Flying with a toddler is tough! And why wouldn’t it be? We’re taking our child out of their comfort zone and doing everything we can to prevent mid-flight melt-downs. It’s that tricky age between 12 months and 3.5 years which is the hardest for parents to navigate. Our toddlers can’t seem to sit still, are easily bored or fussy, and screens don’t seem to hold their attention for more than 5 minutes.
Flyaway Designs has joined forces with Bébé Voyage to share our favorite tips from parents on how to keep kids entertained on the plane – especially during those toddler years. Trust us, you’ll want to take notes for your next flight!
New and engaging activities are key plane toys for 2 year olds that find it hard to sit still. And you’ll want to pack plenty of these to keep your flying toddler entertained for the duration of the flight.
Lisa Johnson, mom of 2 young boys insists parents should make it a priority to visit your local pound / dollar/ euro shop to buy a few low-cost items that you know your little one will love! Things like mess free painting, vinyl stickers and scratch-it color books are perfect.
Add a few crafty items like colorful pipe-cleaners, post-it notes, painter’s tape or even cut up thick straws which are perfect for little hands to thread on a piece of string.
And finally, be sure to pack a few toys that spark imaginative play such as small cars, animals, or people.
Rebecca Redfern - Bébé Voyage Community Manager suggests water wow books and Tegu magnetic blocks. She also always packs her daughter’s Maileg mice plush toy as she can play for hours making up stories with them.
Let’s face it – whose child isn’t quiet and happy when they’re munching away on something? And little tummies tend to be hungry between scheduled meal times on planes – especially if you’re flying through a time change.
The trick is to pack tones of their favorite snacks such as crackers, sandwiches, carrot sticks with dips, mini cookies, cheese cubes, and cut-up fruits. Try to avoid things that are too salty or sugary though or they’ll be too thirsty or hyped-up to sleep properly.
Anna Thompson’s girls are 2 and 4, and she recently packed each their own snack bag in their own carry-on bags. This way she wasn’t constantly rummaging for snacks, and they could serve themselves. The independence allowed them to ration the snacks, as they were instructed once you are out that’s it!
Finally, don’t forget to pre-order your “child’s meal” either in your online booking or by calling the airline before your flight. It’s a requirement for most airlines as they don’t carry child specific menus unless ordered in advanced.
Sleep is definitely one of the best ways for toddlers (and parents!) to pass the time on flights. And Caroline Lundburg - Club Bébé Voyage Admin suggests trying to schedule your flight around nap or bedtime because it’s so much less stressful when they are snoozing.
But how to get them to sleep in the first place? Flyaway Kids Bed is a fantastic sleep aid / inflight bed for toddlers that was designed by a mom who struggled flying with 2 toddlers, so she invented the perfect solution to help them sleep and play on the plane.
It’s a game changer for kids and parents alike, and any parent with a child under 7 would be mad to travel long-distance without it!
The product is designed to provide a comfortable, clean and practical space for kids to sleep and play on flights. And in a nut-shell, is an inflatable bed that sits on top of your child’s seat and extends over their legroom to give them a play area of up to 80cm long!
This little mattress has so many amazing features, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Its light weight and compact design means you can easily pop it inside your own carry-on luggage. It acts as a booster seat so your little-one can see out the window or enjoy their meal with the traytable at the perfect height. It provides a hygienic place for your child to lay their head (away from nasty germs and what-ever else may live on top of plane seats). Its kid-friendly surface can be wiped clean in case of spills during the flight. Its side bumpers keep everything your child needs during the flight close at hand.
And one of the things we love the most: it stops toys and coloring pencils from rolling onto the floor mid-flight. It sure makes flying with toddlers sooooo much easier!
Flying with toddlers is tough, but if you’re prepared and pack loads of patience along with your activities, snacks and sleeping aid you’ll be fine – we promise!
Author: Debra Pally is the Swiss/Australian CEO of Flyaway Designs and inventor of Flyaway Kids Bed – an award-winning travel bed that helps children sleep and play on planes. She has 2 young boys and lives in Zurich, Switzerland.
Just like Flyaway Designs, international travel community @Bébé Voyage helps make every moment with your children special. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating (and signing up for!) Bébé Voyage’s new membership program! Join now for exclusive discounts from great family travel brands (including us!) and awesome advice on how to travel with kids via https://www.bebevoyage.com/join.