The thought of flying with a toddler is daunting to a lot of parents. And why shouldn’t it be? You’re stuck in an aluminum tube with no way out. Here’s the thing though, do you really want to be stuck in a car with your kid for 30 hours? I love my daughter, but no freaking way am I doing that… I’ll make the best out of a five hour flight, thank you.
Helpful Tips and Tricks for flying with a Baby/Toddler:
- EarPlanes – these are basically earplugs that help keep the pressure stable in your toddlers or babies ears. They are grooved and “screw” into the ear canal. I cannot recommend them enough.
- Bottle, juice box, lollipop- anything that makes your toddler/ baby do a sucking motion is going to help with keeping the ears clear and pain free. If you do opt for a lollipop I would recommend something low sugar. Remember the biggest issue with flying with a toddler or baby is keeping their ears clear.
- Children’s Tylenol/ Motrin – If your toddler/ baby is teething I really, really, really, recommend giving them children’s Tylenol or Motrin. Dealing with a teething kid is the pits and on a plane it’s a lot worse so please just keep them comfortable before it becomes an issue. Not even joking on our last flight our flight attendant told us half an hour before descent to give Kaitlyn Tylenol. Even if she doesn’t seem to be in pain from teething at the time I will still give her a half dose if I know she has teeth breaking through.
- Flight Attendants- flight attendants can be a complete blessing on a flight. When Kaitlyn started getting fussy and nothing was working, the flight attendant came over and held her for a few minutes. Kaitlyn was happy not to be confined anymore, got walked up the aisle some, and was given some fun cups to bang together. Kaitlyn loved it. Of course not every flight attendant loves kids, but if they do you might get a short respite from a cranky kid.
- Snacks- Try to bring foods that aren’t too messy, I like to carry blue berries, string cheese, and puffs/ cheerios on a flight.
- Travel Car Seat or FAA Approved Safety Harness – when flying with a toddler, having them in the car seat or harness with their own space makes feeding them or letting them watch a movie easier it’s also safer in case of turbulence or a collision on the runway.
- Tablet and Kids Headphones – I recommend getting a kids tablet from amazon to load movies, books, and some educational apps onto. If there is ever a time to break your own rules about how much TV you’re going to let you kid watch it’s when you’re on a plane.
Flying with a Baby/Toddler Extras
I love TSA precheck and highly recommend getting it if you are going to be flying often. With or without kids. It makes being at the airport way less stressful. You don’t have to take your shoes or sweater off. No having to deal with taking electronic or food items out of your bag and no standing in super long lines. Please note that if you are bringing mixed bottles or bottles that already have water with them they will put them into a scanner to make sure that it is only water/formula/breast milk. Depending on how busy this airport is this could take a while. At San Francisco International it took half an hour for them to check our bottles. At Phoenix Sky Harbor they did it immediately. Just depends on how buy the airport is.
I always carry a small pack of antibacterial wipes with me. They are great for high chairs at restaurants, shopping carts, and on airplanes. I like to wipe down the trays, armrests, and anything else that’s plastic that Kaitlyn might touch.
When flying with a toddler find some space for them to walk around and burn some energy. I always try to tire Kaitlyn as much as I can before the flight by letting her walk as much as she wants too. On the plane I put the earplanes in and then distract her with some favorite snacks and then follow up with her bottle during take off. Hopefully by this point she’ll be fed and tired and will drift off for an hour or two.
Last but not least don’t feel that you have to be apologetic about bringing your baby/toddler on a plane. In my opinion forcing your kid/s to go on a long road trip is a lot crueler than a short plane ride. Some people are super sweet and will ask if they can help you in any way if your child is fussy. Others will complain about how you need to shut your kid up. Let it roll off of you like a wave and focus on how much fun your going to have with your sweet baby/toddler after the plane lands. If you cant do that. Envision the beer or wine your going to have after bed time.
Thanks for reading!!
Anymore tips and tricks you guys would like to mention? Let me know about it in the comments below!
Be Sure to Check out or latest Flying with a Toddler post here.