Do you know what flyers hate the most? It’s you. You when you’re flying with kids. Your kids who are uncontrollable. But you know what? It’s easy to avoid that death stare from every other person on the plane. You just need to go over some simple airplane etiquette tips when you’re flying with kids.
Crying babies? Too bad.
In a recent study of airline passengers one of the things that ranked the highest on the annoyance scale was the crying baby. Now this one here is not something that I can agree with. Crying babies are a fact of life. People need to deal with it.
A young couple with a new baby recently boarded a plane and preemptively gave out goody bags in order to apologize in advance for any disruption their baby may cause in the future. Babies are going to cry no matter where they are or what they’re doing and that needs to be an accepted fact. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do everything you can in order to soothe your child, but the flying public needs to learn that babies are an exception to the rule and you should not apologize for it.
Things to know about flying with babies
If you are flying with a baby there are a few FAA regulations that you should be aware of. And these rules mainly speak to seating. The seating is big deal. You need to think about how you’re holding your child and for how long. Moreover you need to know if you can do that at all. What about babies sitting on their parents laps? The FAA’s guidelines state:
- Babies less than 20 lbs. need to be in a rear facing car seat.
- Children 20-40 lbs. need to be in a forward facing car seat.
- Kids over 40 lbs. must wear airplane seat belts.
Flying with kids – what you need to know.
If you’re flying with kids, specifically children aged 3 -5, know they have the ability to talk, learn and understand their environment. Accordingly, their behavior can be controlled. It all depends on you being the proactive parent that you need to be. And proactive is just another word for preperation. Really. That’s it. Just be prepared.
Planing ahead and preparing your child for the journey is the easiest and most effective way to deal with travel behavior. Most importantly you must be the model of good behavior and follow the rules yourself. Kids learn the most from watching mom and dad. If you’re not behaved why should they be?
Before the Airport
- Let your kids know what to expect and how they should behave. Talk about going through security, taking off their shoes and walking through the security check point.
- Talk about inside voices and not pushing on the back of seats.
- Talk about following the rules and wearing seat belts.
- Everyone does better when they know what to expect.
- Decide what snack they should eat. You are on vacay. To me a vacation is just an excuse to eat something in a different place. Your kid’s snack can be a little naughty too.
- Don’t forget to pack the wipes for that giant lollipop that takes 2 hours to lick.
- Pack sucking candies for take-off and landing. This will help with your kids ears popping.
- Pack games, books, coloring activities, movies etc.
- Kids should pack their favorite games, but I would include a few surprises. That way, you can bring them out when you need to distract them and it gets a smile too.
- This is a fabulous idea – “A Travel Bundle” by Melissa & Doug. Memory games, Hang Man, Dry Eases boards and more. All games are flip boards so not to worry about pieces falling off the board.
- Pack a charger. You know you are going to need it.
- Don’t forget the earphones.
- Pack a small blanket and lovey.
- Decide if your child will use a carry-on or back pack.
- I prefer the backpack to the luggage. The backpack is much easier to handle.
- If they are using a carry-on for the first time let them practice with it in the house before you head to the airport.
When you’re flying with kids it helps to make them feel part of the process. When they see mom and dad with luggage they should have their own. When kids feel more involved they are less likely to act out. Here are a few cute bags that you should check out.
Time To Go
You should be all set now. You’ve done your homework and all your preperation. Your kids know what to expect and gone over the rules. Snacks, entertainment and blankets are ready to go. So don’t forget those boarding passes and have a safe and relaxing journey.
Protip: Try to book your flight during the evening. You may luck up and your precious little munchkins might sleep through the flight!
Did we miss any? What are you tips for flying with kids?