Are you stressed about flying with kids? My biggest fear is that MY kid will be the one screaming the whole flight and I will get nasty looks the whole time. WELL KNOCK ON WOOD, it hasn’t happened yet and these are some of the ways we prepare for our kids to fly. Take a deep breath mama… I will share some of our tips that help flying with kids.
Bring a pacifier, a bottle of milk, a nursing cover, some NEW baby toys for longer flights and GUM!
The cabin pressure changing causes the pressure in your kiddos ears to change (as well as yours!). Sucking, chewing and swallowing helps to “pop” your ears and relieve the pressure. So for babies who you can’t reason with having something you KNOW they will suck on is KEY otherwise you will have a SCREAMING baby on your hands because they can’t understand why their ears hurt or how to “fix” it.
So as soon as they start taxiing (moving the plane) you want to get your baby to suck on their pacifier, drink milk or start nursing!
Same goes for your older kids, this is the time to give them GUM. So make sure you have it in your pocket or easily accessible! Also, make sure to buy it BEFORE the trip because the airports KNOW this trick and will charge you an arm and a leg for gum! Having some new baby toys will help keep your baby occupied and entertained if they are “wigglers”, BUT don’t pull them all out at once! Spread them out, maybe a different one every hour or so.
Pack coloring books for the older kids.
Seemed a bit “childish” for me to get a coloring book for my pre-teen but she loved it! You have to turn off all your devices on take off so they can’t zone out on Youtube’s Cookie Swirl C. We went to the dollar spot at Target and got some cute coloring books and two sets of gel pens. They drew in them almost the whole way!
Book seats together when you are flying with kids!
This is so helpful! We flew Frontier where you can pick your seats ahead of time, but sometimes if you are super sweet and ask when you are at your gate or checking your luggage they will put your seats together for you. I played the “PLEASE don’t make me crawl across three people to hand my screaming baby to my husband” card… and it worked! Also on Frontier, you can lift the armrests so your kiddos can snuggle you and if you are a little on the “fluffy” side like me your hip circulation is cut off (I am working on it!!) It also helps to be able to “stay together” when exiting the plane.
Also, if this is your first-time flying with kids when you get to your gate try to get close to the boarding ramp for your plane so that when they announce they are boarding you can get on first.
With Frontier they board families, disabled, and veterans first which has been a lifesaver to avoid the stink eye from the fashionista all decked out in heels and a dress while we are over there in our mom buns, no makeup, sloshing our coffee around trying to carry our 5 years old’s bag because suddenly her arms don’t work, along with our diaper bag AND our personal item (i.e. all our clothes for the entire trip). So take a deep breath fashionista I realize we look like bag ladies at this point (and can I take a moment to say you look beautiful and I love your adorable carry on bag!) you want us to get on the plane first so we have my kids totally prepped and comfy for taking off so you don’t have to order 3 cocktails to drown out their screaming… I promise we will all be happier!
I know, I am working on this in life in general too but this is super important. This is not the time to catch up on a book, this is not the time to try to get work done, to delete the 24,336 emails from random “entrepreneur” opt-ins you have signed up for! You need to be attentive to your kid’s needs. For the love of yourself and EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANE pay attention when flying with kids. Noone wants a kid kicking their chair the whole flight, or popping the tray up and down (my 12-month-old son tried to pull this one, luckily he is cute but I could tell it was starting to annoy the lady in front of us so I was TRYING to get him to stop which after 6 times he FINALLY moved on) or to hear your kid yell your name 10 times because you aren’t paying attention. (Although our baby fell asleep at one point and I was able to finish this crossword on the back of the Frontier napkin!)
For this brief moment (or even for a 16-hour flight to China) you CAN turn off your computer, phone, tablet and hang out with your kid.
Have them look out the window, talk about the clouds. When the seatbelt light goes off allow them to go to the bathroom (if they are big enough), walk up and down the aisle on those longer flights. For some kids, this is their first time to fly so it can be exciting or even scary so they need you to help them navigate through their excitement or fear. I mean the whole “oxygen masks will fall from the overhead compartment” may not make sense to them and freak them out so be present during the safety presentation even if you have heard it 500 million times.
This will make life so much easier flying with kids!! Airport food is OUTRAGEOUS! I went to Aldi and picked up 2 boxes of granola bars that I knew my kids and Daniel liked. It kept us from spending $100 on buying lunch at the airport and from everyone being hangry. Because I don’t know about your people but if my people are hangry they get whiny, short-tempered, and don’t think clearly… so PACK SNACKS, EVEN IF YOU ATE A BIG BREAKFAST and are going to eat a big lunch when you get there. It is better to have them full than hungry! And here is a list of foods that will go through TSA… https://consumerist.com/2007/12/28/a-big-list-of-foods-that-you-can-bring-through-airport-security/
Pack a change of clothes in your carry on!
If we ever meet in person I may tell you this super embarrassing story of why I was so thankful I had all my clothes in my carry on. BUT it is a good idea to bring a change of clothes for not only your self but for EVERYONE in case someone has an accident. We almost had 2 accidents last time when my 5-year-old was about to lose it while the plane was taxiing on the ground at our arrival destination.