Flying With Children: What To Pack For a Toddler on a Plane

what to pack for a toddler on a plane

This post was created in collaboration with Travelstart

Flying With a Toddler Can Test Your Limits

My husband an I have this theory. The flight attendants book families with young children in the same section of the plane.

We have noticed that when we get on a flight, we are surrounded by babies and toddlers. I guess it is because we can understand each other and so that we are ‘kept away’ from the others.

Knowing what to pack for a toddler on a plane has been a life saver for us in surviving flights.

Parents on a plane

I must admit, as a parent with two little children I prefer being in the company of other parents with young kids. Less judgment to deal with from flight attendants and fellow passengers.

That being said, when we fly with our little family we do prepare as much as we can.

The power of the carry on for a toddler

We have flown many times with eldest daughter when she was toddler, and I have learned my lesson pretty early on. We typically fly to Cape Town International Airport for family visits.

In fact when we have flights coming up, packing her little backpack (carry on) was a mini project on its own.

Keeping a toddler entertained on a plane is a combination of activities, snacks, and importantly knowing your toddler.

[bctt tweet=”What To Pack For A Toddler On a Plane To Save Your Sanity” username=”cherralle_”]

Here is my list of what to pack for a toddler on a plane (to save your sanity). Further on I also share more tips from the experts.

What To Pack For a Toddler on a Plane

what to pack for a toddler on a plane

1. Crayon and a Colouring Book

A good old fashioned colouring book and crayons always go a long way. Surprise your little one on the plane, with a new colouring book.

Golden Rule of Toddlerhood: Does not matter what it is, if it is new, the entertainment value of the item goes up. 

Trust me. Pop into The Crazy Store, and purchase a few cheapies that you can bring along.

2. Stickers will never let you down

Oh man, I cannot tell you how amazing stickers are with little kids (at least our little ones). Again, buy a new set (go to The Crazy Store). Whether it is cars, dinosaurs or princesses.

Again, what has worked for us is to ensure whatever we present is new. The novelty of even a small thing grabs her attention and keeps it for longer.

However, do not get too many things.

3. Snacks and Drinks

Try to ensure that your toddler is fed before you get on the plane. Then pack additional snacks.
We pack biscuits, biltong, chips, fruits and of course a water bottle.

Related Post: Tips For Juggling A Three Year Old And a Newborn (Our Story)

4. Wet wipes

Always be prepared. Even if your child is now potty trained, do not forget your wet wipes. You need that for all the sticky fingers and faces. Also to quickly wipe up spills.

5. Pack an Electronic Screen: Phone of a Tablet (Kiddie or Adult Variety)

For my phone, I would pre-download a few episodes from a kiddie show. Or we would pack the LeapPad.

In our experience, the plane is no time to enforce screen time restrictions. Please do pack a set of kiddie earphones. Using earphones will be more comfortable for the little one and more considerate towards other passengers.

6. Your baby bag is a must for baby’s comfort

If your baby is still a little toddler (closer to age one than three), then, of course, you have to pack your required essentials (milk, nappy changing gear, etc.)

7. Pack something for yourself

Once your toddler is settled down, you may find yourself with time on your hands (this can happen!).
Bring along a book, magazine or Kindle for yourself.

Toddlers are toddlers and life happens!

Toddlers are toddlers. They are not made to sit still for long periods of time. They are in a phase where they want to explore, talk and engage with their surroundings. Hence, adjust your expectations to this.

[bctt tweet=”Toddlers are not made to sit still. They want to engage their world. Prepare to entertain them, but also be prepared for tantrums.” username=”cherralle_”]

However, prepare as best you can using the tips above to figure what you need to pack for a toddler on a plane.

You know your child. You know what they need to remain entertained.

Remember, if your child ends up screaming, and people stare at you, just ignore them and focus on your child.

What do our expert have to say?

Here are a few general guidelines from Travelstart.

Here is a brief video containing more tips from parents

Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with Travelstart. If you are looking for additional travel tips such as Passport Renewal processes please do visit their website.

Author: Cherralle

Mom, wife and career loving parent. This blog focus on career and work life topics for mothers.

5 thoughts on “Flying With Children: What To Pack For a Toddler on a Plane”

  1. Love this! I wrote a similar one about our first flight experience ever with our kids and how so prepared them and me (lol) for it! Great tips xx

  2. Hi! I am posting an “in-flight essentials” blog on Sunday. I thought I would look to see what other posts there are on packing for flying and yours seemed to be the only one I could find! I was wondering if I could link this post to mine, and maybe you could link mine to yours to provide people with more packing ideas for flying:) x

    1. Hi Laura, sure please publish and I can take a look once your post is published 🙂

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