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June 05 , 2008

Flying With Kids: Safe and Sane Air Travel With Your Baby, Toddler or Young Child


If you're reading this, you probably are dreading an upcoming flight with your young child or maybe you're thinking about taking one, but aren't sure you can handle it. I completely understand, but have no fear.

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Long haul flights were routine for us as we spent 7 years as expatriates. When my daughter was born in Hong Kong (7500 miles away from our families in California), we obviously were going to have to fly her home for visits. I had anxiety about this for years before I was pregnant and I thought about canceling our first long haul flight trip multiple times. My newborn baby was fussier than most, had major acid reflux, I had to fly alone with her, and our journey was 24 hours door to door.

We were just fine, in the end. With preparation, you will be, too.

Since then, I’ve flown long haul and domestically with my daughter more times than I can count. I now enjoy the adventure with her, but getting to this point was not without challenges. I bought tons of useless gear and spent countless hours scouring the Internet for information. The purpose of this ebook is to share details both large and small to help you get from departure to destination without hiccups.

I share how I plan my flights from scheduling to seat assignments. Does your baby need a bassinet? There are a few things you need to know that isn't information on the airline websites. I include tips to get you, your child and all of your gear through security and to the airplane. Speaking of gear, specific products have been very helpful to us. I'll tell you why and where to buy some of it.

The most pressing issue parents seem to have is how to keep kids entertained and fuss free on the plane. Specific things worked for us and I developed a strategy for quieting meltdowns. It can also be tough to get kids on long haul flights to sleep and keep them (and, therefore, you) from getting severe jet lag. We received jet lag advice from medical professionals that does work. My daughter is usually over her jet lag by the second day.

What you bring in your carry-on is key. To avoid stress, it's important to organize and pack it well. I'll tell you everything I bring onboard and keep within arms reach on the plane. There is nothing worse than having something you need in a bag in the overhead compartment, when the seat belt sign is on. Remember, if you request bulkhead seats you will not be able to store a bag at your feet.

Other topics include tips for diapering on the plane, in flight meals, flying first or business class, and more. You'll also be able to participate in our discussion on Twitter and ask any questions you need. There is helpful information here, regardless of how long your flight is.

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