If children get restless on the plane, it's quickly over with the relaxed trip. Flight attendants give tips to calm down the little ones.
Sitting still, staying buckled up, being calm – all can be a challenge for children and their parents when traveling. Especially on an airplane, the employment opportunities for the little ones are limited, which quickly causes unrest. But what can passengers do if children suddenly become noisy, crawl under seats or kick their feet against seat backs?
Kicking and noise: How passengers best react to restless children?
"If you're sitting near a child and their behavior is bothering you, try to resolve the situation before engaging others," advises former flight attendant Bobby Laurie, according to online portal Conde Nast Traveller. A little friendliness and humor will get you a lot further than "immediately lapsing into a hostile and accusatory tone," as ex-flight attendant Shawn Kathleen confirms. Distraction in particular seems to be a reliable way to calm children down. So if you want to help the parents and have something with you that arouses the little ones' interest, you can use this – from coloring books to snacks to your own dog flying with you. But if all else fails, it might be time to alert aircrew.
In some situations, it is even safety-relevant to inform the crew, as Bobby Laurie says: For example, if children press the call button excessively often, climb over and under seats or disregard the seatbelt sign. Even then, however, it is difficult for flight attendants to resolve the situation. "But if they don't act like responsible parents and ignore the disruption to the cabin environment their kids are causing, I tell the kids to stop what they're doing," reported flight attendant Ashley Davis. Then, most often, parents would also intervene and admonish the children. However, if she was under the impression that the parents were already making an effort, she wouldn't press the issue there.
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On the plane: What can parents do to reassure their children??
Flight attendants also have some tips for parents: "Bring a mix of old and new toys, and make a game of passing out the toys by wrapping them up and letting your kids guess what's inside," Emirates flight attendant Emily Jones says, according to British newspaper The Sun. She also recommends parents bring extra clothing, like pajamas, in case of spills. Liliana Chantre, a Norwegian Air crew member, also advises bringing noise-canceling headphones for infants and newborns. These would help cope with the feeling of pressure in the ear. A few dabs of lavender balm on the child's temples would also help calm them down.