Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Traveling with Kids

As I am flying to San Diego today, I thought today’s Tips should be about traveling. Although I’m not flying with my kids on this trip, I’ve read a lot about traveling with little ones. Moms who’ve done it always give the best advice. I’ve only taken my daughter on one flight, but in November, the whole family will be flying to see Great Grandma. So, here are some tips to help make your flight a little easier.
1. Ear Pressure
If your baby is bottle-fed or breastfeeding, give them the bottle or breast for take-off & landing. It's the best things for their ears and they will also be relaxed. If your child is older, carry cotton or earplugs. This helps the kids tremendously if they don't know how to pop their ears. You can also try chewing gum. *You are allowed to take water for mixing formula, RTF formula, or breast milk with you on the plane. They will just want to make sure it’s a reasonable amount for your travel time.
2. Change of clothes
Pack a change of clothes for your child in your carry-on bag. You might want to pack an extra shirt for yourself, especially if traveling with an infant. Don’t forget hand wipes for quick cleanups.
3. Entertainment
Pack books, coloring books, crayons, and small toys to keep your child entertained. Before your trip, visit a dollar store and pick up some small toys. Wrap them and keep them hidden until you give them to your child, one at a time. For an older child, you might want to take a portable DVD player, DS, or whatever item your child enjoys. If you’ve got an iphone or ipod, download a movie for your child. And don’t forget earplugs for the sake of passengers around you. Just remember, there will be a time after take-off and before landing when electronic items will not be allowed.
4. Stroller
Check-in your stroller at the gate. This way, you have it in the airport and don’t have to carry your tot from gate to gate, while trying to carry your carry-on bag too. Place it in a bag or keep together with bungee cord. I prefer to place it in a bag to protect it from wear & tear. You can ask for a plastic bag at the airport check-in if you forget. That’s what happened to me!

5. Preparation
Prepare your child for the trip. Explain what you will be doing and how the process works. Let them know that it is illegal to make jokes about bombs in the airport. Tell them ahead of time that they will need to remove their shoes and walk through the metal detector.
6. Diapers
Pack a diaper, wipes, changing pad, diaper cream, and disposable bag in a Ziploc bag or small bag so that you do not have to take your entire diaper bag or carry-on into the tiny bathroom with you. Squeeze this small bag into the seat pocket in front of you so that you have it when you need it. Place the dirty diaper in the disposable bag before throwing in the trash bin.
7. Relax
Be patient. Plan in advance that things will take longer with a child. Go with the flow.

Note: I chose not to discuss whether or not you should purchase a seat for your child under 2 because many people feel differently about this. Every parent has to make the decision that is best for them. If you do purchase a seat for your child or they are over 2 years old and require a seat, take your car seat or use an adjustable belt. If you don’t purchase a seat, consider using a travel vest, carrier, or sling during the flight. You will not be able to use these during take-off and landing.

Have a safe and happy trip!

posted by Joy

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