Guest post contributed by Ollie Birk
Are you terrified? Well, you should be…(no, not the dreaded mother in law’s birthday party)…of the thought of your child causing world-crushing rebellion on your flight to your lovely holiday! Which is why in this 3 part blog series I will provide you with some valuable tips on how to keep your flight smooth.
You can wear that ‘S’ on your chest, and let your partner admire while you save the day. You’ll fly like Superman! Now, let’s get the party started!
Disabilities and Special Needs
WINGS FOR ALL
Wings For All is a well-respected program for any child with special needs or disability where the act of boarding a plane is rehearsed with professional pilots and flight attendants. This program is designed to give the children experience boarding a plane to help unnerve them during the real event. This should help many parents who can’t take their child on a plane. The program is currently based in the US. However, Manchester Airport in the UK currently leads the way for these types of programs.
If you have a disabled child that requires a wheelchair, it is best to sit them in the aisle seat for ease of access. This will allow them to easily access the toilet and easily get on and off of the plane.
If your child has a hard time sitting up, ask your airline beforehand if they provide shoulder straps. They are not required by law so it is likely they don’t have them. In this case, you can purchase your own.
If your child requires a wheelchair, you can only bring your own up until the gate. From there on, the airline will provide an aisle chair. However, some airlines only have these on request, so be sure to call the airline beforehand.
A child with Autism, for example, isn’t immediately obvious. Be sure to let the airline know several times in several different ways to ensure the message is delivered as messages can be lost. Also, airlines want all passengers to have a reasonably enjoyable flight, so it is in everyone’s best interest!
Again, pretty simple. But, I have seen so many parents dress their child in little jeans and flat trainers. Your child is no different to you and will get uncomfortable in jeans. So, to save the whining, dress them in light trousers, shorts or tracksuit bottoms that are easily removed. So, once you get to that 80-degree heat, you can dress them in some shorts right away.
EASILY REMOVABLE SHOES
This tip will come in handy during security checks. Being able to get through security quickly will be of value as children can get bored very easily and can cause a lot of stress. Some ways to find easily removable shoes are to find velcro or slip-on shoes. My best advice would be velcro trainers as these will be comfortable to walk in and easily removed.
Games & Apps
My favorite thing ever as a child? Coming home after school to that new, fresh smelling pack of Match Attax! Buy some trading cards and swap some with your child. You can even use a fresh new pack as a bribe for them to behave well!
TOCA LIFE: CITY/FARM GAME
What a great way for your child to learn about how farms work! They can do everything from milking the cows to sitting and having a picnic!
JETPACK JOYRIDE GAME
A quick and easy arcade game where you have to avoid obstacles and collect coins. Addictive, fun and competitive!…Enough to keep your kids quiet for a short while!
TRAVEL SCRABBLE BOARD GAME
Educates the kids? Check. Easy to carry? Check. Easy to play without losing bits? Check. Fun? Well, perhaps for those that can read.
Giving a child a suitable camera for their age encourages them to be more creative and observant. Your child will concentrate more and in-turn have less to moan about! This is such a great idea because they won’t get bored, they can use it the whole holiday and you may be surprised at the results! To make it even more fun, if you have more than one child, set them a challenge of taking the best photo… you never know, they may develop a new hobby! This should give you some time to enjoy your surroundings and let go of your worries!
CARRY-ON CHANGING BAG
Take a carry-on changing bag that is a carry cot, changing station and bag all in one! This makes it quick and easy to change your child’s nappy anywhere you are… whether you are in the heights of the endless sky or in the depths of the hottest dessert! There will be no more hassle trying to find your supplies, no more losing supplies and you can now easily carry everything you need!
Scared of losing your child? No problem! Just attach a child locater on their belt before you leave the house and if you lose them, press the panic button which will sound an alarm on your child’s locator, so you can quickly locate them.
Ever been on a flight and you can’t stretch, you’re tossing and turning and just can’t wait to get off the plane? We all have… and here is how this product can help. The Gizmo is a portable ‘Hammock’ that you can clip onto the chair in front of you. This allows your child to lie down however they like or even just sit more comfortably. And the best part about it? YOU can use it too! It is designed for the comfort of all ages! Of course, if you are reading this you are likely to be too large to lie down, but you can sit a lot more comfortably.
Steri-Bottle is a great way to feed your child… straight out of the box! You can cut out all the unnecessary time wasted on bottle preparation so your journey is made easier! You can purchase the Steri-Bottles in different sized packs to suit your needs and circumstances.
Cliché I know. But, for a reason… it works! Further down the in the article, I have advised some apps and games to download suited to your children to keep them entertained. Be sure to have a child-friendly, sturdy case as these new iPads are extremely light and flimsy!
Do your kids regularly moan about walking? Avoid that this summer using the Trunki. The Trunki is a small hand luggage case that you can take on the plane. It allows your child to sit on it which can keep them happy while walking through the airport! Hey, it might be worth giving it a go yourself too, seems fun to me! ***Your choice, of course.
Remember the Trunki I was talking about? Well, this is just as great! This product is literally a hand luggage sized suitcase with a seat. Simples! This will allow your time in the airport to be easy and peaceful. Makes me wonder… why can’t us adults have products like these!
YONDI NECK PILLOW
Yondi make Neck Pillows very fun and exciting! They are designed in small sizes for children with cool themes! This should keep your child comfortable and entertained the whole flight!
MY STORYTIME PILLOW BY ELO
Does your child want you to read them a story but you’re so tired you just want to nod off? Well, let a pillow do it for them! and everyone loves stories right? This product forces children to lay down to listen to stories, causing them to nod off! So now kids have an incentive to want to lie down and sleep!
CLIP-ON BUGGY SUNSHADE
When walking around a hot country, a parasol will not be enough. Clip a sunshade onto your buggy in less than 7 seconds and your child will be cooler and more comfortable!
This is a reusable drink cover that makes it impossible to spill your drink! At an extremely low price, this product is AMAZING and of great value! This should avoid any accidents on your flight to keep your stress levels at an all-time low!
SQUIRT – BABY FOOD DISPENSING SPOON
You can avoid any spillages with this product that you gently squeeze to squirt either baby food or a drink into your child’s mouth. This product makes it very easy to feed and avoids a lot of stress!
IDENTITY VELCRO WRISTBANDS
It is very easy for your child to run off and get lost at a busy airport. To save time and maximise safety, attach this velcro identity wristband so you can be contacted quickly, so you can still board your flight on time!
SKYBABY FOLD UP LAP MATTRESS
This portable lap mattress can be rolled up and placed in your hand luggage. It is very comfortable and will allow your child to sleep happily ever after on your boring flight!
ROLL-UP DRAWING MATT
Does your child love to draw? Of course! Does your child often make a mess? Of course! This roll-up drawing mat allows your child to draw as much as they like without making a mess on the plane. The best part is that it rolls up and is easily carried.
A DIAPER BAG AND BACKPACK THAT WILL ALSO CHARGE YOUR WIRELESS DEVICES
A rucksack that acts as a diaper bag and keeps your bottles insulated! a product that is very useful for traveling with young children.
BABY BOTTLE ADAPTER
This baby bottle adapter allows you to convert almost any bottle top into a baby bottle top, allowing you to feed your baby bottled water quickly and easily.
PORTABLE SNACK BOX
One of the best, and old-school ways of silencing your child is through snacks and, you most probably need a lot of snacks. So, purchase this snack box so you can bring enough snacks with no hassle!
PORTABLE TRAVEL CRIB
If you’re on the beach, it can be extremely hard to escape the sun. This can be dangerous for your baby. So, bring along this portable travel crib so your child can stay safe, healthy and happy!
Bring this SnoozeShade which you can attach to your buggy in 8 seconds! This will give your baby a nice, cool sleep while you find that perfect holiday gift for the mother! A fridge magnet may not cut it this year…