5 Tips For Laid Back Flying With Children

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Traveling with children is more then a journey. Do you remember those days when you sat down in this little tiny airplane seat, and the only worry you had was: should I drink tomato juice or spend the extra cash on a relaxing glass of wine so the time will fly by faster. Mommy, those days are over. I would recommend the glass of wine to calm your nerves, because flying with kids is not a game…but there are some mommy tricks out there that will make your journey, and your fellow travelers flight easier and maybe even fun. 
"...because flying with kids is not a game..."

Here are Anna’s 5 tips for laid back flying with children:

1.

CAR SEAT: You don’t have to take a car seat with you on a plane. Toddler car seats are bulky, heavy and I promise that after you have pushed a toddler and his car seat through a tiny airplane aisle you know why they do pre-boarding….it is not to make all the other passengers jealous. However, a car seat is safe. Just like in a car, a car seat is the safest place to be for your child. They can’t wiggle out of them, and they actually stay seated. That being said, you will not be able to use the table and will have to keep that in mind. If you want safety without the hassle there is a solution. This solution is called CARES. It is a FFA approved harness for toddlers that you simply put in your carry-on and install on the seat. Kids can still wiggle out of it, but it will give you a little piece of mind. You can purchase it here:
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2.

Let’s take a minute and think about these peaceful plane trips without children. What scared you the most? A little turbulence that knocked over the not so tasty red wine, or the mommy with her baby and toddler walking up the aisle and could possibly take the seat next to you?  I know, wish I could give you a snappy line to use on that grumpy old man who gives you the stinkeye, instead I have a peaceful solution: dress up your kids. I always put my little champ in a Superman PJ. This will not only make him comfortable, but also light up the face of the other passengers: 
“Oh, now that Superman is on the plane I don’t have to be scared anymore.”
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3.

Babies cry on airplanes. Do you know why? Sometimes they are hungry or had a huge blow out{that you will have to clean up in the smallest bathroom ever}, but most of the time they have an earache. This earache comes from the pressure change that kids and babies experience during the flight.  If you have an old fanny pack you can make a mommy utility belt out of it. Get over the fact that you are making a HUGE fashion mistake and just go with it! In your 'Mommy Superhero Utility Belt' pack sugar free lollipops or other snacks that encourage sucking. I know sugar free is not the healthiest option, but in this case I would choose chemicals over bouncing toddler. If your little one takes a paci, that works too. If you still nurse – don’t worry about the utility belt just use your mommy superhero cape so you can cover up your boobies, or not,  because sucking helps regulate the pressure change and reduce ear pain.

4.

How do you keep your kids seated the whole time? One word: Tablet! Now is the time to break out your iPad or Kindle. Download movies and organize apps so that you do not need to worry about setting up a wifi connection.
You don’t have one? Plan ahead and take a trip to the dollar store.  Here is your shopping list: wrapping paper, pretty bows, sticker, puzzles, Legos, bubbles (for the airport), play dough, coloring books and markers…etc. Just think little and busy. For each hour of traveling I wrap one present. Wrap them tight so it will take some time to unwrap them – because every minute counts. 

5.

Stay relaxed!!! Your kids will scream and they will throw temper tantrums. Traveling is exhausting not just for you, but for your kids as well. Prepare them with reading books about airplanes and airports. So they will get exited about the trip. If you are calm your kids will follow your lead. 
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Always remember what waits for you at the end of this plane trip: the beach, Disney World or 
Grandma and Grandpa. 
These make the stress of flying with kids well worth it!

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Anna Baxter
Anna is a converted Hoosier via Germany, which comes in handy since she is a German Professor at IUPUI. When she is not busy teaching others consonant tongue-twisters she enjoys staying fit and active. Being mom to two toddlers keeps her moving & grooving while enjoying all that the city of Indy has to offer. 

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