Flying with Toddler

It is that time when you are ready to take your toddler to see the world or to visit families and friends.  Before booking that flight, read on these tips to help you prepare and make the trip as fun and enjoyable for you and your toddler.  Here are some tips that I came up with after flying with my toddler.

    1.  Booking the flight:
      • Book either an early or mid afternoon flight, around their nap time is best.
      • Nonstop flight if at all possible.
      • If your toddler is active and likes to move around, I’d choose an aisle seat.  This will allow your toddler to walk around if need to.
    2. Getting prepared for the flight:
      • For young toddler that are still on bottle, bring a bottle of milk so he/she can suck on during take off and landing.  If your toddler is still breastfeeding (yay for breastfeeding babies), you know what to do mom.
      • Be prepared for security line.  Bring an umbrella stroller or a stroller car seat so that your toddler can rest in it.
      • For older toddler, bring lollipops or something to chew and swallow during take off and landing.
      • Bring a few favorite books, coloring books and some crayola and a few favorite small toys, and ONE favorite comfort thing (blanket… etc).  Be careful with comfort thing because you will have to make sure you don’t lose it or you will be miserable for the rest of the trip.  I let my kids use multiple blankets so there’s no one comfort.  We can take any blankets with us and it’s no issue to replace them.
      • I don’t use tablet but there are people using them to entertain their kids (music/movies/games) and it’s fine.  The reason I don’t use tablets is because I want to teach my kids to travel light and enjoy things around them such as art galleries at the airport hallways or making conversations with other travelers.
      • Separate your things in plastic ziplock bags so you can see them easily.
    3.  Day of travel:
      • Get to the airport early.
      • Car seat and strollers are free luggages.  Be sure to bag them so there will be no damage.
      • Be prepare for security line: Let them know if you have to bring milk/water/juice bottle in.
      • Don’t forget to bring all those items you prepared in #2
      • Bring some snacks for yourself and your toddler (let it be chip, crackers, or fruits), the airport allows you to bring those.
      • Let your toddler run around.  If it’s too crowded at your gate, find another corner that has space for your toddler to run around or you can take him/her up and down the hallway enjoying the art galleries  or looking out the windows to see planes landing and taking off.
      • Time to pull out those activities book, reading.  One thing at a time so you don’t have a cleaning chore when it is time to take off.
      • Take your time, and use flight attendant and your fellow travelers as your allies.  You can ask for assistance to put luggage onto the overhead bin.
      • As much as we all like to board and settle early, I would take my toddler in as late as possible.  If you are traveling with your spouse, divide and conquer, let your spouse board first with all gears, then you can board with your toddler later.  This will allow toddler some wiggly time out in open space.
      • Bring a surprise toy in case for calm down period.
      • Don’t be afraid to ask a stranger to act as an aeroplane police if needed.  Sometimes a stranger’s voice is louder than parent’s voice.

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I hope you enjoy your first flight with your toddler, it will be fun.  Key is to keep them entertained and their brain intrigued.

 

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