There’s a certain amount of tact involved in bringing toddlers and small children on a long flight. Any parent that has struggled to fasten their child into a car seat may dread the thought of an extended flight. However, there’s a lot that you can do to make the trip manageable for you and your child. Don’t let your son or daughter make you second guess a trip to an exotic location abroad. Follow a few of these tips and you may find a long flight more manageable than predicted.

Before The Airport

First, you’ll want to prepare prior to the trip. Even before jumping in the car and heading to the airport, there’s a lot you can do to ensure the flight will go smoothly. Condé Nast Traveler suggested hiring a sitter to watch your child directly before you leave. Have the sitter take your son or daughter to the park to run around or do some other energetic activity to tire them out. This can prevent them from coming down with a case of the wiggles mid-flight. In an ideal world, it could even cause them to sleep through most of the ride. Where exercise fails, food may do the trick. Feed your child a big meal before the airport. This may also encourage them to nap as well. According to the Transportation Security Administration, you can also take baby formula and liquid baby foods in excess of standard security measurements. Take what you think you’ll need to keep your infant fed and friendly.

Bring The Right Toys

There are dozens of ways to keep your child occupied and calm during a long plane ride. In fact, there are 50 different items suggested by Parenting magazine that can keep your son or daughter busy on the plane. However, you should think carefully about what you bring with you. Unfortunately, you can’t bring it all. Taking an extra carry-on can be tedious, and the last thing you want to struggle with is a bag of toys. Moreover, some toys are not made for airplanes. Anything that makes noise or can make a mess should be left at home. Focus on taking just a few items with you. Don’t underestimate the power of electronic devices. A portable DVD player and a pair of headphones can keep a child entertained and calm for hours. As an added bonus, these devices may even distract children from turbulence if they are nervous about flying.