Lucky for Kourtney Kardashian, baby Mason is an excellent traveler. But not all of us are so lucky. That ear-piercing cry, toddlers running out of the security zone 20 minutes before boarding, whiney obnoxious siblings kicking the back of the chair; I have seen it all. Travelling with kids can be a nightmareâ€¦ even if by â€˜travelling with kidsâ€™ you mean being stuck in the plane, bus, train, etc. next to a family that doesnâ€™t have control. Travelling with kids can be hard but here are some tips that will help your trip go a little smoother.
Be prepared! Call ahead and find out if you can bring your stroller to the gate, if are there bassinets available, or if you can board early. Check in ASAP, get the best possible seating arrangement, print your boarding passes, and ask the airline what they can do to accommodate your family.
Packing last minute may work for your business tripâ€¦ but itâ€™s not â€˜going to flyâ€™ when your babyâ€™s bottle is M.I.A. You have two options for carry on, the adults/older kids keep everything for the family, or let each kid have their own bag. Consider what will be easiest for your family to keep track of, what youâ€™ll have to put in overhead bins, and security lines. Being prepared goes beyond packing ahead of time. If possible try to plan your trip around sleeping times; or, if you know your kids are never going to sleep with all the excitement, schedule accordingly.
Talk to your kids about what to expect, and what you expect from them. Being sympathetic of your childâ€™s situation is one thing, letting them get away with murder is another. Punishment and handling situations in public are always difficult, so practice ahead of time. When youâ€™re at the grocery store, restaurant, etc. assume that the situation is taking place during travel: you probably wonâ€™t be able to go somewhere private, and carrying the baby into the airplane bathroom to handle your toddlerâ€™s fit (or dirty diaperâ€¦) isnâ€™t an option. Try to do everything you can to avoid poor behavior and punishment in the first place. Positive reinforcement (errâ€¦ bribing? Iâ€™m guilty) may be a practical. What is going to keep your children entertained? Download some age appropriate apps on your iphone/pod/pad. Try sneaking away some favorite toys before the trip and reintroducing them during travel, or getting them a new travel friendly toy as a reward for good behavior. You know youâ€™re kids better than anyone, so prepare yourself so that you can prepare them. Create some sort of plan working on your kidâ€™s strengths and weaknesses.
Infants are a totally different story. Try to arrange breast/bottle feeding times (or use pacifier) during take off and landing when traveling by air. The sucking will help with the pressure change, so will numbing ear-drops. Kourtney mentioned in her blog that putting a drop of breast milk in your babyâ€™s nostrils will help prevent against illness, according to her doctor. She also mentioned that a change of scenery helped Mason stay calm. If you can't switch seats, try a walk up and down the aisle. Also, always pack a blanket.
The biggest part of a smooth trip is maintaining control without causing a tantrum. Itâ€™s tricky, but possible if you plan â€“ practice makes perfect!