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Flying with an infant/toddler

 

  • ‎prepare to be in the "playground" mode the entire time, i.e. you need to be energetic enough to entertain and distruct your kid for most of the flight. don't expect to get rest during the flight. sleep well the night before.
  • multiple trips/walks through the plane isles with your kid - to explore, to visit the other kids on the plane, to look out of the back windows, to use the bathroom/s, to get more juice/water/milk from the stewardesses, to do stretching exercises, to count the number of lines on the carpet, etc. Any excuse to get our of the seat for as long as possible, at least every half hour.
  • media entertainment: dvd, movies, games, however, i think the attention span of most 2.5 yr olds is too short to rely on this measure for prolonged periods of time until the kids are a few years older.
  • pack your diper bag smartly - have numerous little trinkets/toys in it to surprise the kid with. my kids find the retractable measuring tapes fascinating and can play with them for at least 10 min at a time. have double of some toys (such as two small cars) in case you make a friend on the plane, both your kid and the new friend on the plane (or while waiting at the airport) can play side-by-side/together with a similar toy while you are chatting with the other mom. do not bring any toys/books that make noise or the other passengers will strangle you. Ipad is good.
  • Take some dry, low-sugar cereal as a snack. Crackers or raisins are also a good choice.
  • Pack a washcloth to clean sticky hands, or get a small packet of wet wipes.
  • pacifiers/lollipops/sucking candy - anything that keeps their vocal cords occupied for a prolonged period of time, especially during landing when the ears are likely to hurt. Forget your regular standards for the time of your flight.
  • clothing - comfortable layers that can double as PJs, and have a change of clothing (in case of diper accident). expect everything to get dusty/dirty, that's ok. if it helps your kid to stay happy by rolling on the floor or climbing on the dusty floor under the chairs in the airport, then let it be it. bring a ton of baby wipes. forget your regular standards for the time being. change the diper right before getting on the plane. get on the plane as LATE as possible (i.e. don't be one of the first people to get there, the novelty of it wears off on the kids pretty soon).
  • Benadryl - I feel uneasy about it as about 10-30% kids have a paradoxycal reaction to it (become more hyper rather than drowsy with Benadryl). If you still insist on using Benadryl, you should definitelly give a try at home to monitor what kind of reaction your kid may have.
  • stroller: "citi mini" without a doubt
  • Oh! and...be calm and don’t lose your temper.