6 Tips for Flying with a Toddler

traveling-with-small-childrenWe’ve all been on that plane where a toddler spends the entire trip crying. And as hard as it is for the other passengers, it’s even harder for the parents who simply can’t comfort their child. Here are six tips for you to help you avoid being that parent.

  1. Clear Their Ears – After the plane takes off, you will naturally clear your ears to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately, toddlers don’t know how to do this. Give them a pacifier, bottle, lollipop, or nurse them, to help them clear their ears. Otherwise, they may be uncomfortable the entire trip.
  1. Bring a Pillow – It is hard for most adults to fall asleep on a plane without a pillow, so to a small child, it can be almost impossible. The more you can make it like home, the easier it will be for a child to fall asleep. Also consider a blanket, to help them stay warm and cuddled up.
  1. Screen Time is OK – Whatever your stance on screen time (time watching TV, tablets, phones, or video games), this is a time to bend the rules. Bring a tablet with stories or games for toddlers to help keep them entertained.
  1. Avoid Layovers – Getting on and off of a plane is unpleasant, and it is even more unpleasant with a toddler. If you have a layover, you will not only need to get on and off multiple times, you will either have extended stays in the airport, which will make more time to keep your toddler occupied, or be forced to race across an airport, toddler in tow, to catch a plane. Neither option will bode well for the second leg of the trip.
  1. Bring Tricky Foods – Bring snacks which will take a longer time to eat. This will keep your little one occupied longer. Also don’t be afraid to bring a favorite snack which might not normally be allowed as a treat. This could keep your child occupied longer.
  1. Book a Late Flight – A later flight means there is a better chance your toddler will fall asleep, quickly. Once you are on the plane, try to do as much of your normal bedtime routine to help the child get comfortable. A sleeping toddler is a good toddler on a flight!

It can be extremely trying to fly with a toddler, especially on a long flight. But by following the tips above, you have a fighting chance of surviving it.

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