Preparing children for flying

If your children have never flown before then its natural they might have some curiosity and anxiety about flying which you should address well before you’re in the taxi on the way to the airport!

My children have all flown from a very young age so have required little introduction to the flying experience itself, but we still read books at home about flying and planes, talk about the process of getting to the airport and on to the plane and what will be doing at the other end.  As my daughter is now older we have even started role playing at home, putting our bags in the locker, turning on our iPads, eating our tray meals then having a nap (funnily she never wants to be the pilot but seems to enjoy the in flight pampering!).

It may feel somewhat daft explaining to a three-month old what is going on, but there is no harm starting to simply talk about travel from a very young age. Get some books about planes, talk about how they take off and you will land somewhere new, what you will need to bring with you and how there might be some different behaviors you expect of them on the plane (like sitting still and do not kick the seat!!).

Other little things to think about in preparing a child not just for the flight but travelling in general:

  • Be prepared to use different nappies (diapers) for different situations (i.e. pull-ups or wrap around).  The change table in a plane is very small! Likewise where you wouldn’t dare let your child touch the floor in a filthy pit bathroom in a Vietnam market, you’ll be glad you mastered the art of standing or in-stroller changes
  • Get your infant used to having bottles at room temperature if they currently have bottles heated
  • Can your child drink instant formula/milk from a carton and straw if filling and cleaning bottles is not practical?
  • If your child has only ever had a bath, introduce them to showers as well, many hotels may not have a bath

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