Travelling with a Toddler: Flying

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I have flown with Willow before, but she was a tiny baby at the time. It was very easy to do as she breastfed then fell asleep.

Flying with a toddler was a little different! We recently flew down to Durban, granted it was a short flight, but I learned quite a lot along the way.

Willow was good as gold on both flights. They were just short enough that boredom didn’t have a chance to fully settle in. She seemed to quite enjoy the novelty if the trip and enjoyed looking out the window at takeoff and landing.

All that said, we did do a few things and I have a few idea for what I would do differently. If you have any advice for longer flights please let me know what your tips are!

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Snacks and a cuddly toy were essentials. The snacks kept her busy and the cuddly toy could be used as a comfort object if she got scared.

  1. Get your toddler their own seat – they don’t charge you for kids flying under the age of two, however, they then have to sit on your lap for the flight. I feel that it’s worth getting your child their own seat. Willow flew on A’s lap and while it did work, it would have been a lot more convenient for all of us if she had her own seat.
  2. Let them take their own hand luggage – Willow really enjoyed the fact that she had her own little backpack to carry. I packed it with the things she would need during the flight and she got to carry it around the airport and onto the plane.
  3. Pack snacks – I believe that snacks make everything better. I never leave home without them. I tried to pack things that would be fun for her to eat such as cheerios, miniature biscuits, and gummies. I also packed lollipops so she had something to suck on during takeoff and landing to help her with the pressure in her ears.
  4. Pack some entertainment – we took her iPad which has loads of Dora the Explorer on it (my husband carried it in his backpack) as well as her own headphones. I also packed a cuddly toy which was really handy. I tried to keep noise making toys to a minimum for the other passengers, but I recommend you pack what your kid enjoys to play with normally. If it makes a noise so be it.
  5. You will need plenty of wet wipes – Willow enjoyed her lollipop so much that everything ended up being ridiculously sticky. I packed a travel pack of wet pipes so I could nappy changes on the go, but I ended up using them for sticky fingers as well. So glad I had a pretty big pack.
  6. Nappy supplies – This is a no no-brainer was really lucky that Willow’s backpack has a decent sized front pocket where I could stash a spare nappy or two, a tube of bum cream and a travel pack of wipes. Except for the nappies I downsized all the usual supplies and it fit in perfectly. This made on the go changes really easy as everything was in one place and easy to reach.

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    Willow adores this Leap Frog Puppy ‘laptop’. It sings songs, lights up and has plenty of activities to keep a toddler’s interest. It was wonderful to have on hand so I could whip it out while at restaurants or on the plane

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