GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.-- The recent story of the airplane passenger allegedly slapping a young mom's crying toddler is every parent's worst nightmare. But even without that painful drama, flying with babies or young children can be stressful for everyone involved.
So what can parents do to be prepared for those fussy moments? And how can fellow passengers help ease the stress for both parents and children?
Dr. Marti Erickson, developmental psychologist and co-host of MomEnough.com, shared some tips on making the trip as stress-free as possible.
Here are her suggestions for parents:
1. Allow child to burn off energy before boarding flight.
2. Arrive at airport early enough to let child have time to walk around and explore.
3. Bring something for child to suck or chew during take-off & landing (to ease ear pressure).
4. Have a bag of surprises to last through the flight.
5. Set clear expectations in advance and notice good behavior frequently.
Here are her tips for passengers:
1. Offer to help the parents at security or when boarding--for example, offer to carry some of the paraphernalia young kids often require, help put bags or coats in the overhead bin or simply ask what would be helpful.
2. If child seems open to it, interact playfully.
3. Offer words of support and encouragement to the parent.
For more ideas and parenting suggestions, visit MomEnough.com.
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