Child on Airplane: 14 Tips to Make the Moment Less Stressful -1
Traveling with the family is usually a time of great joy. However, those who already have children know that the act of traveling by plane requires some attention and planning so that it does not become stressful for the child or the parents.
Unlike a car trip, where you can stop whenever you need it, air travel requires patience on the part of the child (who, depending on age, may have trouble understanding this).
“It all depends on the age and temperament of the child and especially the level of stress of the parents themselves with the trip. Plane has a limited space and the family will be surrounded by strange people.
The smaller the child, the less control over their needs, because a level of understanding of the small ones with respect to the limitations can not be demanded. From the age of three it is possible to establish some rules that can make the trip more playful and less disturbing, “says Celia Lima, personare’s specialist in psychotherapy.
Saying “you need to be quiet during the whole trip” is certainly not the solution, not even for little kids. But there are subtle ways of preparing the child for this “adventure,” as well as distracting her during the flight. A few simple tips can help (and a lot) the plane ride to be quieter for parents and kids!
1. Demonstrate peace of mind
If the child hears the parents talking all the time who are worried about the trip or simply notice a climate of “worry in the air”, the situation can become more complicated. “Children tend to absorb parents’ moods on different occasions, so it is desirable that parents be calm and provide little comfort to their children,” says Celia.
2. Talk about the trip at the right time
It’s no use “hiding” the child’s plane trip in fear of how he might react. “It is better to talk about the trip in advance, but not so much as to trigger anxiety in the children,” says the expert.
3. Prepare the child in a fun way for the plane trip.
When you feel it is time to talk about the trip, do it quietly and enjoy to include in the child’s day-to-day play that involves the subject. “You can play airplane, take on the role of flight attendants, the pilot, simulating what can and can not be done on the plane,” exemplifies Celia.
4. Talk to your pediatrician
According to Celia, consulting the children’s pediatrician is also critical. “Especially if your son is sick of travel by car. If it is necessary to lay down some trick or medicine, parents should be prepared for it, “he explains.
5. Offer liquids
Célia explains that one of the reasons children cry during flights is the annoyance with the pressurizing of the aircraft, which can cause pain or “clogging” of the ear. “This is why it is good to ingest fluids, which help regulate the ‘body/cabin’ pressure difference. Chewing, for the elderly, or the use of a pacifier, for minors, can also help, “he says.
6. For short journeys, prefer to travel during the day
Awakening the child’s curiosity about how the plane can fly and distract it with the clouds (staying in the little window is a good resource) will keep it occupied for some time.
7. Be prepared for long journeys
For long journeys, when the trips are usually nocturnal, take the blanket familiar to the child, he advises.
8. Take the pillow
Regardless of the time of travel, bring a pillow. Younger children will be able to sit on it so they can see outside the window better; While the older ones will be able to sleep more comfortably with a pillow with which they are already accustomed.
9. Think of space
Another tip, according to Celia, is, when making the reservation, prefer special places like the free benches up front. “You’ll have more room to deal with the little ones,” he says.
10. Do not offer millions of alternatives
Avoid offering thousands of alternatives to distract your child, expect him to demand something,” says Celia. Otherwise, it is very likely that he will notice that you are trying to distract him anyway, which can cause more discomfort. Be subtle.
11. Bring interesting toys/games
There is no escaping, toys will be the best allies in time to distract the child. “Kids tend to get bored easily, so it’s good to have a little bag with some toys,” says Celia.
But remember: “quality” is more important than “quantity” at this time. The key is to bring interesting toys/games, which will entertain the child and not thousands of things that, in the end, will not even be used. “It is valid to take what can be done seated, that has no loose parts (do not forget the possible turbulences) and that does not make noise.
Just be careful that the trip does not turn into a playground. Do not forget that a good conversation explaining how to travel by plane can help a lot”, guides the expert.
12. Take some more long-lasting and healthy foods
Offer the child some food that will occupy it longer, such as grapes, raisins, strawberries, tomatoes. These are healthy and “fun” options for her to eat.
Celia recalls, however, that candy should not serve as a “bargaining chip,” even though they last little and the distraction is over. “Let your child know that you have chocolate in your purse, buy it from the airport. If he remembers and asks, it’s okay to give, “he says.
13. Bet on stickers
Carrying small stickers can be very valid. They are small, practical and can keep the kids entertained for a while: give your child a bottle of water, for example, and invite him to “decorate it” as he thinks fit.
14. Count on the help of technology (smartphone, tablet)
This kind of distraction is just another alternative, according to Celia. “If your child already owns the smartphone or tablet, you can use them. But buying something in the genre specifically for that occasion is an exaggeration, even though most aircraft are equipped with movies and games. For short trips it is totally dispensable, “he explains.
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