Stressed about flying with a toddler? You’re not alone. Whether it’s your first time traveling with a toddler or you have a few trips under your belt, the anxiety that comes with taking a toddler on a plane can be intense!
When you’re flying with a toddler, your ideal goal is to reach your destination with as little fuss as possible! And as you may have experienced or heard – some toddlers can be a straight-up nightmare on a flight! But traveling with your little one doesn’t have to be difficult. Knowing some tips and having some tricks up your sleeve can aid in a more pleasurable experience.
You may be racking your brain with ways to attain this goal smoothly. Don’t worry, we’ve you covered! Keep reading to discover ten tips for flying with a toddler!
10 Tips for Flying with a Toddler
1. Book an early morning flight
Early morning departures tend to be less crowded and the prime time for toddlers to get their close-eye time!
Just think about it – they’ll be so drowsy from the drive to the airport, going through security, and boarding, that by the time you secure them in their airplane seat, they’ll be ready to doze off for a few hours!
2. Book at least one aisle seat
When you’re booking tickets, try to book an aisle seat for yourself instead of a window seat and a middle seat for your toddler. Note that some airlines allow children under 2 to fly free, but some require the child to ride in your lap. Having an airplane seat for your toddler, though, gives you more space and options, though will likely have to provide your own booster seat or car seat.
Toddlers are notorious for being restless. Having an aisle seat assures you’re not bothering anyone by trying to get by to go to the washroom with your child or retrieving something in the overhead bin.
3. Walk your kids through the experience
If this is your toddler’s first air travel, calmly explaining to them what to expect will do wonders. Sure, most kids can be erratic, but filling them in on the whole experience will not cause any surprises, and they will appreciate being in the know. There are animated videos available on Youtube to help you explain to your kids, if necessary.
If this travel is not your toddler’s first air travel, then you can point out past experiences and inside jokes to help them prepare for another flight with you. Regardless, having them informed will help your flight go smoother than them not being prepared.
4. Get ready for the security line
Go early to the airport to avoid poor time management and stress. Security lines don’t have to be so hard if you plan tactfully. A light stroller that’s easily foldable is the best to use when traveling with your little one. That means when you reach the security line, you can easily fold up the stroller and put it on the conveyor belt.
Don’t deck your child or yourself out in any metal or jewelry to set off the alarm. Opt for slip-on shoes for both you and your toddler so you can take them off at ease. Planning for the security line means not worrying about holding up the line.
5. Make sure to visit the airport washroom before boarding
Hit the airport restroom before boarding your flight to make sure your young child has a clean diaper! Visiting the bathroom before hopping on the plane means one less trip to the small airplane lavatory. All in all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
6. Go for pre-boarding when prompted
Pre-boarding is a call for passengers with kids, allowing you to get on the plane before other passengers and get settled in before regular boarding starts.
Flying with a toddler is already stressful and you may reason that spending as little time on the plane is ideal. But do yourself a favor concerning and don’t forgo pre-boarding!! It’s a smart decision to get ahead of everyone else because the last thing you want to hear are passengers sighing and kissing their teeth in annoyance while you try to settle in with your child.
7. Prepare to protect their ears
Air pressure changes during take-off and landing can be a literal pain – especially for kids. Sucking on something (such as a lollipop or pacifier) or chewing (crunchy snacks or fruit chews) can help your child’s ears adjust to the pressure.
Encouraging your toddler to yawn can also help pop their ears if it gets congested on the way up or down in your flight.
8. Bring surprises
Children adore surprises. When flying with a toddler that needs a distraction, having surprises or presents stowed away in your carry-on bag will greatly benefit you. Children love the excitement of unwrapping something and being presented with a new toy or snack will keep them distracted for a few minutes (or hopefully a few hours!)
9. Keep your child distracted and happy
Speaking of distractions, it’s always good to be prepared during air travel. Children can get restless and may want to wander or cause problems for the sole reason that they are bored. Thinking ahead and bringing travel-safe toys or an iPad to play games on will save you from that nightmare! Keeping them distracted with a toy or technology will result in a happier, smoother flight for both you and them!
10. Ignore the haters
Ultimately, choosing to fly with a toddler will bring you face-to-face with a slew of judgmental people. Sometimes, no matter what you do (even if you follow these awesome tips), your toddler will cause some commotion on the flight. And you are bound to endure crude commentary or annoyed glances.
Don’t let haters get to you. They are not in your shoes and don’t know the incredible courage that comes with flying with a toddler. So, don’t let their judgment concern you. Just know that your flight will land soon, and you’ll be ready to take on the world with your little one!
Flying with a toddler comes with its set of struggles and complications. But that shouldn’t deter you from traveling with your child!
These tips will help you prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and give you beautiful memories for years to come! So book that flight and get ready to take on the world with your family!