Surviving a flight with a Toddler (+ baby!)

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We recently went to Hawaii, which is a 7 hour flight from Phoenix and to say I was nervous was an understatement! The last time we took any children on a plane, Carter was only 4 months old. You can read all about surviving a flight with an Infant here. Flying with a toddler and infant is all about the activities you have to keep your toddler busy! Everything else is basically a breeze except for the flight itself. So here are my tips, products, and tricks that made flying with our two little ones a little easier.

Airport Help

Backpack harness and leash

If your little one is anything like my children, they want to run everywhere and explore everything! These were a lifesaver in the airport! I didn't have to worry about one of them wandering off and we were able to put some of their snacks and toys for the plane in each of their bags.

Car Seat Strap

This also is a huge help, especially if you are flying solo or don't have very many hands to carry things. We were able to strap the car seat right to our luggage and wheel them into the airport without having to roll a suitcase, hold a child, and a car seat. Some reviews say they put their kids into the seat and wheeled them through the airport and although the strap is very durable and secure- I don't know if I would put my wiggling toddler into the seat but Adalynn did just fine!

Toys & Busy Bags

These are some of the toys we bought to surprise Carter and Adalynn with at various points during the flight. Getting exciting new toys is key. Head to your dollar store to pick up some new toys or you can see what Carter and Adalynn loved from Amazon below-

First 100 words sticker book

ABC window gels

Jr. Slinky

Magnetic fun- cars, planes, and trains

Touch and feel book

Disney Cars figurines

Color Wonder magic markers

iPad (This was obviously the item that kept our kids entertained the most!)

Tips & Tricks

Change diapers right before you board the plane-

This one is pretty obvious- but always start the flight with fresh diapers on. Our kiddos are 1 and 2, so they are both still in diapers. If you have already potty trained your kiddo, just make sure they go to the bathroom before you get on the plane. If your little one is still in diapers, I highly recommend bringing a plastic bag to put any soiled diapers in that might occur while on the flight. We have this diaper bag dispenser that we love and always keep in our diaper bag. I would also pack a change of clothes for your little one just in case of any accidents.

Checking a car seat is free-

It is free to check a car seat, but we carried ours and used it on the plane for Carter. Because he is over 2, he needed his own seat. We decided to bring his car seat on the plane for a few reasons. It is safer for him, he is used to sitting in his car seat/can nap easily in it, we had a plane change and were nervous they would loose both the car seats, and he can't escape the buckle.

Get to know your neighbors- People are a lot less likely to get annoyed with your little one if they know a little about them. So introduce yourself, introduce your child, ask if they have kids, etc.

Aisle seats are your friend-

Try to get an aisle seat if you can, they make it so much easier to get up and let your toddler walk around for a minute. Trying to squeeze by two people in those tiny seats while holding a baby and a diaper bag, probably wouldn't go very well. You also have a little bit more space when you are sitting in the aisle row.

If you have a layover, let them run-

We had a two hour layover before another hour flight to our destination. We planned it sot hat way our layover fell at lunch time so we were able to get them lunch and then chased them ALL over our terminal. They had fun exploring and got to get some wiggles out before getting on another plane.

Snacks are your best friend-

Pack more snacks then you think you will need- and then add a little bit more. Honestly these were the best lifesavers when avoiding a meltdown or fussy kiddo. Some of our favorites are goldfish, fruit loops, pretzels, almonds, graham crackers, fruit snacks, and when all else fails m&ms or dumb dumb suckers!

Plan your flights/layovers based on nap time-

I knew by the time we got on the plane our infant would be ready for a nap and by the time our layover came, it would be lunch time. It is worth paying a little more for flights that are more time convenient!

Have you ever flown with little ones? What are some of your favorite tips and tricks?


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Hi friend! Welcome to my little corner of the internet. I’m Tayler- wife to my high school sweetheart and together we are raising four little ones on our tiny homestead! Here you will find all things Homeschool, Homemaking, and Homesteading!

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