Advice on Traveling on a Plane with a 16 Month Old

Updated on April 28, 2010
L.S. asks from Culver City, CA
13 answers

Next month I will be taking a business trip and my husband and 16 month old daughter will be joining me. I'm just wondering if any of you other mamas have advice on traveling with a 16 month old. We have a direct flight. The flight will range from 5-6 hours. We traveled last summer but my daughter was only 6 1/2 months old at the time. Now she is a toddler and wants to walk/run everywhere. I welcome your feedback. Thanks!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

maybe you could use this as an opportunity to introduce some fun new toys to crayons and coloring books! Pick a coloring book that has an ongoing story throughout it so you can read it to her when she gets bored with coloring.

You could also try introducing some fun new finger foods like goldfish crackers or gummy bears.

More Answers



answers from Oklahoma City on

If you are traveling on an airline that gives pre-assigned seat numbers then I would board LAST, the less time they have to be on the plane the better. Also, don't check anything into baggage that you don't absolutley have to. Years ago I worked for a major airline in the cargo area....and HOLY COW they are so "ROUGH" on your belongings. Things are walked on, thrown around, etc. I would never check a carseat! To this day, I never check a bag unless it is completely, absolutely unavoidably necessary!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Casper on

I have seen a product on that sounds so fantastic I want some myself. They have some ear inserts that equalize the pressure. If I were ever to fly, these would be a must-have.



answers from Honolulu on

Portable DVD player with Barnie or whatever her favorite is. Lots of snacks that are easy to clean up (i.e., cheerios, nothing sticky). Take a change of clothes for her and a change for you in the carryon. My daughter threw up on the plane once, and I was rinsing my bra and shirt out in the bathroom sink. You don't want to smell that for the rest of the flight.

Also, don't spend too much time worrying about fellow passengers--it will drive you crazy. Now that my daughter is older (4), we love traveling together. She pulls her own wheeled carry-on, and we create our own little planet on the two seats. Have fun!


answers from Los Angeles on

We traveled w/ our daughter when she was about that age. Plan your flying time during her naptime, that eats up some time. Bring lots of snacks and quiet toys and books. Bring a light-weight change of clothing for you and her. Nothing's worse than having to wear soiled clothing (vomit, potty accidents). We didn't allow our daughter to watch TV until she was 2, but a special DVD on a portable player might be in order with a 5-hour trip (but bring her headphones to wear). Bring a dum dum lollipop for take off/landing (for her ears, works like a charm) Good luck and have fun!



answers from Dallas on

Well, we traveled with our daughter who was right around that same age last year. I packed a bag of small, quiet, toys that were new and she had not seen them before. As soon as she got tired of one, I pulled out another. I also took a dvd player and movies. And of course, her favorite snacks. We decided to gate-check her carseat since we did not purchase a seat and have her sit on my lap in a harness I ordered from One Step Ahead. I have heard that if the flight is not full they will allow you to use your carseat even if you did not purchase the extra seat.

Other well-traveled moms recommended gate-checking the carseat because it does not end up with as much damage. However, it was difficult to maneuver a large carseat (got a case for it with wheels), stroller, etc through the terminal even with my husband's help. I did see one at the airport where the carseat doubles as a stroller with some attachment that makes it look like you are pulling luggage, but I do not know where you find it.

I also took our monkey leash, it's a backpack that looks like a monkey and it's tail is the part I hold. This worked well for when she wanted to walk. I got ours at Target, but I have seen them at Wal-Mart as well.

Some airports have play areas too and that burned off some steam. We also found an open area to run around while we waited to board.

I hope this helps!



answers from Odessa on

We travel often at least 2-3 flight a year that are never direct. I try to pack some of my daughter's favorite toys and a few she hasn't seen before. Stickerbooks are fun an inexpensive. Colors and crayons. We pack our portable DVD player too as our daughter loves to watch movies (it has also come in handy when we visit because she can watch her movie and the adults can talk). Snacks are also a must. In extreme emergencies I give her a lollipop (something we are not in the habit of doing).



answers from Honolulu on

Unless you can get her to sleep, she will be busy the whole time. I travel with my 2 kids every year from Maui to Boston, and it is usually just me with 2 kids. You and your husband will be fine, you can take turns! Usually, you can walk around and find some other family with kids and hang around their seats. They will have unfamiliar toys and a sympathetic disposition, and will probably be happy to have a diversion. You know what to do, just like when you bring her to a restaurant where you need to keep her occupied. OH - and bring a change of clothes for YOURSELF too!! Have a wonderful trip!



answers from Nashville on

The main thing that changed from flying with my son at 6 mos and flying with my son at 15 mos was that I needed to bring lots of snacks. My son loves snacks, and between the freebies they passed out and the ones I brought, he pretty much entertained himself with the snacks. :) I brought some books and coloring books (triangle shaped crayons are a lifesaver) and some new toys and he did ok. You don't even have to bring super quiet toys, because the plane is noisier than you think. I didn't bring anything noisy, but realized afterwards that I could have. I have to fly in a couple of months with mine and plan to get a 5 point restraint harness for plane seats for him. The only times mine got super fidgety was while waiting to take off and waiting to deplane.



answers from Los Angeles on

If your airline has seats right behind the bulkhead between the first class and cabin, that's the perfect place for toddlers. There's a little extra legroom, they can stand up and look out the window, etc. The bulkhead is usally carpeted, so instead of someone's seat in front of you, it's solid, so the child doesn't bother anyone.



answers from Washington DC on

My 3 yr old just took her 7th plane trip. It was also a 5 hr direct flight and she got restless toward the end of the trip. We let her pack her own backpack of toys, little books, crayons, paper and snacks. I myself had backpack full of just snacks for all of us. Our flight had a movie about a lion one way and another about the ocean which she watched on and off.



answers from San Diego on

I agree with everyone. I will add that I always planned a slight lay-over. That gave my daughter a chance to run around and for my husband to re-charge the battery on the DVD player.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions