Surviving Flying with Children


Flying with children can be nerve-wracking. Children are unpredictable. You never know if they are going to have an off day and if they will essentially freak out or have some sort of melt down. That is a big enough concern for a road trip. Add to that a vehicle full of strangers and no control over the stops and…well…it seems stressful. So how to people survive flying with children?



  • Rachel said: My number one tip: Don’t do it wink emoticon hehe.
  • Harmony said: Remember that it’s one day and you’ll never see those people again

Toys and Snacks

When I was about five, we flew from Utah to Michigan. The only real memory I have from the entire trip is getting new toys on the plane. Really!

  • Kate said: Bring a couple new toys/books, lovies, etc. nothing too large since that takes up space.
  • Katrina said: A few weeks leading up to the trip, put away some of your child’s favorite plane-friendly toys. Then when you’re flying it’s kind of like having new toys becaues it’s been awhile since they’ve played with them. And snacks. Loooooots of snacks.
  • Julie said: We went to the dollar store and bought lots of new toys and books for cheap, but the kids thought they were really cool. Also if u end up loosing some it doesn’t matter because they were only a dollar. We brought tons of snacks too.

Structured Playtime

  • Julie said:Also when I needed a break I utilized independent playtime by telling my 3 year old that he was having independent playtime in his seat and would have to entertain himself until the playtime timer went off on my phone.


  • Tierney said: Movies for kids old enough to watch them.
  • Elisa said: We survive with iPad shows/movies, headphones and snacks. If your child doesn’t watch much TV at home, then this is a treat!


  • Kristi said: After multiple flights with a toddler, I have to say that having a car seat on the plane is easier than without, although it’s more of a pain in the airport. Mine napped and behaved much better in the seat, although neither was terrible… Free was just more work (and more difficult naps.) If you fly a lot, I would recommend Go Go Babyz wheels that convert the car seat into a “stroller”. It’s about a $75 investment, but better than carrying the seat if you will be using it more than once!
  • Allison said: Car seat if you have a way to lug it around.
  • Kate said: Buy each child their own seat and bring their car seat. You most likely need their car seat on the other end anyway and getting their seat checked with the luggage isn’t safe (unknown history…people throwing the seat around etc). Kids need to be safe in the air just like in the car. 
  • Kelli said:Also when I needed a break I utilized independent playtime by telling my 3 year old that he was having independent playtime in his seat and would have to entertain himself until the playtime timer went off on my phone


  • Kristi said: Thought of one more thing: If your little has recently been potty-trained (less than 6 months) I couldn’t recommend Pull-ups any more highly. We NEVER use them at home, but I learned the hard way that they are a must for flights. We call them travel panties, and my daughter even gets excited about them. We flew 10 hours from Munich to Chicago, and my daughter, who has very few accidents, didn’t use the airplane bathroom once. Car seat. Every time. Wouldn’t even tell me. We spent lots of time in the bathroom soaking up urine from her pants b/c I hadn’t brought even spares. Learn from my mistake. I would recommend them even for shorter trips as you never know when you’re going to be stuck in a long line or running between terminals without enough time to use a bathroom. Good luck!
  • Rachel said:  I love flying with babies, but toddlers are so unpredictable. We thought my son (2.5 at the time) would love the plane, but it was pretty disasterous. I guess my biggest tip would be to plan for a long layover if you have connecting flights. We thought we were being smart and so we planned for very short layovers (only enough time to get off plane, potty, and get to next terminal). It was a good idea in theory, because it got us to our destination faster, but our busy toddler boy didn’t get enough wiggles out between flights and was really rowdy once we got on the plane. No amount of entertainment could appease him…we tried it all!
  • Allison said: Also, prep you kids in advance. Let them know you are getting on a big plane and then sleeping on it for bedtime/naptime. If you have long layovers, look online at the airport and find out if they have a kid or nursery area.
  • Joyce said: Sweets to suck on during takeoff and landing, so they can equalize the pressure in their ears. For babies, milk is a better choice.
  • Tierney said: walk/crawl up and down the center isle of the plane.

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