Truth be said, flying with toddlers is not a walk in the park. You have to be smart with the moves and the decisions you make least you find yourself on the longest and most boring trip.
Therefore, flying long haul as a parent to toddlers requires determination of which without, it can really feel daunting. But not so much though. If you compare flights and long car journeys, you may be surprised to find out that flights are actually easier. Remember when it comes to a personal car, you are the one driving. Thus, even as you try to entertain the baby, you still have to concentrate on the road least you find yourself in a greasy road accident.
When you’re flying, the effort to reach your destination is left to the pilot and the cabin crew. Your work is only to care for your little one.
Keeping your baby entertained when flying shouldn’t be so hard after all. You just need to put together some preparations, lower your expectations a little, then a little more and you’ll be good to go.
Entertaining toddlers on long hauls
To enable you to enjoy your long trips, here are some tops tips that most parents with toddlers and babies swear with. Read on and find out fantastic ways you and your babies can keep entertained throughout your flight. Don’t panic, you can do it. Other parents have done it before you and created wonderful memories for themselves and their babies.
1. Get prepared
To successfully entertain a toddler in the long haul, you have to have the right kit with you. Pack the things you know can draw the attention of your baby even when they are furious. While the list can be long depending on you and your toddler’s needs, the key point is to get creative with the items you’ve carried along with the few ones you can lay your hand on while on the plane. Then hang on there and keep up the energy. You’ll get through it.
2. Toddlers’ books
If you haven’t already, please buy your toddler a few storybooks and be reading them to your baby even before the travel day. These books contain content that can keep babies entertained during such long hauls. Most of them are interactive and fun. They will keep your baby engaged as well as entertained most of the time. If your toddler loves to draw and colour, pack a book for the same and enough crayons to do the colouring.
3. Shop for snacks
If there is a time you’ll need a variety of snacks, it’s when you are planning to take a long flight. Having different types of snacks will keep your baby entertained and at the same time, keep hunger at bay. A hungry toddler is a miserable toddler. Besides, making your little one wait for the in-flight meals is unfair, to say the least. If you want your baby to view flying as a form of entertainment, then good food has to be in plenty. Since some snacks can be so messy, try to shop for non-messy ones to avoid creating a mess. The snacks should also be the healthier options though it wouldn’t be so bad if you sneaked in a few treats.
4. Toys toys toys
If there are things you should have in plenty, they should be toys. Toddlers aren’t wired to stay calm at any one given time not unless they are too tired or sleeping. So, whenever you want your little one to keep calm, bring along enough toys to distract him. Toys do this task to perfection.
Also, consider buying a few new toys and only give them to your toddler on the actual travelling day. They will keep the baby occupied as he tries to familiarize himself with them.
5. Invest in headphones
Toddlers love to watch cartoons and as yours watch his favourite, for sure you don’t want to disrupt your seatmates’ peace. So, a comfy set of kids’ headphones can be a very good asset for your little one every time you are flying out. When buying, be sure to select your baby’s favourite colour or something your baby will love to own.
6. Lookout for play spaces
When you arrive at the airport, be on the lookout for any available playgrounds. If there is any, even if it’s charged, allow your toddler to have a run around before the flight. Just like adults, toddlers need to exercise and the best way they can do so is through playing. Furthermore, when they play, they are more likely to stay calm on the plane for longer now that they are physically tired.
So, don’t limit your baby to playing before you board the flight. If you want to enjoy your journey and at least have some free time, allow the baby to get busy as you wait to board the flight. Even if there is no playground, just allow him to get busy at the waiting lounge. You may be tempted to calm your little one down so that he doesn’t look like the undisciplined one but remember you can’t control him forever. When you get on the flight, it may get pretty difficult to calm him down. Hence, to avoid starting on the wrong foot, ensure your baby is not limited to playing time before getting on the plane.
7. Be the first to board
In most airports, parents with toddlers and babies are usually given priority when boarding. So, grab that chance and be the first to get in there. Some people would advise you to get in last but come to think of it, toddlers love to explore new things. And because the flight is exciting to them, why not give them a chance to explore the plane before the other passengers get in? Let them get a good opportunity to gurgle with the cabin crew and wander in the aisle before other passengers get in.
This is very crucial because all the curiosity they had will reduce to a manageable level before the take-off. Meaning, you’ll have an easier time when the journey starts other than getting in last and struggling to settle down as well as calm the toddlers down when it’s already too late.
Keep your toddler entertained throughout the journey
Hopefully, all the concerns you had about flying with your toddler are over. Now, you can fly with your little one and create those unforgettable memories.
You don’t have to invest so much in entertainment items. Toddlers get distracted pretty fast plus they forget so easily. With the few items, you may have such as snacks, books, stickers, colouring, movies, cartoons, etc you can comfortably keep your baby occupied throughout the journey. You just need to keep rotating them as you continue and maintain your calm.