Alright guys, we just made it back from California so I thought it would be the perfect time to write about all the tips and tricks we used to survive a 5 hour flight cross country with a toddler in tow! Now if you’ve been following along you’ll know that Waylen and I have already made this trip twice. Once at 8 months and then again at 12. Both times I was alone! Tips for surviving with a baby are a little different than with a toddler so if you’re not quite to the toddler stage get check out my older post here.
Before going on this trip I really wasn’t worried at all. Every time I’ve ever flown with Waylen I’ve been alone and sharing a seat so just having Chappy along this time pretty much took all my nerves away. I mean, I even survived a middle seat with Waylen when he was a year old! If I can do that, I can do anything, right?
Now I know not everyone does this but we still had Waylen as a lap child during this flight and we don’t do any screen time until over 2 so no movies for Waylen!
Here are a few tips that helped us survive with Waylen on the plane this past trip:
- Buy a window seat: now that Waylen is on the move I no longer wanted the aisle with easy access to the restroom. I’d much rather have him trapped so I’m not constantly trying to let keep him from escaping down the aisle.
- Get on the plane last: everyone used to always tell me to get on first, get settled, etc etc. Honestly though, I want to spend as little time trapped on that plane with Waylen as possible so I am always last to get on!
- Lots of snacks:we had a long flight which meant Waylen would literally be missing his breakfast, snack, and lunch. I packed waffles, breakfast cookies, meatballs, sweet potatoes, Cheerios, saltines (his favorite ha,) and Bananas.
- Activities: now as I said, we don’t do screen time, so we had to have lots of things to keep Waylen busy. At the same time though I don’t like to over pack so here’s a few of the things I packed: favorite book, toy colander with pip cleaners, and his lovey.
- Improvise! You guys want to know what a kids favorite toy is? Well first it’s probably not even meant to be a toy and second it’s probably something new. So the things that entertained Waylen the most on the plane? Looking out the window, putting my straw back in my Starbucks cup, buckling and unbuckling my seatbelt, putting napkin scraps in an empty cup, identifying objects in a magazine, and watching dad flick a baby football.
Our flight there was in the morning so we didn’t have to do any nap time for Waylen. We just played and snacked the entire time and Waylen was perfectly content! On our flight back though Waylen missed his one nap of the day. Luckily Waylen took a cat nap on the way to the airport so he ended up making it through the entire flight without napping. Honestly though I did still try to get him to nap and failed ha.
After a mid flight diaper change I put on the ergo and tried to rock him to sleep. This technique has always worked on planes with Waylen and he’s always out in less then 5 minutes but he wasn’t interested this time so we got him out and just played the rest of the flight! In the end we all made it though and I must say just having Chappy on the flight was a serious game changer!
Welp, hope those tips help! Every child is different but those are the things that worked for us so hopefully they’ll work for you too!
2 thoughts on “Flying with a Toddler”
We had a 4 hour flight from South Africa to Mauritius a month ago when my boy was 11 months old. The flight there was horrible. We planned for him to sleep on the plane but the flight was delayed so he slept at the airport before we took off, and didn’t want to know a thing about sleeping on the plane.
We tried everything to calm him down and keep him entertained but nothing worked.
The flight back was 100% the opposite though! We packed a ton of snacks and plenty of toys and he was a dream child. He even napped for an hour across my husband’s and my lap!
So your tips here are definitely worth a try for other parents! 🙂
Oh no!!! Well I’m glad he was a dream child on the second flight at least!