Flying Tips With A Toddler
Hello Friends! Today I am going to share with you my thoughts and tips on flying with a toddler. If you’ve been following my blog you know we just got back from visiting the family. Y’all it was a 14-hour flight then another hour and a half flight to get home. Plus we live about two hours from the airport and our family lives about an hour and a half from the airport. So we’ve had a lot of travel experience these last two years with a little one. This was actually our second time traveling around trip with Mason. The first time was when Mason was 5-6 months and I traveled with Mason solo. This time DC was with us and Mason was 16 months old.
While I know it is not an exact science and all kiddos are different here are my tips on what worked well for us….
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Flying Tips With A Toddler
Packing the Diaper Bag
We opted for a backpack for the plane and actually packed our diaper bag to use while we were on vacation. Our regular backpacks are just much bigger and fit all the stuff better. Our must-haves were: at least one extra set of comfortable clothes for everyone (at least one people will get sick or spill something on them),sanitizing wipes (I swear the bathroom and our seats were cleaner when we left), snacks (I’ll go into detail on these), toys, games, books, electronics, water bottle, and pacifier or suckers. Of course, you can add to this but this was our must-haves.
Snacks are huge for not one the toddler but for the adults as well. No one needs to be hangry on a long plane ride. Normally I do not eat the airplane food but with this one being a 14-hour flight I ate it up! I was not too sure about Mason eating the food though so I packed him a peanut butter sandwich. Some of our other favorite snacks for Mason are Larabar, fig bar, raisins, grapes, we will share RxBar with him, oatmeal, then we also packed puffs (I am normally not a fan of puffs but we wanted a ‘busy’ food that would not hurt his belly).
Toys and Books
I am sure this depends on age and what each child is into but this is what worked for us….
Sticker books! Mason loved talking about the stickers and moving them around. Plus it takes me a long time to peel and stick each one. We got this one and also some at our local dollar store.
Books! Mason LOVES books so we knew this was a winner!
Play-Doh in a ziplock bag. This was totally knew to Mason so he really liked the look and feel of it.
Water bottles (put trash in them for more fun), seat belts, and whatever else is in the plane! Make everything a toy!
Until our flight Mason had never touch an iPad, so we just KNEW he would love it. Well….he did for about 5 minutes. We download apps and made share they did not require wifi but he just did not really care. If your child loves it though go with it! You could even purchase the plane wifi (money well spent)
The inflight entrainment is also a great use!
Also, I normally do not allow Mason to play with electronics or watch TV at his age but with a 14+ hour flight it is all about survival not ‘best parenting ever’! A little electronics or extra treats are not going to change to make some huge impact. It might save everyone some tears though!
Travel at Night if You Can
The best way to travel with a toddler is when they are sleeping right? This is not always an option but when it is I fully recommend it! Both times we have flown to the States from Japan in the evening. Mason slept more on these flights. When he is 5 months old I took his swaddle, fed him, swaddled him and he was out just like normal.
This did not work as well at 16-months but he still slept more on the afternoon flight over than the morning flight back. (They don’t often afternoon flights back to Japan)
How funny is this? Whatever works I tell ya!
Wear them if you can! Baby wearing is the BEST! The child cannot get away from you and no creepers can take them from you. Plus both hands are free! Did I say it’s the best because it is. We’ve had our LILLEbaby All Seasons since Mason was about 4 months old and we love it! It fits both me and my husband perfect! It’s even lasted great through multiple washes.
Let them run like crazy before getting on the plane.
Basically, let them get the wiggles out! It’s tough for us to be seated that long so think about how hard it really is for littles that just do not understand.
Wear comfortable and layered clothing. You seriously never know how the temperature is going to be on a plane.
We also opt out of taking blankets. It is just too much stuff!
Some say allow them to color. I personally just saw me picking up a ton of crayons off the floor and fighting with Mason to keep them out of his mouth. It might work for you though.
Let them stand….I understand the safety concerns many have but we just did not see 14-hours of sitting. So we held him and allowed him to stand up while keeping a hand on him, just did not allow him to jump around.
Don’t be afraid to bend the rules…
We normally do not allow Mason to have his pacifier unless he is in his crib. We also do not allow him to snack all the time but you know what…..on the plane we did! Don’t stress over it! It is not worth a fight! You and the guy in 8C will be glad of it!
While everyone else is sleeping this is us!
Question: Any tips you have for flying or flying with children?