Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Travel-wear tips for infants & children

Dressed for success. Or at least easy diaper-changes.
Infants usually have it pretty easy on long-haul flights, especially if they get a cot, and as long as their ears don't bug them. After all, they don't have to worry about airplane food (formula and breast-milk taste the same on board as on the ground, or so I presume), and they're used to just laying around or being held for hours.

Still, as a parent, there are a few things you can think about when dressing your baby for a flight to help keep them happy on board.

Travel-wear tips for babies

1. Dress them in something practical and comfy - It might be stating the obvious, but frilly and fancy can wait until you land. My daughter traveled in her pajamas on one of our flights when she was an infant, and I thought that was perfect. I recommend:
  • picking a one-piece outfit because they don't tend to ride up and bunch up as much
  • choosing something that is easy for you to handle when changing a diaper in a cramped airplane bathroom: something with buttons for easy diaper-access is great

2. Bring socks - Planes can get chilly sometimes, and socks can definitely help keep those baby toes warm.

Touched by Nature Organic Caps 3pk, Pink
3. Bring a hat too - Especially for very young babies, one of those cute little stretchy hats might be a good idea for the same reason as bringing socks: if the plane feels a little chilly the hat will help.

4. Don't forget a sweater - Layers are good for adults on board and for babies. Pick a soft, long-sleeved sweater or cardigan to provide extra warmth if you need it.

NUK Universal BPA Free Pacifier Clip, 1 Pack, Colors May VaryMunchkin Pacifier Attacher, Colors May Vary

5. Clip on that pacifier! - If your baby uses a pacifier, remember to bring a strap to secure it to their clothing. It can save you a lot of trouble if you know exactly where that thing is at all times! (And you'll also minimize how many times that pacifier will drop on the floor.) Also bring an extra pacifier, just in case.

Travel-wear tips for children
My travel-wear tips for children on long flights are much the same as my travel-wear tips for parents:

Tie Dye SPIDER BLACK Retro Vintage Groovy Youth Kids Tee Shirt T-ShirtTie-Dye T-Shirt ~ Short Sleeve ~ 100% Cotton ~ Blue Ocean
1. Wear dark colors - I consider my son's black and gray tie-dye t-shirt the perfect travel-wear: spills and stains just blend in!

2. Don't wear anything too tight - Few things are more uncomfortable on board than tight pants. And kids who may feel anxious and worried about flying will just feel worse if their clothes are uncomfortable too. Also, in my experience, sitting down on a plane, at high altitude, in clothes that are too tight can actually make you feel queasy and barfy.

I think elastic waistbands rule for kids on board: it's comfier, and also easier for them (or you) to handle in the bathroom. Sweatpants or soft and stretchy cotton leggings are perfect.

3. Wear breathable materials - Skip any materials that might make your kids feel sweaty and uncomfortable in their seats.

4. Pick shoes that come on and off easily - And that are also easy for you to help them with.

5. Wear socks - Bare kids' feet are not necessarily fun for other travelers to encounter on and between the seats. Also, you might want to protect your child's feet from the germ-content of the bathroom floors, carpeting and seat cushions on an airplane!

6. Layer a zip-up sweater over a t-shirt for versatility - This makes it easier to keep your kids warm if needed or cool them off if the plane gets warm.

Luvable Friends 3-Pack Side-Closure, Applique and Embroidery Baby BibsBumkins Keith Haring Waterproof Superbib, 3 Pack

7. Bring bibs for kids you think might need them - Eating without making a mess on board isn't always easy even for adults, and for small children a bib can come in very handy.

8. Pack a change of clothes for your children and yourself in the hand luggage - I bring a pair of pants and a shirt for each of my kids and usually a t-shirt for me: just in case of spills or other accidents. A pair of extra socks for kids are a good idea too: if they wear nothing but socks in the airplane bathroom, they might need a change.

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