Flying with toddlers is as savage as it sounds. But more often than not perfecting the art is trial and error. Want to skip that stage and just know what to pack? Here’s our winning, pre-tested packing list and tips.
Distraction, Distraction, Distraction!
From boobies to sweets to suck or books and toys, you’ve just got to keep them busy! Make a ‘thing’ of flying, as in use it as a theme to keep them excited. Think minimum effort for you and maximum distraction for them. Basically anything interactive.
For Theon’s cary on case we’ve gone for a ride on Trunki. They double up as toys and a means to transport tired toddlers around bustling airports. Having the Trunki means we can multi task, without having to juggle the double buggy and luggage.
I actually learnt this little trick from Harriet at Tobyandroo.com Make the in flight entertainment you’ve packed them even more fun by wrapping it. Ultimately it’s gonna take them longer to get bored of it!
This time around Theon is old enough for his own seat but Penelope will be on my lap. The first ‘No, No!’ I think I learnt when first flying with T was to never strap them in too early. He’s a great flyer. However, as a baby and small toddler he hated being restricted by the seat belt to the point of melt down. No matter how nervous or desperate you are to get sat down and set up, just don’t do it! The seat belt sign may only be enforced for 10 mins for take off and landing, but 10 solid minutes trapped on a plane with a screaming toddler is more than most can take. You just don’t need to put yourself through it!
Theon’s Carry On
His wrapped gifts include:
•An airport themed sticker book
•An airport themed indestructible reading book
•A PJ Masks colouring book, with pens that can only colour on paper
As well as his wrapped gifts he also has his:
•Collapsable toddler headphones
•Holiday themed toy (wooden camera)
During the flight it can often be difficult to balance the temperature. Having a fan and blanket will mean you can counteract stuffy periods. Or times where the cabin crew blast the air con. Blankets can also double up as covers for breastfeeding or to block out the light. And if you don’t have the extra luggage space for pillows, a blanket simply rolled up becomes the perfect head rest.
Tablets are an absolute life saver, especially on budget flights. Down load a movie to give yourself a solid 90 mins quiet time! I always have at least two or three child friendly games that Theon can play. The collapsable head phones we got from Amazon were less than a fiver and mean he can have the volume up without distracting the other passengers.
Live And Learn
Although a crappy flight can counteract that initial happy vibe, the key to a good flight is learning to let it go. Be mindful but try not to sweat it. Make note of what worked well for you or what not so much. That way you’ll slowly have a list tailored to your family. Check out what the other families on your flight do. But ultimately though remember no flight lasts forever, this too shall end! Even if it all goes tits up, just chuck it in the fuck it bucket and move on. You’re on holiday baby, let the fun times roll!
This post now has audio, let us know what you think!