Hudson and I have traveled with each other on multiple occasions since he was 2 months old and unfortunately due to Locks work schedule he hasn’t been able to accompany us yet. I’ve managed to get to and from our travel destination in one piece and one of those was a red eye. Yeah, never doing that again! I figured it was about time to share my tips and tricks for flying with a toddler especially solo because when I first did it I was a nervous reck. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it’s really very simple as long as you’re prepared!
- Bring a stroller and check it at the gate! The first time I flew with H, I had no idea that this was an option. I was miserable. Having a stroller is a total game changer and I’ll never go without it again. Baby wearing through an airport all day long is not my cup of tea. I am much happier having the weight off of my shoulders and being able to use the restroom peacefully rather than awkwardly. Plus if your child is walking a stroller keeps them in check!
Note: Buy a one piece fold stroller! I cannot say it enough. Having to take apart a stroller just to fold it, is complicated enough. Doing it with a baby or toddler in tow is not fun. A one piece fold makes your job 10x easier and trust me, stress free. We have the Nuna Mixx and it is absolutely fantastic! You can fold it with the seat forward or back and it has a big basket to store an extra carry-on.
- Bring new toys. It doesn’t have to be much but just enough to make them interested. Even a simple straw (free!) entertains Hudson for a surprising amount of time. I’ve made the mistake, several times, of packing an excessive amount of toys in the diaper bag and they never once occupied his time on the plane. It took an American Airlines flight attendant to say “did you not bring any toys for him?” (rude, I know) to make me realize he doesn’t want what he already has.
- Pack just what you need. Don’t over do it! I tend to bring way too many things (i.e. toys) and only end up using 1/4 of it. Don’t do that. Having to keep track of a million things while traveling is a crazy amount of unnecessary stress. Trying to find something quickly in a stuffed bag will have you so frustrated it’s not even funny. Start by making a list of the items you use every single day and maybe add in a couple emergency extras. Also having a bag like my Josefina Diaper Bag that snaps on to the stroller handle is a huge plus!
– Diapers. I usually bring 6.
– Changing pad
– Change of clothes
– A couple of small new toys
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Traveling with kids can be very overwhelming. Especially when you’re doing it alone. 90% of the people passing by totally understand what you’re dealing with and would not hesitate to help if you asked. Whether it’s holding your child’s hand while you fold the stroller at the end of the jetway, asking a flight attendant to hold/watch your child while you use the restroom, or if you have a lot of bags asking for help getting them from the curb into the checkin counter. I once flew home from Chicago and had a car service dropping me off. I had a car seat, stroller, two big bags, the diaper bag and a carry-on. The guy just dropped me off out front and drove away. I stood there like a deer in headlights. I somehow managed to get everything on one of the baggage carts and pull the stroller along with the cart inside to get in line. I never hesitated to ask for help again!
- Book an aisle seat. I hate to rob Hudson of the opportunity to look out the window but that’s only exciting to him for a few mins. Sitting in the aisle makes it super easy and convenient to get up throughout the flight when you toddler gets antsy or has to use the bathroom. I don’t feel bad for traveling with a sometimes whiny toddler because we’re human too, but I definitely feel better not having to wake someone up or constantly make someone move so that we can get up and move around.
And last but not least just breathe. I’ve been lucky enough to only have one flight where Hudson was a screaming mess but guess what? It didn’t last forever and the day was over before I knew it. Hopefully these tips will help you have a stress free and quiet travel experience with your littles. If you have any suggestions or want to share cool things that worked for you, please do so in the comments below!
Wooden Binoculars | Little Miss Workbench
Disclaimer: This post is in partnership with Nuna. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting this blog and it’s sponsors!