Preparing Your Kids for Their First Plane Trip


The first time a child rides an airplane has got to be one of the most exciting events in his life. To make this experience even more memorable, prep him properly. Here's how: Talk about it: Share your own flight experiences. Talk him through the process, telling him what the plane looks like inside, how the engines sound when they start, and how it feels like when the plane finally takes flight. This will calm down any fears he might be experiencing.

Book smartly: Book your flight according to your child's schedule. Time it so that he sleeps through the flight. Some parents prefer nonstop flights; others prefer breaking a long flight with a relaxing layover. The choice is up to you. You know what suits your child best.

Get your pedia's okay: Make sure your child is fit to fly. Have his ears checked for any infection. Keep in mind that an infected eardrum may rupture during the plane's descent. This is not only very painful, it may also cause permanent hearing damage.

Arrive early: Make your child's first experience of flight as smooth and comfortable as possible. Don't just arrive on time, arrive early. You don't need the extra anxiety of hurrying to catch your flight.

Before takeoff: Arriving early may mean you'd have to do a bit of waiting before boarding time. Come prepared. Make sure you've brought an assortment of snacks and boredom busters for your child.

During the flight: If you have a baby, make sure you stick to his routine. Older kids would definitely need some entertaining as they might find the space a bit constricting. Paper, crayons, stickers, books, gadgets, and your undivided attention will keep him occupied.

Before landing: When the plane starts to descend, play a game of funny faces with your child. Stretching our facial muscles helps relieve the discomfort that happens when our ears start to pop because of the pressure. Ask your child to make goofy faces, encouraging him to stretch his face and move his jaws. Such actions will help relieve ear pressure.

This story first appeared in Urban Mom magazine.

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