Flying with Toddlers

10 Highly Effective Tips for Stress-free Flying with Toddlers

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Traveling with toddlers can be really intimidating. How do you keep them entertained and quiet?  

Will they be “those kids” that cry and make noise the whole time?  

The best way to avoid the worry and stress associated with flying or traveling with toddlers is being prepared.  

These tips for flying with toddlers have made flying a breeze for our family!

How To Survive Flying With Toddlers

The following toys and activities are our go-to for traveling whether flying, on road trips, or even in restaurants.

Our little one has flown 4 times and gone on numerous road trips throughout the first two years of her life. During all of these trips, she was quiet and happy without the use of any screen time!

The best toys and activities to bring while traveling are compact, quiet and easy to clean.

Make sure to download your free packing list and prepare for your upcoming trip with these must-have toys and activities.

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1. Small Figurines/ Toys

Small toys or figurines such as these Sesame Street toys are an easy way to keep toddlers quiet. Kids can use their imagination and play with them in an unlimited amount of ways.

When our little one was younger, she loved unloading and reloading bags. Now, she enjoys role-playing and pretending to feed and care for them. And who doesn’t love Elmo?

2. Books

Our toddler loves books. When traveling, it is difficult to narrow down which books to pack without taking up too much space. I tried some of the apps for books, but at this age, they are not the same as actual board books.

I try to pack books that are more interactive and enjoyable to read over and over again when we travel. The 1st 100 Words has been a favorite of our little one for over a year now. Any books with many words, pictures, and flaps are usually a win for traveling and flying.

Another useful tip is purchasing a few new books or toys prior to traveling. This makes them very exciting and special when you are on the plane.

3. Coloring Books

We love everything by Melissa and Doug. This coloring book is perfect for traveling because it is so compact and mess-free! You don’t need to keep track of multiple crayons or markers which is helpful as well since toddlers and kids are always dropping things!

4. Music/ headphones

Bring headphones to keep little ones happy and entertained while traveling
Nenos Children Headphones Kids Headphones Children’s Headphones Over Ear Headphones Kids Computer Volume Limited Headphones for Kids Foldable (Mint)

We always pack a set of headphones and download music on our phones or tablets prior to traveling. If you belong to Amazon Prime, you can download music for free onto your tablet or phone.

Our family loves listening to music, so this helps keep us entertained while flying as well. Also, how adorable are they with these headphones?

5. Window Stickers

Window stickers are a very inexpensive item which keeps our little ones entertained for hours. At home, we buy new ones for every holiday or season and put them on our sliding glass door. 

When we fly, we bring them along and put them on the window of the airplane. This is a fun mess-free way to play.

6. Lacing Cards

These lacing cards are the perfect travel companion because they do not involve any noise, mess, and do not take up much space. These come in so many different designs and patterns which is sure to satisfy any young child.

Our little one is very interested in animals, so these have been very entertaining for her.

7. Cars

Small cars such as these Oball cars are convenient quiet toys as well. When our toddler was younger she enjoyed watching us drive the cars all over the seat and walls. Now, she is able to do the same. These are fun to pack while we are away as well to use while we are waiting in the airport or in hotel rooms.

8. Look out the Window

Being on an airplane provides so many new things to see and noises to hear. We have a lot of fun looking out the window, playing with the tray table and seat pocket, and watching people walk up and down the aisle.

Be sure to wipe everything down prior to sitting because airplanes are germ cities!

9. Snacks, snacks, and more snacks

Toddlers love snacking and as I’ve mentioned before, mine is a bottomless pit. When we are traveling, I always start out with other toys and games.

Once she starts getting antsy, I bring out the snacks and she gladly sits quietly longer. Rice cakes are one of my favorites to pack because they aren’t messy, but they tend to last a lot longer than other foods.

We prefer these rice cakes because they are organic and low in salt and sugar. I always pack a variety of snacks depending on how long the flight is and what time of day we’re flying.

*A note on flying with food and drinks with babies: airports are extremely accommodating for parents flying with babies. You’re allowed to bring drinks and snacks including milk.

When you’re going through security, just inform the airport attendants what you have on you (breast milk, juice, etc). They’ll instruct you on how to proceed through security without having to throw out or waste any of these items.

We were very nervous about the first time we flew, but it was much easier than we expected.

10. Lovey/ Blanket and a pacifier

If you’re lucky or you time the flight right, your little one may take a nap while traveling. Make sure to pack any of their favorite items for sleeping so they will be comfortable and relaxed.

Also, it can be chilly on airplanes, so a blanket is helpful to keep them warm and comfortable.

Also, if your baby uses a pacifier, be sure to have it handy for takeoff and landing. This helps to reduce the pressure in their ears and make them more comfortable.

Tips For Flying With Toddlers

If you have a big trip coming up, pack some of these toys and activities for your toddler. These tips for flying with toddlers will keep your toddler quiet and entertained during your whole flight.

Also, download your free packing list to help you stay organized for your upcoming trip.

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For ideas for healthy snacks to pack for your little ones, check out these no-bake energy balls. You may also like this post on handling toddler tantrums.

Also, be sure to sign up for the mailing list to stay up to date on the latest posts.

*This post contains affiliate links.  Affiliate links mean that at no extra cost to you, I earn commission/ affiliate income if you purchase through these links.  Thanks for your support.

10 tips for traveling with babies and toddlers
how to keep toddlers entertained and happy while traveling

10 tips for traveling with babies and toddlers
how to keep toddlers entertained and happy while traveling
travel with toddlers
Airplane Travel Tips For Toddlers
Tips for Flying with Toddlers
Latest posts by Jordan F, MSN, FNP-BC (see all)

19 thoughts on “10 Highly Effective Tips for Stress-free Flying with Toddlers”

  1. Thank you for these tips! We are flying on Saturday with our 15-month old and will certainly use these tips! Especially love the window stickers idea!

    1. Good advice! We’ve been putting off traveling to visit family on both coasts because we’re just not sure how the kiddos will do. Our youngest spent our last two hour car ride screaming the entire time! Will definitely have to save this list.

      1. Mindful Mama Health

        Oh no! I hope it works out easier for you! Our little one is better on the plane than in the car because she doesn’t feel as restricted and stuck in the car seat. Also, there is a lot more to see on the airplane than the back of the seat in the car!

  2. Love these ideas! As a matter of fact, we have pretty much the same toys etc for when we travel with our kids! We travel quite a lot both by car and flying as I am from Norway originally, so finding things that keep them entertained and are safe for them at the same time is a must! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      That’s great that you’ve made it so far with them! Yes, quiet and safe entertainment is a must for little ones!

  3. Such great ideas! My little one is only 11 months old. We have flown cross country a few times, but each time is a little different…as he gets older and is more active / interested in different things!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      They grow so quickly during the first year! It’s so much fun to be able to introduce new activities as they get a little older. Enjoy!

  4. Pingback: 27 Hacks For Traveling With Kids - Prep and Shine

    1. Just flew with my two (3 and 20months) whew the 3 year old was a breeze (thank you tablet lol) but those antsy toddlers! Thanks for great ideas! I’ll have to remember the window stickers!

  5. Great tips and very timely for us as we are traveling with both of our kids for the first time in an airplane soon! We’ve traveled with each of them individually as babies, but not at this age!

    1. Mindful Mama Health

      Good luck! My biggest advice is to pack as many fun and new items as possible but be prepared to improvise if things don’t go according to plan!

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