Sunday, March 9, 2014

Air Travel with a Toddler

Little M is the consummate high flyer. She's been on so many flights and hasn't had to pay for a seat yet! Ok, it's not because of her platinum rewards card, it's because she is still under two. And we haven't gone overseas yet, so we haven't truly tested her/our patience. However, we have gone on more than a handful of domestic flights, and I would like to share my experiences with you.

1. Travel with a companion.
Just do it. If you have this option. Travelling alone is so much more stressful for you and your child. If you have another person with you, at least one of you will be able to play candy crush at some point. Or drink a beverage, hot or otherwise. Or go to the bathroom. You really don't want to be trusting your baby with a stranger while going to the bathroom. Or trying to get your pants down while holding them while in a tiny airline washroom. Sorry to leave you with that image... Let's just say the list of benefits is endless and move on.

2. Breastfeed (if you still are). Often.
A happy baby is a sucking baby. A happy baby is not hungry. A baby with a mouthful of boob is a baby that isn't crying. Remove the word baby and insert the word toddler, if applicable.

3. Travel during nap time. Or night time. 

While I know this isn't always feasible (especially with delays... hello? why are all flights delayed when you have a squalling infant?), this is something that has saved our lives many a time. The loud white noise of the plane basically puts M straight to sleep. Heaven! And I still have a hand free to play, you guessed it, candy crush. Or even read a book on the old iPad. I am not joking. A child asleep on a plane is heaven.

4. Be prepared to sing. Out loud.
Trust me. People would rather hear "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" one thousand times than hear your darling wail. Also, if you sing softly enough into your darling's ear, that white noise will ensure that almost nobody can hear you anyways.

5. Carry a boatload of Snacks/Toys
Yes, it means your diaper bag will be as heavy as a porcelain toilet, but by gods, you will be thankful for every rattle, board book and cuddly bear that makes your child smile. Even if each one only buys you a few minutes, stay placid knowing you have an endless array of distractions.

Ever travelled with your child? Any tips to share? 


  1. I remember traveling to Canada with my Little M when she was 10 months old and we had a direct flight from Tokyo leaving at like 9 pm or something, so we thought it would be perfect. Except that Little M would not go to sleep for FIVE HOURS. FIVE HOURS spent jostling her up and down the aisles, covering her face so she wouldn't see the faces of people smiling at her telling her she's cute (HELLO BABY TRYING TO SLEEP HERE). The next 7 hours were bliss though.

  2. Good tips! I haven't ever had to travel by plane with a baby, yet. (I haven't traveled by plane myself, yet.) But we did drive to the beach once and left at night so baby would sleep. Totally didn't work. Baby cried the whole way. Not cool!

  3. TRavel with a baby is challenge. There's a famous quotation (I forget the author) that quipped: There are two ways to travel - first class or with children.

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