Going out of town for the first time as a new parent? Probably thinking about the worst flight ever. We’ve done our research, prepared for the nightmare ahead of us, and put together the best list we could. Below is 16 tips and checklist to properly prepare you for flying with a young child, both domestic and internationally.
Guest Post by Shawn Plummer
Under the Age of 2
- Just because children under 2 fly for free (on your lap) does not mean it’s the best route to go. Buy a seat, bring a pillow.
- Airline attendants can pack your stroller on-board with the coats.
- Bring food. Bring milk. Bring water. Bring tons of food and drink.
- Magnesium or cold chamomile tea helps with teething by calming the nerves.
- Bring your car seat, strap it in the airplane seat, let your little one sleep.
Make sure your baby chews on a pacifier or toddler chew gum during takeoff to help reduce pressure in the ears.
(6 AM Early Morning Plane Hair)
- Baby Wipes
- Change of clothes
- Plenty of snacks and bottles.
- Extra zip-lock bag for soiled clothes.
- Milk, juice, and formula for a baby are exempt from the three-ounce liquid rule.
- Car Seat
Ages 2 to 5
- Inform the airline ahead of time about any allergies. Typically they’ll not serve nuts if there is a tree nut or peanut allergy on board.
- If you’re traveling out of the country, you should get travel insurance as your primary health insurance doesn’t cover you or your dependents medically while abroad.
- You should book for a row in the back of the plane to minimize attention. Usually, there are restrooms in the back, and your toddler can stretch.
- Always book a direct flight as getting back onto a plane can add to the frustration or better yet, humiliation.
- Some would say to pre-board before everyone else onto the plane. I disagree. The least amount of time on the plane the better.
- Some airports have play areas for kids to get energy out prior to the flight. Let your kids run the long walkways if the airport is empty.
- Try Natural Calm for Kids, which is a magnesium supplement that may relax the child. There are several brands that provide the supplement.
- If your child still takes a nap, flights during this time may help them sleep. If you can do a late-night flight, that may help too. Book a window seat so the child can lean against the wall to sleep.
- Download the GoGo Air app before your flight. Not all flights have entertainment provided. This app applies to most if not all airlines. Just in case the plane doesn’t have TV on the back of the seat, you can always access movies, shows, and games on your phone on this app for free.
- Ask a flight attendant if they have wings to pin on their clothes to make them the child feel like they’re part of the flight crew.
- Tablets with kid-friendly apps
- Leapfrog Devices
- Crayons/Coloring Books
- Arts and Crafts
- Download movies
Follow these tips, and you should be good to go on your next flight out!
Also, want to check out another fabulous traveling mom? Jessie from Jessie on a Journey gives you even more amazing travel tips!
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About the Author:
Shawn Plummer is an insurance expert training advisors for over 10 years, a parent of a feisty little girl, and blogs for The Traveling Parent and The Annuity Expert.