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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

How to manage infants on long-haul flights

Being caged in the aircraft for too long can be frustrating even for the parent, let alone children. In such cases, how can parents tackle their children?

August 28, 2018 12:40:07 pm
Infants travelling on long-haul flights tend to be irritable. (Source: Getty Images)

Travelling with babies or toddlers can be quite an ordeal, especially on a long-haul flight. More often than not, they start throwing tantrums, scream or cry, which doesn’t just exhaust the parent but also causes inconvenience to fellow passengers. Being caged in the aircraft for too long can be frustrating even for the parent, let alone children. In such cases, how can parents tackle their children?

Here are some of the ways you can ensure your infant has a comfortable journey:

Ensure your infant’s safety and comfort

Each airline follows a set of rules and regulations for travelling with an infant. Make sure you pre-book the seat of your choice for the best comfort, while ensuring that the family can sit together. Make sure your child is sitting comfortably; one can use a Child Restraint System (CRS) that is permitted by some airlines or make him or her sit on your lap using an infant seat belt.

Source: Getty Images

Prepare well before the journey

As part of the regulations for flying with an infant, AirAsia, for instance, asks passengers to bring enough food and supplies. Jet Airways, on the other hand, offers a special meal for children, which can be requested at the time of booking or at least 12 hours prior to departure. Check for the airline’s offers for infants when you book, so you can be adequately prepared. A child tends to be more irritable when hungry or physically uncomfortable. Many airplanes have diaper changing tables in lavatories, so carry enough diapers and wet wipes for the long journey. One should also carry some extra clothes and medicines, just in case some unexpected illness befalls your child.

Travel during your child’s nap time

To ensure your child can sleep well in a long-haul flight, it is advisable to fly during his or her longest nap time of the day. That way, you can ensure your child is not irritated. Covering your child in a sheet or blanket from home can further add to the comfort.

Feed your child at the time of takeoff and landing

As AirAsia mentions on its official website, giving children something to “eat or drink when the plane is taking off and landing may help to relieve ear pain caused by the cabin pressure, adjusting to the altitude.”

Avoid ear congestion

Ear congestion can be a challenge for infants. In such cases, babies can breastfeed or suck on a bottle or even a lollipop. The act of suction keeps babies’ Eustachian tubes open, which keeps the pressure between the cabin and the inner ear equalised, Dr Jennifer L Young, was quoted as saying by New York Times.

Keep your infant entertained

Children tend to feel bored being stuck at the same seat for hours. So, it is important to keep your child entertained by engaging him or her in games or videos. At times, draw their attention to the landscape visible outside the window, which is sure to attract them.

Source: Getty Images

Prepare a plane bag for your child

This special plane bag can contain your child’s favourite toys, books, colours, or anything that excites him or her, which means both you and your infant can enjoy a hassle-free journey.

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