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Tips for Flying

Junior Jetset: Tips for Flying

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!

Join The Conversation
Baby-Dove Baby-Dove 9 years
I love it in the movie "Last Holiday" when LL Cool J is flying and the little boy tells him it helps to color. That cracks me up.
bealotus bealotus 9 years
My daughter, 5 yrs old, behaves so good. Get her a coloring book, crayons, markers, snacks and she's all set. Oh and stickers!
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
We never watch TV or videos in our house, so when I flew from VA to CO I brought a portable DVD player and it was nice. Schnappycat I didn't get half off my ticket even though she qualified to be on my lap, but for an infant they might? I thought that the carseat might make her feel like she was going somewhere, just like a car trip. I waited for as long as possible before letting her know she was allowed to get out.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
on a long trip to hawaii we saw a little guy keeping busy by watching movie after movie on his dad's laptop...and like jessie said, give them stuff they haven't seen before, not the same old movies and books they read everyday
backfat backfat 9 years
Apparently, kids in first class aren't normal and don't act up when confined to a chair for numerous hours. Hmm. Didn't know that.
luckyEmmie luckyEmmie 9 years
when my cousin was little, my aunt took him on what was supposed to be a short flight. twelve hours and zero extra diapers later, they were still stuck in the airport and my cousin's little baby butt was starting to blister from being in a wet diaper for so long! my aunt eventually just took it off and let him run around with a bare bum. she felt so badly! definitely make sure you have plenty of diapers, food, etc, because you never know what can happen!
schnappycat schnappycat 9 years
I think I'm flying alone with my infant for the first time this summer and am scared. Eeep! Plus, I don't understand the rules of belting on the plane. I plan to buy a seat for him because he doesn't like to be held for very long and I need my space, but he hates his carseat, so I want to check it. Is he allowed to fly in his own seat without it? If so, do I need some other harness for him? Is this CARES thing required for babies? I'm so confused and I seem to get different info everywhere. I have heard that if you call the airline, you can get 1/2 off for an infant seat, so I'm really hoping that is true.
jessie jessie 9 years
*can't* oops...they need a edit button...i always make mistakes..:oy:
jessie jessie 9 years
i traveled with a 5,6, and 9 years old by myself on a 4 hour flight before. the kids don't like to sit still. i had snacks, coloring books, small toys that were specifically bought and never seen before. but if you talk to the flight attentdants, they will help out when they can. you paid for that flight, you can predict the future if your kid gonna act up. just roll with the punches and do the best you can.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
lol lots of benadryl. j/k
Hugo3 Hugo3 9 years
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