Traveling anywhere with a toddler is enough to make even the most confident parent feel a little uneasy, especially when it comes to traveling on an aeroplane. The one thing every parent knows is that you have to be prepared for the unexpected and not only have a backup plan, but a backup plan for your backup plan, should the first one not work out. Planning is everything and can save you unnecessary anguish and anxiety.

flying with kids

10. Routine

Try to stick to your child’s routine as much as possible. If your child has a certain book which you read to them before bed, bring that book along and read it to them just before you expect them to go to sleep.

9. I’m hungry

Bring along your own selection of healthy snacks and beverages. Children are hungry often and the snacks provided are not always sufficient or suitable.

8. Passing the time

Investing in a portable DVD player is a great idea. This way you can bring along your child’s favorite DVD’s and you will also have control over what your child is watching. Often the preselected children’s programs on offer may not be entirely age-appropriate for your child and cater to his or her preferences. Also, if the flight is delayed it will give your child something to do and you’ll be able to relax for a little while by checking your Facebook news feed or perhaps playing a few online games.

7. Are we there yet?

Have one small wrapped present for each hour of the flight’s duration. At the end of each hour let your child open a gift. This will also help them to understand the length of the flight a little better and will encourage them to behave.

6. Be prepared for mess

Children love to mess so a plastic carrier bag for rubbish, tissues and a packet of wet wipes are essential.

5. Be prepared for them messing not only on themselves but you too

Pack two changes of clothing for your child and one for yourself as well. Toddlers are accident prone and are likely to spill and mess with sticky little fingers.

4. Preventing earache

Regulating ear pressure can be quite a challenge for a small child. Encourage your child to yawn repeatedly during take-off and landing and even play a game where they get a point for every time they yawn. One could even give them a jellybean (to be eaten later) for each big yawn. It is essential that you have earplugs or cotton wool on hand which can be used for both take-off and landing.

3. Seat selection

When selecting a seat only request the bulkhead seats if your baby needs a bassinet. The reason being that their armrests cannot be moved and thus standard seats are far better as these armrests can be lifted which allows your little one to lie across the seat with their head on your lap.

2. Pre-flight toilet visit

A trip to the toilet shortly before boarding is essential. The toilets on an aircraft are really cramped and don’t allow much room for maneuvering. They are also not always very clean and there is often a queue. If you can save yourself one less trip to the loo, do it.

1. Sense of humor

This is possibly the most important thing to remember to bring along, because believe me, 10 hours into the flight you are probably going to need it!