Flying with a Toddler
Flying with a toddler is probably going to be your biggest challenge, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a good experience.
They are past the baby stage, so sitting / or lying in the one spot for long periods of time is out of the question. And they are not quite old enough to fully understand the benefits of flying to your destination.
However there are a number of things you can do to try and create a positive experience for everyone.
If you have not paid for a seat for your toddler and they are travelling on your lap, check with the airline as to whether the flight is fully booked or not. If it is not fully booked then ask if you can have the additional seat giving you more space to move.
If both parents sit either side of the spare seat then your toddler will not only be able to sit in the seat, they can stand up and stretch their legs too. You’ll find they might like to stand and play with their toys on the seat. It will most likely be at the perfect height.
When considering entertainment for your toddler, consider a portable DVD player. The airline most likely will not screen shows that your toddler will want to watch.
If you don’t have a portable DVD player, consider an MP3 player and download some audio stories onto it. You don’t even have to buy them you should be able to borrow some from your local library.
You can buy really small backpacks which are perfect for toddlers; they are smaller than your average backpack and will allow you to pack only a few items for your toddler to play with. That will make it easy to keep tabs on what you have brought along and they can carry it on their back as it will not be too heavy.
Keeping in mind that your kid’s ears will probably block up on take-off and landing, you might want to pack some lolly pops, or jube lollies. Both will help with movement in the jaws and instigate popping in their ears. This will feel really strange to them, but ultimately give them the relief they are after.
And whilst we are on the topic of food and relief, pack snacks, snacks and more snacks. Otherwise you leave yourself with no options other than the airline food, and the airlines do not do a very good job of catering for children.
Finally,when flying with a toddler, (as mentioned on ‘Flying with a baby’) create a little medical case, (use a small makeup bag, or lunch pack) think about all the what if’s, what if they have a fever, what if they are teething, does your toddler have any special needs, e.g. asthma.
This is important regardless of the age of your kids.