Spring’s here –flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, pollen is in the air and summer vacation is around the corner. Is this the first time your toddler will be traveling by air? For the best results when traveling, take a little bit of time to prepare your toddler for flying on an airplane. Below are 5 key tips that may help:
Start preparing your toddler at least 2-3 weeks in advance. Don’t wait till the last day or two, because some things take time getting used to (like wearing headphones for a young toddler, see our experience further down in this post).
Make it Familiar
Prepare your toddler (and yourself) by talking to your child about taking an airplane journey, what airplanes are and what they look like. You can show video clips, images and even videos of children in airplanes, read books about airplanes and tell airplane stories. Of course you don’t have to do all these items, but the aim is to keep talking about the upcoming trip so it sounds exciting, and so it won’t be that scary and overwhelming when the traveling time comes.
Get & Use a Headset
Get your child used to a child headset (needed on the airplane). It can be as simple as just 5 minutes a day watching a video, so the toddler gets idea that he needs the headset to get sound. Parental modeling of using headsets helps too. Unfortunately, we started this process too late so she refused to wear a headset on board the 8 plane rides to and fro Asia. Luckily back then she was a 20 month old and was fine watching silent animation.
Get Used to White Noise
If your toddler is not used to this, get him or her used to sleeping with a bit of background white noise or in a slightly noisy environment. Why? Because the airplane is very noisy environment with frequent announcements, meals being served, seat belt signs being lit up with sounds etc…so it will help if your child is used to sleeping through a bit of noise! That way, he or she (and you) will be able to better rest on the plane.
If you get extra gear to take on the trip like a portable potty seat (small/light) or a booster seat, start using it a few times at home or when you are out and about, so that the child gets familiar and comfortable to using them. This will ease the transition to using them on the plane and during traveling later on.
Hope these tips make the next plane ride with your toddler a success!