Flying with a toddler can be both an exciting and challenging experience for parents. With proper planning, organization, and patience, you can turn air travel into a stress-free adventure for your young ones.
As remote work becomes more popular, it provides more flexibility for air travel. From preparing for the flight to packing essentials specifically designed for babies and toddlers, our expert advice will ensure that families traveling together have everything they need to make flying enjoyable.
If you are looking at the simplest and quickest way to fly with a toddler, read here to learn more about how to fly with a carry on only.
After reading this article, you will be confident flying with your toddler. Just imagine – you could even consider planning a ski vacation with the family!
Essential Tips for Flying with a Toddler Stress-Free
Tip #1: Preparing Ahead for the Flight
To ensure a pleasant and stress-free experience, proper preparation is key when flying with your toddler. To help you get ready for your upcoming flight, we’ve compiled some essential tips on how to prepare when traveling with your little one.
Choose the Right Flight Time
Selecting a flight time that aligns with your toddler’s natural sleep schedule can greatly improve their comfort during travel. If possible, book flights during nap times or overnight so they are more likely to sleep through most of the trip. This can provide both a restful journey for your toddler and much-needed respite for you.
Research Airline Policies
Different airlines have varying policies regarding flying with toddlers, such as fees for lap infants or stroller check-in procedures. Familiarize yourself with airline policies ahead of time to prevent unexpected issues when travelling.
Here’s Some Packing Essentials To Consider
Here are some essential items to pack when flying with a toddler:
- Baby carrier: It’s a good idea to bring a baby carrier with you, especially when flying with a lap infant. In the event where your toddler refuses to nap in the plane, trying to soothe them to sleep in a baby carrier can be helpful.
- Suitcase stroller: Bringing a suitcase that converts into a stroller will help minimize the amount of baggage you lug with you. This will save you the hassle of juggling multiple baggage.
- Snacks: Pack plenty of healthy and mess-free snacks for your little one. This will help keep them satisfied during long flights or unexpected delays. For snacking, consider bringing granola bites, fruit pouches, and crackers.
- Toys and activities: Keep your child entertained by packing their favorite toys or new ones they haven’t seen before. You may also want to bring coloring books, stickers, or activity pads that don’t take up too much space.
- A change of clothes: Accidents happen. Bring an extra set of clothes for both you and your child in anticipation of any spills or mishaps that may occur during the flight.
- Baby wipes and hand sanitizer: Airplanes aren’t always the cleanest places, so it’s important to have baby wipes and hand sanitizer readily available for quick cleanups.
- Pacifiers or comfort items: If your child uses pacifiers or has a special blanket they like to sleep with, make sure these are easily accessible during the flight.
- Car seat: If you’ve purchased a separate seat for your child, it’s best to bring an FAA-approved car seat on board. This will not only keep them safe but also provide a familiar and comfortable space during the flight.
In addition to packing essentials specifically for your toddler, don’t forget about yourself. Bring any personal items that will make your trip more enjoyable and stress-free, such as noise-cancelling headphones or a neck pillow.
When you are ready and at ease, tackling any issues that come up during your journey with the toddler will be simpler.
Tip #2: Onboard Strategies To Use When Flying With A Toddler
Flying with a toddler can be difficult, but having the right strategies on board will make your journey easier and more enjoyable for you both. In this section, we’ll explore some practical tips to help manage your toddler during the flight.
Choose Your Seats Wisely
When booking your flight, consider reserving seats that offer extra space or are located near essential amenities like restrooms. Bulkhead seats often provide additional legroom, making it easier to attend to your child’s needs throughout the flight.
Depending on the size of your baby, your baby may fit in the bassinet which provides them a comfortable place to nap during the flight.
Additionally, sitting close to restrooms allows for quick diaper changes or bathroom breaks without disturbing other passengers too much.
Board The Plane Early
Many airlines offer priority boarding for families traveling with young children.
Take advantage of this opportunity by arriving at the gate early and boarding as soon as possible – giving you ample time to settle in and set up your car seat before take-off. This also ensures that there is plenty of space to store your bags in the overhead compartment.
Bring Comfort Items
- Pack a small blanket or favourite stuffed animal for added comfort during naptime.
- Bring along familiar snacks that won’t cause mess on board (e.g., fruit pouches).
- Bring a set of pyjamas to change into for sleep time.
Manage Ear Pressure Changes
Toddlers may experience discomfort due to changes in cabin pressure during take-off and landing, causing ear pain. To help alleviate this, encourage your child to swallow by offering a drink or snack. For babies and younger tots, suckling a pacifier can be an effective way of relieving any discomfort.
Technology Can Be Your Friend
This is the time when it is ok for your child to use technology. Save your child’s favourite educational shows on a tablet. Using a tablet can help keep them entertained and occupied during long flights, reducing stress and making the journey more enjoyable for both the child and the parent.
Enjoy Flying with Your Toddler on Your Next Holiday
Traveling with toddlers can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to air travel. However, with the right planning, organization, and patience, parents can turn this experience into a stress-free and enjoyable adventure.
By following these expert tips provided in this guide, families can ensure that they have everything they need to make flying with young children a breeze.
So, if you’re planning a trip with your little ones, buckle up and enjoy the journey, knowing that you have all the tools you need to make it a memorable and fun experience for everyone.
I am an international design award winner, entrepreneur and a mother of 2. Traveling is my passion. As a work from home mom, and co-founder of TernX, I’m on a mission to simplify family travel by making airport travel with kids a whole lot easier. Since its founding, TernX has earned five international awards for its innovative design and commitment to excellence in the travel industry. You can learn about our innovative suitcase stroller at TernX.