Best Tips For Flying With An Active Toddler

My Toddler and I at the airport

This trip almost feels cursed from the start. Between this being a very somber trip, the fact that my new ID hasn’t arrived yet and that I accidentally book economy basic, there’s going to be all sorts of hurtles for us during this flight.

But an over active toddler running up and down the aisle won’t be one of them. Thank God!

At just about 15 months, this will be Edison’s 10th flight, and we have learned so much about flying with little children.

I’m not going to lie– I do feel some pressure to make sure my kiddo is behaving on flights. We all know that one person who just hates seeing kids on planes. I want to show them that it can be a wonderful experience.

So today I decided that as I’m gearing up to take this trip, that I will share with you my top tips for flying with a toddler. If you’re flying for the first time with a baby, be sure to check out this post here.

Have your pre board checklist ready

We need to carry a lot when we travel with our kiddos, so I find that having a pre-board checklist to be one of the most helpful things.

On this list, I write down everything that Edison will need on the plane, such as medicines, diapering materials, activities, snacks–It all gets brain dumped unto this list. That way I can easily check things off before we go to the airport.

And when you’re prepared and clam, your child will see that and be much calmer themselves too.

Pro tip–keep this list in your diaper bag and check things off as you add them. That way you always know what’s in there.

Want to know what to add you your pre board checklist? Feel free to use this one!

Work on preventing sensory overload

Overstimulation is one of the main reasons why toddlers end up going crazy on planes. There’s just so many new things happening all at once, their brains can’t handle it and all that energy can just explode all over the place.

We don’t want that.

So before we board the plane with Edison, we work on de-stimulating him and dispelling some of that energy.

If possible, try to find a more secluded spot in the airport to wait to board your plane. This is so that your child doesn’t get too overwhelmed with the activities going on.

Also, if your airline allows it, take advantage of family boarding. This will give you time to get all your things up and help your child acclimatize for the long trip in a seat ahead.

Giving them a task to work on if they are a bit older is a great way to go about this. This gives them a place to focus and use that energy that’s not in other people’s space. Coloring is a great active and can keep them busy for a long time!

If they are still a bit too young to color on their own, you can try giving them a baby massages singing them a lullaby or hand them a sensory toy that they can play with an focus on (a flight attendant shared with me that the free snack packs they hand out on flight are great for keeping children entertained for a bit).

Download favorite movies and shows before you board

As we found out on our last trip, not all the free movies and shows are great for kiddos under 4. So this time we’re coming prepared.

We are using the BabyFrist app (his favorite station) to download a couple hours worth of some of his favorite programs.

I know that new all parents out their are down for having their kids watch TV, but I do think this is something that folks should consider for plane rides that are over an hour.

They don’t have to watch TV the entire ride, but it will give them something to focus on for an amount of time and will keep them still for a bit.

And when you download the content yourself, you get to choose and monitor what your child gets to watch, so that’s great too.

Bring snacks

I don’t think I have to explain this one too much because, well snacks.

Food is great, and generally and activity that toddlers have to put some focus into doing.

When packing snacks for travel for Edison, I prefer to choose snacks that are low in sugar, not super messy and easy to transport.

Beech-Nut Naturals makes some wonderful yogurt drop snack that I find prefect for the plane (full disclosure I am a Beech-Nut Naturals partner). Edison loves these, and if your kiddo has allergies, then their easy to read label makes it a safe option for babies.

Fly with toddlers will alway be an exciting journey. With these tips though, it doesn’t have to also be a headache. These tips have made flying with a toddler a breeze foe me, and I hope they help you too.

What are some of the most useful tips you’ve gotten for flying with a toddler?

Let me know below!

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