Airline Traveling with a Toddler
Anticipation overwhelmed me as I prepared to travel with my 34lb toddler to visit family alone. This was our first plane trip without Dad and he wasn’t even crawling at that time.
How do you keep your toddler contained and calm on an Airplane?
Easy, you’ve got to keep them comfortable and entertained! Its really only easy though if you prepare in advance and have a source of mental relief for yourself if things get hectic.
It is important to remember that any passenger on the plane will automatically assume your child is going to cry. This also includes a majority of the flight staff. Knowing this you will either have extremely friendly supportive friend’s you’ve made along the way or scowl looks as you make eye contact.
I was determined to show them how its done!
Selecting your Flights
I have now tried an early morning and early afternoon flight with the concept my son would sleep on the plane. The only flight he slept on was our very first early morning flight on a cool morning wrapped in blankets nice and warm. Every other flight he had a party.
When you are selecting your flight rather than selecting based on their naptimes, consider when they will have the most enjoyment. This also includes you being the most calm and prepared as a mother.
We chose nonstop flights and elected to drive from a further airport. If this is an option I highly suggest it. There is nothing worse than a toddler not wanting to get back on the plane at the airport.
Ease of Travel & Entertainment is imperative!
Any Mother knows we want to be hands free for the unexpected. I used an umbrella stroller, 4 wheel small rolling suitcase and a backpack diaper bag for our 3 hour journey. My friends will also tell you I am an over packer – I prefer over prepared!
Carry-on Small Suitcase –
This seems like a hassle however if the suitcase is sized right it will roll right along with you holding the stroller! Don’t forget your Stroller Gate Check Bag. This is a huge hands free opportunity! Contents;
Purse at the bottom with my wallet phone and essentials removed and placed into the diaper bag.
Small Pillow and Blanket
Change of Clothes for Mom
Bag of Toys – Think of things your child really loves and hasn’t experienced. This included; iPad or Kids Amazon Tablet, Hacy Sacks, Set of Cars, Window Decals, Invisible Ink Coloring Books & Plastic Sunglasses.
Bag of Snacks – Include different textures and flavors. We had Goldfish, Fruit Snacks, Vanilla Wafers, Veggie Sticks, Grapes, Pretzels, Apples (Some of these are available in the airport after security as well)
Diaper Bag –
Essentials – Diapers, Wipes….. AND
2 Changes of clothes separated by Ziploc bags
2 Plastic Grocery Bags
Contents to my purse (Wallet, Cell Phone, Head Phones, Extra hair ties)
Both of our flights now have been amazing. There have been moments of fussy irritability but that’s typical of any child you keep anywhere for more than 30 minutes. Play with them, sing songs, laugh at the cars and you will find yourself landed on the ground and an expert traveler!