There once was a time when I considered flight delays and crowded cabin space to be mere inconveniences. That was before kids. Once I began traveling with little humans, I quickly realized that seat selection is vital, and as a mortal being, there is only so much we can control when cramped in a tiny space, surrounded by strangers, 30,000 feet up in the air.
- Choose the right flights.
Yes, morning flights are full of business travelers. However, you must do what is best for your family. My son has flown since he was five months old and getting out first thing in the morning has been most successful. Less chance of delays and he wasn’t as cranky as he would be later in the day. Regardless of which time of day suits your family best, try and book a flight (if possible) according to your usual schedule. Consider naptimes. Having to wrangle an overtired toddler through security during their typical snooze time
maywill likely result in a colossal meltdown.
- Choose the right seats.
Bulkhead seats are golden. The bulkhead seats offer extra legroom, and you don’t have to worry about kicking the seat in front of you or anyone leaning their seat back on you. Extra space can be so helpful in the age range of 18-36 months. In bulkhead, a squirmy toddler can stand right in front of you without disturbing the aisle.
- Don’t leave home without these items.
*A change of clothes rolled up for the little ones AND you in a Ziploc bag in case of an accident/spill/or motion sickness. Extra Ziploc bags come in handy for those reasons.
*Diapers and wipes.
*TravelJohn Jr. Disposable bags. These bags are so helpful to have – especially for little boys. My son was beyond pull-ups but did not want to use the airplane bathroom commode. The flushing sound it makes terrified him and these bags worked like a charm. Including in public restrooms with automatic toilets. Just introduce them in advance, and let them practice with one, so they think it’s fun to use.
TravelJohn Jr.-Disposable Urinal Bags( 6 pack)
*Water with straw cups to help during takeoff and landing with popping ears.
THERMOS FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Straw Bottle, Pink/Purple
*Lollipops for the same reason and as an incentive. At 30,000 feet up in the air, I’m not above bribery.
*The Importance of food and snacks cannot be understated. Delayed on the plane before takeoff and landing. Been there, done that and snacks were a sanity saver.*iPad/tablet and headphones (not earbuds) = peace. However, some kids are more prone to air sickness when staring at shows/games for too long. *My best travel discovery for the 18-48 month range is painter’s tape. Break off pieces of painter’s tape and let your kids stick it all over you, the chair, the window, or themselves. You’ll look ridiculous, but your kids will be smiling, and it’s so easy to remove.
3M Painter’s Tape, Multi-Use, .94-Inch by 60-Yard
- Pack your inner calm.
When I can stay chill, my kids can as well. Not always easy, but if I let things roll off my shoulder, my kids are more likely to as well.
- Skip the car seat, bring the stroller. We’ve tried it every way. Carrying an infant, and a car seat that barely fits only to end up not using it because you are holding your baby. However, using an umbrella stroller to get to the gate is a back saver.
Summer Infant 2015 3D Lite Convenience Stroller, Kingston
Angel Baby Travel Gate Check Bag for UMBRELLA Strollers – Made of DURABLE DOUBLE STRENGTH Polyester with Shoulder Strap, Water Resistant, Lightweight – Great for Airplane Gate Check and Storage
Child Airplane Travel Harness – Cares Safety Restraint System – The Only FAA Approved Child Flying Safety Device
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