‘Ten hours of flying with a baby and a small child: how do I do it?’ | Mother

“I will soon be flying with my two children aged 1 and 3. We’re going to Curaçao. Great, but of course we only have to fly for almost ten hours. The ten hours, I’m a little worried about that. Or really bad. I have two rather busy children and anticipate a chaotic flight. ”

“It’s not necessarily that they are pushers, but they are just very present and touch it in each other. I’m afraid it’s all over once they start chaining. My youngest is of course still very small, but therefore also attached to her structure. I’m scared to cry with her. How can I best keep them as calm as possible? I know that a bit of noise is part of flying with children, but it would be nice if I could calm them down a bit. ”

Bluetooth connection

Joyce Blauwhoff is a family educator and happened to make the exact same flight last summer with her son of 2. Both from a professional point of view and from personal experience, she advises Hayat to let go of the familiar structure a bit and still try to relieve stress in the run-up to the flight. as much as possible prevent as much as possible. “Stress on you by definition means stress on your children. You have a kind of Bluetooth connection: your emotions are captured by them flawlessly.”


“So try to guess yourself first. Are you calm enough to handle the situation? Where is your fear exactly? And what is the worst that can happen? Try to make room for yourself and for the thought: if it happens, then and if it does, be extra calm to help your children, for example, when you are on the plane, you can slow down your breathing and repeat thoughts of help in your head as a kind of mantra: we will eventually reach our destination, this will pass. “


So on to the things that you can actively lead your kids in. Fortunately, Blauwhoff has a great set of tips for Hayat. “It really helps to give your kids a gift every other time. They can look forward to it, and once they have unpacked their new toy or book, they can move on with it for now. You can also buy fine books in advance to prepare them for what is to come. There are plenty of children’s books on flying and flying: my personal favorite is Kitten on the plane. “

First aid kit

“In addition, put together a kind of first aid kit that you can use in difficult times. Bring your kids’ favorite snacks, pack enough other food just to be safe if they don’t want the plane food, and if possible: buy a tablet. In that regard, I really recommend throwing the pedagogical norms overboard in a unique situation such as during a flight. Move with your child and let go of your parenting structure a bit. The tighter you stick to your rules, the more resistance your children will provide. ”

Let go of the structure

“Do not worry, your children will not assume after a flight that these are the new rules. So feel free to loosen up and give them as much screen time as they need. I would advise you to wait to the last minute with the tablet, so only after you have pulled out all the other resources.There are also special headphones for children.They are wireless, you can connect them to the tablet and they have a decibel limit that is adapted to children’s hearing.And another Good tip: Get a free trial of YouTube Premium and download a bunch of videos offline that will keep your kids entertained for a while. “

“It is also better to let go of the structure in terms of fixed times for nap. Follow your children. If they sleep, it’s fine, otherwise not. If necessary, bring a sleeping bag and hugs so that they have them available at times when they indicate that they want to sleep. Do you know in advance that your child will be upset if he or she skips regular naps? Then of course you have to stick to it. ”

Outbursts of rage

And what if – to put it nicely – ‘the mess breaks out’? Are there any other tactics that Hayat can use to calm the children, or is it better to let them rage? Blauwhoff: “If your child has a tantrum, it often helps to calmly pick him up or take him by the hand and go somewhere else for a while. It often helps to take children out of the situation and distract them so that a moment later they no longer know what they were so busy, angry or bored with. Of course, we do not know if this mother is flying with another adult, it would make it easier. Then you can, for example, agree on a division of tasks: For the first five hours, you pay extra attention to one and your partner to the other, the following hours vice versa. ”

“If the kids are talking loudly, you could call it that. Make them aware of their surroundings and quietly ask them to use their soft voice. If you end up in a ‘no-phase’, you can try to distract them again and turn the situation around. Maybe by grabbing another gift, taking a box of raisins out, or by suggesting going behind the scenes with the stewards. By the way, you can also very well engage them: Almost all cabin crew are often willing to help you if it gets tough. ”


Finally, Blauwhoff has an important message for Hayat: “You can’t help it if your children make noise at certain times. So do not think about the outside world. You paid just as much for this flight and everyone suffers from time to time under children. Now it’s yours, the next it’s someone else’s. And if you find that the disapproving appearance of fellow passengers gives you stress, try to get it out of your system by joking with it. ‘Does anyone want my baby on their lap?’ You can also consider buying a gift in advance with a note on it. You can hand them out to arouse some sympathy. ”

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