Travelling with kids can be pretty stressful as well as fun. Flying with babies or very small children is twice as challenging. Here is a short guide on how to survive your first flight with a baby or small kids on board.
If your kid flies for the first time, and if they are able to understand you, make sure that he or she knows what will happen step by step. Tell him about the trip to the airport, what will happen there – that you are going to bring your suitcases, check in, watch the planes take off and touch down before you board. When a kid knows what’s ahead of them, they find it easier to cope with the new situation.
If your child is reluctant to embrace new situations, tell them a funny story about flying by plane. Kids are always eager to experience positive and exciting emotions, so telling them about an exhilarating event on the way, will most certainly help them look forward to the day of the flight.
Now, what about kids that cannot understand speech and explanations. Babies can sense adults’ emotions very well. They are like radars of our moods. So, before the flight, make sure that you are well rested so that there is as little anxiety as possible. For this purpose:
- don’t leave the packing of your suitcases for the very last time. This will create a lot of stress that the baby will feel;
- let your toddler or baby take part in the packing if possible; boxes, suitcases and pleasant, as much as it can be, fuss can become an exciting game;
- sing songs imitating the drone of planes;
- show them images or models of planes – something that they will see a lot on the next day.
Non-stop flight Vs. Connecting flight
Kids’ moods change like the weather, and even more quickly when they have to wait in long queues, when among lots of people, and at a place where they can’t run free. To minimise the agitation resulting from the very length of the flight, try and pick up a direct (i.e. non-stop) flight whenever it is possible. Night flights are also a very good choice, as kids doze off on the plane pretty often, worn out by the day.
Take-off and touchdown are the two moments when kids might feel uncomfortable. There are several things to help you avoid unpleasant situations:
- put the baby / kid to sleep
- breastfeed him / her or give them the dummy
- let the child look out of the window
- bring their favourite toy on board
On Board Alone…
Children can travel on their own, which requires a fee for the additional attention that the ground and onboard crews have to pay to your kid. Usually, a child can travel by plane on their own when they are at least 5 or 6 years old, depending on the airline company. Most airport authorities require a special declaration signed by both parents that the child is going to travel alone, plus contact details of the person who is picking them up at the destination airport.
This is pretty much what you need to know when you plan your trip with a child. Bon voyage!Top