Monday, February 28, 2011

Sponsored Post--The Mile High Cry Tips on Traveling Stress-Free With Your Toddler

The Mile High Cry: Tips on Traveling Stress-Free With Your Toddler

This guest post was written by H. Denbert who has a degree in social work and hopes to satisfy her interest in science by getting a forensic science education in her spare time

We’ve all been there: trapped on an airplane, with that annoying baby crying in the next aisle throughout the flight. I was even on a plane once where another “helpful” woman angrily screamed, “Have you heard of a pacifier?!” Maybe like me, now you’re on the other side of the equation, with a toddler in tow, trying to fend off pissed-off passengers with apologetic half smiles. From navigating the maze of airport security to the endless hours in the sky, here are ways to cut down on the inevitable stress of flying with your child. Just look at it this way: at least we don’t have to travel by wagon train anymore.

Before You Get to The Airport

  • Make sure you have the right size containers. You’re allowed to fly with juice, formula, or breast milk for baby, but it has to be in the right size container. Only 3.4 ounce (100 ml) or smaller containers are allowed. Check the TSA website for the most recent information on airport security and what it means for your toddler.
  • Keep your stroller organized: You’ll have to take everything out of your stroller, in order for it to be x-rayed. Keeping things organized will cut down on annoying time in the security line. Pack things together, and minimize the amount of clutter floating in your stroller’s compartments.
  • Bring a baby seat and reserve that extra plane seat: While it might be possible to carry your child on your lap while flying, it sure isn’t comfortable. The money you can save by doing it might be appealing, but reserving an extra seat is more courteous to the fellow fliers and more likely to result in a calmer flight for your kid. And, if your child weighs more than forty pounds, you’re required by the FAA to restrain them with an airplane seatbelt.
  • Bring the right entertainment: If it’s the portable DVD player your kid loves, make sure it’s in the bag. Don’t overpack, however, or you’ll be lugging a heavy bag through the airport.

In Flight

  • Pack a diaper change kit: Put all the things you need to change a few diapers in one easily accessible bag. You’ll be glad you had that diaper, some wipes, and a good smelling lotion around when you need to change a diaper in flight. If you’ve got a larger kid, ask a crew member if there is a bathroom on the aircraft with a change table, as this is often the case.
  • Dealing with ear popping: That uncomfortable feeling of pressure buildup in the ears can be one of the most trying things about flying with children. A pacifier is helpful, and should be put in during take-off and before your descent. Unfortunately, for kids too young to understand the instructions to swallow, crying can be the only effective way to relieve ear pressure. Let them cry it out---it’s actually helpful.
  • Bring more food than you think you'll need: Pack food and snacks as if you won’t be getting any on the plane. This is often the case these days, and even if there is food that doesn’t mean your toddler will actually eat it. When it’s time to eat, feed your kid first, then yourself. Manipulating trays of food in flight can be difficult, and you’ll be more relaxed while eating if your child has already.
  • Be prepared for motion sickness: If it’s your child’s first flight or you know they are prone to motion sickness, be prepared. Put a Ziploc bag in your purse or in front of your seat, if you fear they might puke. And of course, keep lots of wet wipes around for clean up. Don’t let them eat too much before the flight, and consider putting a disposable bib on any child that may get sick. Even a little puke smells really bad, when stuck in a tiny airplane.


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