To some it means a bit of drooling. To others it may bring red cheeks, sore little buns, and raging irritability.
Teething can be tough for kids- and miserable for all when traveling away from the comforts of home.
Here are 7 Tips if Flying with a Teething Child:
1. Don’t forget the possibility of teething when a child is in-between teeth. When planning travel, it’s easy to overlook the little tooth waiting to announce itself at 37,000 feet. ALWAYS pack several symptomatic relief items for the potential of a teething child (and kindness for those seated in the same cabin!). Kids tend to start teething at the least opportune time and when we least expect it!
My son had 16 teeth on his first birthday. Yes – 16! I learned early on not to rule out the possibility of teething or listen to those who told me my son probably would get only 4-6 teeth in the first 12 months.
2. Pack a small zippered baggie with teething toys, chewable jewels, and washcloths. Do not allow a teething child to suck on an airplane seat, tray table, or adult fingers. Avoid using a finger to rub the irritated gums. Hands typically carry germs and may add illness to the itinerary. The airplane interior may have been sprayed with chemicals and is usually very dirty.
3. Chill a wet washcloth in cup of ice and then allow a teething child to find relief by sucking or chewing on the cloth. The coolness may provide soothing relief to swollen gums. Only use bottled water to moisten the cloth. Airplane water is often contaminated.
4. Keep the child well hydrated. Teething kids may not like to eat, but small sips of water helps keep them hydrated.
5. Pack extra diapers and diaper cream. In my experience, teething babies tend to have loose stools and sore buns. My family has relied on Penaten Creme for generations of diaper rashes and skin cuts and scrapes.
6. Do not rule out illness in addition to teething. Consider all symptoms and consult your medical care provider about safe fever parameters before traveling. Some children may experience a low grade fever when teething.
7. Pack extra patience and understanding. Communicate with passengers around you if irritability becomes an issue, but do not expect them to understand (those who are not parents or do not like children should not be expected to be empathetic).
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