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Simplify Flying With Babies In Tow

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Many parents of infants resolve to avoid air travel until their tikes enter toddlerhood. But air travel is not always avoidable, as parents may need to attend family functions or other events with baby in tow.

Flying with infants can be difficult, as airplane cabins can hurt youngsters’ ears and cause them to cry. In addition, parents may be nervous that something might go wrong when flying with infants, potentially making the flight less enjoyable for parents and their fellow passengers. While there is no way to guarantee infants wonÕt shed a few tears during their next flight, the following are a handful of ways to simplify flying with kids less than two years of age.

Choose an infant-friendly flight time. Flying at a time of day or night when infants typically sleep can increase the chance that babies will sleep through much of the flight, if not the whole trip. When booking flights, keep kids’ usual nap time in mind before selecting an itinerary. It also pays to familiarize yourself with the airlineÕs policy regarding infants and carry-on bags before booking your flight.

Choose an aisle seat. You and your baby likely won’t make it through the flight without having to stand up and walk to the bathroom or simply walk the aisle to calm your baby’s nerves. Choose an aisle seat so you don’t have to ask your spouse or the passenger sitting next to you to stand up several times during the flight.

Feed your child and check his or her diaper before takeoff. Hunger and/or wet, dirty diapers typically make infants cry no matter where they are. If you want your baby to fall asleep the moment you board your flight, make sure he or she is well fed and has a clean diaper prior to boarding. Close the window if the sun is shining through, as that can make it difficult for kids to fall asleep.

Prepare for takeoff and initial descent. Pressure changes in airplane cabins tend to be most noticeable during the takeoff and initial descent. Such changes are when ears are most likely to pop. Many adults experience discomfort when their ears pop during cabin pressure changes, and infants are no different. Speak with flight attendants upon boarding, asking for advice about managing any pain that might result from popping ears. Some parents find that offering infants pacifiers or bottles as cabin pressure is about to change can help infants make it through such changes without crying. Keep in mind that pilots typically announce when planes are about to begin their initial descent, which may be 20 to 30 minutes before the plane is scheduled to land.

Flying with infants may be something parents prefer to avoid, but there are ways to make such travel go smoothly