Traveling during the holidays can be stressful enough alone but adding an infant or toddler to the situation can send the most experienced supermom into a frazzled mess! If you’re planning to travel with a little one this holiday season read these 10 tips to make your trip a great experience for everyone.
- When scheduling your airline itinerary, book a direct flight if possible. Though often more expensive than flights with layovers, direct flights are well worth the extra money for the sake of your sanity. The fewer connections and change of airplanes that you have to make with your child, the more likely your little one will not grow restless, irritated, and cranky.
- Schedule your flight outside of your child’s crankiest hours. Most moms report that this time is between 3pm and 7pm. Many frequent flying moms advise taking an early morning flight after you child has been well rested, or even a late evening flight when you anticipate them to sleep during the flight.
- Dress your child in clothing that allows easy diaper changing. It can be quite a MacGyver act to change a diaper in the cramped airplane restroom, so make it a bit easier on yourself by foregoing the cute, complicated outfits that require many snaps, buttons, and pull-overs to remove. A simple t-shirt and elastic waist pants are your best option. Be sure to bring a sweater or small blanket for colder flights.
- Be sure to pack the following must-have items in your carry-on bag and have it nearby: diapers (enough to last the entire day for any unexpected travel delays or flight cancellations), 2 additional easy outfit for blow-outs and spit-ups, a change of clothes for you (see the last comment), wipes and snacks (for both you and baby because no one wins when mom is hungry). Have your wipes available as soon as you board the flight to wipe down the armrests, dining tray, windows and seats. Toddlers will touch everything immediately!
- Pack a couple of familiar toys and 1 or 2 new toys to keep their attention during the flight.
- Having teething tablets, gas drops, and Band-Aids on hand can be total lifesavers when your child is having an uncomfortable experience. Have these in a small bag inside your carry-on where you can get to them quickly.
- Keep your stroller and car seat with you until you get to the gate. The attendants will check these items right before you board the airplane and they will be waiting for you as you de-plane at your final destination. This is fantastic for moving quickly through the airport. The stroller and car seat must go through the conveyer belt at the security check so be prepared to have to take your child out to walk or be carried through the metal detector. Although the metal detector is not harmful to your child, if you are still uncomfortable, you can request for an alternative screening method. Also note, the 3oz maximum liquid rule does not apply to formula or breast milk and you are able to bring as much as needed for your traveling time with an ice pack.
- If traveling with toddlers under 2 and you have not purchased a ticket for them, check with the gate attendant to see if they are able to offer you an extra seat. This is often granted if the flight is not full and allows you a bit more room to let your child move around a little.
- Placing your little one in a car seat is the safest way for baby to fly but if you were unable to have a separate seat, wearing your child in a carrier brings comfort and familiarity to your child during this new experience. They will often sleep longer and sounder on your chest creating peace and tranquility for baby, you, and all your neighbors!
- Nurse or feed your infant during takeoff and landing. Sucking helps decrease ear popping that occurs with changes in cabin pressure and subsequent changes in ear pressure. This quick little activity will do wonders to keep your little one comfortable.
- No matter what happens, stay calm. Your child often feeds off of your emotions, the more frazzled and anxious you are, the more anxious and irritable your child will be.
Finally, remember to relax! Ensure they are fed, dry, and comforted. If after all of that has been ensured and your child is still fussy, know that your neighbors understand and wish they could help. Most have been through this many times before and know how you feel. The only ones judging are the ones without children yet so rest assured….. their time will come! Happy Traveling and Happy Holidays from Miss Military Mom!
Photo by Alexis Fotos on pixabay