Traveling with Bums and Tots
Traveling with bums and tots.
Summer is here and some of you are likely to head in different directions for the destination of your second home or holidays around the world to escape the warmth and humidity of Hong Kong.
For some pregnant women and parents with small babies and toddlers, this can be a dreadful thought as you are facing the challenge of the long flight ahead.
Hours.. up to days! -of being trapped in a long tube, less than a square meter space to use, hundreds of passengers who are easily annoyed if their sleep gets disturbed, busy airhostesses and lack of sleep can be a big challenge for both children and their parents.
Here are a few good advices which are likely to help you and your baby survive the travel without too much troubble.
Stock up on healthy snacks like dried fruits and nuts, cereal bars and fruit, maybe even a protein drink if you have a likelihood of getting nauxious. The food they serve on board is very fat, (measured to be up to 70% fat on a tray of passenger food in some airlines) and this is likely to give you a heartburn.. to avoid hearthburn bring some TUMS or another kind of calcium tablet for heartburn.
Bring a big water bottle and ask for a glass of water every time you see the airhostess and just fill up your bottle. In this way you can drink how much you like whenever you want. It is important to drink a minimum of 2dl water/hour onboard an airplane, and as you are pregnant it is even more important to keep your body hydrated. Because of the limited stock the cabin crew are not very fond of giving away full bottles of water. All this water has another benefit as it will make you have to go to the bathroom more often and this will get your circulation going.
Exercise as much as you can in your seat as well, at least once every hour, move all parts of your body, stretch out and do lymph excercises with your legs. Bring your pillow to support your back and a neck pillow to make it more comfortable to sleep sitting upright in the chair.
Remember to bring a moisturising lotion as the air on airplanes is very dry. Also consider to bring either natural oil or Iliadin (mild nasal drops) to help you breathe through your nose as pregnancy makes your mucus membranes swell up.
The different airline companies have different limits for how far in your pregnancy you are alowed to fly, so check this with your travel agent before booking and consider to get a medical reference from your doctor.
Small babies are actually not too difficult to bring along on flights, as long as their basic needs are covered. Milk, sleep and comfort are all things that are easy to provide even in a limited space.
A good help is to ensure to get one of the seats where you can get a bassinet. The bassinet is distributed after take off upon request, but let the crew know about your need already upon entering the airplane or even better when you book the tickets. The Airhostesses are usually very helpful to reseat other passengers to help you get to one of these seats if not already occupied by other babies. This will help you get your baby out of your hands once in a while, either for sleeping, playing or nappy changing, and even for bigger babies who can sit up in the bassinet and be good positioned for feeding solids.
Because of the cabin pressure changing when climbing and descending it is very important to try to time your baby’s feed so your baby is awake and interested in feeding at those times of going up or down. Sucking and swallowing relieves the pressure in the inner ear. If baby isn’t interested in feeding at the right time you can bring a small syringe with sugar water as backup. This is likely to make baby lick and swallow and avoid the pressure in the ear.
If your baby has a minor cold make sure to bring nasal saltwater or Iliadin 0.5% to soften up and open the nasal passage and prevent that terrible earache often associated with flying.
Let your baby travel in his nightclothe or something else just as comfortable. Bring extra socks and a soft jacket, maybe even a hat, as the temperature in the cabin can be quite difficult to regulate and therefore its often very cold on board.
Bring snacks and toys and books and remember your pillow to help you sit comfortable with your baby for many hours.
Prepare your toddler up to your departure date with stories about flying, make it an experience and let it be an adventure for him.
Praise how much you will enjoy spending all these hours with him and that you find he is a fantastic “flyer”. Positive thinking and a little manipulation will help you get a long way.
Make sure to cook his favorit dinner or breakfirst before traveling as many children loose their appetite on board an airplane. Simple pasta or bread is a good snack. Let him pack his own little suitcase with toys, snacks and drinks.
When you get to the airport help him through the waiting time by keeping him active and let him understand why we need to check in and where the baggage goes and so one. Let him be part of the preparations and have him choose a magazine in the kiosk.
It’s a good idea to make a toilet visit before entering the airplane, so he doesn’t realize too soon how fun it is to get up for the toilet and walk the aisles.
Do not allow moving around inside the airplane until it’s necessary.
Let him get really tired of one thing before advancing to the next level. So don’t show him around in the airplane but let this be a treat for later, otherwise you are very likely to have a toddler razing the aisles in no time and winding up because of the excitement.
Have some small surprises prepared for when things gets difficult, some wrapped presents, that will take him time to unwrap. Maybe a sticker he can place on his seatbelt to help him accept to be bucckled up, some favorite toys or mini books. Think about games you can play sitting in a chair, guessing games, pretend games and of course there is the dvd solution.
Do not try to make him sleep as everything is too exciting and he will probably fight it and make a big scene if he feels forced to anything.
Allow him to feel tired by himself look at other people sleeping, dimm the lights and cosy up with blankets and the pillow again. You could make a cage or tent with the blankets or cut small eye holes in the face mask so he can be a tired super hero or paint it with stickers and colors if it is a little princess you are traveling with.
When he/she finally sleeps place them comfortably right away either on the aisle in front of you or if you are so lucky to have a spare seat let him lie down.
Be careful not to disturb when he has slept 45 min as he goes through his light sleep periods every 45 min.
Allow your child to sleep as long as possible without waking up forthe scheduled flight food. The cabincrew can always find some food or sandwiches for your child if he wakes up between the meals.
If you have to be in transit make sure to let him burn off some energy exercising and moving his body. Many of the airports provide play areas and changing facilities so look for those.
Have a safe trip and enjoy your holiday…………..