6 Tips for Traveling (flying) with Babies + Toddlers
Last week was Franky’s first time flying (our first time flying with two kids) and it just so happens that it was the quickest trip we’ve ever taken — all within 24 hour. He did fantastic and I wasn’t surprised. And here’s why:
Babies are far easier on flights than toddlers. Why? Because babies can’t walk and so, sitting in one place for an entire flight is no big deal. You can give ‘em a boob or a bottle at any point and voila, they’re happy as can be. But toddlers, on the other hand, they’re are a little trickier. They can walk and talk and they get bored — and snacks only last so long.
At this point, I think we’ve got the whole flying with kids thing down (let’s hope I didn’t just jinx myself for our next flight coming up to Texas). And so, I’m going to pass on my best tips for flying with kids:
1. Be Proactive with their Ears
I’m not talking about sound — I’m talking about pressure. The first three or so flights of Ava’s life we’re back when she was a baby. And every single time she’d scream and cry and was in consolable ...on the landing, that is. We connected two and two and clearly, that ear pressure was bothering here so now, we’re proactive with it.
Nurse them, give them a bottle, a pacifier, a lollipop, something to sip on, some gum to chew if they’re a bit older or whatever you need to give them to ensure they’re constantly sucking and swallowing during takeoff and landing and with that, the issue of the ears should melt away. Every since nursing Ava on both, we’ve never again had an issue with her ears!
2. Snacks + Drinks
I don’t need to say much about this one because we all know that kids love their snacks. So stock up on those! And since you can’t bring drinks through security, make sure you snag something before loading onto the plane. Cause there’s nothing worse than a toddler telling you she’s thirsty over and over until drinks are served.
3. Using the Restroom
The second it’s time for takeoff and the second the seatbelt light goes back on for landing, Ava’s got to use the restroom every single time, without fail. So instead of asking if they have to go, just make them try right before you board and right before you’re going to start landing. Because let me tell you, it’s stressful sitting there just crossing your fingers she doesn’t pee (or poop) right there in the seat.
Small toys + new toys — that’s what you’re looking for. You don’t want to lug big toys along with you when you’ve got enough stuff as it is and of course, new toys are more exciting. So what I do is I head to the Target dollar section before each trip, snag some mini coloring books, crayons and a couple new little gadgets and toys and once she starts getting antsy, I pull them out to keep her busy for as long as possible. And when those are exhausted I pull out the...
4. Movies + Shows
I personally use Amazon to download movies to my phone (we don’t even carry and extra iPad with us because it just takes up room) and make sure they’re available on my phone without WiFi. I download some of her favorite current shows and some of her favorite current movies and she’s set for the duration of the flight!
However, we all know that phones die, especially on long flights so don’t forget...
5. A Portable Phone Charger
Your kids are nice and quiet, watching their favorite show and all is well on your flight... until your phone dies and the crying begins. So just be proactive and plug that phone in so you don’t even have to deal with it.
6. Go with the Flow
When you travel, nap times won’t be the same, bed times won’t be the same and your typical day-to-day structure and routine won’t be followed no matter how hard you try.
But personally, I am a firm believer that our kids’ energy and moods are directly reflected from that of their parents — us. When we’re stressed, they act out more. When we’re calm, they, too, are more calm and happy. So just go with the flow! Keep a smile on your face, talk to them calmly even if you’re stressed and remember, traveling is only a small portion of your trip and the rest will be so worth it.
Have fun, smile, and just go with the flow.