Tomorrow’s the big day we head out to the west coast and I’m equally excited and nervous. Luckily, The Baby Cubby is here to save the day and calm my nerves! You may remember them from the collaboration I did with them last month for Read below for great tips to help make your flight go as smooth as possible (I took lots of notes!!).
Hi TIHIM readers! I’m Cassie and I am a blog contributor over at the Cubby Community Blog for The Baby Cubby. I wanted to share some tips I have picked up after traveling with my kids so much. My 3-year-old has been on over 30 flights and my 5-month-old has been on four already! I know it can be stressful leading up to a trip, wondering if your toddler will behave and sleep on the flight, wondering what you can and cannot bring and hoping you can get to your destination without a nervous breakdown. Well I am here to tell you that more often than not it goes smoother than you think it will and if you are prepared it can be a pretty stress-free experience.
I love using a wrap through the airport, I am hands free at ticketing and security and I can still roll my own carry on. You do not have to take the baby out of the carrier at security (like you would if they are in the car seat) but if you wear or hold a baby through the scanner they will always perform a little hand test that only takes a couple seconds. Beware of the carriers with metal rings though-I have seen many sleeping babies that have to be woken up and taken out if there is a metal ring on the sling. The Ergo 360 carrier is my top picks for carriers and the Happy Baby Wrap is a super comfortable wrap option!
Do you know that almost all airlines let you check a stroller, car seat (and base) for free and you can bring your diaper bag as an additional carry-on for free too?! You can choose to check your stroller/car seat at the ticketing counter or use it to get through the airport and then check it at the gate. If you check them at the ticketing counter they will be at the baggage claim when you land but if you gate check they will be there when you step off the plane. It is up to you which will be easiest. I prefer to check my car seat and stroller at the ticket counter if I am just travelling with a newborn so there is less to lug through the airport and them through security and just wear the baby in a carrier; but if you have an older toddler or more kids with you it might be easier to have them be in the stroller through the airport and then gate check it. I also recommend putting your car seat in some type of protective bag as it can take some abuse on the flight. Sometimes the airline provides them, if not you can usually get a bag from the brand of your car seat or stroller, like the Baby Jogger Carry Bag or this gate check bag.
Something borrowed, something new!
Before a trip I always swing by a dollar store and pick up some toddler entertainment material. They don’t have to be amazing toys, they will just love it because it’s not something they don’t see everyday. I like sticker sets, coloring books, pipe cleaners (with cheerios to string), stacking cups and maybe a little craft. Try to pick things that will take as long as possible, like rather than just get a little toy car, get some foam stickers that they can make designs and shapes with. The longer something takes and the more interesting it is for your child the longer they will stay entertained! When your toddler is especially active is when you need to be very mindful about the activities you choose.
Did you know that if it is for your child, food and beverages do not need to be under the 3.5 oz liquid allowance? You can bring a bottle(s) of breast milk or formula on the plane (they will usually perform a harmless litmus test) as well as squeeze pouches and whatever snacks you need for your child. I like to pack cheese string (they take a long time) and some cucumbers and carrots. If your toddler is younger try raisins, sliced grapes, puffs, goldfish etc. Another tip I have is ask the flight attendant for a cup of just ice when they come around. My toddler loves sucking and crunching on ice and it provides 10-15 minutes of entertainment!
Suck it up.
Even though your child is no longer a newborn. it is still good for them to be sucking or chewing on something on take-off and landing. When my babe was younger I would just give him his sippy cup or a sucker if he was being REALLY good and now that he is three, I let him chew a little piece of gum.
Electronics. No one is judging you!
If your flight is long or you need a little break, don’t feel bad for busting out the ipad or tablet or even just your phone. Kids love looking through your camera roll and videos and I like to play on the photobooth app with them and take silly pictures. There are also some great apps these days. Some of our favorites are Pepi Play, Toca Boca and Tiny Hands apps.
I hope some of these tips have been helpful! Remember to bring the toddlers birth certificate if they are under two and are flying as a lap child and always get to the airport earlier than you think you need to when travelling with kids. Don’t stress too much! Even if your toddler has a meltdown, I have found that most people are very patient and helpful with children and have I personally have been shown such kindness from strangers while traveling. Good luck and happy travels!
A HUGE thank you to The Baby Cubby and in particular to Cassie for sharing your best toddler traveling tips!
Do you have any tips to help ease the stress of traveling with toddlers? Please share them below!!