For older children, especially active ones, many parents have found different type of harnests etc. valuable – they can keep the child close by when traveling. Honestly I’m not a big fan of putting my child on a leash, but they work for some.
A cool harnest though, is this CARES seat belt. You don’t need the booster or carseat for the flight, just this harnest!
What to pack with you? I say be prepared for everything!
An extra chance of clothes is a good idea for everybody, including mom and dad. For babies and toddlers at least two sets of extra clothing for long flights with layovers. A blankie is always a good idea, and for babies and toddlers using diapers – remember to pack clothing that makes diaper changing easy and fast! Buy some cute big bibs – when spills happen, you can just hope that a bib is the only one you need to change.
Your diaper bag should include more diapers and gear than normally – your luggage might get lost, your flight might be late, you might have unexpected delays, and might not get a chance to buy more if needed for a while. Wipes, sanitaiser, lip balm. Bring Tylenol, just in case.
A small towel might be handy, and extra toys will keep the child occupied. Buy new toys for the flight – something new to keep the interest up, but inexpensive, if it gets lost, it’s not a big deal. The favorite stuffed animals are as risky to leave home as to take with you, use your judgement. There are so many other things in your mind, that the possibility of loosing ”Fluffy”, but you might hear the whole trip how much he is missed.
Take the baby food with you, but check the airlines regulations ahead, what you can bring. Snacks are great for older children too, but do not pack too much sugary snacks. They will just raise the blood sugar level fast and might make children more hyper than normally. Healthy snacks are always better.
For older kids DVD-players, iPods or CD-players are worth every penny. Movies and story CDs will keep children occupied, don’t forget books and coloring books either. You will be happy for every piece of entertainment you brought along for the kids. You will be much happier that you carried too many, than wishing that you had packed more. Let the child be part of the packing and have her/him carry her own bag. It will increase the independence and keep the child busy in the important job of taking care of her/his own carry on bag.