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Let’s face it, traveling can be rather testing on its own. Add traveling with toddlers to the equation, and your flight might become a disaster of epic proportions. Under such circumstances, kids, especially the ones at that tender age, are not always easy to travel with. Unlike most of us, adults, toddlers are anything but vomit-free, so a certain possibility (and not a small one!) always exists of your flight becoming a complete and utter mess, both figuratively and literally.
Sure, it only gets easier as the little rascals grow older. However, this is not to say you should wait for your toddler to grow into a teenager so that you can finally go on your dream family vacation. Staying clean while on a plane with your toddler is a mean feat, but things are guaranteed to go more smoothly if you adopt the Boy Scout motto “Be Prepared”. We have compiled a short list of tips on staying clean while flying with your toddler which will greatly improve your chances of preserving your sanity by the end of your flight.
GET THE ZIP LOCK BAGS READY
Zip lock bags are a great way to contain the mess your toddler is likely to create while on board of the plane. You can use the bags for a number of purposes. Should an accident happen (we don’t mean to scare you, but it most likely will), you can always place the soiled clothing in the bag and zip it up. The same applies to puréed food – if you have packed jars of puréed food, you will feel safe in the knowledge nothing will get spilled and stain your luggage.
Your child couldn’t finish the sandwich you packed? Zip it in the bag for later. The bigger the zip bags are, the better. We recommend you stock on 3 gallon-sized bags.
PACK THE BABY WIPES
If you are boarding a plane with a toddler, you most certainly will come to the realisation baby wipes are one of the greatest creations of mankind. Their biggest advantage is their multi-functionality. You can use them to sanitise door handles before entering the plane’s bathroom or wipe the child’s hands clean. The same goes for tray tables and arm rests which can easily become a breeding ground for a variety of germs and bacteria.
PLANE TOILETS HAVE CHANGE TABLES
Before you board the plane, make sure your toddler visits the bathroom. If the child still wears diapers and needs to have them changed, use the plane’s toilets. The flight attendants will thank you for it! On most planes, there is at least one bathroom with a changing table, designed especially for this purpose. Needless to say, this will make things more convenient for you and the child, not to mention it will spare you the wrath of your seat neighbours.
It would be an excellent idea to bring some disposable pads which are perfect for changing diapers on the go. Professional Cleaners SW17 suggest you opt for pads infused with baking soda as this will help eliminate the unpleasant odour. You can spread the pad on the bathroom’s changing table for extra protection.
If your child is still potty training, you may end up visiting the plane’s bathroom more often. As a matter of fact, there will be bathroom visits aplenty. But as Monty Python’s members once sang, “Always look on the bright side of life”. And indeed, what better way to stretch your legs on a long flight other than taking yet another trip to the bathroom. Besides, it’s not like you have any other options.
PACK ALL THE SNACKS
It is recommendable to prepare a snack pack for the child the evening before you embark on your trip. Choose food that doesn’t get spoiled quickly and can stay at room temperature for hours on end.
Some of the options that are on the mess-free spectrum of edibles include ham and cheese sandwiches without mayonnaise or ketchup, pieces of fruit, a bag of crackers and sliced cucumbers. Vegetables are either impossible to find at airports or are so expensive they seem like a highway robbery. Whenever your child gets hungry, take their snack pack out, but make sure you use the tray table on the seat to prevent crumbs from falling on the floor.
HAVE (MANY) BIBS HANDY
If you are flying with kids ages between 12 and 24 months, a bib can truly be a lifesaver. And even that sounds like a huge understatement! If you plan to feed your toddler puréed food, don’t forget to fasten a bib on their neck to contain the mess and keep the child’s clothing clean.
If the bib ends up soiled, you can place it in one of your zip-lock bags and you’re good to go. Even if the child is over two years old, using a bib is recommendable, unless of course, you want your kid’s clothes to look like a finger-paint “masterpiece” at the end of the flight. And we have a hunch this is not what you are aiming at.
KEEP YOUR SEAT CLEAN
Yes, we know it sounds like the next instalment of the Mission Impossible series. But jokes aside, you should not allow any garbage to accumulate in or around your seat. You can collect all empty food packages, used wipes and paper towels and dispose of them on what seems like your 100th visit to the bathroom. Otherwise, you risk feeling rather suffocated sitting in the midst of a colossal pile of empty packages.
Flying is stressful and draining enough as it is even if you don’t have a toddler with you, so don’t hesitate to give our tips a go, if you are planning to travel by plane for your next vacation or family gathering. We promise your flight will be smooth as butter.
Have you got any other top tips to add from your own flying experience?
About the Author
Demi is a professional mommy of two. She is also manager of her own cleaning agency. She knows a lot about cleaning and keeping a tidy home.