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August 20, 2012

Traveling with a Toddler

Last Wednesday, we flew home from our trip to Northern California. We arrived home to Colorado in the late afternoon hours, and while this was Maile's 14th (wow!) flight, I was a little bit nervous about flying with her this time around. Mostly because she's almost 15 months old now, which means, as we are quickly learning, that she never sits still. 

We tried to book both flights for our trip during M's nap time. But, surprise! Little Miss was wide awake, ready to play. Flying between Denver and Sacramento is blessedly short, but here are a few things we've learned flying with Maile:

  • Pack snacks that are easy to eat. This time around, we packed a sweet potato puff container with ... well ... sweet potato puffs. But also raisins, veggie straws, Kix, and graham crackers. Plus, M got to enjoy some Jamba Juice on the way to California. For the return flight, we bought an extremely overpriced cup of diced fresh fruit in the airport, and it proved to be a life saver.
  • I packed Maile's favorite books, including a new, surprise book. In the mind of a toddler, it's extra super to have a brand new book be read to you, especially when it features your favorite little llama.
  • Nurse or offer a binky or bottle during take-off and descent -- this will help keep little ears comfy!
  • If you're traveling with a car seat (which we do, as we've found that most rental car companies charge about $10 a day for car seat rental), I highly recommend this bag! Most airlines do not provide bags for car seats, and if they do, chances are, it's going to be flimsy, plastic, and full of holes by the time your car seat comes off the luggage belt. This bag has backpack straps too, so Mama or Dada can have free hands.
  • Above all, be friendly and courteous to the passengers around you. It's hard to be mad at polite parents who are doing everything they can to make the flight as smooth as possible. I typically introduce Maile to whoever we're sharing a row with, tell them that she is usually a fantastic traveler (which is true), and make some sort of cliche "fingers crossed" or "knock on wood" joke. Let's face it though, it's the wee one who wins them over!

M crashed quite literally the moment we placed her in the lightweight stroller, upon arrival.
Flower Clips: BabyWisp | Onesie: Thrifted, Carter's (similar here) | Jean Shorts: JOE'S Jeans (similar here)

I'm anxious to read your tips and tricks for flying with toddlers. Please share!


  1. This made me giggle, especially the overpriced fruit cup comment. We did the same thing. Sometimes there's nothing too expensive if it results in a happy toddler. We used a baby carrier in the airport for when Caleb was younger!! Also bring a back up paci clip and about a dozen pacis lol Caleb's somehow broke on our first flight. Disaster! I used my pump as a carry on just to make sure we had a bottle in flight since I had a tough time getting Caleb into the nursing position he liked with such a confined space. Or use a big diaper bag as a carry on with all baby essentials in case your luggage gets lost!! I'm sure I have more but a lot depends on the baby :) Caleb loves planes and people. Oh hand sanitizer, lots and lots!!! I used an entire pack of wipes lol Airports are so dirty!!!

  2. Aw that last picture still melts my heart! I've never flown with either of my girls, I cant believe Maile has flown 14 times! You are pro mama!!

  3. Your baby girl is ADORABLE!! I haven't flow with my little man yet, but as we are planning a move back to Africa, many flights are in our future :) I'm kinda terrified! haha

  4. wow! 14 flights already. you're on your way to being an expert ;) great tips. we've actually only flown a few times, but i did fly solo with both boys once while pregnant with jess. that was just crazy!