Holiday Air Travel with Infants and Toddlers
Nervous about how your holiday plane flights will go with your little one? Mayo Clinic pediatric sleep specialist Suresh Kotagal, M.D., offers some suggestions for making your infant or toddler more comfortable during a long flight and ensuring a smooth ride for the child, parent and fellow passengers: .
1. Check your seat assignment on the airline Web site well before the flight to make sure that you have been assigned the seat you had requested. Consider requesting a bassinet seat for your infant, if your airline offers them. Ask for an aisle seat if you have a toddler; this will allow you to let the child stand in the aisle on occasion when it is safe to do so and the aisle is clear.
2. Dress your infant or toddler in loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily changed if necessary. Try not to swaddle an infant in excessively warm clothes that may be potentially uncomfortable.
3. Overfeeding to pacify an infant during a flight frequently upsets digestion. Provide only as much nourishment as you normally would at home. Having to change diapers multiple times during a flight due to wetness may mean that you are overfeeding.
4. To facilitate your child's sleep on the flight, take along the blanket, pacifier, book or toy (non-musical) that your infant or toddler normally uses at home.
5. When putting your infant to sleep, try to adhere to the same routine that you practice at home. If your child is normally rocked, held or patted previous to being placed in the crib, do exactly the same during the flight.
6. To prevent ear pain during flight, you may consider giving the child an age-appropriate dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. This may be repeated four to six hours later, if necessary.
7. Remember that children can sense your nervousness and tension. The more relaxed you are, the more likely your child can relax and enjoy the flight.
8. Don't hesitate to ask the flight attendants for help.
Source: Mayo clinic