A wonderful book that will answer all your travel questions, help you pre plan and pack, and make you feel secure is Vicki Lansky’s book, “Trouble Free Travel with Children,” (Book Peddlers, $8.95) Try your book store, or call Book Peddlers at 1-800-255-3379 and explain why you need it post haste. This book covers all types of travel, gives an amazing amount of practical information, and is especially helpful to moms flying with infants/toddlers. Here are a few tips from the book and from me.
In your carry on, pack everything you’d need for the baby for a full day. You need to expect the unexpected; carry on your own necessities too. Always carry on medications, as well as your photo ID, cash, etc. I find a back pack with several outer compartments very helpful. You may want to wear a small, belted purse or “fanny pack.” Use strong, recloseable plastic bags for other personal items and put them in the carry on or back pack. Use a soft, front pack to carry your baby, hands free. Carry a soft cloth or dishtowel, as well as a small wet washcloth in a “baggie”. Consider a bib for baby and a coverall apron for yourself. Pack snacks for yourself, and half fill the baby’s bottle with water or juice to use until you can ask the flight attendant to refill it. (Upon takeoff or when changing altitude, your baby does not know how to yawn, “pop” ears or chew gum to relieve painful pressure on the ear drums. Sucking on a pacifier or bottle will relieve this pressure and prevent a crying baby.) Confirm your flight, get to the airport one hour early, and ask the gate agent’s advice on the most convenient seats. Try to arrange an empty adjoining seat so you can lay the baby down to sleep. They will let you board before the other passengers to get settled. Most important, YOU need to breathe deeply and relax. Consider using a tape player to hear a novel or music. If you are anxious or tense, your baby will pick it up and be uncomfortable and fussy. Do what you normally do to help your baby rest or sleep…hum, sing softly, rock…Everyone will understand and help out. Happy flying! ——————————————————– Ms. Petersen’s nationally syndicated parenting column is carried in over 200 newspapers twice each week. As a family/parenting consultant, early childhood educator, Head Start consultant, and host of a series of parent training audio and video tapes, Ms. Petersen employs an approach of providing hands-on, nuts and bolts advice to parents across the country. Her new book “A Practical Guide to Early Childhood Planning: The What Why and How of Lesson Plans” has just been released.