Mellow Mummy: Flying With Toddlers – My Tips : Taking life as it comes...

Tuesday 31 May 2011

Flying With Toddlers – My Tips

People who have been following me on twitter and my blog recently will know that I wasn't feeling entirely mellow about the prospect of a flight with my very-nearly-2-year-old sitting on my lap. I've flown with Lara on my lap on several occasions; I've even been transatlantic with her and yet this time, the idea of an hour and a half with a wriggly, heavy, angry toddler on the verge of the terrible twos just filled me with dread.

So what are my top tips for surviving flights with toddlers?

Tip #1 – Tire Them Out
On the way out to France we managed to keep Lara awake all the way through the airport despite having had an extremely early start by offering her food and by taking our Trunki pull-along suitcase with us so that Lara walked all morning rather than being pushed in the buggy. She fell alseep about 2 minutes after take-off and woke up about 10 minutes before we landed. Genius.

Tip #2 – Take Lots of Food
We packed loads of food to last us through each flight. I've learned that it is one of the best ways to distract Lara on a plane. We literally filled Lara's suitcase with crisps, dried fruit and biscuits on the way there and on the way home, we tried the bribery of a packet of chocolate fingers (very messy, but they certainly helped to achieve a level of calm).

Tip #3 – Take Books and Apps
It is tempting to travel as light as possible when travelling with kids because you know you HAVE to take the essentials such as nappies, wipes and drinks. This time, for the first time, I decided to take 'entertainment' for Lara on the flight. A handful of books bought us a few minutes of peace, a plain notepad and crayons seemed like a good idea but the crayons fell on the floor and it was tricky to recover them. We also took a couple of Ipod apps to play which ate up a little time in the airport but didn't seem to hold much interest for Lara once we were in the air.

Tip #4 – Bury Your Head and Hope For The Best
In the past I used to be really embarrassed when Lara screamed and cried on a plane but now I think I've resigned myself to the reality of travel with young children. It's life. It can be hard and the likelihood of ever meeting any of the other passengers again in your life is low so relax, and if it bothers other people... so what?

Tip #5 – Distract Yourself
My final survival tip is not one I'd recommend but it certainly took my mind off Lara screaming “naaaaappppppyyy change” at the top of her voice despite having just had her nappy changed by Daddy.

On the flight home to London, my Mum had breathing difficulties and the entire staff were scrambled to help her out with oxygen cylinders and whatnot. For half of the flight we were surrounded by panicking staff with clipboards; Somehow Lara's whining pailed into insignificance. Lara fell asleep halfway though a wail of “naaaaapppppy chaaa...” as we touched down at Heathrow airport.

Note: This is a sponsored post, but that doesn't stop it being fun to read.
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