We’ve taken quite a few flights with Leticia at this point. More than 20 for sure. Being born in China meant it was inevitable that she would be getting on a plane and travelling at one point. Being born to Berto and I meant that this would without doubt be happening more often than not.
Leticia hopped on her first flight at 4 months old. We’ve been pretty lucky with her in that she was always easy going, never kicked up a fuss and I can honestly say that I never remember her crying on a flight. Even when she was fed up of having to sit still, nothing bad enough to remember or be traumatised by. She’s a social butterfly so she always just wanted to nose at everyone and chat to them. Fortunately we have yet to come across a child-hating grump.
A lot of people worry about flying with kids and what to bring to keep them quiet and entertained. It’s really not that hard though. I’ve put together a list of items that has always helped us.
A change of clothes
I have learned this the hard way. When you’re sitting in the seat during take off, husband and mother in law sleeping next to you, baby with poop up her back and down her legs, and the nappies and change of clothes are in the overhead compartment, you’ll thank me. Hypothetical situation of course. Totally didn’t happen to me … more than once. Bring a few changes of clothes and make sure that nappy bag with said change of clothes are under the seat in front of you. Poosplosions happen and babies tend to have the best timing.
I always bring an extra packet of wipes in one of our hand luggage bags. You never know when you need them especially when you’re using them as a means to bathe your poop covered baby. Bring extra wipes, always.
Soother, dummy, doo doo, chupon, whatever you want to call it. Bring that, or a bottle, a sippy cup, your breast (actually good luck leaving that behind), whatever you use to soothe your baby that’s suckable. You dont like your ears popping, right? Neither do babies or kids. I’m going to go as far as to say its most likely worse on their little ears. This is especially important for take off and landing as thats when our ears pop most.
Snacks/ a drink
Plenty. Kids love snacks. Bring their favourites along with some they haven’t tried before. That always intrigues them. I get super thirsty on flights so I always bring a drink for Leticia too. You can bring a sippy cup through security for kids. If you don’t want to do that, just bring an empty bottle and fill it up at a fountain inside or buy a new drink before you board the plane.
Again, like the above, bring their favourites and a couple of new bits. They don’t have to be big toys, just stuff they enjoy playing with or books they enjoy reading. Most airlines give goody bags or toys to kids on long haul flights too so that’s pretty exciting for them… and you, if you’re as big a child as me.
British English version … Xanax! Knock yourself out so that you don’t have to deal with the stress.
Ok, I know not everyone is a fan of screen time and kids, me included. But sometimes you need to choose your battles. Feck it! It’s not forever. You’ll get some peace and your children will be entertained. You could even give them something educational to watch. Win, win.
We usually load up our Kindle Fire with Leticia’s favourite movies, shows and songs. We also make sure the movies are ones that we too enjoy. We can recite the whole script of The Lion King. One time we looked up from the screen to find the flight attendant having a little giggle at us as Leticia slept and we continued to watch The Lion King while reciting the script.
Flights are weird. Sometimes it so bloody warm but other times, its freezing on board. Always prepare for the latter. Bring a nice cosy blanket to wrap your snuggly bear in while they’re sleeping. Hell, bring one for yourself too. It’s always nice to add a bit of comfort to flights.
A positive mental attitude
Honestly, try to stay calm. Be optimistic. Radiate positivity. You may run into stressful situations on a flight with your child(ren) as they run down the aisles only talking to the people that are trying to ignore them but you will get past it and it won’t be the end of the world.
You’ve got this.