Taking to the air with an infant or toddler can seem like an uphill battle. Although the struggle to fulfill their basic needs within a severely confined space can seem daunting at times, there are certain precautions one can make to ensure their flight is smooth and rid of turbulent outbursts.
Here is a list of 10 essential things ever mother must be aware of when traveling with an infant or toddler:
1. Arrive early
Yes this may be the most straightforward tip across the board, but it is definitely not advice to be ignored. As a rule of thumb, follow the "arrive two hours early" principle. With increasing unpredictability of efficiency between check-in and security, it is always a good idea to cushion the stress of the airport situation with a little time to get all of your ducks in a row.
2. Travel during nap time
Life is a lot easier when your baby is tired and ready for a nap. If you're able to, book your departing time around nap time.
3. Let the airline know you are traveling with a small child
When booking the flight, notify let the airline know your traveling partner is an infant that needs to sit in the seat right next to you. Then once you are checking in at the airport, double check that your child is in fact the person occupying the seat next to you. Take the precaution early on. Don't take chances in hopes that things will "work out" or "fix" themselves at the flight desk. That is risky.
4. If you have purchased a ticket for your infant, bring a car seat
If your child has a reserved seat on the airplane, go ahead and pack your child's car seat. This small addition to your travel gear may seem like an inconvenience at first, but once you are on the plane and your child has a place to rest their head when they nod off, you will be grateful you packed the clunky safety seat.
5. Do not sit in a row without seats in front of you
Avoid bulkhead rows as much as possible. It is tempting to have extra foot room and no fear of your kids annoying the passenger in front of them, but having no seats in front means your storage space has been eliminated. Every item you pack for the flight that you need to keep your baby entertained and taken care of will have to be kept in the storage bin above your head and out of reach during takeoff and landing.
As the plane takes off and lands individuals may experience extreme ear discomfort, unequal pressures that develop on both sides of the eardrum cause this pain. Little ones experience this same phenomenon and the pain can at times seem unbearable to them. To help ease the discomfort, have something-bottle, favorite toy or pacifier- to relieve the pressure.
7. Bring an umbrella stroller
Invest the $15 dollars for a handy and helpful umbrella stroller. The twisted handles lend well to hang a few bags on while you venture through the airport. The easy breakdown of an umbrella stroller helps speed up the security check process as well.
8. Take advantage of pre-boarding
When the airline attendant offers those flying with infants or toddlers to pre-board do not think twice. Take advantage of those few uninterrupted and low-pressure minutes to gather your bearings and get your kids ready for the flight ahead.
Fashionable items sometimes have to come second place to practical items out of sheer necessity. Satchels and diaper bags held on the hip are obstacles that can hit something or be hit by someone. Avoid the clutter and stumbles by using a backpack; they are easier to navigate in crowds and narrow airplane aisles.
10. Dress your baby in layers
Different airports have different temperatures- avoid being unprepared for the elements and layer your baby in warm and cool clothes.