How to fly with a toddler

Tips you can follow to keep a happy toddler and to help keep you relaxed.

There is no point denying toddlers can be difficult to handle at the best of times. The restrictive nature of flying, short attention spans, and lack of patience can easily lead to a stressful flight. However, there are some easy tips you can follow to keep a happy toddler and to help keep you relaxed.

Snacks

If you plan on travelling with a toddler then you will need to bring snacks. Keeping them in the best mood possible is key. This cannot be possible if your flying companion is ‘hangry’ (hungry and angry). Whether or not you have a fussy toddler, plane food may not be appealing to them. By packing some snacks to keep them going you can keep them fuelled and happy.

Avoid snacks filled with sugar as you don’t want a child on a sugar high and jumping from seat to seat. Instead bring along sultanas, blueberries, and other small foods as toddlers have to take their time to eat them. These snacks require a level of concentration to pick them up, keeping them busy for longer.

Wrap up little presents

Toddlers often get excited when it comes to receiving wrapped gifts. Buy a couple of small toys or activities from a cheap shop and wrap them up and gift them throughout the flight. If you spread this out you have an easy distraction available when you need one.

Buying a new book for the flight makes a perfect gift and a great distraction. Typically young children get excited when it comes to reading a new story over and over again — so pick wisely.

IPad

Allowing screen time during a flight is an easy distraction for an agitated child. There are a large number of apps available for download on your device, all designed for toddlers to play. The same goes for children’s television programs — don’t forget to bring headphones. Toddlers also seem to love looking at photos of people they know or even of themselves as a baby. Find some images of animals and people to show and chat about with them.

Ask for a spare seat

If the flight is not full when you check in, you can request to be sat next to an empty seat. Even if you plan to have your toddler sitting on your lap for the flight, having an extra seat will give you some much-needed space.

Stretch their legs

Even grown adults get restless on a long flight, so just imagine how your toddler will be feeling. Creating even a slight change in scenery and stretching their legs can result in a refreshed little person. Burning even the slightest bit of energy can make a huge difference to their behaviour.

If possible fly at night

If possible, try and book a night flight. By doing so you will be dealing with a sleepy toddler meaning you will just have to worry about putting them to sleep once on board.

For more helpful tips about travelling, ready our travel checklist which will help you prepare for your next overseas trip.