This is not a blog to tell parents how to do stuff.
This is simply a place to share our parenting experiences, advice and how we somehow did something right.
There are so many theories and suggestions when it comes to flying with young children, that you just have to try it out for yourself.
Have a plan, hope you can stick to it and remember that your kids are really the ones in control of the situation.
We recently flew from Halifax to Ottawa with our two sons. One is three and the other just turned 9-months old. So that is a handful for anyone.
My wife has flown with the boys before all by herself to Toronto, so I let her project manage the adventure as she had real-life experience.
Now, granted, the flight was a short one. Only a few hours. So take that into consideration as we list off how we managed to survive the trip (both ways) without any meltdowns, ordeals or stand offs.
We are a family that loves to plan. We pretty much always have a rundown of how the next few hours will go. This is especially true for traveling with kids.
You have to start thinking early, even before getting anywhere near the airport.
Our 3-year old, well, he is pretty easy. Keep him entertained and full of food and the odds are in your favour.
As for the baby, that is a little more tricky.
First you need to plan your nap times and bottle times.
We had a 10:30 flight, so we decided it was best to skip morning nap all together to tire the little guy out for the plane.
This turned out to be successful as the baby was happy and content during the packing up, car ride and checking in. He even gave us the bonus of being pleasant as we boarded.
Then it was game time and my wife looked like a pro.
We were giving early boarding due to the kids, so in the time we sat and the time the plane took off, the baby had a bottle in him. Perfect.
A burp just as we starting rolling out of the gate.
I put the baby on my chest and held him as you need to for take off and by the time we were above the clouds, the baby was out cold.
A married couple fist bump in the aisle and we were off to a great start.
The 3-year old, well he was so excited to see the plane take off, he was entertaining himself.
No real ear issues on the take off either.
The baby slept for a good hour. I had a beer and relaxed during this time, even though I had a 20 lb. blob on me.
As we started to cruise, we had to start pulling out toys and books for our 3-year old. He was getting antsy. The snack of pop and chips only kept him distracted for a few minutes.
I had an empty seat next to me, so our son switched seats from time-t0-time to break up the boredom. He even made a friend with the kid in front of us. They played peak-a-boo over the seats and argued who was bigger.
For the remainder of the flight, my wife and I played swap the kids and it worked. No meltdowns or tantrums.
The baby had some ear popping on the way down, but at that point, you don’t even hear the screaming.
This was similar on the ride home. Yes there was a little more moments of being uncomfortable, but we were more tired and did not have the excitement of going away. Who is really jazzed about coming home?
The crew on Porter was great. They thought the kids were cute and were always there when needed.
Before closing, here is a list of items you will want to have in your bag before getting on the plane with kids. Well, this is what we had anyways.
For the plane:
- Pre made bottles.
- Warm clothes for baby (it gets cold on a plane)
Forget all that stuff you think you will need for yourself like books or puzzles or even games on your phone. There won’t be time. I pointed out the free paper to my wife as we checked in and she was like “what am I going to do with that?’
Also, it is okay to pack more of the necessities than you think you need. We had a couple come up to us asking to buy diapers from us as they had been stranded overnight. We of course gave them one for free, but with delays, you always need to think of the unexpected.
I hope this example of flying with two boys shows that with the right planning, patience and luck, you can have a very enjoyable flight with your kids.
Got a story to share with us about your flying experiences? I would love to hear it.