Trip Tips: Flying with Kids

Take-Off & Landing

  • To relieve ear pressure during take-off and landing, bring sippy cups for toddlers or a bottle or pacifier for babies. Or consider breastfeeding; the swallowing motion helps alleviate the pain associated with changing altitude. Older children can chew gum. If your child is prone to severe ear problems, contact your pediatrician about administering some medication before the flight. They sometimes suggest that you give your child a decongestant to help alleviate ear problems.

During the Flight

  • To entertain children on flights, bring a kid's-size backpack filled with toys, crayons, snacks, stickers and books, and ask for extra ice and cups during drink service.
  • Bring Play-Doh with cookie cutters and plastic knives. Or try SMUD, which does not crumble. Another fun option is paint-with-water books. These are easy to transport and they can keep children occupied for hours on long flights.
  • Realize how noisy a place an airplane is, and how high the seat backs are. Chances are, even if your child is screaming, the people more than a few rows away can't hear it! If your baby does cry for a while, pick her up and walk to one end of the plane. The people sitting near you will appreciate it. Even the crabbiest people soften when they see you making a genuine effort.
  • There may be special buckles available for buckling your baby to yourself if you want to breastfeed during a bumpy flight. If you are going to breastfeed, take your own (extra) supply of drinking water. The airlines don't give you nearly enough. 
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