Picture this. You've boarded the plane to your dream destination. While settling into your seat, the rattle of the plane's engine starts to lull you to sleep. You're hovering between the precipice of consciousness and the sweet shroud of sleep; your thoughts begin to wander.
And your toddler's crying jolts you awake. What do you do? How do you handle the judging eyes of the others on the plane? Will you ever return to that sweet promise of dreamland? Here are ten parents' suggestions for calming a toddler on an airplane.
Flying for the first time is daunting, no matter your age. However, many parents on this thread said preparing their children for the flight with videos and books explaining the experience helped diminish fear and smooth the traveling process.
Kids love learning about anything new. For example, show them an instructional video about planes and their new favorite hobby is flying.
2. Screen Time
One user wrote that all screen time rules fly out the window on planes. If the child is content and quiet, they can watch their favorite shows or play their favorite games. Another user said they brought coloring books, paper, and games to entertain their toddler and used their tablet for the entire flight.
Flying creates extra pressure on the head. Chewing gum, taking Dramamine, and drinking water alleviate the pressure for adults. Give younger kids a lollipop during take-off and landing to preoccupy their minds with the treat instead of the force.
4. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Several parents claimed they give their kids wireless headphones, others said they let their children use wired headphones, and one user alleged noise-canceling headphones are the best way for their toddler to travel.
The noise-canceling headphones cut out the loud noises from the aircraft, allowing the toddler to pay attention to their tablet.
5. Snack Bags
Snack bags are great hacks for travelers of all ages. According to many, combining several snacks in a zip-loc bag allows their kids to occupy themselves while watching their tablets. In addition, the plastic bag ensures less mess and additional organization on the parents' behalf.
6. Coloring Books
If your child bores easily, bringing coloring books gives them an artistic outlet besides a screen. One mother added they brought a plane-themed coloring book on the flight for a double win.
7. Extra Set of Clothes
Kids are messy. To avoid sitting in a pile of spilled food or liquid, bring an extra set of clothes for the child and yourself. You will feel much cleaner.
8. New Toys
Airplanes are the perfect place to introduce a new toy. Toddlers show the most interest in a toy when they first open it (besides favorite toys, of course), so giving them a new toy buys you some time and quiet.
9. Explore the Airport Before the Flight
Airports and airplanes fascinate lots of kids. Tire your toddler out by walking with them around the airport and watching the planes land and take off. Answer any question the child has and encourage their curiosity.
10. Speak With Them About Their Flight
Having a conversation about travel before traveling can reduce anxiety and help the child relax in an airport or on a plane. Explain how airport security works, talk through the parts of an airplane, show them how a plane works, show them the location you're traveling to, and answer any of their questions. Being open and honest fosters curiosity and excitement within the child.
This thread inspired this post.