We recently took a family trip with Little Miss which involved quite a bit of flying. We hadn’t taken her on a plane since she started walking and I was more than a little bit concerned how she would do sitting on my lap for such a long time now that she was a toddler (we had 2 flights, one of which was 5 hours long!). Luckily, my aunt used to be a flight attendant and had lived in Hawaii when my cousin was little so she knew just what to suggest to keep Little Miss entertained!
- Pack lots of fun and yummy snacks – No one likes to be hungry and little ones especially can get hangry very quickly. Little miss is very into Goldfish crackers so I packed several bags of those as well as graham crackers, fruit snacks, and plain crackers. We also got fresh water to put in her sippy cup once we got through security and made sure to eat when we had layovers.
- Let them walk around in the seating area at the gate – It’s hard for little ones to have to sit still for long (or even short) flights! By letting them explore and walk around the gate area they can stretch their legs, stimulate their brain, and hopefully wear themselves out so that they nap when you board.
- Pack new/special toys – This one is big. There’s nothing quite so exciting as novelty and a new toy can do the trick! If your toddler is old enough to understand presents, try wrapping them so that it adds to the excitement. Bonus: it takes longer for them to get to the toy extending the excitement and how long it holds their attention. If you’re really on top of things, you can pack several of the wrapped gifts and when they lose interest in one, pull the next one out!
- Pack some old magazines – There’s nothing more fun for Little Miss right now than looking at the pictures and, eventually, tearing up the pages. Make sure that you’ve already read the magazines or that you have no interest in reading them. It will make a mess so be prepared to pick up the shredding before leaving.
- When all else fails, screen time can save you – I know, I know…screen time is a bad word. But, really, in a small confined space, it may be your last saving grace! I’m all about balance and if some screen time will make airline travel more enjoyable for everyone on the plane (and especially me) I’m totally going to resort to it if nothing else will work.
So, what has made air travel easier with your toddler?
Product recommendations: These are some items that I have used, these are affiliate links meaning that Amazon sends me a few pennies if you purchase through the link.
- Baby B’Air Flight vest – This makes me feel better about having a lap baby!
- Umbrella Stroller – I love the high handles on this one, it saves my back. Light and easy to fold, this makes getting through the airport so much easier!
- Indestructibles Baby Book – Found this in an airport and it has been great. Washable, chewable, unrippable!
- Weighted Flexi-straw Sippy Cup – This is Little Miss’ favorite sippy. She can drink from any angle since the straw is weighted.