Tips for Flying with a Toddler
Planning on flying with your toddler soon? Here are some tips for flying with a toddler to help your flight go smoothly.
Flying with a toddler for the first time is so scary. I was so nervous that I even considered canceling a few times! For weeks leading up to our trip all I could do was worry about everything that could possibly go wrong. What if she cries the whole time? What if the air pressure hurts her ears? How can I keep her occupied during the flight? Thankfully I was well prepared and her first experience flying was a positive one.
Book the right flight
With babies and toddlers scheduling is so important. Make sure you plan your flight according to your child’s sleep schedule. The best flights for Ella were during times that she would normally be asleep – first thing in the morning, afternoon nap times and during bed time.
Plan your seat
Some airlines allow you to choose your seat ahead of time, this can be extremely beneficial when flying with a baby. If your airline allows, choose a seat at the front of the plane. The front is the quietest and smoothest area of the plane. Planning to sit up front also allows you the convenience of being one of the first people to exit at the end of the flight.
Bring a carry on bag with only the necessities. You will want to have everything you need and you will also want to have easy access to it. My carry on included: diapers, wipes, one change of clothes, an extra binkie, small snacks, a sippy cup, a couple comfort items as well small toys to keep her entertained.
Protect your babies ears
Air pressure can effect your ears during a flight and it can be pretty uncomfortable – especially for children. The most common time for your ears to pop is during take off and descent. Bring a pacifier or a sippy cup for your toddler to suck on during these times to help prevent their ears from popping.
Plan your time
Arrive at the airport early, but not too early. I like to arrive two hours before my flight. After going through security, you will have about and hour before they start loading the plane. I use that time to let Ella play and burn off any extra energy she might have so when we board the plane she is ready to relax (and hopefully sleep) for the duration of the flight.
Most toddlers don’t have the patience to sit still for the duration of a flight. Make sure you are prepared by bringing several different activities to keep your baby entertained. I like to bring a variety of things so if they gets bored with one, I have something else to offer. Reading books, coloring books and crayons, and small table toys are all great ideas for a flight.
I downloaded the Netflix app on my phone for Ella to watch during the trip. Some airlines offer free WiFi and others allow you to purchase it during the flight. The great thing about Netflix is you can actually download certain movies and shows onto your app for free. After you download the shows and movies you want, you can watch them with or without WiFi! It was a lifesaver for me to have Netflix available because towards the end of my flight when Ella started to get restless I was able to put on her favorite movie and calm her down.
As mothers we worry and taking a toddler on their first flight can be nerve-wracking. I hope this guide helped put your mind at ease and better prepare you for your toddler’s first flight. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! I would also love to hear about your experience flying with your toddler for the first time.