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Flying with a baby or a young child can be stressful for both parents and little ones but does this mean we shouldn't travel with our kids?
According to recent survey results, 60 per cent of Aussie parents believe tots aged under one are too young to go on domestic flights with their parents, and 45 per cent think under-fives are too young for international travel.
The data comes from a survey (commissioned by travel insurance specialist, InsureandGo), of an independent panel of 1133 Australian parents who travel.
The survey asked parents: When thinking about a child's comfort and wellbeing, at what age should children be before they can go on a domestic or international flight holiday with their parents?
The results have us shook. By these stats, are we really expected to not fly with our young ones?
Even more cautious were some of the older parents (aged between 45-64) who believed kids should be five years or older before they can go on a domestic flight.
And for international travel, 16 per cent of the older parents thought even under-12s are still not ready for an overseas, this is compared with just 5 per cent of parents under 45.
Sure, travelling with kids is hard but it's loads of fun too.
A spokesperson at InsureandGo, Jonathan Etkind says young children can still travel, they just need to be comfortable and kept entertained during a flight.
"A child's health and wellbeing is particularly important when travelling – and to the overall enjoyment of your trip," he says.
"When flying, ensure to keep your children comfortable and entertained on flights, by packing extra snacks and things to entertain them, such as colouring books."
When flying, keep your children comfortable and entertained.
1. Encourage natural sleep.
Getting a natural night's sleep on flights can be a challenge, but bringing your child's favourite bedtime toy or reading them a story can help. Try to discourage screen time during normal sleeping hours and limit your child's screen time overall. For example, one movie for an international flight will keep them entertained and suggest activities such as colouring books once the movie is over.
2. Consider booking overnight flights.
Depending on your holiday destination, consider booking a flight that coincides with your child's sleep routine. Most flights dim the lights during a night flight to reinforce sleeping patterns, so it's likely your child will be asleep for a large part of the journey.
3. Prevent travel sickness.
Restlessness can result in travel sickness in children. Reduce the likelihood of this by encouraging a relaxing game and avoiding unnecessary head movements, by using pillows or a headrest. It also helps to avoid heavy meals during travel and fit in a light snack before the flight.
4. Counteract cabin pressure.
The effects of cabin pressure can be uncomfortable for many adults, and this pressure causes even more pain and discomfort for babies and kids, due to their narrower ear tubes. Counteract this by the usual remedies – encourage them to yawn, swallow or chew gum and sweets. Babies can be particularly affected, feeding them often does the trick.
5. Reserve bassinets where possible.
Allow your baby to lie down comfortably in-flight by requesting a bassinet, which attaches to the front wall of each section in the aircraft. However, travelling with an infant doesn't guarantee a bassinet on a flight, so make sure to request it during booking.
6. Request the right meals.
Some kids can be picky with their meals. If that's the case, specify and food requirements or allergies when booking your flight to ensure they will be able to eat their meal.
(Tips provided from InsureandGo)