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What to Take
You can never be too careful when packing
items to comfort your child whilst travelling,
reinforces Esawi. “Always remember to take
extras – there are bound to be a few surprises,”
she says. “Your baby’s diaper bag is your life
saver; start by packing it with all the items
you’ll need and keep it with you at all times.”
Fill it with diapers, wipes, creams, bottles,
and so on. If your baby is on baby formula,
she suggests that you be sure to pack his/her
brand of preference to cover your travel time
and don’t forget to take enough bottles and
nipples as well. “If you are still breast feeding, a
blanket or nursing cover might come in handy
to lend privacy if you need to feed your baby in
a more public setting,” she says. “Also pacifiers
are important therefore be sure to bring at
least two in case one falls on the floor amidst
your travel adventures.” It is very important to
have an extra change of clothes or two for your
baby… and yourself, she suggests. “You never
know what surprises your baby has in store for
both of you – better safe than sorry,” she says.
Pre-Planning
Always think of the next steps to take after
making your baby comfortable, emphasizes
Esawi. “Bring disposable bags for dirty
diapers and travel hand sanitizer,” she says
and also remember to consider the weather
you will encounter when you pack your baby’s
clothing. “Make sure you dress your baby in
comfortable, easy to remove layers as this will
help keep him/her warm or cool enough and
make diaper and clothing changes easy,” she
says and even familiar items can help soothe a
child--bring along some of his or her favorite
toys to help them feel more at home in the
new settings. “Babies cannot intentionally
“pop” their ears by swallowing or yawning
to relieve ear pain caused by air pressure
changes – pacifiers and bottles can ease this
discomfort during both take-off and landing,”
she explains.
Must Haves
Once again, Esawi points out to make sure you
have more than enough of everything in case
your flight is delayed for example. “That means
extra diapers, extra clothes, extra snacks,
extra wipes and (if you are bottle feeding)
extra formula,” she says. “Remember, too, that
planes in the gate get stuffy, but once you’re
in the air, it can feel extra chilly so dress your
toddler in layers to make it easier to deal with
temperature variations.” Remember to bring
extras for yourself too, sitting stuck on a plane
with baby spit-up souring on your shoulder is
not the way you want to start--or end--your
trip. Tuck an extra t-shirt into your diaper bag
just in case.
Advice
Traveling is hard on everybody, reinforces
Esawi and some children are just less
welcoming to changes in scenery and routine.
“Also pacifiers and bottles are important in that
they help with ear aches due to the pressure,”
she says as well as walking the aisles if you have
space to do so can be rather soothing and can
be a solution to a child feeling restless. Also
having toys and activities prepared for your
child is a must and can keep them entertained
for a good portion of the flight. “And bring
your baby’s formula with you, be sure to pack
enough for your travel time in case the country
you are visiting do not carry the same brand,”
she says. “Also communicating with your baby
is important even in times of stress, remain
calm and keep using a soothing positive tone
to help your baby relax.” But the reality is that
sometimes there is nothing you can do but
wait for the flight to end and hang in there.
“Always remember though that most parents
know exactly what you are experiencing, so
don’t focus on the other passengers – instead
focus on your child and his/her needs, try to
stay calm and help your baby be a happy baby,”
she advises.
Get them involved:
From planning to
packing, your kids’ participation is key.
Sometimes looking forward to a trip is
as memorable as the trip itself. Give the
kids a map and share a few photos of
their destination to give them a sense
of where they’re going. If they are old
enough, let them pick out clothes they’d
like to bring on the trip. The more the
kids are involved, the more excited they
will be.
Bring one and ONLY one carry on:
Make it easier for yourself by not taking
too many items on your flight. You will
appreciate only having one bag per
person to keep track of and carry.
Pack snacks:
Flight meals will not
necessarily time well with your child’s
needs, and airport food is not always
suited to the palate of a toddler or
child. Bring your kid’s favorite snacks
H
to hold them over until you reach your
destination
Bring new toys, books and magazines:
Buying new books, toys, or coloring
books that the kids have never seen
before will hold their attention
throughout the flight. The kids will love
exploring their new treasures.
Bring headphones, music players
and electronic tablets:
When used in
moderation, these devices are perfect for
long trips. These give kids the options to
watch movies, play games and listen to
music.
Create memories:
Apart from taking
photographs, there are lots of ways to
help your children preserve memories
from your trip. Buy postcards and
encourage your children to keep a
journal or make a scrapbook.
Travelling With Children Ages Five and Older:
July/Aug 2013
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