Tips&Tricks

Surviving a plane flight with a toddler

As an expat family we have early accepted the fact that most of our holidays will be spent visiting family back in our home country, especially after we got a baby. My mom would kill us if she didn’t get the chance to see her granddaughter every couple of months. Sometimes I don’t have time to call her on video chat for two full days, and she is already ready to call the police to check on us. But that means that every few months we have to survive a plane flight with a toddler.

If you are actually one of the lucky ones that can actually choose where to go on holiday, check out our old blog post about planning a holiday with toddler. I will have to wait a little bit longer for that.

plane flight with a toddler

While she was a baby, she was a perfect travel companion. By the time plane lifted from a ground she was already fast asleep and she would stay like that almost until the end of the flight. Now, it is more difficult. She is more active and interested in everything that is happening around her, especially in other people. Stalker vibe is strong in her.

Plane flight with a toddler

  1. Always try booking a direct flight

Layover is already hard enough when travelling alone, but with a child can be a horrible experience. They are already nervous and confused, you want to make this experience as fast as possible. If you have to choose a connection flight, make sure that you have enough time between the flights so they can relax, have a meal and run around for a bit.

  • Don’t pack light when it comes their essentials

Always, but always bring enough pacifiers if your child is using it, and then bring some more. Usually, I always have at least one in my bag, but when travelling I pack backups everywhere. My bag? Check. Suitcase? Check? Diaper bag? Check. My husbands’ backpack? Check. The same thing goes for their favourite toy. Always pack a spare one unless you want to end up with an unhappy child. I don’t have to even tell you about spare clothes in their diaper bag. You know that they will have an accident the only time when you don’t bring a change of clothes.

  • Protect their ears during take-off and landing

In order to help them through pressure changes, you should make sure they are either sucking or chewing during the take-off and landing. You have few options, you can either breastfeed, give them a bottle of formula or breastmilk, Sippy cup, pacifier or even something to eat like a cracker or a cookie.

  • Organize the flights so they correspond to your child sleeping schedule

If you have this option definitely use it to make your life easier. This is the best way to make sure your flight goes as smoothly as possible. Your child will sleep happily during the flight and you can also get some downtime.

  • Bring entertainment

 You know what child likes the best, so make sure you pack enough of the toys that can keep them entertained if they decide they don’t want to sleep. For us the winners are the quiet books and drawing board or sketch pad.

Do you have any useful advice I can use on our next trip?

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