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6 Tips for Flying with a Toddler
Adam and I took our first flight back to Louisiana from Virginia last week with Aidalyn. We have both had the privilege to fly numerous time (including several international flights), so we consider ourselves pros at it. This time was different, though, because we were traveling with a 21 month old. Here are our 6 tips for flying with a toddler that we learned through our experience.
It is always horrible to sit next to the crying baby on the plane. However, nothing is worse than being the parents of said crying baby. We wanted to be prepared for every possible reaction.
On the Plane:
1) Bring Snacks and a Sippy cup
Our first stop to prepare for the flight was the grocery store. I bought several of the popular baby smoothies they have at almost every grocery store. You can take the smoothies on the plane if they are under 3.5 oz with no questions asked (if they are larger, you just get patted down really well). Secondly, we bought some all natural gummy bears. Aidalyn had never had these before, so they were quite popular. “More, more.” I would say always bring something that is interesting and will take a while to eat (like the gummy bears). Bring an empty sippy cup and fill it with water once you get through security. Help your kids drink during take off and landing so that the pressure in their ears won’t build and cause pain (eating also helps this, they just need to be swallowing).
2) Videos and Media
Aidalyn has an obsession with Elmo (Melmo) right now, so we knew a video would be a good tool to have handy. Adam was able to download a few episodes of Sesame Street on his Kindle for Aidalyn to watch during the flight.
3) New small toys
We also took a trip to the dollar store to find some little things that may be fun to play with – we left with a silly little duck (Quack, Quack) that lights up.
4) Colors and Paper
I packed colors and paper as well as paper dolls – but these weren’t used much at all.
5) Favorite pillow or stuffed animal
Aidalyn surprised us both with how good she was during the flight. She was better on the trip back to Virginia than to Louisiana because she was able to get a short nap on the first flight. We remembered to bring the secret weapon – her pillow pet. She loved looking out of the window and opening and closing the shade.
In the Airport:
6) Bring your stroller
You can gate check your stroller and carseat right before you load the plane. Having your stroller with you in the airport helps contain your toddler and also helps carry your bags. The airline will return your gate checked items as soon as you land, so you are only without it during the time you are on the plane.
All in all, I would say that next trip we will have her pillow, Charlie (her lovey), snacks, the kindle and her iPhone and leave everything else at home.