Tips For Flying With The Little One This Holiday Season
Rebeka with 3 month old Rose and Alahna with 1 1/2 year old Zayn, check out our individual traveling tips for flying through the holidays and beyond!
I don’t get bored on road trips and I’m not scared of planes, in my mind those two thing make me a pretty decent traveler. Once you have kids traveling becomes 10x scarier. No one wants to be the person with the child that cries or kicks the seat of the person in front of them the whole flight. The first time I flew with Zayn he was 2 or 3 months old, it was going to be a quick 50 minute flight from LA to Oakland but I was still nervous. I looked up so many tips in preparation but the ones that worked the best for me at that age were to breast or bottle feed him during take off and landing, this helps make sure that your baby’s ears don’t pop and you can avoid a lot of crying. Our first couple flights were a success. Even our flight from LA to Germany was pretty smooth at 6 months. We got lucky and our flight was scheduled to depart at 5pm, only 3 hours before he usually went to bed so he mostly slept the entire flight. For us, the older he gets the more challenging it becomes. He’s a really active kid like most kids his age, he enjoys running around and going from one toy to the next, getting him to sit still for long periods of time isn’t easy. I’m definitely still learning the best way to travel as he gets older and the methods I use change, but here is my collection of tips and suggestions so far that I found worked best for us.
TAKE OFF AND LANDING LIFE SAVER – Like I mentioned, if your child is still breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or taking a pacifier, the best way to help prevent their ears from popping during take off and landing as the cabin pressure changes, is to have them suck on something, even a sippy cup works. I read this online and did this our very first flight and I’ve had many flight attendants tell me this on the plane as well so I know its a trick that works for most people. Zayn has never cried or been fussy during take off or landing (knock on wood) so I truly believe this is the most important tip, you could stop reading right now,just take that advice, and be fine.
CHOOSE YOUR FLIGHT TIME WISELY – If you’re able to be flexible with flight times, pick times that go along with your kids sleep schedules, when Zayn was younger flying during nap time made this so much easier. He would fall asleep in my arms shortly after take off and sleep through the majority if not all of the flight. I know this tip will really depend on how easy your child falls asleep and their age. Now that Zayn is older this won’t work as well because he just fights to stay up through his nap time and even sometimes far past his bedtime if he’s in a new place and there’s alot going on. Like I said, on the way to Europe he was 6 months and slept the majority of the trip, but on the way back he was 14 months and only slept 45 mins on a 13 hour flight! Not fun. So now for shorter flights I try to schedule them before or after a nap, when I know he will be well rested and in the best mood.
PACK THEN PACK SOME MORE – Overpack your diaper bag/ carry on with the essentials like wipes, diapers, snacks, a change of clothes, bottles and pacifiers. Definitely have back ups!! Especially on those longer flights or flights with layovers. Planes get delayed all the time you want to be prepared just in case you’re in the airport longer than you expected to be.
CHARGED UP – Charge your electronics! Zayn is 19 months now and the ipad has been a huge help when it comes time to entertain him and have him quiet for long periods of time, I try to be strict about how much time I let him use it but when we’re traveling all bets are off. He can watch for as long as he pleases as long as it keeps him in his seat and not trying to chase the flight attendants down the aisle. If you’re iffy about the wifi on the plane, download Netflix shows before you leave for the airport, it can take awhile and you should try to be on the best wifi connection possible. I think there are options on Youtube as well to download shows but if not I’ve definitely just played a show on my computer or tv and recorded it with my ipad or phone. Whatever works.
THEY’LL GET OVER IT – If your kids do end up crying or being loud on the plane, just remember that you aren’t the only one on the flight with kids and this isn’t the first time the rest of the passengers or the flight attendants have experienced a little bit of noise. Yes it can be embarrassing and overwhelming but everyone has to travel. The flight is going to land eventually, your kid will stop crying eventually and you’ll never see these people again
I’ll be honest doing anything for the first time with a new baby seems terrifying and the airport alone is stressful so with Rose I was overwhelmed before I even got there. But good thing I have a best friend that had a baby first and already experienced all the things I was afraid of. There were just a few things she forgot to tell me
Give Yourself Time – Of course our first time flying was the day before Thanksgiving and probably the busiest day to fly. Which means lost of people and long lines for everything. Moms you know baby is very unpredictable so make sure you give yourself extra time for those extra messy moments and really just time to not feel rushed.
Never fly for the first time alone! But make sure you take someone that not only is an extra set of hands but someone who knows how your stroller works. Breaking down a stroller with a baby in your arms while you are struggling through TSA is extra tricky and with a line of people behind you adds extra pressure.
Pack Light and check your suitcase -If your baby is anything like mine putting her down or passing her on to someone else isn’t an option. Spoiled, I know but the airport isn’t the place to break her of that. Do yourself a favor and carry just the essential diaper bag and keep your hands free.
I hope you find these tips helpful. But honestly the more you do it the easier it gets. I mean we’ve only flown twice and already the second time was way better then the first.