Crowded airports and planes can seem daunting to parents travelling with small children, especially when the unpredictability of air travel is factored in.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests how to make air travel less stressful:

  • Get to the airport early, especially when traveling with a younger child — to give your family extra time to get through security.
  • Dress your child in shoes and outer layers of clothing that are easy to take off during security screening.
  • Talk with your child about the security-screening process before coming to the airport, so the child knows what will happen.
  • While on a plane, a young child is best protected in a safety seat that’s appropriate for the age, weight and height of the child.
  • The FAA allows a child under age 2 to be held on an adult’s lap. But the academy recommends that each child have his or her own seat.
  • Pack a bag of toys and snacks to keep your child occupied. Be sure to include extras to account for delays.
  • Nurse your baby or give a bottle during ascent and decent to prevent pain from air pressure changes. Offer chewing gum or liquid to an older child.
  • Wash hands frequently or use hand-washing gel and disinfectant wipes to prevent illness stemming from travel.

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