If you are planning an air travel with your infant or toddler and feeling jittery, I can totally understand. It happens to me all the time. I am never at peace in my mind when I am travelling with my kids. While the elder one is manageable now I get jitters while holding the little one in my lap. However, I realised that air travel can also be a breeze if you plan better and are well equipped to handle the tantrums. Here are few tips that can help you make your air travel a memorable one and not a horror air ride:
- Dress your baby appropriately: No matter where you are travelling and what is your destination, inside the aircraft your child is going to feel the chills. So ensure that you have dressed your child in layered clothing that will keep him warm during the travel. Children don’t adapt to temperature changes easily this is why you should pay particular attention to dressing them right. If the temperature rises once you land, you can take off one or two layers of clothing to make him feel comfortable.
- Keep his ears covered: Ideally, it is better if you can make your little one wear a cap that covers the ears like a monkey cap or an infant cap to wade through ear pain due to dip in air pressure. But if you child keeps throwing away the cap or dislikes the idea use cotton balls to stuff in the ears. But don’t push the cotton balls deep inside. Just place them lightly enough to cover the ears.
- Take help of pacifier: I am not a great fan of a pacifier and never offered my child one. But during air travels it is one of the essentials I don’t forget to carry. Sucking on the pacifier helps to alleviate ear pains during air travel. So, once you board the plane give your baby one. This will save you a lot of unnecessary cries and howls. Sucking on an empty sippy cup or taking a feed from a bottle will also have the same effect. Some mothers prefer to breastfeed their babies during the ascent and descent to avert ear pains.
- Feed your baby well: I don’t mean that you should keep feeding your baby while on the flight. But before boarding the flight make sure that you fed your baby well, but feed light — soup, fruits or a milkshake so your baby isn’t hungry. A hungry baby can throw more tantrums when onboard.
- Change the diaper before boarding: This is a thumb rule you need to follow. If it is a short distance flight make sure you change your baby’s diaper before boarding. However, in long-distance flights, you might have to do it intermittently. But if you will be landing at your destination in two to three hours change the diaper before boarding as it will save you from the anxiety of diaper-change mid-air.
- Keep some snacks handy: This is one thing that nobody needs to tell you.
- Keep your child busy: Get your kid’s favourite toy, book or a colour pencil and scrapbook to scribble on so your child’s attention is diverted.
- Lull your baby to sleep: If you are able to do this, do write back to me how you succeeded in doing so. I know many babies who sleep in flights and if your baby is one of them, that is good news for you. But if your baby isn’t game for in-flight sleep, try soothing and comforting your baby and sing a lullaby to help him get some shut-eye which will save you from some of your travel anxiety.
- Ask for help: Don’t hesitate in doing so. Ask for help without feeling intimidated or ashamed when your child throws a tantrum.
- Book seats wisely: Try booking the seats that are closer to the lavatory. If you need to go to the lavatory to change diapers frequently, this will help.
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