I’ve heard a lot of great advice for taking your children on an airplane:
“Have a sippy cup ready for the way up.”
“Wrap a few small presents and let your children open them on the plane.”
“Have your wife jam her breast into your baby’s mouth on takeoff and landing.”
“Make sure to bring lots of books.”
“Have a tablet handy.”
Bravo! Bravo! All wonderful advice, but my experience has been that all you need is to build a mountain of anticipation for the flight, give your kid a seatbelt, and let the makeshift entertainment take care of itself!
1) Build a mountain of anticipation:
We did things like:
- Talked about how much fun plane rides are.
- Reminded him we would be going on a plane soon.
- Read him books about planes.
- Pointed to planes in the sky.
- Excitedly looked at planes when we got to the airport and said things like – “We’re going soon!” “I can’t wait to get on the plane!”
Having done this, our son was splitting at the seams at the airport.
“Look at da aiwpane!”
“We going on da aiwpane soon?”
“I want on da aiwpane!”
He giggled with glee when we finally got on the plane.
“I’m on an aiwpane!!”
“We go up in the aiw now?”
The plane had a 20 minute taxi to the runway. His eyes got heavier and heavier.
“Flight attendants prepare for take off.”
He completely missed the take-off. I couldn’t even nudge him awake for it. He slept like a little planegel for 2 hours.
Then his eyes shot open.
“I’m on an aiwpane, Daddy! I’m on an aiwpane!”
I undid his seatbelt and let him look out the window.
“Look at da clouds, Daddy!”
2) Give your kid a seatbelt:
For the remaining hour of the flight, my son ran the seatbelt/I’m-on-a-plane circuit as follows:
- Pull the seatbelt latch open.
- Pull the seatbelt off.
- Stand on the seat.
- Turn to the people behind and yell, “I’m on an aiwpane!”
- Sit back down.
- Jiggle the seatbelt parts back together until they latch.
Taking your children on an airplane can be an anxious experience. I’ve heard lots of horror stories. Sometimes you’ll get lucky, like we did, and your child’s makeshift entertainment will save the day.
How have your children been entertained when flying? Any other seatbelt enthusiasts out there?