Remember the days when plane rides were relaxing?  After take-off you reclined your seat and either drifted off to dreamland, opened a good book, or started your favorite movie all while figuring out if you wanted peanuts, pretzels, or cookies.  Those sure were the days!  Don’t get me wrong, vacationing with a toddler and seeing their excitement for new experiences is AMAZING and I love it.  But, the whole getting to the vacation destination certainly can be stressful and a lot of work.  Last weekend we flew with my 16 month old son (who I might add is cutting four teeth) and we were prepared with some tips and tricks that I’d like to share with you!

  • The number one thing that saved us: SNACKS
    • And LOT’S of them.  For a few minutes we would do yogurt melts and then he would munch on a mighty stick.  Then it was on to goldfish and I’m sure you get the pattern here.  Anytime he would start fussing (which on the flight home was fairly often) it was on to a new snack.  Not only would it distract him, but it passed time.  I would hand him one piece of a snack at a time so it would take longer for him to finish instead of his typical eating method of stuffing his mouth.  I filled an entire gallon size Zip-lock bag with a variety of different snacks and it literally saved us!
  • There is no such thing as screen time on a plane
    • In fact, all rules go out the window when traveling with kids in my mind!  We downloaded several kid movies from Netflix on the iPad and made sure it was fully charged at take-off.  With that being said, we encountered an issue related to this.  I brought a pair of actual headphones and a pair of earbuds to see which Jonas preferred.  The answer was neither (…great).  So we watched movies silent style.  Tell me mamas…. Any suggestions on what to use for kids to listen with?!  We have another flight coming up in December so I would love to hear your suggestions!
  • Live that paci life
    • Jonas currently uses a pacifier during naps and at nighttime, but like I said, all rules go out the window on the plane!  He had full access to that sucker the whole time and I made sure to pop it in his mouth when taking off and landing to help with the air pressure.
  • Introduce a new toy!
    • I brought two new things for him to play with on the flight and they both managed to occupy him for 10 minutes at a time (which was a major win for us!)  I brought a sticker book and a magnetic puzzle.  He loved ripping the stickers up and putting them on the tray table and mom’s face.
  • Diapers and wipes in a Ziploc bag
    • We didn’t end up needing to change any diapers on the plane (thank the good Lord), BUT we were obviously fully prepared to!  Bathrooms on planes aren’t exactly spacious and I knew our diaper bag wouldn’t fit along with an adult and a toddler.  To solve this problem, I put a handful of diapers, wipes, and a changing pad in a gallon size Zip lock bag so I wouldn’t need to bring the entire diaper bag in for changes.
  • Bob the bear (AKA a lovey)
    • If your child has a lovey (a blanket, stuffed animal, etc.), BRING IT.  If you follow me, you know that my son Jonas is obsessed with his stuffed bear named Bob.  Even though Bob isn’t super small, you betcha he was boarding that plane with us!
  • Bring along the drugs just in case (AKA ibuprofen or Tylenol)
    • Jonas is cutting four teeth right now so pain relief is a must.  We came prepared with our teething secret weapons on the plane!
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up
    • My son has always loved to be held and moving.  At home when he’s fussing, usually the trick is to pick him up and walk around or dance to music with him in our arms.  If your child is getting super restless and fussy (or screaming), it’s okay to stand up and walk up and down the aisles!  Let people judge you and think you are annoying.  Seriously, you will never see them again!

Now please share all of your tips and tricks for flying with kids with me!  Like I said, we have another plane ride coming up soon that will be double the length so I’m open to ALL the ideas!