The secret of flying long flights with small children

My wife and I have made everything from 1 hour to 20-hour flights with our kids since they were born. During our flights I see people with screaming and crying kids and I just feel sorry for them. The latest journey (only 4 hours) gave me the idea of writing a blog about it and sharing some of our tricks.

For those of you with not enough time to read this invaluable blog, here are the pearls!

1. Tell them what is happening, what just happened and what next!
2. The element of surprise and timing, small toys & candies
3. In some cases (a computer/DVD/ipad)
4. Dry extra clothes

And the golden rules:

1. Conserve energy! Don’t let the frustration take over. DO NOT get frustrated at you wife/husband. You will need them to take over shortly!
2. If you have one of those constant crying small kids. WHAT were you thinking getting on a plane! “Just joking”.
3. Don’t delegate a screaming kid to your wife/husband.  If you do, you will all be frustrated. You need the other person to be fully charged for the next round. Deal with the problem and turn over a happy kid.

The secret in communication

It is amazing how much information small kids require. They don’t necessarily ask you for it, but they desperately need it.
Here are examples of successful communication:

1. We are going to visit your aunt (not Los Angeles, the name of the city is irrelevant)
2. Your seat is no. XX, a king once sat in that seat!!! WOW!
3. You’ll sleep 2 times before we are at Aunt’s house etc.
4. They will serve drinks and food once we are up and the captain says it is ok!

The trick of “Introduction of Stuff”!

After the first symptom of boredom, introduce something new.
Don’t bother reading or looking at pictures just yet. There is too much going on. If you want to get them to calm down, a toy or a complex candy is the thing.

Let’s get this myth out of the way once and for all!
“Too much sugar makes kids go crazy” It is not true; I have tested it many times.
Seriously, there was a study that showed there are no difference in frequency of activity in two groups of kids one with real sugar and one with placebo. So small candies with wrapping is great!

I am bored, are we there yet?

Now, enter the reading material, pictures, coloring books etc. When you reach this stage, should be after one to two hours, stop the candies and give them more intellectual challenge.
By alternating stuff and small candies, you will keep them occupied and the blood sugar level up. This should keep the overall mood high.

Some “DO NOT”s for your journey

  • Don’t start walking up and down the isle with your kid. Here is why, you provide more input than necessary. Worst case, they will find something they want and cannot have.
  • Don’t walk around showing off your kid. There is a great chance that both of you are annoying, average looking and not very fun.
  • Don’t give in! Don’t let them have everything at once. You have to have the element of surprise.

3 ways of getting them stop crying!

  • 0-8 month? Carry them like the cat on a branch
  • 3-12 month? Have their ear close to you chin and make a humming sound while rocking up and down. Gently!
  • 12 month & above? Surprise them with stuff; go to the toilet remove the diaper and let them cool down. It helps your wife to have 2 min. of quite and charge batteries…

Finally, don’t bother thinking about what others think.

Don’t do it, don’t even try to pretend things are ok. Here is the truth, accept it and live with it.
Everyone around a crying/coughing/running kid, hates the parents enough to throw them off the plane.
If your kid has a cold, the chances are high that people will try to poison you AND your kid. Don’t accept anything from strangers.

Do you have some of your own tricks! Please share them leaving comments below!

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