13 answers

How Do I Keep a 16 Month Old Happy on a Long Flight?

We're flying from CHI to San Francisco this weekend and are desperately seeking ways to keep our son quiet or at least content on the long flight. What has worked for other moms? Any specific "quiet" toys, games, activities to help us out? We have flown with him on a long flight before, but he was only 5 months and slept most of the time. Now I'm getting nervous

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I have two little ones that I have traveled with on several occasions. A portable DVD player with Baby Eistein made it possible. I am not big on having my kids watch videos but on a airplane it really kept them quiet for the majority of the trip. Best of luck.

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Get him his own backpack and fill it with lots of cool things.
-DVD player -suckers -crayons -coloring books -playdoh
-juice (great if he doesn't get much of it normally)
One thing that kept my son occupied when he was about 17 months was to get fruit loops and then have him string them onto string or a new shoe lace. He loved it!
Good Luck!

We have flown with our 2 year old from chicago to las vegas.....and my best advice is to get a portable dvd player. We played her favorite dvds and fed her her favorite snacks the entire flight. She was quiet and happy the whole time. I also bought her a few small toys like a doodle pro to 'surprise' her with in case she got antsy on the flight. Worked like a charm!!! Good luck!

One suggestion is to have their own seat and bring their car seat. This will assist in normalization for your son and a nap should be easier as well during the flight.
Another option is a portable DVD player & bring headphones. New toys he's not familiar with might hold his attention more as well.

Good luck~A.

Portable DVD player. I have taken my son back and forth to Mexico and AZ a number of times and without the DVD player, forget it. I play it out loud - the roar of the plane is loud enough where the other passengers don't hear it but my son does. Also bring plenty of snacks, books and plenty of movies - Elmo, Baby Einstein, etc.

Buy a portable DVD player and bring his favorite movies. We brought our daughter to Italy when she was 2 and it was a life saver. You can also try a coloring book wthat crayola makes that comes with markers that only colors on the paper. Target or Toys R Us. Try a few new toys that he has never played with so he will be more curious. Good Luck and Have fun!!

We've taken dd to AZ a few times and bring books (reading and coloring), those magnetic doodles pads and snacks. She also had fun looking out the window every once in a while. We couldn't count on a nap and she took one on the way out but not the way back. Also, just being the three of us helped too because we would get the three seats together and actually let her climb over us and the three seats without disturbing other passengers. If there are grandparent-type people seated in front or behind you they may also help entertain as it happened to us and that's fun too.
Don't stress as that usually causes the problems. Just look forward to it and have a fun time.

My daughter has done a few trips to Ireland, which is an 8 hr flight. I haven't had much trouble with her. Yes it was easier when she was really little and just nursed and slept but now I bring some books, a cuddly toy, some kind of car that she can play with. I don't let her watch any TV but this is the one time that I make an exception and so a mobile DVD with a cartoon or ELMO or whatever is likely to be helpful. She is very social and so will interact with the other passengers as well. Something to suck on for take off and landing is good too. I know people who give their kids benadryl but I don't do that as I worry about the side effects and would rather put up with the challenges of keep her amused.

Hello K. ~
I used to be married to a flight attendant and I had the opportunity to fly with my kids (now teenagers) about every 3 months! I would have people actually comment on how well behaved my kids were. The trick? Never , ever let them out of their seats....while the longest flight we ever took was from Chicago to Boston or Florida or South Carolina (under 3 hrs...)I made sure our backpack was filled with lots of SNACKS & toys...and books...I also would give them a little massage in their seats...starting with their feet and working my way up to the top of the head! I know there are restrictions with carry-on items now...so good luck to you. Of course, I had to take them to the restroom to change them...quite a challenge -they would fall asleep and stay asleep because of the motion and white noise too...so the periods in btwn were busy with reading and games with snacks...you will be amazed how creative you can be with Cheerios! Good time to work on colors - counting & such...distraction is the key...

Playdough has always worked really well with us. Also, when my children were younger I would purchase a few new toys and not show them to my children until we really needed them on the plane.

Hi, We flew a 7 hr. trip with our DD when she was 11 months and sticker books really kept her busy for a long stretch. Good Luck! - S.

I was just going to ask this as we are taking our 16 month old on Saturday to Orlando. We flew when he was 4 and 9 months but I'm sure this will be harder. I have some of his favorite small toys, dried fruit, O's, sippy cup, and some other snacks. Also have his favorite bear and paci. I might look for a doodle thing today, that sounds fun. We also have our portable DVD player but I'm not sure if that will work since he could pretty much care less about TV so far. I'm still trying to come up with other good ideas! Good luck!

I'd recommend boarding the plane last, and using a portable DVD player (rent some DVD's that your child hasn't seen before). We also used a travel magna-doodle, crayons and stickers. Good luck!

I have two little ones that I have traveled with on several occasions. A portable DVD player with Baby Eistein made it possible. I am not big on having my kids watch videos but on a airplane it really kept them quiet for the majority of the trip. Best of luck.

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