4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers

Photos by Briana Lindsey Photography

Before I became a mom, I thought that traveling with a baby would be far more difficult than with a toddler but boy was I wrong! I thought, "babies cry a lot" but as it turns out, toddlers cry a lot and a whole lot louder too! The last flight we took was a bit of a nightmare.

Now that Ava’s turned into Little Miss Independent, sitting in a small seat on my lap is not her idea of fun. I packed toys and downloaded a couple of her favorite YouTube videos last airplane trip we took so she could watch them even without Wifi but she wasn’t having it. All she wanted to do was get up and run.

And I don’t blame her.

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

Not to mention, she had one of the all-time smelliest diapers in the middle of the flight and I got in trouble for throwing it in the trash (inside of a bag too). Apparently, you’re supposed to put it in a bag and then give it to the flight attendants? Who knew! But now I know for next time. Or, hopefully there isn’t a next time.

This evening we’re hoping on a flight to Tahoe for my sister’s 30th Birthday. And this time, I’m prepared.

I’ve got games and activities and so much fun that there’s no way Ava will be a pain in our butts on this flight. She’s going to have a blast! Hah, wishful thinking much? I know I sound all confident but deep down inside, I’m terrified. But I’m prepared and the rest is out of my control so here they are, my tips for flying with toddlers. And I'll let you know if they worked after the trip :)

1. Wear your baby through security.

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

Yep, that's allowed! Trying to take my shoes off, my computer out of my bag and get everything through security is difficult enough but with a toddler running around, it sounds nuts! And that's why I've never done it.

I wear her in a carrier through security every single time and all they do is swipe your hands real quick and voila, you've made it through nice and easily!

2. Water or Milk

I didn't know this before but in order to keep them from getting ear aches during take off and landing, if they're drinking something (breastfeeding or out of a bottle or cup) then this helps their ears not hurt. That's why gum works for adults, because you continue to swallow. Who knew!

3. Snacks.

Duh, that's a given.

4. Activities.

Activities, activities, activities. We all know how bored kids gets after like 1 minute and 7 seconds of doing something so I headed to the dollar section and Target and got everything I need to keep her busy this trip! And because it's all going to be new and exciting, it'll keep her busy maybe 2 minutes and 34 seconds instead of the typical one. So that's a win!

Here's what I snagged:

Play Dough: I know it may sound silly to bring play dough on a plane but at this age, Ava doesn’t really do much with it besides squish it around in her hands and mix the colors together. And she LOVES it! At home, she can play with play dough for a good 20 minutes so I’ll be the guinea pig mom this time and bring play dough on a plane and let you know how it goes!

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

Sticky rubbery things: These are supposed to go on windows, they don’t make a mess and they’re fun! We typically don’t snag the window seat just in case we need to get Ava out to change her but these even work on the tray too!

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

Coloring Books: And new coloring books, at that! These little sets with just a couple of crayons are perfect! They’re new, exciting, and there aren’t so many crayons to keep track of. Because she’s bound to drop them at some point so just a couple is more than enough:

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

Stickers: last plane righe the only thing that kept her busy were stickers. She took every single sticker out of the book and stuck it on a piece of paper. And it lasted a good 20 minutes so this is golden! And I’m really hoping it works again.

Pipe Cleaners + A Salt Shaker: This is a fun little toy Briana made for Ava and it works like a charm! Seriously! I've never seen something keep her so busy for so long in my entire life. So this one is going to be our lifesaver if things do downhill quickly. Headphones: Yep, I found these in the dollar section at Target too! We just tried out headphones on Ava for the first time a couple of weeks ago and she basically thinks they're magic. So yeah, these are going to come in handy.

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

A Kid's Camera: Not a Target dollar section item BUT we bought her a new camera and we're hoping she's so excited about it that it keeps her nice and busy!

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

Movies, movies, movies: And last but not least, we're bringing the iPad so she can watch Monster's Inc....the one and only movie she will watch. (also not from the Target Dollar Section, obvi) Did you know that if you go to the itunes store you can purchase a movie, download it to your device and watch it even off of wifi? Maybe we've just been living under a rock or something but we did it today and cannot wait to use it tonight!

 4 Tips for Flying with Toddlers - Mommy Blogger - The Overwhelmed Mommy

So there you go, my tips for traveling with a toddler. Give me a couple of hours and I'll be able to prove whether or not they worked :)