Flying With A Toddler: Tips & Tricks

5 min read

Written by Bindu Raichura

Bindu Raichura

A toddler’s first flight is as significant as their first solid food, first steps, or first drop-off at school. And like all these occasions, understandably, parents get anxious when it comes to flying with a toddler. No one, not even the parents themselves, can anticipate how a toddler will respond to being on an airplane for the first time. But fret not, your toddler may enjoy air travel, and even if they don’t, you will get through it. With a little preparation, the correct gear, and a willingness to make numerous lists, traveling with a toddler on a plane can be easier than you think.

mom and toddler flying in flight

What Should I Give My Toddler Before Flying?

To avert a round of shrieking, give your toddler a feeding bottle, snack, or sipper during landing and take-off. Another great tactic is sticking a pacifier in their mouth. For older toddlers, give them a lollipop or a piece of gum (sucking and chewing can also assist in popping their ears). pregnancy pillow

What are the Tips?

Here a few practical and effective tips for traveling with a toddler:

  • Choose a Direct Flight or One with a Long Stopover:

It is imperative to keep the number of connecting flights minimum as a parent of a toddler. Landing is typically what puts pressure on those little ears, causing the painful sensation that makes toddlers cry on airplanes. Plus, little time spent in transit means fewer chances for a mid-flight fit.

  • Book a Separate Airplane Seat for your Toddler:

During a long flight with a toddler, it is recommended to book a separate seat for your toddler, even though lap children under age two typically fly free. Not only is this the safer alternative, but also it gives your family more elbow room to spread out and unwind on the flight.

toddler playing in a flight

  • Rent Equipment for Traveling:

To lighten up your burden in the airport and avoid luggage fees, consider rental traveling gear like a carrycot, car seat, or stroller. This service is accessible in locations around the globe for traveling families.

  • Carry Double the Essentials:

During air travel with a toddler, your flight may, unfortunately, be postponed or canceled. In that situation, the last thing you want to deal with is a hungry, thirsty, or soiled toddler. Carry twice as many bottles, food, formula, diapers, and snacks on the flight as you anticipate you will require.

  • Dress in Comfy Layers:

Consider comfort and convenience first. Select a dress that is cozy and simple to change. Layers aid with drastic alteration in temperature onboard the flight. Wearing layers is also assistive for breastfeeding mothers. Wear a cloak of any kind that can double as a blanket, or carry a nursing cover.

  • Carry an Extra Set of Clothing:

While traveling with toddlers on planes, you will want to carry an extra set of clothing in your handbag in case of a disastrous blowout mid-flight. To avoid any difficulty, pack a compact dress for yourself into the handbag, too.

  • Don’t Neglect Medication:

Make sure to carry any prescription drug and OTC medication for you and your toddler. Fluid medicines are exempted from liquid limits. Be sure to keep them in their original packing so they are easily recognizable. Carry medicines in your handbag for easy retrieval during the flight.

  • Visit the Airport Washroom Prior to your Flight:

Ideally, you should board the flight with a dry-diapered toddler. Hence, be sure to hit the airport washroom one last time before checking in.

  • Gate Check Baby Gear:

At no extra cost, most airlines permit caregivers and parents to gate-check big baby gear like car seats and strollers. Just request gate check labels from the attendant at the check-in gate. Assign one label to each unit and deposit it at the check-in counter of the airlines.  Fold the stroller ahead of boarding.

toddler colouring in a flight

  • Take Advantage of Pre-Boarding:

You might consider you should skip the pre-board to ensure spending as little time as possible on the flight with your toddler, but getting settled onboard a flight takes more time with a young child. Flying with a toddler is nerve-racking enough without having other travelers behind you sighing as you attempt to buckle them.

  • Keep your Toddler Buckled:

Buckled securely into a car seat or other authorized gear is the safest spot for a toddler on a flight, particularly in case of unforeseen bad weather.

  • Protect Ears while Flying with a Toddler:

Chewing or sucking eases ear pain triggered by pressure variation in the flight’s cabin. Carry formula or expressed breast milk in a feeding bottle and ask your toddler to suck it during the landing and take-off. Giving the toddler a sipper or pacifier is also a good idea. Chewing a cookie or biscuit can also help older toddlers.

Pop plastic earplugs into their ears at the beginning of the flight’s descent to decrease pain and pressure. Also, get a pediatric ear drop from your child’s doctor before your flight with your toddler.

  • Keep your Toddler Engaged with Distractions:

You may spend your whole flight appeasing your toddler. Read board books, purchase the correct traveling toys and actively play with your toddler. Spoil your toddler with movies and rhymes. The bottom line is, you want to keep your toddler blissful onboard the flight using whatsoever way you can!

mom using hand sanitizer on her toddler son's hand

How to Fly with a Toddler During COVID?

Parents should curtail their toddler’s mobility by putting them in the stroller or carrying them once they are inside the airport. Social distancing should be maintained from other passengers so that their toddlers do the same. Hand sanitization should be done frequently for toddlers. Toddlers above the age of two should wear a mask and face protective covering.

While airplane travel with toddlers can be difficult, it’s not unachievable. With a little research and preparation, you can fly with your toddler and (possibly) even enjoy it. Some airlines go the extra mile to make the experience gratifying. So, take a breather, organize, and pack cleverly.

Happy journey to you and your toddler!

Bindu Raichura,MA (English Literature), Delhi University Diploma in Journalism & Mass Communications, Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC), Mumbai

Bindu’s background in English literature paved the way for her writing career. Her vast experience in content across different genres has proved her strong point as a successful writer.Read more.

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