Planning to travel by plane with your baby or toddler this year? Fear not, my fellow mommies and daddies, flying the friendly skies can be super duper fun for everyone involved. Utilize these 7 surefire tactics to make sure everyone on the plane hates you and your baby. Pack those five suitcases, grab your carry on, and it’s wheel’s up BABY!
1) Feed them sugar. Right before you get on the plane, load them up with as many cookies and candies as possible, then sit back and let the tantrum show begin! You will have front row seats to the best drama in the air. It’ll be awesome as they try to climb and the seats and meet everyone the plane. You’ll think it’s adorable and the other passengers with LOVE their “massage” as your baby kicks their seat.
OR, you could pack LOTS of snacks, emphasis on the LOTS of snacks, and this should help tame your little tiger for at least a few minutes. It doesn’t hurt to save those cookies in the event your toddler goes to Def Con 1 mid to late flight. Also consider bringing sugary treats for your fellow passengers. They may hate you slightly less and might even call your baby cute if you share with them.
2) Definitely forget to pack extra pacifiers. It is super fun to watch those suckers fly up three rows. Even more fun to watch your toddler flip and squirm as you desperately wonder where that thing skipped off to. Or, you could pack 5 extra and invest in a pacifier clip.
3) Pack all toys in your checked bags, except the loud and squeeky ones. Passengers love those! Sophie the Giraffe is perfect if you really want to drive people nuts. Or, you could bring a few new toys and books baby has never seen and that will keep them occupied for at least a few minutes.
4) Choose air-travel as the time to limit your child’s electronic device use. That’s right, a 2-5 hour flight is the perfect time to work on baby’s Mandarin and read them all those books they don’t care about at home.
Or, you could charge up every electronic device you’ve got, bring extra batteries, be sure to download Frozen, and actually enjoy your flight. I get it, you’re worried about radiation, aren’t we all? Not today my friend. Invest in a nice kiddie friendly iPad case. I recommend downloading apps that will work without WIFI. There’s nothing worse that having that PBS app pulled up only to watch your toddler scream in terror as that bumble bee circles for hours trying to find a signal. Here are a few that work without WIFI: ABC Mouse A to Z, Wheels on the Bus, Little People, Trains. Here’s a link to baby friendly head phones too. I can’t guarantee they’ll stay on but it’s worth a try.
5) Don’t pack extra clothes and don’t change that diaper before you board the plane. That’s two tips in one. You’re welcome. Smelly babies are the best! Keep it coming and those fellow travelers will tweet about you all day long. #omg #neverhavingkids #ihateflying Or, you could pack a few extra AND I recommend a changing pad as those bathrooms are SO nasty and you’ll probably end up having to change them on top of the toilet or on the seat. If possible, get there early and find yourself a big family bathroom so you and baby can take your time getting prepped for the flight.
6) If you’re nursing, don’t use a cover. This will really set off those people who would much rather have a screaming toddler than to see even an inch of exposed breast. My tip for this one: KEEP NURSING! Cover, no cover, who cares? If you really want to have some fun, stop for a few minutes and let baby give out a good scream to show those passengers the alternative! Then, keep on going. Good for you!
7) Completely stress and freak out. This will surely help no matter what goes wrong, you freak out, then baby freaks out, then all of a sudden you’ve gone viral because somebody thinks its a good idea to tape your freak out. Or, relax. Guess what? No matter how hard to try, you can’t please everyone. You can only do your best.
Here’s the reality: I’ve tried all of these “tactics” and I’m sure a few passengers have hated me for it. All kidding aside, even if you do everything right, they’re toddlers, and toddlers can have bad days. You can pack all the new toys you want, have that iPad fully charged, keep those carrot snacks fully stocked and your toddler may still feel like a caged lion on a plane. I’ve made all of the mistakes above even with the best of intentions. Even expert toddler travelers have bad day. Please fellow travelers, don’t judge them. You never know what those parents are going through. Their husband may be deployed for 9 months and the only relief they have is a flight to grandma’s. If you sit next to baby, be as kind as possible because I can assure you, the flight is way more tough on mama, than it will be for you. My tip for the super judging passengers: pack some snacks and invest in noise cancelling headphones. Or, even offer to help if you can, and don’t judge if everything isn’t perfect. The flight is only temporary. Enjoy flying the friendly skies.
BONUS TIPS: These are two of my favorite items for traveling with baby. Use the GoGo Babyz Kidz Travelmate. and you can wheel your little one around with ease. Use these to protect your stroller to gate check.
Check out my latest posts:
If you want to hear more from The Navy Mom and never miss a post, enter your name and email here: