Spring weather has arrived here, how about you? If you are traveling this spring or summer this traveling with children series is for you. Previous weeks I posted general traveling tips with children and road trip tips. International flying is next week.
Buy It There
New moms make this mistake sometimes. They pack all the diapers they need for the duration of their trip. Save luggage room, especially now that you have to pay for luggage, and buy diapers when you get there. Pack enough to last you until you get to the nearest grocery store when you arrive at your destination. Same with few other toiletries and gifts around the holidays.
Sucking helps young children and babies to pop their ears. When I was nursing, I would wait until we were ascending to nurse my baby while I was in my seat. I asked for the window seat and had Nathan sit next to me holding up a blanket or covered up with a blanket for privacy. You can also give them a bottle, pacifier or a lollipop (make sure they are old enough). Yawning also helps ears to pop, but that will take talent to get your kids to yawn on demand.
Practice Changing Diapers
Airplane bathrooms are notorious for being small. And not all bathrooms have a tiny changing table installed in it. So I mastered the trick of changing diapers on my lap. I would put the toilet lid down, sit on it and change a diaper. Don’t forget to put a diaper changing pad on your lap then put the baby on top to protect your clothes. Got a squirmy child? I do too. Distract them with a toy or a baby book. Practice a few times at home.
If you have a lap child (2 years and under), ask if the flight is full. If you are traveling during their busy season, chances are it is full. But if you’re lucky, they might have a few open seats. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Then ask attendant to switch you next to an open seat, free of charge.
Slip Through Airport Security
I been through enough airport security in my life where I have the whole routine down. Wear snap, velcro shoes or slip-on shoes. Avoid shoes with laces because it slows down the process as you or your children will need to sit and tie. Wear clothing without metal embellishments on it. Avoid belt buckles. Do wear clothes or pants with pockets and keep your planet tickets and ID there for easy access when going through security and boarding the flight.
Strollers and car seats will need to go through the x-ray machines. So be prepared to collapse them and put them through. Also, most airport in the U.S. have a handicap and family accessible line at security for those within little children, strollers and car seats. Take advantage of it and avoid waiting in long lines.
Pack the Stroller
If you are taking a stroller and checking it in at the gate, learn to pack it well. When I travel with kids, solo or with husband, I prefer having a stroller and checking it in at the gate. Kids in general walk slow. Toddlers are too heavy or doesn’t want to be carried. So I strap them in the stroller so I can hurry to the gate if I’m late or when switching flights at a layover. And if you are also taking car seats and checking it in at the gate or using it on the flight, figure out a way to hook the car seat to the stroller using the latch belts or additional rope/string. I usually hook it to the handle of the stroller. And dump any hand carry luggage or purse in the basket at the bottom of the stroller.
Watch the Meds
You’ve hear parents say it. “I give my kid Benadryl before our trip and they sleep through the whole thing.” Be careful about Benadryl. I am not recommending giving prescription, even over-the-counter stuff, to your kids to make them sleep during travel. Please talk to your pediatrician or family doctor before giving your child any medication. Medicine dosage for children are given to children according to weight, not age. And lastly, Benadryl can have the opposite effect on kids. Sometimes rather than making them drowsy, it can make them hyper.
Last In Line
Flight attendants allow families with little kids to aboard the plane first. I always do the opposite. I let the kids run around as long as they can before I confine them to a small space where they have to sit still for long periods of time.
» Tell me… What are some of your domestic travel tips for flying with kids? Do you have any good or bad experiences traveling on the plane with children?