When a toddler is coming along for a trip and car or train isn’t fast enough or capable of taking you where you want to go then flying it is. Though most people dread sitting next to a toddler on a plane, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare for you or anyone else on board. Here are some tips on how to make traveling with toddlers by air less stressful.
Book non-stop flights whenever you can
If you do have to take a connecting flight when traveling toddlers then try and schedule long stretches around your child’s nap time. Unfortunately stopovers and flight delays can spoil even the best plans, but if your toddler can get even a short nap while in the air it will be great reprieve for everyone. Whatever you do don’t schedule a nap on the stopover period as it’s the perfect time to let your toddler move around. This will burn off some of their energy and hopefully make them quieter on the plane.
Get the aisle seat
When booking the flight ensure that one of your seats is an aisle seat. Though the window seat may seem appealing you’ll be glad for the aisle seat later. When your toddler inevitability needs to go to the toilet, a diaper change, wants something from the overhead locker or just wants some space to move around.
Inform the airline you’re traveling with a toddler
When booking your flight inform the airline that you are traveling with a toddler. The airline can provide you with extra information of what the requirements are for traveling with toddlers and what assistance is available. Some airlines will require a medical note from your GP if the toddler has any medical conditions. Carry proof of age for the toddler such as a birth certificate or passport.
Some airlines will book your pram, stroller or pushchair through for free if you inform them of your toddler. This means that you can wheel your toddler through the airport and up to the gate. Where you can leave it to be stowed away on the plane by the staff while you and your toddler board.
Stuff to Bring
Pack the carry-on bag wisely. Your toddler will need a variety of essential items to keep clean, well fed and entertained during the flight. You will need several items yourself to make the flight more bearable.
- Extra diapers or wipes
- Snack food (such as lollies to chew on when the plane is taking off and landing to relieve pressure in the ears)
- Bottle milk or powder (for the toddler to drink/suck on when the plane is taking off and landing to relieve pressure in the ears)
- Change of clothes for the toddler (for when spills and messes inevitably happen)
- Spare shirt for parent (in case of messes)
- Games/toys for the toddler (to keep them entertained, occupied and quiet during the flight)
When packing your carry-on bag don’t pack the diapers and wipes at the bottom of the bag. Make sure that everything you need for the flight is easily accessible and ready to use.
Tips for on the plane
When you’re boarding the plane don’t be afraid to ask attendants and fellow passengers for help with your bags. As holding a struggling toddler and putting your bag into the overhead locker at the same time is nearly impossible.
Set yourself up with everything you need for the flight from your carry-on bag and ask the attendants for extra blankets and pillows if needed. The plane should also have a bassinet (type of basket/cradle) for you to put your baby in during the flight. If you’re unsure if the plane has one ask a flight attendant for help finding it or anything similar.
When the plane lands give your toddler something to chew on (lollies, milk etc.) to relieve pressure from their ears. Gather up all of your items and pack them into your carry-on bag, ready to leave. As you exit the plane an attendant should have your stroller or pushchair ready so you can strap in your toddler and wheel them out.