We travel A LOT. It was something that was a huge priority to Chad & I before we had Addy and even more-so now that we started our family. Both of us grew up traveling a ton as kids and it’s something that’s very important to us to expose Addy to. Even at 13 months old!
We took Addy’s 1st flight to San Diego at 13 months which was about an hour there and back! We had bigger ones coming up in Dec that is over 8 hours of traveling and another 5 hour+ flying day in Dec!
Every flight I learn something new and after 14 flights with a toddler under 2, I don’t even sweat it!
Here are my top 10 Tips for Flying with a Toddler!
Tip #1: NO TOYS
I know this sounds counter productive but hear me out. When you bring toys or books here is what will happen: you will spend the ENTIRE flight trying to pick them up off awkward angels on the floor. Your toddler/baby will more than likely drop them more than once and even make a game out of it. Then you are inconveniencing those around you running around picking things up while listening to an upset (screaming, crying) toddler who is upset that their toy is on the ground.
Instead bring books and toys that attach to the diaper bag. That way they can’t throw them. If you are bringing a lovie, use a paci clip to attach around their arm and then attach the paci clip to your toddler’s bottom of shirt or diaper bag!
Which brings me into tip #2…
Tip #2: Bring a SET of RUBBER or SILICONE Paci Clips!
You do not want to bring cloth paci clips when you are traveling. Instead you want something that you can sterilize easily (more on this in tip #3).
Paci Clips are literally the best invention ever. No more losing or chasing after a binkie (which is a MUST have for us on planes. Them having a binkie during take off removes the pressure in their ears from flying)
If your toddler doesn’t use a paci, have them drink out of their sippy cup during take off. Even if they don’t use a binkie however, you still want to grab some paci clips for Tip #1!
Tip #3: Prepare Formula, Breastmilk, Juice, and Snacks Ahead of Time
The last thing you want to do is be wrestling a hungry, upset baby while trying to get them a snack or drink. Prepare that ahead of time! If your baby uses formula, then bring an empty clean baby bottle and premeasure and pour the powder into the bottle. ONLY ADD WATER IF YOUR BABE WILL DRINK WITHIN THE NEXT 4 HOURS. If not, then bring a water bottle and put them together in a zip lock bag so you don’t have to dig for the baby bottle and water bottle!
For breastmilk in a bottle, use a Brumate or Coozie to keep breastmilk cold. This will extend the life of it about an hour or 2. Remember once undrank breastmilk reaches room temperature, it is only good for 4 hours. If your baby has drank from the bottle, the undrank portion must be completed within the hour or it needs to be tossed.
It’s no secret that you need to bring a ton of snacks but make sure you have them available and ready! I like to bring gold fish, crackers, pouches, and a bento box of fruit!
Tip #5 : Pack the Diaper Bag in Order of Things Needed
They way you pack the diaper bag is CRUCIAL to your success. You want to pack in order of things you’ll need. Meaning put the things you will only need at layovers or in small uses at the bottom of the diaper bag. This would be like extra snacks, extra diapers and wipes. I like to pack extra snacks first, extra diapers for the day (usually I pack about 20 diapers), extra pack of wipes and then from there I pack the change of clothes, boogie wipes, snacks, drink, spare binkies, and tablet. I didn’t mention the diapers being up front and let me tell you why in my next tip!
Tip #5-Bring a Changing Pad Cover & Poop Bags
I have one that I love and clips right onto the diaper bag so I don’t have to search for it. It opens up all the way as a diaper pad and then has these wings that fold out that you can store diapers and wipes. So when we are traveling and she needs to be changed whether on the plane or layover, all I have to do is unclip the changing pad and bring that with us! You don’t have to bring the entire bag and dig through and you don’t have to carry the wipes, diapers, pad cover, AND BABY separately! This has been such a GAME CHANGER for us!
We also keep attached on it a dog poop bag dispenser so we can wrap up dirty diapers in it incase we are unable to throw them away right then and there.
Tip #6: Put a Diaper, Travel Wipe & Change of Clothes in an Emergency Zip Lock Bag
I usually back this on the back of the diaper bag where the changing pad goes. This is my “oh-shit” bag. If she has a blow out, spill, or whatever else I grab that bag and it has everything I need to get her changed QUICK! Sometimes I never have to use it and it’s always a happy surprise when I forget diapers after the trip and find everything I need in that little bag!
Tip #7: BOOGIE WIPES & BINKIE SANITIZE WIPES
Flying is full of germs which used to stress me out. Now she’s in school I’m like we’ve been more sick from school than ever flying that I don’t stress that much.
However, it’s still important to keep their hands & face clean. I love these boogie wipes for a quick rinse of her hands and face before she eats on the plane.
Another small pack I can’t live without are the binkie sanitize wipes. You can use them on binkies, paci clips, and bottles to quickly sterilize anything that has dropped on the floor.
Tip #8: Bring a Pocket Sanitizer
I LOVE my pocket sanitizer! Sometimes hot water and wipes isn’t enough to get the germs off bottle tops, binkies, and small toys. So when they need a little more care or at the end of a flying day, I pop them in my UV Pocket Sanitizer!
Tip #9: Dress Them in Comfy Clothes
I have no shame putting Addy on a plane in PJs or sweats. PJs are great but avoid footie PJs. You don’t want to go through the hassle of unzipping them while changing them. Especially if you are in an airplane bathroom. Instead dress them in a comfortable top and bottom so all you have to remove is their pants for diaper changes.
Keeping them comfy (it’s okay if they look like a hot mess) makes an easier flight because they feel more relaxed and you’re not tackling difficult clothing
Tip #10: Bring a Tablet
I’m sorry but I don’t care what your stance is on screentime. Bring the damn tablet. Your flight will thank you and it will save you the headache and stress. They will be fine if they get “tv days” on travel days. TRUST ME!
I prefer the Amazon Kids Tablet because it is so much harder to exit out or pause than an iPad. It is made for kids and you can download the movies from Disney+ or Amazon to the table and use on airplane mode!
Thanks for reading! I hope someone traveling with their toddler found this helpful!
I would love to hear what tips you have!! What is your must-do tips & tricks for traveling with a toddler?!
Let me know below!!