6 Tips for Flying with a Toddler

This is quite a lengthy post, but it is so helpful if you are flying with toddlers!

We’ve taken 3 trips since our son was born, 2 domestic and 1 international. The domestic fights had 1 layover while the international trip had 2!! Before our big international trip to Vietnam, I read so many blogs and quickly became overwhelmed. Each blog seemed to offer different advice, so I ended up packing what I thought we would need. Yup, I didn’t take ANY of the advice. And, we survived! Today, I want to share 6 tips for traveling with toddlers. Take it as you will!

1) First, you need to know that you WILL survive! Your children may act a fool in the security line, and at the gate, and before the plane even leaves the gate, and during takeoff, and and AND….The chances of you ever seeing anyone on your flight again are slim to none. Most people have flown with young kids themselves and aren’t thinking, “I wish they’d just shut that kid up already!” Most people know how embarrassed you are and some may even try to distract your child by playing peek-a-boo. If you are at least trying to calm your child down or keep them from kicking the seat in front of them, most people won’t say a darn thing! Believe it! It’s so true!

On board our first flight from Chicago to Tokyo.

2) Pack WAY more diapers than you think you’ll ever need in your carry on! If I would have packed just enough diapers to get us to Vietnam, we would have run out of diapers in Tokyo! We ended up being stuck in Tokyo for the night and then had another 9 hours of flying and 1 layover ahead of us. Yikes! So, don’t be stingy on the diapers! When you think you have enough, pack some more!! This leads me to point 3.

We found the "Boardwalk" in Destin, FL!

3) Pack a change of clothes for the whole family in your carry on! You never know when you’ll face a blowout, vomit, or even an unexpected delay. The last thing you want is to smell like vomit or #2 while stuck on a plane for hours on end!

Our hotel in Tokyo had the coolest wall!

4) If your child need milk, you can purchase 2% milk from Starbucks (ask the cashier) once you are past security. This ensure you won’t have a puking toddler on the plane from drinking spoiled milk (this may or may not be a true story)! Take said milk on the flight for take-off and landing to help their ears pop. Bonus: We also bring a pacifier on trips with us in case our son wants to suck on that instead of a drink. He will usually take it because we don’t let him have them at home, so they are new and exciting!

My in-laws, hubby, and son in Vietnam!

5) Toys. Bring smaller trinkets that are brand new, but don’t over pack toys. Don’t offer another toy until they have completely lost interest in the first toy. We don’t watch a lot of TV at our house, but we bring our iPad mini with downloaded shows or movies on Netflix – you can now play them without wi-fi! I only bring the iPad out in emergency situations, but to each their own!

These boys LOVED playing in the sand in Destin, Florida!

6) Bring your child’s favorite blanket and/or stuffed animal or doll. Familiar things from home will help calm your child down and help them realize it’s nap time or bedtime. Our son slept 9 out of a 13 hour from Chicago to Tokyo! I can almost guarantee it’s because we purchased a seat for him and brought a car seat on the plane, had jammies on, and gave him his blanket and stuffed lamb he sleeps with every night. Okay, maybe the noise of the plane itself helped lull him to sleep, but I’m positive the other things helped! On the domestic flights, we didn’t purchase a separate seat for him, he flew free as a lap child. After experiencing flights with and without a car seat, I would recommend purchasing a separate seat for your child if they can walk and if the flight is over 4 hours. Though, it is always safest to fly with a child restrained in a car seat!
At least someone can smile as we try to track down our lost luggage in Vietnam!

One last piece of advice: there are babies all over the world, so if you forget something at home, chances are you will be able to find it in another country!

I hope you find this information to be helpful for your upcoming summer travels! As of now, I don’t have experience flying with multiples, so I’d love to hear your advice on that as well! Leave your tips and tricks in the comments below!

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