When I first started flying with my little ones, I had several concerns, even though I was familiar with the aircraft environment. After talking to several parents, I realised many felt like me and they also worried. Here is a list of the main concerns and tips for overcoming them to have a stress free flight. We worried, so you don’t have to!
The main concerns for parents are whether their child will disturb other passengers, especially by crying continually; running out of supplies, flying solo and needing the loo, privacy when breast-feeding, illness , wriggly children and ‘looks’ from other passengers.
Disturbing other passengers through crying or being wriggly. The first step here is avoidance. If your child is slightly older, prepare them for the trip with children’s books about flying, being at the airport etc. Even role-playing can help. Ideas include pretend you are sitting on the plane and fastening your seatbelt. This can be played whilst in the car too.
Be aware of possible delays and potentially hungry or tired kids. If you have a late night flight, consider putting the children to bed at the normal time and waking them up, just before you leave for the airport. This should hopefully give them enough energy to get through the airport without a meltdown, but still leave them sleepy enough for the rest of the flight.
Make use of the airport soft play if they have one and burn off some of that excess energy. Bring some toys and entertainment to help while away time in queues.
Have one of you board first with all your child’s stuff and the other parent board last- there is no point in letting your little one sit on-board waiting for other passengers to arrive…
Also EVERYTHING on the plane will be a source of entertainment – the seatbelt and in-flight entertainment handset especially! If they really let rip, speak to a crew member and ask if you can just let her calm down in the galley for a bit.
Running out of supplies. Airline amenities vary so much and whilst some are more than happy to…