Thursday, December 22, 2011

Travel Tips for Flying with a Toddler, Sil Vous Plait!

So here's my typical "HELP! I'M FLYING WITH A TODDLER!" pre-vacation post! Mandey at Mama and the Dudes blogged a wonderful, helpful post. She has 21 month old twins and has travelled with them 3 herself! My hero! I'm glad I read that this morning, she has wonderful tips.

We have never flown with Braden before, but he's old enough now to explain some things to, and I've been trying to get him excited about flying on his first airplane ride, in 3 weeks when he'll be just shy of turning 2. Some things about our travel plans:
  • We are travelling with 1/2 of Jay's family: his parents, his sister Laura, her husband Craig, and their son Luke aka Braden's best buddy
  • This leads me to believe Braden will have a constant revolvement (not a word) of entertainment
  • Our flight leaves at 0810 (I thought it left in the afternoon) and arrives at 1220 - this is awesome!
  • The flight is 7 hours long there, and 6 hours long back home
  • We have a seat just for Braden, and we will bring his convertible car seat on board...which I'm hoping will tell him he can't be up and running around
  • We will have a new iPad for him to play with and got him these headphones so he doesn't bug the other passengers with his noisy games/movies. I love them, they have volume control so they can't get too loud and he looks SO cute wearing them (my audiology friend Natalie would be proud!)
  • I'm hoping, praying, crossing all my fingers, toes, and eyes...that he will have a decent nap. Braden is a crib napper. He "saves" his sleeping for his comfy, cozy crib. He doesn't even nap anymore on the 3 hour drive to Edmonton to see my parents...for this reason, I'm hoping he naps a bit on the 7 hour flight there!!
  • Our return flight leaves at 1955! This one I'm so happy and shocked! Normally Maui only has red eye flights, and my super sleeper would be a MESS being up until midnight. But this might just work out perfectly with bedtime!
  • We arrive back home at 0500...I typically don't sleep on it's gonna be a rough day for mama at home...and then I also work the next day - a 12 hour shift. Awesome.
I'm really thinking with his love of the iPad, Thomas, and coloring...we might be able to entertain him enough? And like I said hopefully...just hopefully he'll sleep a bit too! I also found this company that will have Braden's crib set up for us and ready to use when we get to Maui. We have to be at the airport at 6, which means leaving our house by if by some weird chance Braden stays awake the whole flight...he's going to want to sleep!
This guy totally won't cause us any problems...right? The last time I posted this picture, Katie pointed out the irony of his shirt saying he's on the "Nice" list as he is clearly being very "Naughty"!...I have to agree!

So, if you have flown with your toddler(s) please share some tips! I've heard to bring lots of snacks too!


  1. no baby flying experience here...just wanted to wish you luck and a wonderful vacation :) can't wait to see the pics! and a very merry christmas!

  2. A long flight! It's so awesome though that there will be so many people to help! All kids are different on the plane. He might be tired/quiet/sleepy but some kids get crazy when they're sleepy.

    Also, you THINK the car seat is good but it doesn't work the same as in the car, where they actually have a window to look out of. When sitting in the car seat on the plane they're just staring at the back of the seat and get pretty antsy. With my boys, I only used the car seat during landing and take off and was pretty much holding them the rest of the time.

    Good luck!!

  3. These tips are so great! We just booked a trip to Maui and HOnolulu this am for my husbands conference. When are you going? I can't wait. This list will come in very useful!

  4. Tristan and I have only been on 1 roundtrip flight and he was 7 months old. He sat on my lap and at that age, all I could do was feed him, sing to him, and let him bang on the trays and rip up paper haha. He did however sleep half the trip both ways.

  5. You must share his favorite ipad apps with me. Elliot is just starting to really like mine, so I want to fill it up with stuff for him to keep him busy on our three flights to Michigan. I'm flying alone with him. Not the first time, but the first time with him as a toddler/older baby. Yes, I have a hard time calling him a toddler. He's barely 12 months and doesn't stand OR walk yet, for pete's sake! That sounds like a baby to me!!

  6. Yay- thats me! Thanks for the tag. I hope you have an awesome Christmas & also an awesome trip. A little more than slightly jealous!!

    I can't wait to hear how the plane ride goes as we are thinking of taking a trip to FL this next summer.....

  7. It does help. Merry christmas.

  8. If all Else fails & he gets bored & squirmy, honestly just Take turns walkIng up & down the aisles with him. We had to resort to that wiTh Luke at 18 months & he was happy as a clam to stretch his legs & look at all the people. But I think you'll be just fine with him in the carseat. But my serious advice is CANCEL that 12 hour shift! You will be a wreck. Trust me after our last flight back from Maui with Luke it took days to recover from that cursed flight.

  9. I think you'll be surprised about how easy it goes. We've taken Liv on 6 flights and she's slept on 4 of them. She's never asked to get down (having a carseat helps them "get it"). And Wes and I are always amazed when the flight is over how great it went. I would say the only thing to add to your great list are TONS of snacks! Fun snacks too. Ones he never gets. It makes it more fun! I also hide a couple new toys from her and bust them out on the plane. He'll do great!

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