Air Travel - Malvern,PA

Updated on February 09, 2010
K.W. asks from Malvern, PA
6 answers

We are taking my 3yo daughter on her first plane ride to FLA in a week or so & wondered what advice you would all give. I'm interested in things like ... what to bring on the plane ... can I take diaper wipes on board (yes she's still in diapers).... what snacks worked best for you .. take the car seat on board or not ... or any other tips I might not have thought of. Thanks!

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answers from Columbus on

People reading this are gonna know me, cuz I like to answer these plane ride questions! LOL!

First of all, 99% of the time, the anxiety of the plane ride is worse than the actual ride. Prepare the best you can, then let it go:) You can only do so much.

Here are some things that have worked well for us over the years and we started flying when my 11 year old was 8 months. We've traveled with kids of every age so far and you'll have to figure out what will work best for your 3 year old.

Make sure you have an extra set of clothes for her (and you). Layer as much as possible. If there's a spill, hopefully, you can just pull off the outer layer and not have to actually change the shirt. If you get the spill, too, you'll not want to wear it the rest of the ride, either. Pack at least 1 or 2 more diapers than you think you'll need under normal circumstances. Yes, wipes are fine. But, since you can't take juice boxes or water bottles through security, you'll have to take an empty sippy cup and buy whatever drink you want for her after you get through security. THey'll be places to get drinks by your gate. A quart ziplock baggie will hold your hand sanitizer, Tylenol bottle, diaper cream-if you want, etc In addition to hand sanitizer, I took some CLorox wipes to wipe down the area around the kids seat. The amount of germs....ick. Some good snacks are baby carrots, crackers(in hard containers), anything that will not get mushy or crumble. Also, possibly a sucker or licorice stick for her to suck on (the swallowing is the key to get her ears to adjust) while the plane is taking off and landing. She can also drink while take-off, whatever gets her to swallow and equalize her ears.

The carseat is whatever you think she will be more comfortable in. We've done it both ways and if she won't keep taking her seatbelt off, then she may enjoy sitting in the seat by herself. If she's small, she may not be comfortable in the big seat and can't reach the tray very well. Do you have access to a booster seat or is it a 5 point harness? What will your options be if your carseat doesn't make it to your destination when checked?

Get your daughter some toys that are new-she hasn't seen them before. You could even wrap them like a birthday gift. Half the fun will be unwrapping them! Pull one out at a time to spread out the surprise. New books, crayons, markers, paper, coloring books, doll, etc.

We have also brought along a computer and had the kids watch a movie. We had three kids under three, so the movie was a great thing when they were all ages 2-5!

If you can fit it, take along a larger tupperware-type container. The lid, alone, also works. This will hold the cup, crayons, snacks, etc. so that they don't roll off the tray. It's no fun to try to retrieve these items from the floor under you. Whatever you can take that has raised edges to contain items. If you are ok with playdough and your daughter will give up some of it, I have made a "fence" around the edge of the tray to keep the markers on the tray. My daughter loved it, cuz it reminded her of a "horsey fence" and she used her little play horses inside the fence. THis is if you want to play with playdough during the ride.

Make sure your carry-on bag is easily accessible-something with a big main compartment that you can get to while it is under the seat in front of you. A small suitcase would not be the best choice. Sure, it can hold a lot of stuff, but it isn't something you can get into easily.

That's all I can think of for now. Have a great time and good luck!!



answers from Washington DC on

How long is the flight? If only 2-3 hrs then take into account the time of the flight and what she normally eats or drinks during those times. Snacks you can take pretty much anything , fruit , crackers , chips , cookies , the same for drinks , you can take her sippy if she uses one and some juice boxes. Yes wipes/diapers are allowed. Pack her a little bag with a book or 2 , a coloring book and crayons and a few small favorite toys. At 3 yrs old she is pretty easy as far as flights are concerned , especially shorter ones. My 4 yr old has a leapfrog leapster so this is a must on flights , we fly to England once/year and this occupies her for quite some time



answers from New London on

I would check the car seat, a three year old can sit in the airplane seat. If you want you can order a special seat belt harness that attaches to the seat belt to use. You can and should definitey bring wipes. Bring extra sets of clothes for both you and your daughter. also bring a plastic grocery bags to throw away any soiled diapers, clothes, etc.. And bring any snacks that they like. our favorites are ABC cookies by earth's best, goldfish, and pretzels. Pack in ziplock bags for easy closing and opening. I would also check to see if you can bring small 4 oz juice boxes. Some airlines will let you bring juice for kids. I would also bring a magna doodle, and maybe some aquadoodle coloring activities.



answers from Philadelphia on

The only other thing I will add. Is the liquids in the 1 quart zip bag , I believe can only be 3 oz. check the airlines. Make sure you have an umbrella stroller for her to sit on. They will check it at the gate. At three they reallly don't need the car seat. But you might need one where you are going, if you don't, don't take it. Also depending on what airline your on the cost of check the car seat might be more then renting on when you get there. Have fun.



answers from Chicago on

Yes, you can take wipes on board. And absolutely take her carseat, as this is the safest way for her to be secured on the airplane. Definitely take her favorite snacks and some super special ones in case of "emergency". I would also try to take a portable dvd player or laptop that she can watch favorites. You may consider getting some special toys or little things from the dollar store that are new if she gets antsy. Hopefully everything will go smoothly with your flight but it is always good to be prepared for the unexpected. Also, rarely are meals served on airplanes anymore so please, please buy food in the airport or bring a sandwich for your child so she isn't hungry. The flight attendants really don't have a secret stash somewhere.....I'd be happy to answer any other questions as you think of them, I'm a flight attendant and mom of 2.



answers from Minneapolis on

You got a ton of good advice below. One thing I would add is make sure you put on velcro or easy to slip on and off shoes for you and her. TSA will make you take her shoes off to go through security.

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