Fly or Cry. I rather fly! You’re cramped in a large metal tube with hundreds of passengers and its bound to happen. A baby starts crying and everyone’s blood pressure starts to evaluate as does the plane.
The worst thing that can happen as a parent with a cranky baby is when an “expert” jumps in and “tries” to help. Don’t be that person, but your headphones back on and turn up your volume really high and drown it out. Give the parent the benefit of the doubt and try to be patient, if it continues ask a flight attendant to say something, NOT you. Babies cry, it is what they do. They cry for many reasons, I’m hungry, I’m tired, I need to be changed, my ears hurt, etc. Quick Tip. Ear pressure for adults can be relieved with chewing gum or blowing out until your ears pop, with babies they don’t know how to do this, so make sure your little one is sucking on a bottle or nursing while the plane is taking off and landing to help with the pressure. Family vaca is coming up quick and this mama is ready for our flight! There is nothing worse then a cranky, screaming kid on a 3 hour flight. I have been there, done that and I’m not about to let it happen again.
- Bribery: A little bribery never hurt anyone. Find out what your child’s kryptonite is a have a lot of it packed. This works with my 3 year old pretty well. Have a well packed diaper bag with their favorite treats.
- Pack individuals “presents” to open throughout the flight: This will keep things interesting and give them something to look forward to, but only if they are good. Remind them that they have to be good to receive the next surprise. Set a timer on your phone and when it goes off they will receive the next gift. Also keep your kids on their toes with warning them about the Airplane Policeman. This is not to scare your child by any mean, but to keep them on their toes that the Policeman is watching them to make sure they are happy
- New activity every 15 minutes: Keep things rolling and never let there be a dull moment. Little kids get distracted very easily so keep things rolling for them by changing the activity every 15 minutes. Have multiply things for them to do like, color, technology time, stickers, books, snack, etc. I really love the Highlights subscription for newborns. They are a soft plastic book with about 10 pages and the pages are almost indestructible. It is the Hello Highlights for ages 0-2 years of age and they will ship you a book every month. The book is a smaller size so it fits perfect in your diaper bag.
- Window Stickers: The last flight we went on my son was so into stickers, but the normal paper stickers kept ripping and were more of a fight then fun. So I picked up some window stickers and they were genius. They stick to the back of the seat in-front of you, are reusable and easy to get off the backing by themselves without any help.
- Try to travel during nap times: Don’t travel at 2:00am or midnight. Fly at normal times during the day and during nap times. Hopefully during their nap times they will be less cranky and fall asleep during the flight.
- Ignore the dirty looks: You are the parent. You are doing the best you can. Don’t let the other people around you tell you different.
- Use technology: Technology can be a good thing during flights. Kids now a days love to play on their iPad. Have a few movies and games downloaded with no wifi required. Most flights now a days have wifi but just in case they don’t, be prepared.
- Dress for easy diaper changes: Don’t dress your child in the most adorable outfit that is difficult to take off and change a blow out. Make them comfy and warm because flights are always cold. They are going to be sitting on your lap or in their own seat for a long while. Make it easy on yourself and change them into that cute outfit once the flight is over.
- Nurse on take off and landing: Popping ears is the worse. Try to illuminate those pains with chewing gum with your older kids and bottle feeding or nursing during take off and landing.
- Have back up clothes: You know it will happen. Your 4 year old who has been potty trained for 2 years will have an accident and be soaking wet sitting in the airplane seat for 3 hours. So in your diaper bag have a change of clothes for each kid. Or heaven forbid your luggage gets lost and you need a change of clothes, be prepared people.