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1st time air travel with rambunctious toddler... tips please!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Finally going on a trip, yay!  Please share your tips for traveling by air with a 16 month old.  How on earth will I get her to sit still in my lap for any period of time??  Also, do they ask you to show some form of ID for a baby traveling with both parents?

post #2 of 8

Is she nursing?  The first time I flew with YDS he was about your DD's age and was on my lap and nursing helped a lot.   The second trip he had his own seat, which was easier (but both times were 9 hour flights, if yours is shorter the lap thing won't be as big of a deal).  Videos and snacks also really helped keep them busy.   We brought our ipad, a big ziploc bag of cheerios and goldfish crackers and some suckers.  


I'm not sure about the ID thing, we flew internationally so we needed passports.  I would check the airline's website to see what they require. 

post #3 of 8
Are you flying with her as a lap child? Then, yes, you should bring a copy of her birth certificate for age verification.
post #4 of 8
I've flown a lot with my now 20-month-old daughter. I've never been asked for ID for her or proof of age, but I often bring along her birth certificate in my diaper bag just in case.

The older she's gotten, the harder its been to fly with her. A few that have helped us out have been: snacks (Cheerios, peanutbutter crackers, Chex mix), small toys like beaded mardi-gras type necklaces or Little People figurines, small board books, stickers if you'll let her stick them on you & your outfit not the armrests/chairbacks. We've tried coloring books & crayons but using the tray table is not comfy with a toddler on your lap, then tray becomes a toy.

Our little one loves her pacifier. We're trying to wean her off but those rules go out the window on a plane. We sometimes the the pacifier clip in the airport/plane & its a lifesaver. Without it pacifiers have fallen down escalators, on the tarmac & under seats on planes.

Bring a spare outfit for the little one. Sometimes the air pressure change leads to blowouts or diaper leaks happen because he/she is in an odd position on your lap. Consider a extra change of clothes for you. Carry on spare diapers.

If you use sippy cups or baby bottles for milk & water, bring an empty one through security then buy a bottle of water or milk in the airport. Starbucks has whole milk, sometimes they'll give it to you for free other times they charge you. If its a long flight ask the attendant to refridgerate the milk for you. If there is no fridge, you can put ice in the barf bag with the cup/bottle & it will keep things cool without leaking.

Good luck!
post #5 of 8


new toys and books


her own backpack / suitcase / carry-on

walking the aisles

lots of snacks

post #6 of 8
We just flew for a family vacation last month (DD was 19 months), 5.5 hours each way. My parents were with me so we let her crawl around on our laps and that helped a ton. I brought stickers, her animal figures, some new little dollies, a few books, and a lot of snacks. I also put some cartoons on my iPhone. She nursed to sleep and slept a couple hours each way. A sippy cup was very helpful too as she asked for a drink a lot. When she was 11 months I flew at night with her by myself and I was so nervous I made myself sick. She did fine though - just slept and nursed the whole way. She did pee through her diaper though, and onto my lap. Be mindful of that.
post #7 of 8

We travel all the time with our 2 year old who is very active. We usually get her a small toy from one of the airport shops for her to play with during take off and landing, and then after that let her run up and down the aisles to her heart's content! We try to bring small puzzles that she can do and some colouring books with stickers inside. Another fun game that we like to do on the plane is ask the flight attendant for some ice and two cups and let DD play around with the ice, she loves to put the ice into the different cups!


One of the key things is to time your flight well. If your LO still naps, I would definitely recommend to plan the flight around the nap time, or if its a longer flight try to do it closer to bed time. Usually the white noise of the airplane puts DD to sleep really well, which is a godsend on a long flight! We do a transatlantic flight at least twice a year to visit my family, and by far the easiest leg of the journey is the overnight one.

post #8 of 8

I have flown with my very active son (currently 2 years old) a number of times. I suggest buying children their own seat. It's safer and it will give you more room. I flew once with my son as a "lap child" (I wore him in a carrier) and it was fine but stressful. After doing more research I will never fly another child as a "lap child" again. I will always buy them a seat.


So how to prepare and handle active children, some suggestions:

- talk about the flight beforehand and practice if you can

- make the airport fun (get there early so you have time to stop and see all the neat things)

- screens if you're ok with them (ipad, kindle, whatever)

- a trunki can be fun if the child likes to ride on things http://www.trunki.co.uk/categories/trunki_2

- treats (special food you can eat in the airport or on the plane - something for the child to look forward to)

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