Traveling with a kiddo

Kara - posted on 02/15/2011 ( 23 moms have responded )

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My 16 month old daughter and I will be traveling this weekend via plane for 3 hours, Im looking for ideas to make the trip easier on her an myself...help!

Should I bring a stroller?

Wear her out the day before
Bring Snacks, games, movies
Drink going up and down in the plane (for ear pressure release)

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Erin - posted on 02/26/2011

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Oh, and I forgot one tip - most non-parents are completely grossed out by diaper changes/changing. If the plane has a table in the bathroom, use it. Only change the baby on the seat or standing up as a LAST resort. If possible, find an empty row of seats where nobody will be sitting next to you (rarer and rarer these days with the packed flights).

Also, NEVER ask the flight attendant to take away the diaper, and NEVER flush it down the airplane toilet. You need to pack plastic bags that you can put the diaper into immediately after changing, then seal them up to help with the smell if they're smelly ones. I found a nifty little roller thing full of small diaper disposal bags at Target in the baby section. Works really well and can be hung on the strap of a bag for easy access. Large Ziploc bags work well as well. Throw the dirty diapers away in the bathroom trash or when the attendants come to clear away other trash. My sister, a former flight attendant, said that often customers would hand her used diapers as if it were nothing - while she was serving food. Yuck. Don't do it! No quicker way to tick them off!

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Tracy - posted on 03/25/2011

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I just got back from a vacation with my 17 month old twins. Our flight was less than 2 hours but we still brought a lot of toys (toy cellphones, stacking cups, balloons, and bracelets) books, DVDs, and snacks. In fact each girl had their own carry on bag. One good idea is to bring a few balloons and blow one up once in the air. They are really small when not inflated, they are cheap so if one or two gets lost it doesn't matter. In the end we didn't really need all of the toys but I would bring them again... just in case. The balloons, books, and DVDs were biggest hit. We brought a full sippy cup plus an empty one so that we could fill up on the beverages that come with the flight.
We also brought a double stroller which we checked at the gate and checked 2 car seats. Although the girls were not in the stroller a lot of the time it was still helpful to cart around all of our carryon bags, jackets, etc.

Jamie - posted on 02/24/2011

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We traveled from Massachusetts to Australia when my son was 20 months old. Thats 3 flights and about way to many hours of traveling. STuff that worked for us, Umbrella stroller for getting around the airport. We let David run around alot but it was helpful until we could check our bags or had to rush to get to the next gate etc. Be careful tho! Make sure your name is on it and they know you have it! Our stroller was lost on the 1st flight and I had to buy a new one in Australia! Also make sure to find out where you pick it up, makes life easier when you get off the plane, some bring the strollers to the gate others make you pick it up with your baggage.



New WRAPPED toys, takes extra time for them to rip open the paper and makes it a bit more exciting. I hit the dollar store. Old favorites are a must too as well as a comfort item, (blankie etc). Triangle crayons! They don't roll off the tray or roll away when thrown on the floor! Pacifier or lolly pop for take off and landing. Extra clothes for kid and you. Turns out my son gets air sick and threw up all over me during take off! We also used Huggies over nights, David seemed to drink more so it helped. We also dressed him in jammies, nice and comfy AND easy access for diaper changes! Be warned, not all domestic airplanes have changing tables so if you haven't tried changing your 16 month old standing up i'd practice!



Definitely bring food, airplane food is not appropriate for babies and they don't have real milk. They let us put the milk we brought in the airplane fridge so it wouldn't spoil. DVD player is a must. I recommend practicing using head phones at home.



Wear her out in the airport, moving sidewalks can provide tons of entertainment!



Definitely bring patience! You'll need them!



I'll edit my post to say When i had to change my son standing up I did it in the bathroom. Closed the toilet and put a paper towel down for him to stand on! I'd never change him in the seats around other people. Altho the flight attendant did tell me to lay him down on the floor at the front of the plane in front of everyone, NO THANKS!!!

Erin - posted on 02/24/2011

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My son just turned 16 months old and I travel for work, so he has been on 30+ flights in the last year or so.

Definitely let them walk and run around in the airport beforehand, but bring a stroller. At some point they'll get tired, or (as has happened to us) fall asleep at the end of the flight. If the baby's not in the stroller, the stroller is great for carrying around your bags as well. Definitely finger snacks like Cheerios. Bring as much food as you can, as you never know when you'll be delayed or unable to find anything appropriate or familiar. It's so much easier when they're nursing, but I always bring lots of food, and I also grab things in the airport before the flight that I think he'll like. DO NOT COUNT ON THE AIRLINE for appropriate food!

I bring empty sippy cups and buy the fluids after security has been passed. Look for a special family line at security - usually there's one where the huffy business travelers won't get impatient behind you.

Definitely a change of clothes for Mom and baby! I don't bring a diaper bag, but instead a backpack with a pouch with diapers, wipes, and disposable changing pads that I can carry to the bathroom. There's not much room in that airport bathroom so a full diaper pack just slows you down. I load baby videos/apps onto my iPhone and they are a LIFESAVER! Just make sure you have over-the-ear headphones for the wee one as earbuds don't stay in.

I also pack his Ergo sling in my carryon and it has been a lifesaver when traveling alone. Some European airports take the stroller at the gate and you don't get it back until baggage claim, so having the sling to carry him through the airport and on and off the plane is a lifesaver. It also helps because I put him in it when we are boarding/deplaning, and then I have two hands to put our bags in the bins or under seats, handle boarding passes and passports, etc. When he naps, I also keep him in it while in flight, and this way if I nod off, I don't worry about him falling or sliding off my lap. A total lifesaver in every respect.

We usually check his toddler carseat in at the check-in desk, and bought a fantastic travel bag for it at WalMart. They can get pretty banged up when they're checked in, and you can't count on the airlines to have the giant plastic bags to put them in. An added bonus is that you can stuff your bulky winter coats into the bag after the carseat is in instead of lugging them through the airport and on the plane.

If you're going to do a lot of traveling, check out gogobabyz.com. Their infant cruiser was a lifesaver for us until my son outgrew his infant seat, and then we converted it with a toddler seat adapter. Helps streamline things when you are traveling with a carseat, especially once the little one is 2 and you can bring his/her carseat on board to strap him/her in!

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with a 16 months old, I wouldn't suggest using the stroller to much in the airport. She will be strapped in a seat for 3 hours on the plane. Let the airport be her time to walk around and stretch her legs. Only put her in the stroller if she is getting tired of walking or having trouble staying close to you. Also take her for a walk to the bathroom if she gets restless in her seat on the plane.
Bring changes of clothes for her AND you, just in case she gets you all messy. Snacks are good since airlines don't provide stuff anymore (not cheap anyway).

Laura - posted on 02/23/2011

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I have 17 month old twins and they've travelled a few times. I try to get them tired so that they'll nap, but otherwise books and toys! It is exhausting to entertain for the full 3 hrs! My kids always have sippy cups, but never drink at the right time...so not sure if it even helps. We take our double stroller and check it at the gate. I would take a stroller so that you don't have to run after or carry her all the time.

April - posted on 02/22/2011

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I work for an airline and travel all the time from Utah to New York with my son.

Definitely gate check the stroller, if you're going to be at the airport awhile you might even want to gate check your child's pack and play. When we flew to Alaska it was very handy during the long layovers.

If your baby still uses a pacifier bring it for take off and landing, if not give them a lollipop. Something to suck on will relieve the pressure from ears popping.

I also recommend checking out how full the flight is beforehand, If it's not looking too full you can bring the carseat and if you're lucky enough to have an empty seat next to you, put them in their. It makes sleeping and everything a lot easier.

If you're going to be flying on your own you can also call the airline beforehand and request some assistance with luggage and baby and everything.

Also keep in mind you can bring milk, snacks, etc., through airport security you just need to declare the liquids to the TSA agent so they can test them.

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I have also found that the decent is the more painful for my daughter. We have been on some long flights up to 24 hours and been very lucky that our daughter travels so well. Some babies travel better than others. I definitely think some new toys are a great way to entertain, books work very well for my daughter. New snacks and drinks are also a pretty good bet.
One tip I got was to put a hot napkin in the bottom of a plastic cup to use during take off and landing. You will need 2, one to cover each ear. Be careful that the water can't run out and scald. For us it was hard to tell if it worked or not and we had to be 2 adults to pull it off. Just another idea if you baby is really having a hard time with take-off and landing.

Amber - posted on 02/20/2011

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We flew recently when our daughter was 14 months old.
The window seat was great, it helped keep her from being tempted to run into the aisle. Always go up to the desk and ask, they'll move you to the best available spot on the plane. We brought a hiking backpack so we could be hands free..it worked great and we checked it at the gate just like strollers and car seats. We brought stickers and paper...that was a hit. Also a bag of small toys (cars, finger puppets, bracelets she could put on and off, a small flashlight, etc). If you have a layover, let her run around. Food that takes concentration...we did graham cracker sticks and cream cheese for dipping, it occupied her for 30 minutes, which was totally worth the mess. We made diaper "packs". One diaper and five wipes in a plastic bag, so you can just grab that and not the whole diaper bag if you have to do an onboard change. She loved putting things in and of the pouch in the seat in front of us and opening and closing the window shade. Someone recommended cheerios that can be strung onto pipe cleaners as a good activity, but I didn't try it. Good luck!!

Rosana - posted on 02/20/2011

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Stroller (a light one is much much better), snacks, pacifier, favorite toy/blanket, drinks. The DVD player has been GREAT for us. And, really important: an extra shirt for you (trust me in this one). Good luck!

Carolina - posted on 02/20/2011

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A. Guest pass? How do I go about that? Its just me and the kids so ima really look in to what u said thanks for your help!!!

Angie - posted on 02/20/2011

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Yes...We took our twin stroller with the car seats and checked them in at the gate. They car seats attached to the stroller. We checked in our bags and the bases at the tickets counter. I gotta warn you thought going through security is a pain so hopefully have someone else that is going with you, otherwise you can get a guest pass for someone to help you all the way to the gate.

Carolina - posted on 02/20/2011

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i dont get on here much but when i do and i see that i can help or be helped i answer or ask for answer is not that ppl dont want to answer u amy. :-)

Carolina - posted on 02/20/2011

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@ angie can u take the twin stroller? cause i have the stroller for the kids but i dont know if i can check it in at the gate! i make 2 stops before i get to where i have to go.

Janice - posted on 02/20/2011

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@ angie can u take the twin stroller? cause i have the stroller for the kids but i dont know if i can check it in at the gate! i make 2 stops before i get to where i have to go.

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I made almost the exact same post a month ago and no one replied :( let's hope we both get some good advice here!

Carolina - posted on 02/19/2011

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Me and my kids are also going away its going to be hard cause my son is 2 and anaiis is 1 reading everything that the other moms wrote to u is also going to help me... thanks everyone.. but the new toy idea really works or ask ur doctor if you can give her any meds before the. Take off . I gave my son tylenol at the gate just in case he would feel sick. Good luck

Angie - posted on 02/19/2011

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Yes bring your stroller. YOu can check it in at the gate. You can also check in the car seats at the gate too. We also warm up milk and give it to them right as the plane is going down the run way. We do water on the way down and have found that the decend is worse on the ears then the take off so if she likes a pacifier give it to her and hold it in her mouth so she is sucking on something. Also bring lots of finger foods...it will occupy her for some time and a new toy is great too! Are you getting her a separate seat? We are traveling with twins in April and bought an extra seat...its more room, especially at this age when they want to move around alot!

Amy - posted on 02/18/2011

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Definitely bring a stroller...not only a great for your daughter but you can stow extra bags on the handles or underneath so your arms/hands are free. Drinks for take off/landing, favorite blanket or toy, and something new to get her attention. Favorite snacks..I always took Cheerios for my daughter in a ziplock bag. You can even take a personal DVD player and headphones with a favorite cartoon/show to help keep her occupied. You never know you might get lucky like I have in the past and she might sleep right through it all.

Heather - posted on 02/15/2011

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Maybe try introducing a new toy/book just as you sit down on the plane. Let her walk around the airport to wear her out before the flight.

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