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Your Child’s First Plane Journey

26/07/2013 | Child Health, Parent Health, Room to Grow, Safety | by Catherine Godiva

You finally booked your family holiday, now you just need to get there. You may be nervous about flying with your children for the first time, but it can be a fun experience for all of you with a little planning ahead of time. Babies are relatively easy and will sleep much of the way and older children can entertain themselves with in-flight movies and games on the tablet. Younger children can be more difficult to fly with, but these tips will help you get to your holiday without a hitch.


1. Prep for security

The security checkpoint can be the most nerve-racking part of flying with children, especially if you are doing it alone. Plan ahead to make things go smoother and get you through as quick as possible. Have your children wear shoes that can slip on and off easily so you can avoid fiddling with shoe laces and buckles. You are allowed to bring formula and baby food through the security checkpoint, but only a reasonable amount for your flight. You are not allowed to carry your infant in their car seat or push them in a pushchair through security. Be prepared to fold everything up and place it on the xray, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Talk your children through the process before you get there so it is less overwhelming and you can get through it as soon as possible.


2. Protect their ears

The most common reason for crying kids on board is issues with their ears when the plane takes off. Talk to your doctor about giving you child ibuprofen before the flight to help ease the pain and discomfort they will feel. For babies, sucking on a pacifier or bottle can help with the pressure. If you have older children, give them a sweet to suck on until their ears have acclimatised to the pressure in the cabin. You should also encourage your child to drink lots of water during the flight. This will keep them hydrated and the swallowing will relieve the pressure in their ears as well.


3. Pack well

Pack your carry on baggage with activities for the children on the plane. Crayons and paper are a great way to pass some time, and books will hold their interest for awhile as well. Bring plenty of snacks, and if you are travelling with a baby have all of their food on hand as the airline most likely won’t cater to their needs. Consider buying a small toy to give your child on the plane. They will be excited to get a present, and will play longer with something that is new.


Flying with children can be daunting, but you will likely be pleasantly surprised how well it goes. As long as you make a few preparations ahead of time, your child’s plane ride will be as memorable as the holiday itself.

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