Flying W/a 16 Month Old

Updated on May 07, 2010
M.B. asks from Santa Monica, CA
12 answers

Any advice on must haves and what to bring to entertain my 16 month old while on an airplane? How to keep him entertained and seated? Does he sit in my lap the whole time? What about a seat belt for him? I know I can't put him in a car seat in an extra seat unless we buy one for him or if they even allow that? Thanks.

1 mom found this helpful

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

More Answers



answers from Kansas City on

If you do not buy a seat for him he will have to sit on your lap the whole time if the flight is full. If it is not full they are pretty good about letting you use one for a little while. I have always taken my car seats with us on a flight. The kids are familiar with their seats and I think they fly better having their car seat. You will definately want to bring a sippy cup, but do not fill until you get through security. Is what we did when we flew my 6yr. old and 15 month old was we packed a little carry on for them. It included colors and coloring books, color wonder markers, and a couple of snacks.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on


If you get him his own seat check out CARES child restraints for planes ( Silly things that my son finds fascinating on flights.

1. A box of tissue (OMG, this is so fun for them)
2. A small stack of post it notes
3. A straw (yes, a straw)
4. Lollipop - this is a sweet treat that keeps them quiet for a long time!

have fun!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

This website is for parents who travel with young chidren, with lots of advice on what to do (and not do). Scroll to the top for Q&A's - including yours :)

With my baby, I brought little toys that could entertain him during the flight. Amazingly, a half filled water bottle (securely closed) kept him entertained for the longest time.

For safety, bring your own car seat for your baby. Traveling with a baby on your lap in flight is even more dangerous than if you did it in a car, because at 200-500 mph, any turbulance or worse will send your baby out of your arms or you will crush him. Some airlines give discounts for seats when it's for a child, ask ahead.

If the airline has a free seat available they may let you use that but these days, finding a plane that's not booked solid it's very hard. Don't take the chance.



answers from Fort Wayne on

I flew with a 16 month old and a 31 month old on a 4 hour flight. It wasn't a big deal really. I had snacks, toys, books, coloring books, and both of them in carseats. You can take your own carseat if you buy them their own ticket, which I really recommend. It's easier for them to be content if they're in their own carseat at that age. Both of my kids didn't get upset about wanting out at all. I also had a double stroller that the flight attendants held onto for me. Getting on and off the plane was more stressful than the actual plane ride. I strongly recommend asking the flight attendants if there's someone that can help you get to baggage claim. It's worth the extra 5 bucks or so to have people there help you. No fun at all trucking through an airport with a big stroller, 2 car seats, and carry ons!



answers from Sacramento on

We've flown quite a bit with our new 3 year old and we always take snacks, a cup to fill once we are through security, a couple of favorite books and toys and then I always have some small new toys to open up with he starts to get wiggly. Like someone else said, if you are flying Southwest, put your kiddo in the empty seat next to you and people boarding will think that seat is taken and as long as there is one empty spot left on the plane you are good to go with that extra seat. We've never flown with the carseat in the plane. It just seemed to be more hassle than it was worth. We have a bag for our Britax seat and we check it with the luggage. When traveling alone with my guy I have taken a small stroller through the gate just so that I don't have to try to juggle him as well as our carry-on luggage. If we are travelling as a family then we just have our Ergo and he rides on our backs in that while we are in the airport. It works out great and doesn't take up much space. Oh, I also make sure to have his lovies and blanket just in case he needs that extra bit of comfort and security. We've never had any problems and our little guy loves to get on the "big airplane". Good luck to you!



answers from Sacramento on

If you have to bring the seat because you need it when you get to your destination I would check it at the gate when you board or better yet with luggage. We brought the seat on the first leg of our flight for safety reasons. All it basically did was alow him to reach the seat in front of him with his feet and kick it. You might spend the entire time trying to control his feet.... We checked it at the gate for the remainder of the trip and my son was entertained by the seat belt and a flashlight for most of the trip:-) Sippy straw cups are good for the ears during take off and landing.



answers from Sacramento on

We flew to Hawaii when my son was 19 months old, first flight for him and I was a bit nervous as it was a 5 hour flight. Amazingly, he did very well and slept for 2 hours. I brought a DVD player and movies along with lots of snacks and drinks and his favorite toys. Luckily there were a lot of empty seats so we sat in the very back. I also brought his car seat, which he did not sit in at all. I thought it would be safer and easier for him to fall asleep, didn't need it. He had fun with the seat belt and all the stuff we brought, oh and we did not let him walk around the aisles on the way there as I new as soon as he got down and started walking around he wouldnt stop. Sure enough on the way back he wanted to run around etc. Anyway, good luck with your trip. :)



answers from Miami on

I travelled a lot with my son when he was young and used to take lots of healthy nibbles and something to suck on during take off and landing.
I would take a few simple favourite toys of his and play games with him and walk him up the aisle, read him a book etc.
It is much easier once they have their own seat, but the saving on cost made it worth it.
I also loved ensuring he was super tired before a flight, nothing like a sleeping babe:-)



answers from Sacramento on

You can buy a child's seat if you want have to do this to bring the car seat on board. Bring some new books and toys on the plane that your son hasn't seen before. If it is a long flight, you can give him Benadryl to help him take a nap (if you think he might have trouble). We also brought lots of snacks in a SnackTrap cup. Also, if you have a portable DVD player, you can bring Baby Einstein videos--this gives you 1/2 hour of entertainment.



answers from San Francisco on

tricks we used, stickers, sticky note pads, small new toys to unwrap on plane, books, colorwonder books & pens, snacks, tried our first lollipop (found organic at trader joes) and that gave us about 20 minutes of peace and quiet, on the long flights to canada, we broke out the dvd player. also, walking up and down the aisle to stretch little legs helped. good luck! worse case, bring earplugs for the neighboring flyers. ha!



answers from San Francisco on

Hello MLB, my daughter in law fllies often to visit family so I can share some of the things she has learned.1. call your air lines and get clear information of what they allow. 2. she got a small portable dvd player and played Veggie Tales which made a few people nuts but she gave them a chioice baby happy or baby crying, we bought a toy that made all the differeance at that age.. it is a sea horse that I have seen at most stores that plays gentle music and kept everyone happy. Have a wonderful trip!



answers from Los Angeles on

Well I disagree with some of the other posts, but here's my input. We have traveled quite a lot with our almost 4 year old and his 17 month old brother. We never brought carseats, mostly because we didn't want the extra baggage, and the other reason you mentioned, you have to buy their own seat. My 4 year old now gets his own seat, and his brother is passed around from mine to dad's lap, brothers seat, floor, etc. The seat belt on the plane is big enough to fit around both of us and we've never had a problem. We bring a backpack filled with snacks, books, toys, a few "surprise" toys that are a nice treat, and definitely sippy cups with drinks for the landing and take off. We gate check the stroller so that we can use it in the airport and it is waiting when we get off the plane. Hopefully between eating and playing, and hopefully a little sleep that will take you thru the plane ride. Good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions