Flying with Children – What to Know


Flying with Children

Children get agitated, bored, hungry, or tired quickly, especially when you’re on a plane. They may decide to run across the aisle or shriek at the top of their lungs, to the consternation of the other passengers. As a parent, it can be embarrassing for you when your child acts that way. However, you and your child can still have an enjoyable, hassle-free flight if you take pains to prepare for it.

Booking: planning your seats and schedules

Planning is the beginning of all preparation. When you book your flight, you should be conscious of the seats and schedules you pick. Go for a row of seats where you and your children can be close to each other. As much as possible, choose a schedule that parallels the routine you and your children follow at home so they won’t be jolted by sudden changes.

One thing you might want to avoid is the so-called “red-eye” flights. They got their name from the fact that they take off late at night and land in your destination early the next morning. They will leave you bleary-eyed if you don’t rest. As such, crying babies and hyperactive toddlers are the last things travelers want to have with them on this type of flight. But if you really can’t avoid taking a red-eye for one reason or another, you have to prepare your child for it.

How to prepare for overnight or late night flights

Parent-child squabbles usually happen because the child is hungry. Thus, you and your child must eat and drink before you hop on board. Besides, airplane food is expensive. Eat at home or a restaurant before your flight. Drink plenty of water to keep full. You may also want to let your children drink milk beforehand too. It may help them fall asleep during the flight.

Another common concern during a flight is motion sickness. It can be a hassle to clean up your child when they throw up, especially when it happens in the wee hours of the morning. You can let your child take over-the-counter anti-nausea drugs before your trip. These drugs can help them manage motion sickness and prevent them from throwing up. Some anti-nausea drugs can even help your child fall asleep.

Children also become irritable when they are uncomfortable in flight. Ensure their comfort by bringing travel pillows. Expect that the air conditioning on the plane will be bone-cold. Bring sweaters, bonnets, mittens, socks, and blankets to keep your children warm during the flight.

Waiting at the airport

Some airports have playgrounds for children. If your flight is scheduled to take off in the afternoon, you can let them tire themselves out by roaming around the playground. That will also keep them from being bored while waiting. Just be aware of the time.

Key to keeping your child behaved in flight: make them sleep

But regardless of whether you booked a red-eye flight or not, your child can grow bored and would whine around demanding that they be released from their chair. The best way to keep peace is to make them sleep during the flight. You can schedule your trip between 12 to 2 PM since it is during these times where their bodies have relatively low energy–which makes these times conducive for napping. But if your flight falls on an early morning, let your child have plenty of sleep beforehand to make them in a good mood when they wake up. Enough sleep also keeps them calm in the plane even when they’re awake.

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