Tips For Flying With A Toddler

Recently, I’ve received questions from people about to travel with little ones. Also, I have responded to other bloggers inquiring how to keep their sanity when traveling with a toddler. Here are a few tips that may help your experience be less chaotic.

  1. Take a copy of your child’s birth certificate for check-in purposes.
  2. Bring along your child’s FAA approved car seat. I have found my kid behaves so much better when he is confined in his car seat. For easier traveling with a car seat, see my previous post about the Gogo Kidz Travelmate. This thing is a life saver!
  3. Find a secluded area in the airport and wear your child out before getting on the flight.
  4. If you child is under 2, they can fly for free as a lap child. Don’t always assume your flight will not be filled and your kid can have an empty seat. I learned this the hard way and had the worst flight ever with my toddler on my lap. It was so bad, I spent $400 on a one-way seat for our return flight (which was empty and I could have had a seat). It’s just not worth the gamble!
  5. If you are concerned about your kid kicking the seat in front of him, reserve that seat for your spouse or flying companion.
  6. Lollipops, snacks and drinks are a requirement for take off and landing. These help out when little ears start hurting and are a great distraction during the flight.
  7. Make sure your child has a dry diaper before taking off. Many airplanes do not have changing tables so you will have to use an empty seat. Not fun when your child has a diaper explosion or if the plane is filled.
  8. Take new small toys and washable crayons/markers to distract your child. For some extra fun, wrap them in tissue paper so your little one can enjoy tearing them open and discovering what is inside.
  9. If your plane does not have in-seat televisions, download shows to your electronic device or bring along a portable dvd player.
  10. Try to be calm otherwise, your child will feel your stress and react. If your kid does scream on the flight, just remember you’re not alone. Many parents have been in your shoes and will sympathize with you. For those who glare, just smile. Their day is coming!

If you have any other tips, please leave some comments!

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3 Thoughts to “Tips For Flying With A Toddler”

  1. I have never actually flown with my kids, but I have taken some looong road trips (including an 18 hour drive from Buffalo, NY) and those portable DVD players are worth their weight in gold. I got an off brand (Coby to be exact) and they were less than $100 each. They are re-chargeable and since they were such a good price, each kid was able to get their own. Sharing is not a great idea for trips if it can be avoided. I also try to avoid any sort of sugary snack because my kids are already a mess in their normal state. Cubes of cheddar cheese and Kashi crackers are their favorites, along with water, because after a few mishaps, only clear beverages are allowed in my car. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be geared towards flying travelers, but your tips can be applied to traveling in general.

  2. Good advice. I’m not brave enough to take mine on a long car trip. 🙂

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