Traveling with Toddlers
Traveling with toddlers can be stressful but certainly should not be avoided just because it may come with a few ups and downs. Book that flight and get ready to experience the world with your toddler! To help you out, we have compiled a list on tips to help the day go smoothly. Just remember that children are learning and even if something does go wrong, this trip is all about making wonderful memories at your destination.
Tips on What to Pack with Toddlers
- Extra Clothes– Pack an extra t-shirt, pants, underwear, and socks. You never know if you will have an unexpected accident while traveling.
- New Activities– Pack new activities and toys that can help engage your child. Sticker books, water books, and coloring books are a few ideas for quiet time while traveling. Its also a good idea to pack a new fun toy. My toddlers like to hold hot wheels cars while traveling.
- Snacks– You will need lots of snacks. Toddlers love snacks and never stop snacking! Pack some favorites but also a few new snacks to try. Try not to pack ones loaded with sugar or your children will get bursts of energy which can be tough on an airplane. Bring lots of fresh fruit, carrot sticks, avocados, and protein bars.
- Favorite Stuffed Animal or Blanket– Bring along their favorie blanket or stuffed animal to help bring comfort. Or bring both that way you wont have to worry about a meltdown over not having it.
- Sanitizer– Pack both a hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes to help prevent picking up new germs. Make sure you wipe down trays and seats before your child sits down.
- Movies or Shows– Download on a device, your child’s favorite show, movie, or learning games. This will help the flight or trip run smoothly.
- Double the Necessaties– Pack double the amount of diapers, wipes, pacifers, face masks, etc.
Should I bring the carseat when flying?
This is probably the most controversial travel question of all when flying for parents. We will help you navigate with a few tips while traveling with toddlers. Let’s cover what is required. Federal aviation rules do not require that a child of any age use a car seat at all. In addition, children under 2 years old may sit on your lap during flight. Whether to use a car seat on board or have a seperate seat is entirely up to you and your discretion as a parent.
One of the most daunting tasks for parents is figuring out if they should bring along their carseat while flying. The idea of carrying around a bulky, heavy carseat seems stressful through an airport but what most parents do not know is you can check them for FREE. Also, what do your children use when they arrive if you don’t bring a carseat?
Do you prefer your child to use a car seat on the plane? If you bring your car seat on board, you’ll have to use it during take-off, landing and when the seatbelt sign is on. Just make sure your car seat is certified for airplane use (nearly every car seat is). Also check with the airline to make sure it will fit, seats are very narrow.
Dress Toddlers in Layers when Traveling
When dressing your toddler for a flight, think cozy and easy to change. Try to dress in comfortable layers. Depending on the flight, your child may feel cold or hot throughout the day. Start with a t-shirt and pants or leggings, then add a hoodie or sweater. That way if your child is feeling hot then you are able to remove a layer.
You will need clothes to be easy too if they are still in diapers to help with quick changes. Or if you are in need of a clothes change mid flight due to any kind of accident. Onesies or rompers are harder to remove during bathroom breaks or changes.
Pack similar extra clothes that are comortable and easy. Just basic t-shirt, sweater, underwear (if potty trained), socks, and pants.
Bring their baby blanket, especially if they have one they like to sleep with. This will help keep them warm if it does become too cold.
Protect their ears
Sucking and chewing can help ease ear pain during pressure changes. During take-off and landing, have your child eat a snack or sip from a sippy cup.
A friend of mine gave me a great tip when it comes to ear pressure while flying. If your child has sensitive ears, then try using EarPlanes. This product is meant to help ear discomort while flying for children 1 yea and older.
Explain the Trip
Explaining to your toddler about what is expected of them while traveling will help tremedously. Go over what it is going to be like in an airport, waiting in lines, waiting for the airplane to arrive, sitting on an airplane, looking out the window, and what they get to do on the airplane.
Get them excited! Where are you going that is exciting? Are they visiting relatives? What will the weather be like? What exciting things will they be doing?