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Flying with a Toddler: Tricks to Keep Them Calm and Happy

Flying with a Toddler: Tricks to Keep Them Calm and Happy


Travelling with a toddler can be a daunting experience, especially if it’s a long haul flight. The constant change in surroundings, routine and sleep can take a toll on them, and they can become cranky and restless. That’s why it’s essential to be prepared for the journey and utilize tricks that can help keep them calm and happy. In this post, we will share useful tips on how to fly with a toddler that will make your journey less stressful and more enjoyable.

Book a direct flight:

One of the best ways to make flying with a toddler more comfortable is to book a direct flight. Non-stop flights are more convenient as they eliminate the hassle of changing planes, navigating through airports and dealing with layovers. Plus, long breaks in between flights can disrupt your child’s sleeping and eating routine.

Choose the right seat:

When booking your flight, choose the right seat for you and your toddler. The best option is to book an aisle seat, which provides easy access to the bathroom and allows you to walk up and down the aisle without disturbing your neighbors. If your child falls asleep, book a window seat so they can rest their head against the window, which can provide some comfort.

Prepare for the flight:

Preparing for the flight is crucial when flying with a toddler. Pack some of their favorite toys, books, and snacks that won’t make a mess. Bring some earphones, so your child can comfortably watch a movie or listen to music. Also, pack a change of clothes, wipes, and diapers in case there is an accident or spill.

Entertain your toddler:

When it comes to flying with a toddler, entertainment is essential. Bring along some age-appropriate games, coloring books, and toys to keep them busy. Consider downloading some engaging apps and videos on your phone or tablet to occupy them during takeoff and landing.

Bring comfort items:

Bring along a few comfort items from home, like their favorite stuffed animal or blanket. The familiarity of the object can soothe your child and help ease their anxiety.

Take breaks and walk around:

It can be challenging for toddlers to sit still for a long time, so take breaks and walk around. Offer them juice or water, or take them to the bathroom to stretch their legs. It can also help to release some of their energy.

Be patient and calm:

Finally, stay calm and patient when traveling with a toddler. Expect the unexpected, and understand that it’s not always going to be easy. Focus on keeping your child happy and occupied, and don’t worry too much about what others think. Remember, you’re not the only parent on the plane.


If you’re planning to travel with a toddler, these tips can help you have a smooth and stress-free experience. Be prepared, stay calm, and keep your child entertained during the flight. Remember, traveling with your toddler can be an opportunity to bond, create memories, and have fun.

Flying with a Toddler: Tricks to Keep Them Calm and Happy FAQ

Q: What should I pack in my toddler’s carry-on bag?

A: Pack plenty of snacks, juice or water, a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, favorite toys or books, and a tablet or phone for entertainment.

Q: How do I prevent my toddler’s ears from hurting during takeoff and landing?

A: Encourage your toddler to chew gum, suck on a pacifier, or drink from a straw during takeoff and landing. This helps regulate the pressure in their ears.

Q: Should I bring my toddler’s car seat on the plane?

A: It’s recommended to bring a car seat for toddlers under two years old, as it’s safer and more comfortable for them to ride in. Check with the airline beforehand to make sure they allow car seats, and make sure it’s FAA-approved.

Q: How can I keep my toddler entertained during a long flight?

A: Bring plenty of toys, books, and electronic devices to keep them entertained. You can also play games with them, such as I-Spy or counting games, and take them for walks up and down the aisles when it’s safe to do so.

Q: Should I give my toddler medication to help them sleep on the flight?

A: It’s not recommended to give your toddler medication without consulting with their doctor first. Instead, try to establish a calming routine before the flight, such as reading a story or listening to calming music.

Q: How can I prepare my toddler for the flight?

A: Talk to your toddler about the flight beforehand and explain what to expect. Let them know about the plane, the noises, and the different stages of the flight. You can also practice packing their bag and explain what they’ll need on the flight.

Q: How do I handle my toddler’s tantrums on the flight?

A: Stay calm and patient, and try to distract your toddler with toys or games. If they need to move around, take them for a walk up and down the aisles. Be prepared with snacks or drinks as well to prevent hunger or thirst from causing a tantrum.

Q: What should I do if my toddler gets sick on the flight?

A: Bring supplies such as tissues, wet wipes, and a change of clothes in case they get sick. Ask the flight attendant for assistance, as they may have medication or supplies on board. If necessary, seek medical attention when you land.

Q: Can I bring strollers or car seats on the flight?

A: Most airlines allow you to check strollers or car seats at the gate. You can also bring a collapsible stroller on board as a carry-on item.

Q: Should I bring my own snacks for my toddler on the flight?

A: Yes, it’s recommended to bring your own snacks and drinks for your toddler, as airline food may not be suitable for their needs or taste preferences.

Related Products for Flying with Toddlers: Calming Tricks

Traveling with toddlers can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to flying. The long hours sitting in an airplane can be challenging for parents who have to keep their little ones entertained and calm throughout the journey. Here are some products that might help make your flying experience with toddlers a lot smoother:

  • Portable DVD player: A portable DVD player can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping toddlers occupied during a flight. Load it up with their favorite movies or TV shows, and you’ll have hours of distraction at your fingertips. Look for one that has a long battery life and a sturdy case that can withstand a few bumps and drops.
  • Headphones: If you decide to opt for a DVD player or a tablet, make sure you get some kid-friendly headphones. Look for ones that are adjustable and comfortable, with a volume limiter built-in to protect your child’s hearing.
  • Travel games: There are many travel-sized games that are perfect for keeping toddlers entertained during a flight. From magnetic fishing games to travel-sized versions of classic board games like snakes and ladders, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
  • Coloring books and crayons: Simple yet effective, coloring can be a great way to keep toddlers calm on a flight. Look for coloring books with big, bold pictures and easy-to-grip crayons that won’t roll away on the tray table.
  • Comfort items: Whether it’s a favorite stuffed animal or a cozy blanket, having comfort items from home can help a toddler feel more relaxed during a flight. Make sure you pack these items in your carry-on bag so they’re easily accessible throughout the journey.
  • Snacks: Hungry toddlers can quickly become grouchy toddlers, so make sure you pack plenty of snacks for the flight. Think easy-to-eat items like crackers, fruit, and raisins, and avoid anything too sugary that might cause a sugar crash later on.
  • Travel pillow: A travel pillow can be a great way to help a toddler get comfortable and drift off to sleep during a long flight. Look for one that is specifically designed for kids, with a soft and supportive filling that won’t flatten out over time.
  • Tablet: A tablet can be a versatile way to keep toddlers entertained during a flight. Load it up with games, books, and apps that are specifically designed for young children, and make sure you have a sturdy case to keep it safe from bumps and drops.
  • Travel potty: For parents potty-training their toddlers, a travel potty can be a lifesaver during a long flight. Look for one that is collapsible and easy to clean, and pack some disposable liners to make cleanup a breeze.
  • Child harness: For parents traveling with toddlers who like to wander, a child harness can be a great way to keep them safe and close by during a flight. Look for one that is comfortable and adjustable, with a strong and sturdy connection between the harness and the adult’s wrist.

Pros & Cons of Flying with a Toddler: Tricks to Keep Them Calm and Happy


  • Early boarding: Families with young children usually get priority boarding, which means more time to settle in and stow belongings without the rush of other passengers.
  • Special assistance: Airlines offer special assistance to families with young children, such as providing child safety seats, strollers, or a designated family washroom on the plane.
  • In-flight entertainment: Many airlines offer in-flight entertainment, such as movies, games, and kid-friendly channels, which can keep toddlers occupied and happy for the duration of the flight.
  • Snacks and drinks: Most airlines offer complimentary snacks and drinks, which can help distract a toddler from the boredom or discomfort of a long flight.
  • Potential for nap time: Depending on the time of day and duration of the flight, there is a chance that a toddler may nap during the flight, leading to a more enjoyable experience for both the child and the parent.


  • Long security lines: Security lines can be especially difficult for families with young children, who may require extra time and attention to get through TSA.
  • Overcrowded planes: Many flights are often overcrowded, which can be stressful for parents who need space to tend to their toddlers’ needs.
  • Limited space: Economy seats on airplanes can be cramped and uncomfortable for both the parent and the toddler, making it difficult to keep the child contained and entertained.
  • Ear pressure: Fluctuations in air pressure during takeoff and landing can cause discomfort or pain in a toddler’s ears, leading to crying and fussiness during the flight.
  • Bathroom breaks: Taking a toddler to the airplane bathroom can be challenging, as it may require maneuvering through a tight space while keeping the child safe and comfortable.

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