Traveling on a plane with your toddler need not be difficult, troublesome, or filled with anxiety. Although it may be a new experience for your little one, you can help make the experience less stressful and more enjoyable with the following tips:
1. Request an aisle seat
When you make your reservation, request an aisle seat. This will allow you to get in and out more conveniently if needed. You will also have more elbow room in an aisle side, which may come in handy if you are holding your child on your lap. Your toddler may feel more relaxed to look around at the people in the airplane as opposed to looking out the window. Being near the window may make your toddler frightened or nervous. You will also have better access to the bathroom, as well.
2. Pack a “toddler” goodie bag
Your toddler will need something to keep him or her occupied. It’s best to plan for this and have something ready instead of waiting for your child to get bored. You can bring some snacks to help occupy the time. It’s also fun for kids if you prepare several little “grab bags.” In each bag, you could have a small surprise that would engage them in an activity. The bags could include such things like coloring books and crayons, books to read, drawing paper, small toys, and simple games.
3. Consider other entertainment
If you’re going on a long flight, you may need a bit of back up plan for the time when you’ve exhausted the mystery bags. Charge your phone or tablet in advance and use it for entertainment if you get in a pinch. You won’t want to start with the phone because it may over-stimulate your child (every child is different). But once you’ve played some of the games, colored, snacked, and read books, then it may be time to turn to electronic forms of occupation. You can let your child watch a fun video or play a game.
You could also play happy kid music to help calm your toddler if he or she starts to get antsy. Use headphones so others nearby are not disturbed.
4. Go “hands-free”
You will definitely want your hands free so you can tend to your child. Some children are soothed just by the parent’s touch. Holding and rocking your child may prove to be a valuable experience for both of you. Besides, when you walk through the terminal, you’ll want to keep a good hand on your toddler. That’s why it is helpful to consider bringing a backpack for hand luggage. Then you’ll have both hands free and available if needed.
5. Keep it light
No use burdening yourself down with a heavy load if you don’t need to. You can make the process of maneuvering in and out of the terminal and plane easier by bringing a lightweight stroller. These are easy to fold and will make getting on and off the plane with your child, less stressful.
6. Make a plan
Plan in advance so you’ll be prepared and not caught off guard on your trip. Make a list of things you need to purchase or pack. You can also visit your local library and check out a children’s book about flying. Read it to your toddler so he or she knows what to expect in advance. This will help ease any tension.
As you prepare for your upcoming plane trip with your toddler, remember it doesn’t need to be hectic. You can make the entire trip an adventure that you and your child will remember with fondness.