11 Air travel sleep-n-sanity hacks 4 parents!
#1- Do not, I repeat, do not schedule a red-eye flight! Protect your child’s most important and restorative sleep: night sleep! The brain in motion cannot cycle into deeper stages of restorative sleep. And if they decide to fuss and cry on a red-eye when everyone else is trying to sleep, it will stress you out even more!
#2- Phone the airline and see if they have bulkhead bassinets. They attach to the wall in front of a special seating section the airline reserves for parents with children in the lap. Call early to reserve these seats. The bassinet will allow you to put your baby down for a nap and also provide a cleaner place to change the diaper.
#3- Baby carriers are great for smaller babies, but use your stroller to get around the terminal with your older baby or toddler. Check it right at the gate. They will stow it beneath the plane and have it ready for you as soon as you exit the plane.
#4- Most airlines do not carry or serve milk. Be sure to get some for your toddler in the terminal before boarding the plane.
#5- Seat older tots next to the window so they can look outside.
#6- Have something to suck on for the take-off and landing (pacifier, lollipop, bottle, breast) and help relieve discomfort from changes in air pressure.
#7- Bring lots of snacks! Especially the crap you never let them eat. Nothing buys contentment like forbidden fruit (loops). Pack each snack in a different bright container or pouch and buy yourself even more time.
#8- Bring a simple, compact change of clothes for yourself and your baby in case they get airsick. It’s likely you’ll both be wearing the barf.
#9- Let your kids run around and get their wiggles out during layovers! Most airports have a special play area for little ones. Ask where it is located because they are often hidden or hard to find.
#10- To help your child adjust to the time zone difference, get them up the next morning, after you arrive, to watch the sunrise. Nurse or feed them in front of a window and let their eyes be exposed to the blue light that emanates from the early dawn for 20-30 minutes, and then get them out in the early sunlight. Doing this for the first three days will help them sync faster to the new time zone, relieving jet lag. Do the same when you return home.
#11- Try to relax. Anxiety is contagious. Anxious parent = Anxious child. But, thankfully, confidence is contagious, too! A relaxed, confident parent equals a relaxed, confident child. ☺
Scavenger hunt for the car!
Give each child a list of items to watch for while driving. The list can be made up ahead of time and adjusted for the scenery. Here’s a sample list of items to hunt for!
Enjoy this free download from one of my favorite websites, with TONS of wonderful activities to help entertain little ones while traveling http://www.momsminivan.com