Flying with kids? Easy-peasy.
I am sure wrestling your kids while stuck with a bunch of strangers is a low priority for many. If you’re like me, just the thought of it is enough to make you want to hurl.
I recently flew solo with my soon-to-be four-year-old and my five-month-old. Naturally, like kids always do before important things, they got sick. As if my anxiety wasn’t already flying through the roof, the only thing I could now focus on was how I was going to burst their eardrums taking them on the plane. It’s not easy or cheap to switch flights so off to the doctor we went. Both were given the clear and I no longer had a deep seeded fear of flying with me.
Just kidding. Still terrified.
Luckily it has yet to be a disaster.
5 Tips for Flying with Kids
Here are some little tips to help you arrive at your destination seemingly unscathed.
1. Restrain your kids.
Duct tape, scarves, shoelaces…I am sure you can find something.
Me? I prefer a good ol’ car seat. Not only is flying safer for your child and those around them for them to be riding in their car seat, it is a massive blessing in disguise. I couldn’t have been more grateful for having a place to put both of them worry-free. I was able to focus on one at a time when they needed me, avoid spills, and rest. REST.
2. Keep it minimal.
I hate being unprepared but I also hate having too much stuff. It’s an internal battle on the daily.
Babies can be entertained by many objects. Don’t stress over packing a ton of toys. For older kiddos, a tablet, a book, and an activity like sticker/activity book or a travel game will suffice. We played a lot of eye-spy! Pack a couple small snacks and then your bare essentials – enough diapers for the flight, wet bag, formula or any breastfeeding items you really need, extra underwear and pants for the kids.
3. Keep it organized.
I can be the most prepared person in the world and still look like I am scrambling – and it’s probably because I am. I really wanted to make sure that while I was navigating through the airport and plane, that I had what I needed in a place where I could grab it easily.
All important documents and an emergency diaper went into my purse, in-flight entertainment and snacks went into a backpack, and all the “just in case” items like spare clothes went into a small carry-on with wheels that my 4-year-old was in charge of.
4. Accept help.
I rarely accept any help. People often ask but “I can do it myself”. Swallow any pride and turn off your super-mom switch for a moment and pass over those bags.
5. Come to terms.
Poo-splosions, vomit, meltdowns, colds, running late, crying, screaming…all very possible. The thought of flying with kids crying through a whole flight made me feel panicky. I was nervous that maybe I couldn’t do this and it would all be a disaster. People would be upset, my kids would be miserable, and I would spend the whole time crying.
Being aware of all of that may have spiked my anxiety but it also allowed me to breathe. Things happen with kids and we all know that. Be prepared and do your best to shrug off whatever comes your way.
How our trip went down
Turns out I didn’t really care what other people thought and by remaining calm, on the outside at least, helped my kids feel comfortable and safe as well. People commended and accommodated me when flying with kids. Passengers around us enjoyed chatting with us and making faces. It was refreshing – and you know what? Not one poo-splosion, vomit incident, or meltdown.
My kids had colds, I was running on about zero hours of sleep, and we made it. We were prepared and we powered through it. It wasn’t flawless and life with kids will never be in the literal sense of the word.
My anxiety was high. Really high. We had about 7 bins through security plus our stroller, two car seats, laptop, and everything else which made me feel like I was taking forever.
As soon as I let go of what other people may be thinking, I had a much better time. I was enjoying the experience with my kids and even soaked in the excitement that my 4-year-old was exuding.