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Tips for Flying with a Toddler

by T Akery | February 21st, 2013 | Infants/Toddlers

airport crowdFlying with a toddler is stressful. You worry about keeping them happy. You worry about them throwing fits. You worry about what other passengers will think. You worry about having enough stuff to keep them happy. It isn’t easy traveling on airplanes. But when you have no choice, here are a few tips to help your journey go a little bit smoother.

The dollar store is your friend for cheap toddler toys. Since they are so inexpensive, you can pack up quite a few of them without worrying about them losing them. Just make sure that they fit in the carry-on luggage and are easily accessible so you can alternate them.

Bring a sippy cup and a backup cup. Drinking during take-offs and landings can help with how the altitude affects little ears. The action will help pop them. It isn’t fool-proof though.

Chewy snacks are also a good item to pack because they serve a dual purpose. They can be used as bribes. They also can help with ear popping during take-offs and landing. Make sure to carry enough for the flight but not so much that your toddler suffers from a sugar high.

Another little thing you can try to help with ear popping is to play a yawning game during take-off and landings. You yawn then have them yawn after you. It will distract them and help with their ears.

Schedule your flight time for when your toddler is best able to deal with a new adventure. If possible, try to pick a time when they aren’t tired, grouchy or hungry. This way they are better able to deal with the stress of the airport and the stress of getting on the plane. It might mean resetting their schedule at home a little in order to accommodate plane times.

You can’t always avoid a meltdown in the air. The best way to deal with one during flight is to prepare ahead of time. Plan and pack your toddler’s soothing items. Pack their favorite stuffed toy or blanket. Try to keep as close to your daily routine as you can on the plane. However, don’t get upset at your toddler for their meltdown because it will only make things (including the meltdown) worse.

Electronics are often a great distraction. But you will need to keep track of them. Let kids use them only when sitting in their seats and when they are allowed to be used. In this case, it is okay to use it as a bribe for good behavior.

Get up and walk around with your toddler if they start feeling a little antsy. This will help get some of their energy out in a controlled manner.

It is a big job keeping your toddler entertained while in the air. You will need to do some planning to help them cope. But the biggest thing is not to lose your cool when they lose theirs. Just make sure to stay calm and they will eventually calm down too.

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