Things to Remember When Flying with a Toddler

rapuncille By rapuncille, 29th May 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Tips>Flights & Flying

The article was written to help those who will be flying alone with a toddler. The Author included some tips to be followed on how to survive a relatively comfortable and less hassle flight based on her personal experience.

Flying Alone with A Toddler

Last February, I flew together with my one year and seven months old toddler from Manila to Doha. I am greatly elated by the fact that I did survive the trip. Surely, it was not easy. It was the first time for me to travel alone with my hyperactive toddler.

When I knew that my son’s visa was already approved, I had myself prepared for this great feat of taking care of my baby alone from the time we set foot at NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) until we meet my husband at our airport destination.

As from what I’ve experienced from our said trip, I was able to draw a list of things which you should take into consideration before flying alone with a toddler.

1. Invest on a good and reliable harness

My son just learned how to walk by himself at that time and he finds open space as haven to roam around. The problem is his sense of balance is still not that steady. A harness would enable me to keep him close to me while he walks around. Make sure though that your baby is used to wearing one. Meaning, do not make him wear the harness on the day of your flight only. If this is the case, the harness and the irritated toddler will create more problems for you. The baby needs to practice wearing the harness before he gets comfortable with it.

2. Check-in early to get your preferred seats

If you wish to be seated at the airplane’s bulkhead where the bassinets are located, it would be better to check-in early so that you may be able to get the seats you desire. The seats with access to the bassinets are quite limited, so the tendency is that you won’t be able to get them, if you come in late. The bulkhead seats are preferred by those travelling with kids since it is more spacious.

When my son and I checked-in, the bulkhead seats were already taken so we opted to get another seat (window, 3rd row from the bulkhead). It’s ideal for me since there were only 2 seats (for me and my son) and it is near the toilet. Having a not so spacious area since we are squeezed in between rows, worked better for me. I was able to use the food tray in front of our seats to limit my son from going up and down his seat and from walking up and down the aisle.

3. If you are travelling on a long flight and you think your toddler won’t be able to make the most use of bassinet, purchase him a seat if you have the money.

Forget about what it is that you can save and spare yourself of all the hassles of enduring your baby’s weight while he sits or sleeps on your lap during the flight. The long flight is enough to make your butt and your back ache; imagine doubling that if you have a toddler in tow without his own seat.

4. Do not over pack you hand carry and use an easy to carry bag.

Just bring what is essential in your hand carry. It would be better if you use a bag which is easy to carry and will enable you to keep your hands free while carrying it so that you can get hold of your toddler for the rest of your trip. I have used a relatively not stable wheeled bag that couldn’t stand in itself alone since I have it over stuffed (my fault). I’ve got myself preoccupied not only by my son, but also by my bag. It would be best to use a backpack or a bag which you can carry on your shoulders.

5. Better use feeding bottles with disposable lids in order to minimize your need to wash bottles during the flight or your need to over pack your hand carry with lots of feeding bottles.

If you choose to use a bottle with disposable linings then it would be best to get extra nipple/teat for the too! I had bought enough linings and a bottle for our trip but failed to get an extra nipple so I was forced to bring with me extra bottles still.

6. Use “easy to put on” shoes for both you and your toddler.

With all the security checks going on in the airports, avoiding hassles brought about by too much time and effort you need to put on in taking off and in putting on your shoes for every security check would be advisable. I am abiding by my No Chucks policy in the airport with my baby.

7. Keep your baby stuff accessible.

It would be best if you use a bag which will fit in under the aircraft chair so you need not stand up to reach for the overhead luggage compartment every time you need to get something from it. Keep your baby stuff always accessible.

8. Bring enough food, toys, formula and diapers but do not over pack.

You’ll be needing things that will keep your toddler preoccupied and having him munching on something or playing with a toy might just do the trick.

9. Make sure that you keep all your important documents in one section of your bag for easy access.

This will enable you to keep yourself organized and will help you deal with all the paper works of the trip a lot easier.

10. Ask your doctor what it is that you can give your child to make him get some good sleep while onboard the aircraft.

My pediatrician advised me to give my toddler a certain dose of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) before we board. It did keep him sleeping for almost half of the time we were onboard the aircraft.

11. Keep that helpless smile.

It will surely draw you a lot of help from other people during the trip.


Airplane, Airport, Babies, Guide, Mothers, On Board, Suggestion, Tips, Toddler, Travel

Meet the author

author avatar rapuncille

am a full-time mom to two gorgeous boys. I spend most of my spare time in between my mommy and wifey jobs doing online stuff which includes writing.

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author avatar kafsoa
29th May 2011 (#)

Oh! these tips are very useful for young mothers. Thanks for sharing your experience. My regards to your baby :)

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author avatar rapuncille
31st May 2011 (#)

Thanks so much! :)

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