7 Handy Tips For Flying With a Toddler
Flying with a toddler on a long flight can be a daunting prospect, we’ve taken our son on a few flights now and here is my trusty list of ideas to help you.
Invest in or borrow a trunki. Your child can then have all of their things together in the same place and can access stuff as and when they want it. A little tricky on the plane as they open up quite wide but for round the airport they’re great and when little legs get tired, they can hop on and you can pull them along.
2. Airport Play area
Most airports these days have a play area, whether it be softplay or otherwise for when you are travelling with a toddler. Once you’re through security find this area and stay there until you need to board. Burning off as much energy as possible means they might (I say might) just nap for a bit on the flight. Even if they don’t take naps anymore, the white noise may help them nod off. London Heathrow has a great kids softplay which also has a TV room, sensory room, fuzzball table and plenty of colouring tables.
3. Little presents
Wrap little party bag presents up to give to your child every thirty minutes or so and don’t forget to pack some for the return flight. Yes I know there’s too much to do when you’re getting ready for a family holiday but if you can spare some time to wrap these, it will pay off when you need them most! You can also use them as bribery to be good! 😊 Take a couple of new books they haven’t seen before as well as a couple of their favourites.
Snacks, snacks and more snacks! Stick to healthy things not packed with E numbers, that will help to keep them calm and not want to jump about the place. raisins, bread sticks, cheese bites, dried apricots and banana chips. We take one of those plastic boxes with multiple sections (builders use them for nails and screws etc) each section has a different snack. Don’t forget (unless you’re on EasyJet or Ryanair) you’ll probably get a meal too so that will pass some of the time. Again, don’t forget to pack some for the flight home.
5. Inflight Entertainment
Most flights these days come with personal TV screens for movies. Queue the kids movies and just have them playing in the background, you never know, even the most fidgety child may just sit and watch films with the occasional need for entertaining (that’s what my little boy did, I was shocked)! Buy them a pair of earphones to get them excited about the fact they can plug them in. Airlines are prepared for flying with a toddler and you will probably also be given a kids pack with some pencils and a colouring book.
Pack a pot of playdoh in your hand luggage as well as a couple of mini puzzles, a sticker book and a small box of lego. You may not need them but they are there for back up if you need them. Don’t forget your wet wipes for the playdoh!
7. Phone Apps
As much as we don’t want our kids to be overloaded with screen time, there are some great apps you can download that are educational yet entertaining that may help to diffuse a meltdown or tantrum. I can recommend Baby Bubbles and Toddler Cars for sure and the Cbeebies one is also good, all of which you can play on airplane mode.
My last piece of advise is to break each hour into 15 minute intervals, a concentration task like a puzzle or sticker book, then something active like a walk down the aisle and back, then something on the TV followed by a snack. By rotating this pattern they are less likely to get board and it may help you to get through it!
Pack plenty of antibac wipes to clean down the area you’re sitting in, it helped my fear of germs anyway! Let them play with the entertainment controller to their heart’s content, it will keep them amused before the movies come on or you can move out of your seat after take off. Whats the worst that can happen, they are only in charge of their own tv screen.