BEFORE BOARDING TEACH CHILDREN THE IMPORTANCE OF A SEAT BELT
Play “aeroplane” with your toddler at home by placing him on your leg or simulating a flight by lifting him into the air. Tell him to expect to fly soon as you let him get a feel. Introduce the seatbelt to him and tell him it is similar to his car seat.
CHOOSE AN AISLE SEAT FOR YOURSELF
This makes it easier to walk in and out should you or your toddler need to go to the bathroom. Also try booking the mum and baby special seat for convenience.
SEAT YOUR CHILD BY THE WINDOW
This is his first flying experience. He is excited about the view. The sky is blue. Talk to him about what he sees. Point and name a few things like clouds, sky, sun, wing, etc. Make his experience memorable so he will look forward to the next flight.
PACK HIS FAVOURITE TOYS
After a while children will start to lose interest in things. Release the seat belt if the safety sign is off. Stand up and walk if you can. Let him sit on your lap. Buy new toys he has not played with to pack in his travel bag to create more engagement and concentration on something new to play with. This will keep him occupied longer.
SUDDEN CHANGE IN EAR PRESSURE MAY CAUSE HIM TO PANIC
Pack your toddler’s milk and drinking water separately in your hand carry. Let him sip his water in the first 30 – 45 minutes of take-off to keep him hydrated and to reduce ear pressure. His first experience with ear pressure may make him cry, but sipping water or milk will help.
GIVE HIM A REWARD IF HE HAS BEEN GOOD
Tell him that he has been good and that he deserves a treat. He will feel good and proud of himself when he receives a little candy or chocolate or sweets. But careful about the sugar though. Too much energy may make him want to become active in the limited space. So keep treats to a minimum.
SWITCH ON THE COMIC CHANNEL
Choose to fly with an airline that has inflight entertainment. This will let you have a little down time as your toddler watches his cartoons. It also varies the activities he gets to do while flying.
BE PREPARED FOR INFLIGHT TEMPERATURE
Bring his favourite blanket and his favourite toys to help him settle down at sleep-time. Ensure he is cool enough or warm enough. Hugging his favourite toy gives him a sense of home and security in a new environment. It will also help him fall asleep faster.
Create a list of things that go in the hand carry and what goes in the suitcase. Be sure to check with airline safety regulations on what is allowed and prohibited. Pack emergency medicines both for him and yourself. Keep handy wipes, tissues and baby wipes in your handbag. Always keep travel documents, money and important numbers in a safety pouch that is easily located. Remember, the key to easy flying is always in the planning.