How to Fly with a Young Toddler!
With extended family outside of California and our "Baby Goes Everywhere with Us" attitude, Posh Tot has logged quite a few airline miles these past 21 months! With each flight, we get better and better at flying with her! This last trip over to Texas for Christmas was Posh Tot's best flight experience yet!
Here are some things we did to help make the experience of flying with a toddler more pleasant:
1. We got her excited about airplanes! A few weeks before the trip, we made it a point to expose Posh Tot to all things airplanes. Every time we saw one in the sky we would excitingly point it out! Soon she started to point them out too and get excited when she saw one. We also read her the book Airports by Byron Barton as much as possible. The text and pictures are simple enough for a toddler to understand and learn about the life of an airline passenger. So once we got to the airport, I believe everything seemed familiar to Posh Tot because we read and talked about it so much.
2. We packed new toys as well as some favorites! Before each flight we take, I make a run to Toy 'R Us and pick up some new small toys that will fit in my carry-on bag. Then when we get on the flight I pull them out as needed! This trip I found some great toys on sale to pack like the LeapFrog my Own Leaptop , the Lauri Toddler Tote , the Crayola Dry Erase Board Set, and the Little Airport Sticker Activity Book. We also packed a couple old books and coloring books that we know she loves!
3. We got her a toddler harness backpack! Since independence has been a big thing for Posh Tot, we got her a tiny backpack so that she could feel like a big girl carrying a couple of her own things in her own bag! We picked up the Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness Backpack from Amazon. The nice thing about this little backpack is that it is small enough to go on our petite toddler and has a harness clip and a leash for mommy or daddy to hold on to while Posh Tot has the "freedom" to walk along with us. When we got to the airport she wanted to wear it as soon as we got off the parking shuttle and would not take it off even while sitting in her stroller. Luckily she took it off at the security checkpoint when she saw that everyone was putting bags and things on the conveyor belt! When we weren't in crowded areas of the airport, I let her get out of her stroller and walk a bit with the backpack harness on.
4. We packed a variety of snacks! The night before our trip, I went to Whole Foods and picked up some of our favorite snacks like some granola bars, Annie's Bunny Grahams, and fresh sliced fruit. I also packed some other sweet treats in the bag just in case mommy and daddy got desperate in the air! The back up snacks included chocolate, cookies, and lollipops! For Posh Tot's milk, I picked up a box of Almond Milk ( the kind you don't need to refrigerate). Since our tot doesn't mind drinking cow milk or almond milk, packing the box of milk was so much easier than trying to pack a mini cooler of milk or buying more milk at the airport!
5. We had supplies shipped to our destination in advance! Before our trip I had diapers, wipes, and bath time supplies shipped to my in-laws. We also had our in-laws get a car seat that they would keep at their place for when we are in town. We chose the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat as her "Texas Vacation Car Seat".
6. We flew during a time when our Tot was likely to sleep! We booked a 6am direct flight out of SFO to IAH. This of course was not mommy and daddy's first choice since it meant we had to be up at 3am that day! But it actually worked out great for Posh Tot. Since it was so early, once Posh Tot got on the plane she fell back asleep for more than 2 hours!
All the snacks we packed in our carry-on!
The entertainment and supplies packed in the carry-on!
Hmm this place isn't so bad!
Later this week we will get on our return flight home! Here's to praying that the ride home will be just as smooth as our ride over! :)
So, what are your toddler travel tips?