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How to prepare children for their first flight

If you’re about to fly with your child for the very first time, you might feel apprehensive about how they will react to their time at the airport and on board the plane - but with some forward thinking and organisation, you should be able to have a straightforward and enjoyable journey. In this article, we provide advice on how you can approach travelling with your brood for the first time.

How to prepare a child for their first flight

From talking your little one through your travel plans to making sure you arrive at the airport with time to spare, there are a number of things you can do to make your flight as stress-free and pleasant as possible.

Talk about your travel plans with your child

In the weeks and days running up to your departure, it’s a good idea to chat to your child about your upcoming travel plans. It’s important that you create a sense of excitement for your child, but you may also want to set clear expectations. For example, you may want to explain that because airports can be quite busy and noisy, it’s important that your little one stays close to you at all times. You should also chat about the flight, explaining that your child can use this time to sit back and relax. Speaking about your journey ahead of time will help your little one understand what is about to happen, making the experience as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Book a flight during nap time

It might be a good idea to book a flight for a time when you know your little one will feel sleepy. With any luck, your child will fall asleep during the flight, giving you some time to rest and relax before you reach your destination. An in-flight nap should also mean that your travel companion wakes up feeling refreshed and ready to continue your onward journey.

Get as organised as possible

Organisation is key when it comes to travelling with little ones. The good news is, there are a number of things you can get sorted in advance of your travel day that can help make your experience as seamless as possible.

For example, you may want to spend some time preparing any paperwork or digital versions of the important documentation you need, such as boarding passes, entry visas and of course, your passports. Ensuring you have everything together in one place before you fly will mean that you’re not distracted on the day of your flight, so you can focus your time and attention on your child as you make your way through the airport and onto the plane.

You could also use this opportunity to pre-book your airport parking. At Liverpool Airport, you can take advantage of Fast Track Family Parking. Booking this service means you can pull up in one of our extra wide parking bays which are just a short walk from the terminal entrance. You’ll even receive complimentary Fast Track Security passes for up to two adults and two children. These passes allow you to use the airport’s Fast Track queuing system so you spend less time at security - just what you need when you have little ones in tow.

Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare

There’s nothing worse than having to rush through an airport to make a flight - especially if you have children with you. To help you feel calm, relaxed and in control, aim to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare. This will ensure you have a buffer of time to deal with any potential obstacles you may encounter, such as long queues at check-in. Once you’re through security and into the airport lounge, you can let your kids stretch their legs before the flight or get something to eat. You may even want to treat your little one to something special in one of the airport shops as a reward for their good behaviour.

Is Liverpool Airport family friendly?

Liverpool Airport is well equipped for families, providing a smooth, seamless experience for those travelling with little ones. There are a wide range of services available at the terminal that have been put in place to help make your time at the airport as straightforward and enjoyable as possible.

You can find baby changing facilities throughout the airport, and breastfeeding is welcomed in our terminal. However, if you’d prefer some privacy, you can find our dedicated feeding room on the Upper Retail Level.

If you’re flying with a baby, you’re able to take enough baby food and milk formula for your entire journey through our security checkpoints - even if this exceeds the 100ml liquid limit. Alternatively, you can choose to order your baby food and formula in advance for collection from our Boots store once you have passed through security. Simply visit the Boots website to place your order and select our airport store as your collection point.

Additionally, if you or your child has any disabilities or special needs, our staff are on hand to help out and make your airport experience go as smoothly as possible. For disability or special needs assistance, get in touch before your flight or ask a member of staff at the airport.

There are also a variety of places to eat and drink at Liverpool Airport which are perfect for little ones. Frankie & Benny’s and the Kissing Gate offer delicious food for all the family to enjoy, including children’s menus, while Burger King, Greggs and Starbucks are ideal for a quick bite with your brood before take off.

Looking for last minute travel essentials? Our terminal offers a range of retail shops where you can pick up those much needed items for you and your family, including WH Smiths, JD Sports and our World Duty Free store.

What to take on a child’s first flight?

There can be a lot to remember when it comes to packing for a flight with a child. To make sure you don’t forget the essentials, take a look at our handy checklist below.

  • Your child’s passport. Regardless of whether your little one is six months old or six years, they’ll require their own passport, so make sure you have this ready and include it in your cabin luggage as you’ll need to show it upon check-in and right before you board the plane.
  • Changing bag essentials. Don’t forget to pack enough nappies, wipes, nappy cream and hand sanitiser gel for those all-important nappy changes. It’s also a good idea to pack a changing pad, burp cloths and a couple of spare sets of clothes.
  • All the snacks. Avoid the wrath of a hungry child and make sure you pack lots of yummy snacks in your cabin bag for your little one to tuck into during the flight. If you’re travelling with a baby, you can also bring along breast milk or formula and jarred baby food.
  • Some home comforts. It helps to have some familiar home comforts on hand too, such as a cosy blanket or your child’s favourite teddy. These can come in handy if your child takes an in-flight nap. For babies, you may want to pack extra soothers and comforters.

Lots of toys and activities. While a baby may sleep and coo their way through a flight, toddlers and young children will need more entertainment. With this in mind, pack your cabin luggage with lots of fun toys and activities, such as colouring in books and puzzles. You may also want to download their favourite TV shows and films to your tablet - just make sure it’s fully charged ahead of your journey.