunately, that didn't work the magic one might expect. The delay took a toll on the lil girl who reached the end of her rope with two hours of flight time remaining. She began kicking the seat in front of her, which the parents tried to stop. The passenger sitting there said, "I expect this in coach, but not in first class!"
Debra Alban gave a few noteworthy tips to help ease the stress of the friendly skies.
To see what they are,
- If your baby sleeps well in the car, try to schedule your flight during his nap time so he can make use of the flying time.
- If you have an infant, request bulkhead seating and a bassinet.
- Make sure to stock up on snacks, toys, diapers, disposable bags and a change of clothes. Flight delays are no laughing matter. You want to ensure your kid has enough food and entertainment to make it through the flight PLUS a potential four–hour tarmac delay — the maximum time a plane is allowed to sit on the runway. You may also want to pack an extra shirt for yourself if your baby is prone to drool or spit up.
- Depending on how many adults you are traveling with, use boarding time to your advantage. If you're flying solo with a tot, you may want to jump on board at the earliest possible time ensuring you and baby are well adjusted when the plane deports. If you have two adults, one can stay back in the boarding area and let junior blow off steam while the other stakes claim on the territory and gets things settled.
- Traveling with a car seat can be a pain in the neck, but Gogo Kidz makes it easier with the attached wheels and handle. Some find it more convenient to navigate the airport with a stroller and check the car seat at the gate. For youngsters who need more than a lap belt, CARES makes a harness that keeps wee ones in their seat.
Expect eye rolls and sighs from fellow passengers. If you're prepared and doing your best to keep the peace, there's not much more you can do. Author of Gentle Baby Care, Elizabeth Pantley may have said it best:
Simply smiling and telling others that you're sorry and you're doing the best that you can may also win you allies.
Do you have any flying tips you'd like to share? Tell us in the comments below!