As Mother’s Day is fast approaching it is no small fry for any mom, even if you regard yourself as a #supermom having the intimidating task of travelling with a kid. From the stare downs as you walk down the aisle to find your seat to the throat clearing from the seat behind when your little sweetpea just can’t sit still. All mom’s worldwide have experienced this. Kulula offer mothers advice on how to earn their “wings” when flying with their kiddies.
Have a master plan
Flying 101 with children is to be prepared…over-prepared. You can never have too many wet wipes, hand sanitiser and nappies. Pack extra clothes and some medicine as you never know when your child might get a temperature or not feel well. Expect the unexpected and you will arrive at the other end with your head held high.
Be first on board
We all know how excited young people can get with just the thought of travelling by plane. Therefore, our advice will be to get your eager clan front and center when it comes to boarding. Being on the plane first will mean that you can get rid of most of the adrenaline, get them strapped in and ready to take-off. Wait till the end and you will be having to squeeze past old grumpy pants, while bumping passengers with the odd soft toy as you maneuver towards the window and middle seat.
Let sleeping babies lie
Some children can sleep anywhere, others can't. Consider flying as close to their sleep time as possible, it might just give you time to sneak in that glass of red and first 20 pages of your novel.
Make some allies
Let’s face it, you’re probably going to need some allies on the plane. Make the most of the time you have while waiting to board, some small talk with any other parents who are getting onto the same flight, can pay off big time. Ask the standard questions like, “How old is your little guy?” and give some support by saying “Good luck for the flight?” This is not the start of a lifelong friendship, but at least you’ll have someone to share some sympathy glances with when your kid is having a meltdown at 25,000 feet.
Come bearing gifts
No kid in the history of kids being born can sit still, recline back and sleep through the whole flight. What can help is to, buy some surprise new toys and wrap them in some giftwrap and lots of sticky tape. Not only will they take a long time to open these, but when its unwrapped they would want to play with it. This will guaranteed give you a minimum of 15-minutes of quiet time.
Keep them buzzzzy
Don’t be that mom who asks the flight attendant for a pen and a cocktail napkin out of desperation. Forget all the previous chapters on “No screentime” and make sure you bring all or at least one of the following on board: Portable DVD player, iPod, iPad, Kindle, Nintendo DS or a LeapPad pre-loaded with some new games or animated movies. If digital is not your friend, then don’t forget the pop-up books, stuffed animals, Go Fish playing cards and whatever else that will fit in your Mary Poppins handbag.
Have chewing gum or lollipops on hand for take-off and landing to help your kids or those around you with the ear pressure on board. For babies the sucking motion of a dummy or bottle will solve this little problem in a jiffy.
Do not suffer in silence
If you are struggling ask the air hostesses for help. They are great at helping parents with their children.
Take care of you
While pouring all your efforts into project managing your kids on board, don't forget to look after your own well being and comfort. Take care of yourself and the rest will take care of itself. If you are on top form, you’ll be far more able to cope with the unexpected niggles that will be thrown at you along the way.
Remember to breathe. Stay flexible, patient and calm. Go with the flow. Remember you are not the first mom in history to board a plane with a kid. That fancy businessman, might just be missing his toddler at home and the pensioners in the row in front of you might be reminiscing about their days of travelling with kids.