Snacks, Snacks and More Snacks: Growing bodies means kids are basically hungry ALL THE TIME. Crackers, apples, carrots… you name it, moms likely have it in their bags. Never are these items more crucial than when you are at the airport. Obviously there will be food available, but if you get delayed you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg feeding them (AND you’re prepared for the actual flight). We all know children get cranky when they’re even the slightest bit hungry, so do yourself a favor and come prepared.
Organization is Key: Pack wisely and keep everything in its place. The more pockets you have access to, the better! When you’re chasing your toddler down the aisle (we’ve been there!) you don’t want to go searching for a wipe when he/she decides to eat pretzels off the floor.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: Along with a stash of activities to occupy your child (we love High Five Magazine, iPad apps and coloring books), bring a surprise toy/game/doll along for your child. You can milk the “surprise” element if a temper tantrum is imminent, or pop it out as a reward for good behavior on the flight (we’re thinking positively here!)
Accept Help from Strangers: Unless they’re a pirate or carrying a machete, we can’t stress this one enough. Sure, some people will scoff when they see kids coming their way, but MOST people will offer to lend a hand if they see a parent struggling. It takes a village!
Sense of Humor Required: What can we say, you just have to laugh sometimes. Children can detect stress a mile away, and if they see you’re frustrated, their mood will likely change as well. If all else fails, the flight is cancelled and you’ve been stuck on the runway for an hour, laugh at the craziness of it all and remember, “this too shall pass.”