Flying With Small Children: Tips To Prepare

Christmas will be here before we know it.  It always sneaks up on you after Thanksgiving.  And, this Christmas my family and I are taking our very first family plane flight.  Our first family plane flight will be no ordinary day, I actually expect it to be an rather big event because I have children the ages of 3 and 1 year. And, the truth be told that most things at this young age are a big event.

So, I put out an SOS call to all the mommies of little ones that I know to find out, how do you travel with small children?  They gave only their best advice all of which I am about to share with you.  So, here’s to a sane holiday with all of us traveling with our sweet little munchkins.  May your holiday be Merry and Bright and may you arrive at your destination relaxed and with a smile on your face.

NEW NEW NEW!  New activities, new snacks, new books, new coloring books and other fun things they they aren’t used to seeing.  But, remember to be mindful of other passengers on the plane and don’t bring a long any toys that make noise.  Make sure you keep all the new stuff out of reach and out of sight until it is time to chill in the airport or board the plane. Many of these toys you can find for cheap at the $1 store.  Take stickers and paper, your kids will love it.

Let them run! Let them run until they drop in the airport both before and after you flight.  If they can get their little energy out the better for you and everyone around you.

Check all luggage, but not the stroller.  Now may not be the time to try to save a few bucks by holding on to your luggage.  If you are hands free you will be able to take care of all your little ones needs.  And, it’s great to have you little one run out all their energy, but if they are really tired you might need to stick the in the stroller.  Better keep that handy just in case.  Airlines also allow you to check strollers for free!

It’s all about the entertainment.  Bring a portable DVD player (with a headset), or hook them up with sesame street podcasts on your smart phone.  How about downloading apps to your smart phone like fruit ninja or other fun kid games?

Over Pack the Necessities. You never know when you might have an accident on a mess on your hands and all your luggage is checked, make sure that you have a change of clothes on the bottom of your goody bag just in case you need it. Make sure you have more diapers and snacks than you might think you need.  You never know when you might have a flight delay.

Carry On Bottles and Sippy Cups to Help Little Ears.  Since really little ones can’t chew gum trying to get them to sip on some juice or water can help their little ears pop for take off and landing.

Talk them Through What is Happening. Flying could be a scary experience for your little one with all the noises and sounds during take off and landing.  Make sure you tell them ahead of time that they are going to be loud noises and share with them step by step what will be happening so they don’t get scared.

Things to know…

Seats don’t have to be purchased for children under two, they can sit on your lap.

Airlines will let you check car seats and strollers for free so don’t worry about budgeting extra dough for that.

And, if you can fly Southwest AirlinesIf they aren’t sold out and your little one was to young to need a seat they will let you carry on a car seat and sit them in it. It is a general consensus that they are the most accommodating.

Milk, formula, and juice is allowed through security if it is for your little ones.


  1. rose says:

    These are great tips to follow. I love the new activities and snacks for the kids. I like to go to the dollar store and pick up special prizes for the plane ride. Every hour I give them one and they love it! I tried out the new snacks as well and they loved the snacks and couldn’t wait to get on the plane to eat them. Instead of a DVD player I bring my iPad and let them play with that. I like it better and so do they because it gives them variety. They can play games, read, watch movies, and watch TV through my provider DISH Network. I have the Sling Adapter hooked up to my employee account and it gives me access to our subscription channels and DVR recordings from anywhere we can get a Wi-Fi connection. The kids love being able to watch their favorite shows live and it keeps them busy and entertained hours.

  2. Michelle says:

    If you will need a carseat at your destination and have paid for a seat, take your carseat on the plane. I flew alone with my then 14 month old. (this was aobut his 12th flight) I knew there was no way I could have him sit on my lap for a whole 1 and 30 minute ride. So I purchused a suitcase dolly/pully at wal-Mart for aobut $20 and used that with the carseat bungie corded to it as my stroller int he airport. I didn’t have to worry about a wiggly child in my lap (or another passengers). Also when it comes to packing don’t go overboard. You will need to drag it all around. If you can get direct flights do it. If not make sure to choose flights that give you 60 to 90 minutes for connecting. You will spend most of it just using the restroom. Remember you can bring most food items through security. I always pack fruit and sandwiches along with the normal kids snacks. Once my little man is aobut 2 1/2 I will go without the carseat and just use Grandma and Grandpa when I get there but you know your child best.

    (Wow he was 14 months, it’s been 5 months since we flew. Looks like we need another trip.)

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