Even the best of parents get overwhelmed in planning their child’s first flight. Put your worries to rest with seven handy tricks on travelling with a toddler!
1. The Millennial Appeal
Time to take back all the lamenting you’ve done in the past about how your son/daughter is too addicted to an iPad screen. This may just be your salvation on a long flight. Before handing it over, let your little one know that this screen time is a special privilege reserved for well-behaved kids. Then, present the electronic gadget and have your kid hooked on for at least three hours (or if you’re lucky, the whole flight). Make sure to download kid-friendly games and apps on your smartphone or tablet.
2. The Cure for Fidgety Fingers
Whether you’re opting to give your kid screen time or not, colouring books are definitely an essential. Colouring is a good activity to stimulate your kid mentally and develop their artistic skills. If you are worried that colouring books and pencils with be too heavy or cause a mess, you can always opt for digital apps.
3. Snack Hack
Food is the way to a kid’s heart. Needless to say, this is a fool-proof method in keeping them quiet and satisfied. Keep in mind that whatever food you pack has to be non-perishable, or at least last for the duration of the flight. These include tidbits like biscuits, cereal, nuts, carrots, or sandwiches. However, you should refrain from including food that have a high concentration of sugar, for obvious reasons.
4. The Secret to Sleeping
Skip your toddler’s nap time on the day of your flight. This will make them more sleepy later on, making it easier for them to fall asleep naturally. If your kid is a particularly light sleeper, bring a sleeping eye mask or earmuffs to drown out any unwanted noise. You can also let them listen to soothing music or white noise. For those who have trouble sleeping in a foreign place, you may want to bring along a small pillow from home (this would also come in handy if your toddler needs something to sit on to look out the window!)
5. Buddy System
Children who are travelling for the very first time may be nervous. Toddlers, especially, may feel discomfort during take-off or landing with the changes in air pressure. The best way to comfort them will be to bring along their favourite soft toy or blanket. This will provide a sense of security and familiarity.
6. The Beauty of An Aisle Seat
Try your best to seat yourself on the aisle seat, and your child in the centre seat for easy manoeuvring during the flight without having to disturb any other passengers. Seating your child away from the aisle prevents restless munchkins from slipping out of their seat and wandering around the plane. If your little one needs to stretch his legs, time his breaks so that it doesn’t clash with meal times or peak traffic times.
7. Baby Baggage
Double check that you have everything necessary to care for your young kid in your carry-on. If you have a toddler who isn’t potty trained, remember to bring enough diapers and wet-wipes to last the trip. However, keep in mind not to over-pack. Less is more when it comes to travelling, and saving space means lighter bags and easier manoeuvring through airport customs. One good idea is to come up with a check list of what you really need and stick to it. Don’t worry to much about not packing enough toys. Fluff, peanuts, paper – some children can pick up virtually anything off the ground and be amused for hours!