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The Dos and Don’ts of Flying with a Toddler

The Dos and Don’ts of Flying with a Toddler


Flying with a toddler can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation and the right mindset, it can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your little one. In this article, we will provide you with some of the most essential Dos and Don’ts that you need to know when flying with your toddler. We will cover everything from preparing for the flight to entertaining your child onboard.

Before the Flight:

  • Do pack enough supplies: You should pack enough supplies for your toddler, including extra diapers, wipes, and clothes. You should also bring snacks and drinks for your child.
  • Do book your flight during nap time: If at all possible, try to book your flight during your toddler’s nap time so they can rest during the flight. This will make the flight more comfortable for both you and your child.
  • Do dress your child in comfortable clothes: Comfort is key when flying with a toddler. Make sure you dress your child in comfortable clothing that is easy to take on and off for diaper changes.
  • Don’t forget to bring entertainment: Bring toys, books, and other entertainment for your child to keep them occupied during the flight.
  • Don’t check in your stroller: A stroller can be a lifesaver at the airport, so don’t check it in. Instead, gate-check it so you can use it until you board the plane.

During the Flight:

  • Do bring a car seat: If you have a seat for your child, bring a car seat. It will make your child more comfortable during the flight and ensure their safety.
  • Do walk around with your child: Toddlers have a lot of energy, so it’s a good idea to bring them on walks around the plane to keep them occupied.
  • Do bring snacks and drinks: Snacks and drinks can keep your toddler happy, full, and hydrated during the flight.
  • Don’t forget to change diapers: Change your child’s diaper frequently during the flight so they can stay comfortable. Bring a changing pad and extra diapers in your carry-on.
  • Don’t let your toddler kick the seat in front of them: It’s important to make sure that your child is not bothering other passengers by kicking or hitting the seat in front of them. Teach your child to be mindful of others.

After the Flight:

  • Do take breaks: When you arrive at your destination, it’s important to take breaks throughout the day to help your child adjust to the new time zone and surroundings.
  • Do keep your toddler hydrated: Flying can be dehydrating, so make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids after the flight.
  • Do give yourself some time to recover: Flying with a toddler can be exhausting, so make sure to give yourself some time to recover after the trip.
  • Don’t forget to check your child’s car seat: If you brought a car seat with you, make sure to check it for any damage before using it again.
  • Don’t stress out: Flying with a toddler can be stressful, but try to stay calm and enjoy the journey with your little one.


Flying with a toddler requires some extra preparation and consideration, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. By following these Dos and Don’ts, you can ensure that both you and your child have a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable flight. Remember to stay calm, bring plenty of supplies, and most importantly, have fun with your little one!

FAQ: The Dos and Don’ts of Flying with a Toddler

What should I pack for my toddler on a flight?

You should pack diapers, wipes, extra clothes, snacks, toys, and books. Consider bringing a favorite stuffed animal or blanket for comfort.

Should I bring a car seat on the airplane?

If your toddler has their own seat, it is recommended to bring a car seat that is FAA approved. If your toddler will be sitting on your lap, it is not required but available as an option.

Can I bring a stroller through airport security?

Yes, strollers are allowed through security as a carry-on item. Most airlines will also let you check in your stroller for free at the gate.

Can I bring breast milk or formula on the plane?

Yes, you can bring breast milk and formula on the plane as long as it is properly screened at security. Make sure to pack it securely and in a clear and labeled bag.

What should I do if my toddler has a meltdown on the plane?

First, remain calm and try to soothe your toddler. Bring along toys, books, snacks, and a tablet to keep your toddler entertained. If necessary, take your toddler for a walk up and down the aisle to calm them down.

Should I give my toddler medication to help them sleep on a plane?

It is not recommended to give medication to your toddler without consulting a doctor. Instead, try to tire them out before the flight, bring comfortable pillows and blankets, and try to get them to sleep on a regular schedule.

Can I bring my own snacks for my toddler?

Yes, you can bring your own snacks for your toddler on the airplane. However, make sure they are packaged and easy to eat, and be mindful of any allergies that other passengers may have.

What should I do if my toddler becomes sick on the plane?

If your toddler becomes sick on the plane, notify a flight attendant and they can assist you. It may also be helpful to bring along a small first aid kit with basic supplies.

Should I pre-board with my toddler?

Pre-boarding can be helpful to get settled in and prepare, especially if you have car seats or strollers to set up. However, if your toddler becomes restless waiting for the plane to take off, it may be better to board later to minimize time on the plane.

What can I do to prevent my toddler’s ears from hurting during takeoff and landing?

Encourage your toddler to drink something during takeoff and landing, such as a bottle, sippy cup, or straw cup. This helps to equalize the pressure in their ears and prevent discomfort.

Can I bring a tablet or electronic device for my toddler to use on the plane?

Yes, electronic devices can be a great way to keep your toddler entertained on the plane. Just make sure to bring headphones, and limit screen time to prevent overstimulation.

Related Products when Flying with Toddlers: Dos and Don’ts

  • Portable Car Seat

    A portable car seat is a must-have item when flying with toddlers. It provides your child with the necessary safety and comfort during the flight. Portable car seats are lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around the airport. They can be easily attached to a plane seat, ensuring your child remains safe during takeoff and landing.

  • Stroller

    A stroller is another essential item to consider when traveling with toddlers. It helps to transport your child through the airport, makes it easier to move around, and keeps them comfortable during extended layovers. A lightweight stroller that is easy to fold and carry is recommended, so you can quickly pass through security checkpoints and board the plane without any hassle.

  • Breastfeeding Cover

    A breastfeeding cover is a handy item to keep in your carry-on bag when flying with your toddler. It allows you to feed your baby discreetly, without having to worry about other passengers or security personnel. It also provides an extra layer of protection and privacy for your child, giving them a cozy and peaceful feeding experience.

  • Ear Protection

    Ear protection is essential when flying with toddlers, especially during takeoff and landing. It helps to protect their ears from the loud noises and pressure changes that occur during these events. Ear protection headphones designed specifically for babies and toddlers provide the necessary comfort and safety needed for your child.

  • Portable DVD Player

    Keeping your toddler entertained during the flight can be challenging. A portable DVD player, loaded with your child’s favorite movies or TV shows, is a great way to keep them entertained for the duration of the flight. It also helps to distract them from the unfamiliar and sometimes scary noises and sensations of the plane.

  • Travel Tray

    A travel tray is a useful accessory that attaches to a stroller or car seat. It provides your child with a flat surface to eat, drink, and play on, making it more comfortable for them during the flight. It also helps to keep their food, toys, and other items within easy reach, so you don’t have to keep reaching into your luggage during the journey.

  • Carry-On Diaper Bag

    A carry-on diaper bag is an item that is vital when flying with toddlers. It allows you to keep all the essentials, such as diapers, wipes, and bottles, within easy reach during the flight. A water-resistant bag with multiple compartments and pockets is recommended, so you can easily organize and access all the items you need during your journey.

  • Travel Pillow

    A travel pillow is another essential item when flying with toddlers. It makes it more comfortable for your child to sleep during the flight, providing them with much-needed support for their head and neck. A travel pillow designed specifically for toddlers is soft and comfortable, allowing them to get a better and more restful sleep.

  • Travel Blanket

    A travel blanket is a must-have item when flying with toddlers. It provides your child with warmth and comfort during the journey, making it easier for them to relax and sleep. A travel blanket designed specifically for toddlers is lightweight and made from soft and durable materials that are easy to clean and maintain.

  • Kid-Friendly Snacks

    Finally, when flying with toddlers, it is essential to have plenty of kid-friendly snacks on hand. They help to keep your child occupied during the journey, provide them with the necessary nutrition they need, and prevent them from getting hungry and fussy. Healthy snacks such as crackers, fruit, and cheese sticks are all ideal choices for flying with toddlers.

Pros & Cons of Flying with a Toddler


  • Exposure to new environment: Traveling can be a great opportunity for toddlers to experience new sights, sounds, and cultures.
  • Quality family time: In our hectic daily lives, traveling with a toddler can be a time where family bonding happens organically and quality time can be spent together.
  • Early exposure to air travel: Air travel may become a part of toddler’s life in the near future, so it can be a great practice for the future.
  • A chance for independence: While parents are there to guide and support, air travel can provide toddlers with an opportunity to feel a sense of independence.
  • Chance to learn: Air travel can be an opportunity for toddlers to learn about geography, cultures, and the science of flying.
  • Cons

  • Possible disruption of routine: Traveling with a toddler means changing routines and sleep patterns, which can sometimes lead to crankiness and tantrums.
  • Struggle with ear pressure: The pressure changes on flights can be tough on a toddler’s ears, leading to discomfort and crying.
  • Inconvenient logistics: Traveling with a toddler means dealing with bulky strollers, car seats, and luggage, which can become time-consuming and frustrating.
  • Possible sickness: Airplanes can be breeding grounds for germs, and with a still-developing immune system, toddlers are more susceptible to getting sick.
  • Exhaustion: Air travel, especially long flights, can be exhausting for both toddlers and parents, leading to physical and mental fatigue.

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