1. If you’ve got a great on-the-go sleeper, book a flight over nap time.
One of the very best things for toddlers to do while flying is sleep! It’s glorious. They are quiet and content while you get to sip your drink and watch a show. Briggs for the most part is an amazing on-the-go sleeper but it’s taken some practice to know how he best sleeps when traveling. Here are some ways you can verify if you’ve got a little one who can nap on the go.
- Take a drive with them over nap time to see if they can sleep well in their car seat. If yes, consider bringing your car seat on board the flight. This is also the safest way to travel with babies and toddlers!
- If your little one refuses to sleep in their car seat, try contact napping! Contact napping is definitely easier when they are a baby on flights but as a toddler, they can lay their head on your lap and stretch out on the plane seat.
2. If you don’t have an on-the-go sleeper, try to plan a flight in the morning after a good night’s rest or after nap time.
If you know that your toddler will not sleep on a flight, try to plan a departure time in the morning after they’ve had a great night’s rest. Remember to keep in mind the drive time to the airport along with arriving early to check in. If that’s not an option, some toddlers do great after nap time! This stretch of time is generally longer when comparing their first “wake window” from morning to nap.
3. Bring Quiet Books From Educating Amy
If you know your toddler is going to be awake for the flight, then it’s time to pack some items that will help entertain them. We recently got a quiet book from Educating Amy on our recent flight and I was so impressed with how well it held Briggs’ attention! Use discount code WHEREISBRIGGS.
These quiet books contain interactive pages that allow your toddler to really focus on the task at hand. They combine practical skills with creative play opportunities that will engage them for long amounts of time. Check out the video below to learn more about how we used this quiet book on our flight.
It was easy to fit into our travel diaper bag and use on the flight. If you’re worried about losing the little pieces that come with the book, you can bring one of these portable travel trays that strap onto the airplane tray tables.
A few things I love about these books and the company are that they are hand-sewn and don’t use any toxic glues. Also, a portion of the sales goes to educating girls in rural India that would otherwise not have access to education.
Pro-tip: When this first arrived in the mail, I showed it to Briggs and we played with it for a while. Then I put it away. I like to reserve special books like these that I got specifically for traveling for the day of travel. That way it seems new and exciting to them! We then are able to use it not only on the flight but also in the hotel, in the restaurants, etc.
4. Bring travel toys
Along with reading, it’s nice to have some options for travel toys that will engage and hold your toddler’s attention (because it’s hard sitting on a plane for long!) You can check out my Amazon store for a list of our favorite travel toys!
5. Use screen time as a last resort
If you choose to use screen time, I like using it as a last resort. When I’ve exhausted all other entertainment options, then I’ll turn on the screen. Sometimes, you might not find programs that you like on the provided screens on the back of the plane seats. When that happens, I like to have downloaded shows on my phone for my little one to watch. Here’s a hack to attach your phone to the back of the seat so they can watch their favorite shows (like Ms. Rachel).
6. Bring all the snacks
The power of snacks for toddlers is real! This is why I like to pack a ton of snacks, especially for long flights. Your toddler might not like the food the airline is serving and having a hungry toddler on a flight does not sound like a fun time. My go-to options include fruit pouches, cut-up fruits and veggies, crackers, and even sandwiches!