Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Adventures in the Air: Tips for Flying With Happy Kids

Air travel is a stressful, and sometimes scary, endeavor for adults. Add young children into the mix and the potential for a melt down increases exponentially. In today’s fast paced world of far flung family and global friends, it may very well be impossible to avoid getting onto an airplane with a small child. If you want to arrive still in the good graces of your fellow passengers, it helps to be prepared. We’ve pulled together a few tips to help you and your child successfully fly the friendly skies.

· Play Together

This isn’t home, where your toddler has an established routine in a comfortable play area full of his own toys and distractions. This is small space full of strangers and new rules. The only familiar and comfortable thing here is you. Children are keyed into your emotions, so on a long flight, try to keep a positive attitude and be prepared to be your child’s primary playmate. Sing finger rhymes, pick out shapes in the clouds, read books, and play counting games with things you can see out the window, like how many pools are in people’s back yards. This is a grand adventure for your little one, and you’re the tour guide.

· Take a Break

Sitting still is very much like time out and you don’t want your child to think this trip is a punishment. When they aren’t sleeping, take a little walk up and down the aisle ever every hour or so when you can during a flight. Just that chance to walk a bit will help them feel less trapped.

· Smart Snacks

Studies have linked refined sugars and artificial colors to hyperactivity. When packing, stay away from cookies and candies. Pick whole grain crackers, cheese sticks, or a trail mix that’s heavy on the nuts and light on raisins and chocolates. Studies have also proven that celery lowers blood pressure and has a calming effect on the body. Packing a few sticks with a portion of nut butter will help lower not only your child’s blood pressure, but possibly those in the neighboring seats as well. Since milk can sometimes be in short supply on airplanes, it could be smart to bring your own. There are milk boxes, by Horizon Organic for example, that don’t require refrigeration.

· Be Healthy

Small children don’t know how to pop their ears and you should research the best way to help your child through that process at takeoff and landing. Also, make sure your child is healthy before you take flight. If they have a cold or ear infection, the pressure could be excruciating and lead to broken eardrums.

It is important to stay calm and not let your child see you angry or frustrated. Be prepared, but also be confident that you can handle any unanticipated situation with a little creativity and a positive attitude. This is a grand adventure for you and your little one, so most importantly try to have fun.

Heather Johnson is a writer for the leading online honeymoon planning resource. Learn all about the best honeymoon destinations today!

Technorati Tags: