Flying With A Toddler: What Do You Need To Know Before The Flight

A toddler is playing with a plane toy.

Flying is never easy, however, flying with a toddler could be a real challenge.

Children get easily bored, they get hungry and thirsty fast, a closed environment and a change in air pressure could make them scared and upset. In order to make sure that your child has a good flight, and his/her first flying experience is not going to become a nightmare either for them or for you, there are a few things you can do.

From What Age Can Children Start Flying?

Almost one billion people (and many together with their children) travel by air every year discovering the world. Air travel makes our life easier and interesting - we can change continents in as little as 6 hours and many people take advantage of this.

There are no limitations about how old a child needs to be to travel which are set by the airlines. However, as a general rule, a child should be at least two-weeks old in order to fly.

Do You Need A Child Safety Seat On The Plane?

A toddler is playing while on the flight.

There are no mandatory requirements for a special restraining seat on the plane for a child of any age. However, it is recommended by all airlines to have a child safety seat for your toddler. Keep in mind, getting a child safety seat usually means buying an extra ticket, and not all parents might be happy about incurring that extra expense.

Usually, children from infancy to two-years-old are allowed to fly for free while sitting on one of their parents' lap. However, it might not be the safest way of traveling. In case of turbulence, a child might slip from their parent’s arms and get injured.

Why Having A Child Safety Seat On The Plane Is Not Mandatory?

According to research, a mandatory child safety seat could prevent between 0.05 to 1.6 deaths a year. However, having a safety child seat in place means having to buy an extra ticket for their little ones as well. Not many parents are ready for that extra expense and might choose other means of traveling.

What To Take On The Plane With A Toddler?

Flying With A Toddler Checklist:

Onboard Entertainment. First of all, you need to keep your toddler entertained on the flight. Think about various reading activities and games that you could complete on the plane. Download his/her favorite Youtube programs and enjoy watching them on the plane! Get his/her favorite toys, devices and books. Try not to get toys that excite your child too much. The ideal flight toys should occupy your child without making him/her too hyper and overly excited. It could be their favorite picture book, magnetic drawing board, various fidget toys and stress balls for kids. It will be a good idea to buy some brand new toys for your child especially for the trip that you can entertain him/her once in the air. Your child will be so excited about new toys that might not even notice the discomfort of flying experience altogether.

Snacks. Snacks are an important part of everyone’s flight! Make flying an exciting time for your child. Get his/her favorite snack, including some cookies, candies, and lollipops. Chocolate treats might not be the best idea for a flight with a toddler as they will rise their sugar level very quickly and might make him/her hyper and cranky. Lollipops might be ideal as they last longer, don’t contain as much sugar and will occupy your child for longer.

Medications. If your child takes any medications or tends to get certain medical conditions irregularly, you certainly should take anything that you might possibly need with you on the plane!

Diapers. If your child is still using diapers that you most definitely don’t want to leave them in a checked bag by accident. Leave up to 10 diapers with you in a carry-on just to be on a safe side.

Diaper bags. Prepare some diaper bags because as general rule parents are obliged to put their diapers in a bag and only then place in a disposal container. Otherwise, we all know what the bathroom will smell like for all of the passengers.

Positive attitude. Yes, it is one of the most important things with you on board with a toddler. Stay positive and enjoy this new experience. Wherever you are holding your child on your lap or have s separate restraining safe seat for him/her, it is a priceless experience, an exciting journey that you are going to share with your child.