For those who are looking for general ideas as for flying with kids check out this post.
And for those looking for just some mental prep, read this post.
Toddlers can be tough to contain when flying.
Typically they aren’t nursing or taking a bottle and their energy level reaches the roof.
Embrace it my friend.
They are only that young once and really who cares what people think?!
Here are a few ways I found it best to entertain/contain/tire
my little toddler Sweet Cheeks.
1. Walk, Run, Climb with Comfort Item
Have your toddler walk and explore a lot before he gets on the plane.
Whether it be a blanky, pacifier, fingers in the mouth or favorite stuffed animal, bring it along.
I would encourage you that this is not the time to break your tot of their comfort item.
You can thank me later.
2. Drink anyone?
Pack an empty sippy cup and fill with water fountain water after you pass through TSA.
Every flight Sweet Cheeks was thirsty before the flight attendants made it down the aisle with the beverage cart.
Do yourself a favor and fill that sippy cup up!
On the descent, you can also use it as a way to help your tot adjust her ears.
For the first flight, Sweet Cheeks was sticking to me like glue.
During this new experience and unusual sensations (take-off, etc) I found it helpful
to distract Sweet Cheeks with this entertainment book.
And truth be told, I would have preferred a real hands-0n activity book
you know the ones where you can zip a zipper, tie shoes laces together?
I don’t have one, but I am on the prowl!
So if you know someone who makes those, let me know!
Another awesome tidbit is to buy cheap play dough (I bought ours at Target $1 stand) and bring it on the plane. Endless fun and opportunities! And if it gets grimy, throw it away!
4. Do the best you can
And let’s be honest, a toddler’s mind is great at jumping to new ideas and getting tired of the old.
Enter, ice cubes and straws.
The flight attendant left us some ice cubes and Sweet Cheeks had a blast letting the ice drip through her fingers.
She loved to feed me the ice cubes too.
And I don’t mind that! I’ll take all the hydration I can get on the plane.
It can get messy, so ask for a couple extra napkins.
5. Snacks, snacks, snacks.
I am not a big junk food eater.
(Secret: I view Ritz crackers and goldfish as junk food.)
But for trips like this, I am all about filling up bellies.
Anything can be a toy, a protein bar wrapper, squeezable applesauce, you name it!
Just know that you need to have it in 3 oz or less pre-packaged bags and it’s best to stick it in a big ziploc for TSA.
6. Electronic entertainment
Sweet Cheeks isn’t one to sit in front a screen and be entertained.
My older kids were frozen to the screen on all our flights, but not so with Sweet Cheeks.
If your little one does enjoy a show or movie, you can purchase and download at Amazon
And then download the app and put it on your iPad, iPhone and who knows what else!
Sweet Cheeks likes to play with my siri and just mess around with my phone.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
So let go of guilt and do what you gotta do!
This may seem silly but,
the friendlier and more smiley we were,
the easier we had it.
More people would interact with us and even offer to help.
There are still some great people out there
so don’t assume everyone is out to despise you and your extra loud toddler.
We were all kids once too!
I even had a non-English speaker take Sweet Cheeks and let me run to the bathroom alone!
8. Every day chores as Adventures
Speaking of bathroom, I would take Sweet Cheeks into the bathroom to change her diaper
and would make it a long drawn out occasion where we’d open every compartment
and make silly faces in those wretched looking, off-color mirrors.
We would wash our hands diligently and made sure to flush the toilet (even if it was a little too loud).
Side note: I will neither deny or confirm that I totally changed Sweet Cheeks’ diaper in the seat next to mine sometimes.
9. Interact with your Tot
Seems simple but it’s really important to fill her love tank, right?
So sing songs with her,
practice hand motions,
play i-spy type games with your face features,
giggle, tickle and kiss her cheeks lots!
And of course snap a selfie.
10. Descent and Landing
My main concern for the kids is to ensure their ears normalize when the pressure changes on landing.
Besides the sippy cup suction thought (or juice packs with straws),
I gave Sweet Cheeks a lollipop in the hopes that she would suck on it.
…That didn’t really work for me, but it didn’t hurt to try!
Do you have some tips that could help me out?
In the next year, we’ll be traveling internationally a lot!