There’s always something about toddlers and long flights that is daunting – not just as a parent but also as a fellow passenger. The first thing I learned as a mom was my child gets cranky when he is hungry or when he is tired. And as parents, we all usually know what triggers irritation in our child. But it’s important to figure out how best to be prepared for it during a long flight.
Here’s a checklist of things you might want to tick off before getting on an airplane with a child.
Food: When there are babies on board, its best to keep baby food handy – especially applesauce. For older kids, pretzels, fruit, nuts or cheese. Don’t forget a tiny drinking bottle. It is useful even on the flight.
Carry-on Entertainment: As my little one grew, I packed a tiny carry on bag (yes! with wheels) for him with his personal stuff that he helped me pack. Toys, books, a car, colors, a fruit snack and a kaleidoscope. My, wasn’t he proud to drag a bag just like daddy. He would even set it up on the baggage screening counter himself. Something about doing things themselves makes kids feel proud. Use it to your advantage. And the other thing I found was when kids are carrying a backpack or dragging along their luggage, they stay focused on the job at hand and forget to run around the airport. And even if they do run, dragging another object slows them down!
Spares and Change: Make sure you have at least one set of spare clothes for not just the child but yourself as well. If no accidents, it may be just orange juice spilled over you while passing it across seats! And this is also useful in case the checked-in bag does not turn up on time. I always make my son wear pull-ups when on a flight even though he is well toilet trained. It’s easier to deal with a dirty diaper than a wet trouser during take-off.
Wet wipes: These all-purpose useful bits of cloth are not only useful to clean the dirty business, but also for sticky hands, dirty shoes, chocolatey faces, and for removing make-up!
Medicine: Yes, I mean it. Please carry some child medicine for pain, stomach upsets, and fever, because not all flights are equipped with first aid for kids, and you know what’s best for your child.
Spare footwear: It’s easy to lose a shoe when you grab your child and run towards the boarding gate. I always keep a spare pair (not so heavy, beach slip-on) or a pair of anti-slip socks that can help to cover up feet.
Found this useful? Is there anything else that you usually carry? Just post it as a comment and we will add it to the list!