Flying With Kids, Demystified

Stay Safe:
Infants under 20 pounds should fly in a rear-facing Federal Aviation Administration-approved car seat, while children under 40 pounds can fly in a forward-facing one. Kids over 40 pounds can sit in a regular seat with a seatbelt. Never let a baby crawl on the floor of an airplane, even when things seem calm. It's loaded with germs and incredibly dangerous! Imagine if the plane encounters turbulence while your little one is on the floor. Babies can nurse or suck from a bottle during takeoff and landing to helps keep their ears popped.

Keep the Munchies at Bay:
Most airlines offer an included or buy-on-board meal service, but the offerings tend to be less-than-kid-friendly. You can bring food on the plane that the kids will enjoy. Remember, too, that children are creatures of habit. Keep them comfortable with foods they like and toys they are familiar with. Small quantities of self-serve snacks are easy to travel with and can come in handy if you are in a pinch. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into quarters hold up well, and Lunchables will fit easily into your bag. Steer clear of messy snacks like yogurt (plus, it might spoil), pudding and applesauce. Remember that you can always bring food through security, but you'll need to purchase drinks once you clear that area.

Set the Tone:
When mom is stressed, the kids are stressed. The most important thing about traveling with kids is to go with the flow. Selected for additional security screening? Take a deep breath and head on over. Spill a bottle of juice at the gate? Bust out the baby wipes. Forgot something? You can probably buy it at your destination. Keep a cool head and some perspective--you're going on vacation, remember?--and your brood will follow suit. 

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