As a mother of two, I know how stressful it can be to travel with kids. Not one, but two kids on top of that. One young toddler and a baby. This sounds like a recipe for disaster isn’t it. But after the 3 long years of lockdowns thanks to Covid-19, we finally have a chance to travel to meet our family members again. Travelling with kids requires a lot of preparation. It’s essential to plan in advance when traveling with babies and toddlers. In this article, I will share with you some of the most important tips to prepare you for travelling with a young toddler and a baby. Yes, it can be done.
Preparation before travelling with a young toddler and a baby
Purchase your flight tickets in advanced
It starts all the way from booking the flight ticket itself. Try to book as early as you can. Booking your flight tickets early not only ensures you get the best possible seats but also helps you prepare for a smooth airplane ride with toddlers. Here are some crucial factors to consider when selecting seats:
Choosing Seats : Which is Better Between A Bassinet and Bulkhead Seats or a Normal Seat?
When traveling with a baby, one of the best options to consider is booking a bassinet seat. Airplane bassinets are small, portable cribs that attach to the bulkhead (the wall separating different sections of the plane). They offer a comfortable space for your little one to sleep during the flight, which is essential for a peaceful journey. Trust me on this.
Bulkhead seats are also an excellent choice when traveling with young toddlers on planes. These seats have more legroom, allowing your toddler to stretch out and play without disturbing other passengers. Additionally, being near the front of the cabin can mean quicker access to the flight attendants if you need assistance during the flight.
Remember that bassinet and bulkhead seats are limited, so it’s essential to book them as early as possible. Many airlines allow you to reserve these seats when you book your flight, but some may require you to call their customer service to make the request.
However, it is important to note that most bulkhead seats have an irremovable arm rest as that’s where the tray are usually stored. These tray are less stable and smaller in size compared to a normal tray. The entertainment system would also be further away hence it’s slightly inconvenient to use in comparison with a normal seat row.
Bulkhead seats are usually reserved for families with a baby or passenger that requires extra assistance, hence there are usually not much chance of an empty seat in between the bulkhead seat row. However, with the normal seat row sometimes you can get lucky and have an empty seat in between and you can have an entire row to yourself.
Requesting Child and Baby Meals in Advanced
When flying with a toddler, it’s crucial to consider their meal preferences. Most airlines offer special child meals that cater to the taste buds and nutritional needs of young passengers. These meals are typically more appealing to kids and can make the airplane travel for toddlers much more enjoyable.
To ensure your toddler gets a child meal, make sure to request one at the time of booking or at least 24 hours before your flight. Keep in mind that not all airlines provide child meals, so it’s essential to check with your airline beforehand.
While not all airlines offer specific baby meals, it’s worth checking if your airline provides this option. Baby meals usually consist of jarred or pureed food, suitable for infants who have started on solids. Like child meals, you’ll need to request a baby meal at least 24 hours before your flight.
In conclusion, booking your flight tickets in advance and selecting appropriate seats and meals for your little ones can significantly impact your airplane travel experience. By considering these factors, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a stress-free journey when traveling with toddlers on planes.
Packing : What to bring and how to pack them?
When traveling with babies and toddlers, being well-prepared is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. The preparation starts right from packing your bags. Here’s a list of essential items to include in your luggage when flying with toddlers and babies:
When packing snacks for your little ones, make sure they meet the country’s security check requirements. For instance, liquids should not exceed 100ml, which applies to items like baby food pouches, yogurt, and applesauce. It’s essential to check the specific regulations of the countries you’ll be traveling through to avoid any issues at the security checkpoints.
For travelling with a young toddler and a baby, below are my four must have carry on bags. Trust me.
Prepare One Bag for Documents, Itineraries, and Passports – Make sure it is Easy to Reach
When flying with toddlers and babies, it’s essential to have a separate bag for essential documents, itineraries, and passports. This bag should be easy to access and well-organized, so you can quickly find what you need at check-in, security, and immigration. Consider using a small cross-body bag or a travel wallet with compartments for different documents.
A Bag of Change, Diapers, and Wet Tissue
Packing a separate bag for diaper changes is crucial when traveling with small children. This bag should include enough diapers for the flight duration and a few extra, just in case. Additionally, pack wet wipes or tissues for cleaning up messes and sanitizing hands. Having a designated bag for these items makes it easier to access them when needed during the flight. Don’t forget to pack in one set of extra clothes just in case for yourself, your toddler and also your baby. This is why dressing in removable layers is particularly important to make your life easier.
A Bag of Snacks and Toys for a 3-Year-Old
Keeping your toddler entertained on a long flight is vital. Pack a separate bag filled with their favorite snacks and a variety of small toys or activities. These could include coloring books, stickers, puzzles, or their favorite stuffed animal. Having these items easily accessible will help prevent boredom and meltdowns during the flight.
A Bag of Snacks and Toys for a 1-Year-Old
Similarly, you’ll want to pack a separate bag for your 1-year-old, filled with age-appropriate snacks such as Gerber finger snacks and toys. Soft, chewable toys or teething toys can be helpful for younger babies, while small board books, sensory toys, and soft toys can keep them entertained. Remember to bring a variety of items to keep their interest throughout the flight.
Trust me, starting your preparation with thoughtful packing can make a world of difference when traveling with toddlers and babies. By organizing and packing this crucial 4 separate bags for different purposes, you’ll be better equipped to handle any challenges that arise during your journey.
Remember , as much as you’d like to travel light… when you are traveling with babies and toddlers, having a well-packed carry-on bag is essential. And pretty much unavoidable.
Here’s a list of items that can make your airplane ride with toddlers more comfortable and enjoyable:
Small Pack of Medication
Medication is always number one in my list of items to bring on the plane itself. It’s always wise to pack a small kit of essential medications for potential issues such as fever, motion sickness, indigestion, stomachache and allergies. You will never know when you or your family member needs some sort of medication. You can use this medicine organizer to better organize the medications. Remember to follow the security regulations regarding liquids (less than 100ml) when packing medication. Consult your pediatrician for advice on age-appropriate medications and dosages to have on hand.
This suction cup spinner is a big hit. Suction toys are great for keeping babies entertained during the flight. These toys can attach to the airplane tray table, preventing them from falling on the floor and getting lost. They’re also easy to clean and sanitize during your journey.
Disinfectant Wipes / Wet Tissues
Air travel can expose your little ones to various germs. Packing disinfectant wipes or wet tissues allows you to clean and sanitize surfaces, toys, and hands throughout the flight, keeping your children safe and healthy.
Bringing a comfort item for your child, like their favorite blanket or stuffed animal, can provide a sense of familiarity and security during the flight. This can help your child feel more comfortable in the unfamiliar airplane environment.
Toys That Won’t Fall Apart
When choosing toys for your airplane travel with toddlers, opt for ones that won’t easily fall apart or have small pieces that can get lost. Some examples include magnetic drawing boards, chunky puzzles, or large, interlocking building blocks.
If you’re nursing, a breastfeeding cover can provide privacy and comfort while feeding your baby during the flight. Choose one that’s lightweight and easy to pack, ensuring you can access it quickly when needed. A good breastfeeding cover must be breathable to provide ample airflow to your breastfeeding baby. A good example of an ultra soft breathable nursing cover is this WeeSprout nursing cover which we loved.
Water Bottle for Kids
A water bottle with a suction or straw feature can be helpful for takeoff and landing to ease ear pressure. Encourage your child to sip water during these times, which can help alleviate any discomfort. I highly recommend this Munchkin Any Angle straw cup. It’s spill proof and easy to hold, the two perfect combination you’d need inflight. It is very easy to get dehydration in the plane, try to encourage your little ones to drink as much as they can. You can find some tips to encourage your child to drink more waters here.
iPad / Tablet
I know… for the sake of your sanity in the plane let’s just forget about the fact that screen time is bad for a child. If you want to have an uneventful flight, the only way to do it is to keep the child occupied. And nothing keeps a child occupied for longer time than an iPad or tablet preloaded with age-appropriate games, movies, or shows. This can be a lifesaver during a long flight. Make sure it’s fully charged and consider bringing a portable charger or extra battery for extended trips.
For younger babies, a pacifier can provide comfort and help with ear pressure changes during takeoff and landing. Bring a spare, just in case one gets misplaced.
Pack easily washable or water-based art supplies for your little one to get creative during the flight. Water marker sets or crayons with a coloring book can keep toddlers entertained without making a mess. These Melissa & Doug Water Wow pad are fun, easy to use and most importantly mess free! The best part of this pads is that they are reusable. The water pen is refillable and the pages turns white again when they are dry. What a great invention!
In conclusion, having the right items in your carry-on bag can significantly improve your travel experience with babies and toddlers. By planning and packing thoughtfully, you’ll be well-prepared to handle any challenges that arise during your journey.
What I Bought Especially to Help My Traveling Journey Easier – Life Saver!
When traveling with babies and toddlers, investing in a few essential items can make your journey significantly more manageable. Based on my experience, these are the items that have been absolute lifesavers during my travels with my little ones:
Jetkids Bedbox for My 3-Year-Old
The Jetkids Bedbox is an innovative piece of luggage that can transform into a comfortable bed for your toddler during the flight. It’s also a ride-on suitcase, making long walks through airports, immigration lines, and security checks much more enjoyable for your child. This versatile item has been a game-changer for us during our travels. My toddler absolutely enjoyed riding on the Bedbox and being wheeled across the airport. He loves the Bedbox so much that he even want to ride them at home. You can purchase the Jetkids Bedbox here and it includes free worldwide shipping.
Baby B’Air Flight Vest for a lap infant inflight
The Baby B’Air flight vest is designed to keep your infant safe and secure on your lap during the flight especially if it’s a long haul flight. This vest attaches to your seat belt, ensuring your baby stays comfortably in place without constantly adjusting their position. It is very easy to use. The added safety and peace of mind this vest provides make it an invaluable addition to our travel essentials.
Do however take note that this flight vest can’t be used during take off and landing. Do dress your infant light to avoid overheating while wearing the flight vest.
Sinbii Baby Carrier
The Sinbii baby carrier has been a lifesaver for me, especially when it comes to putting my baby to sleep during flights. This ergonomic carrier distributes the baby’s weight evenly, allowing me to comfortably wear my baby for extended periods. It’s easy to use and has been instrumental in keeping my baby calm and well-rested during our travels. I absolutely love my Sinbii baby carrier and I bring them with me on the plane every time I fly. It is a must have especially if your child is the type that refuses to sit still or needs to be comforted before sleeping.
A lightweight travel stroller…Babyzen Yoyo for My 1-Year-Old
The Babyzen Yoyo stroller is specifically designed for travel, with its lightweight frame and compact fold. It’s been a fantastic investment for our trips with our 1-year-old. This stroller is easy to maneuver, fits in most overhead compartments, and can be opened and closed quickly with one hand. Its convenience and ease of use have made it an indispensable part of our travel gear. You can read on my full review on the Babyzen Yoyo stroller here.
In conclusion, investing in a few key items can significantly improve your traveling experience with babies and toddlers. These life-saving products have made our journeys more comfortable and enjoyable, and I highly recommend them to other parents embarking on their travel adventures with little ones.
Additional tips for a pleasant flight with your little ones!
Traveling with babies and toddlers can be challenging, but with the right mindset and some helpful tips, you can make the journey more enjoyable for the whole family. Here are some additional pieces of advice to keep in mind when embarking on your adventure:
Dress in Comfortable Layers (i.e. Easily Removable)
Dressing yourself and your children in comfortable, easily removable layers is a smart idea when traveling. Airplane cabins can have varying temperatures, and being able to add or remove layers can help everyone stay comfortable throughout the flight. Opt for soft, stretchy fabrics that won’t restrict movement and choose clothing items that can be easily taken on and off without hassle. This also makes diaper changes and bathroom breaks more manageable.
For the diaper change, you can consider to bring some disposable changing mat. This will save you the time from cleaning the changing table in the plane which really makes changing in a small cubicle much easier.
Be Kind, Be Polite to Everyone, Especially the Stewardess
A little kindness goes a long way when traveling with young children. Be polite and courteous to everyone you encounter, especially the flight attendants. A positive attitude and a friendly demeanor can make all the difference in how you and your children are treated during the flight. Flight attendants can be your biggest allies when you need assistance or support, so treating them with respect and appreciation can pay off in the long run.
I’ve flown several times with my young toddler and baby. The first flight was with Cathay Pacific. Thankfully, the crew on board was very helpful and even helped to try to cheer my baby up. My baby was crying for more than an hour on the plane. Eventually, I learnt that the best way to stop the crying is simply to put him in a carrier and pace around the place.
What to Avoid during travelling at all cost!
When traveling with babies and toddlers, it’s not only essential to know what to bring and do, but also what to avoid. Steering clear of certain items and behaviors can make your journey smoother and less stressful. Here are some things to keep in mind:
No Sweets! Avoid the Sugar Rush
While it might be tempting to bring along sugary treats to keep your little ones entertained, it’s best to avoid giving them sweets during your travels. A sugar rush can lead to hyperactivity and make it even more challenging to manage your child’s behavior during the flight. Instead, opt for healthier snack options like fresh fruit, vegetables, or low-sugar granola bars to keep them satisfied without the added sugar.
Bringing Snacks That Are Difficult to Eat
Choose snacks that are easy for your child to eat and won’t create a mess in their seating area. Avoid snacks that cause sticky hands or leave a lot of crumbs, as flight attendants may not appreciate the extra cleanup required. Some examples of travel-friendly snacks include rice cakes, dry cereal, or whole grain crackers.
Bringing Toys with a Lot of Small Parts
When selecting toys for your airplane travel with toddlers, avoid those with many small parts, such as puzzles or bead sets. These types of toys can easily get lost or create a mess during the flight, causing stress for both you and your child. Instead, choose toys that are simple, easy to clean, and less likely to get lost, like magnetic drawing boards, coloring books, or large building blocks.
In conclusion, knowing what to avoid when traveling with babies and toddlers can help make your journey more enjoyable and stress-free. By being mindful of your snack and toy choices and steering clear of sugary treats, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges that come with air travel with young children.
Don’t Fret, travelling is fun!
There you have it. All the do’s and don’t to prepare for your upcoming flight from my own experiences. As long as you prepare accordingly and follow these very important tips for travelling with your child, you will manage just fine. Your child will be excited, curious, bored, tired and possibly whiny. Oh, and do take note that your toddler may also try to press the service button many times. Don’t ask me how I know that. But hey, a child is a child. So, keep calm and stay positive, you got this!
In summary, making small adjustments and following these additional tips can help make traveling with babies and toddlers more enjoyable and less stressful. Dressing comfortably, being kind and polite, and remaining patient and flexible throughout the journey will ensure that you and your children have a memorable and positive travel experience.
Bon Voyage and have a safe flight!
Disclosure: All the product reviews are based on my own opinion and I’m not paid for it. This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links with no additional costs to you. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.