Toddler on a 10 Hour flight...HELP Traveling Mommies :)

Updated on April 01, 2011
D.C. asks from Wahiawa, HI
9 answers

Okay, so for toddlers under 2 years of age they are not required to have their own seat, and on one hand thats an awesome thing (not having to pay another $800). Well I plan on taking a trip back home while my husband is deployed & the only way I can afford it is if I have her sit in my lap. My daughter will be 19/20 months old at the time....anyone have a good way to keep her calm during the flight. I already plan leaving around her bedtime so HOPEFULLY she will sleep most of the way...but if you ladies have any other ideas...I'll be glad to hear them :) Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Well, we got REALLY lucky! Both flights we they had an extra seat so I could take her carseat!! Yay! AND on the longer flight home we sat next to a grandma!! A little too lucky?! And my mom is planning on flying back with us :) Thank you everyone for your tips! She did awesome traveling so far! I think this is the beginning of a new mommy daughter/ traveling buddies relationship :D

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answers from Los Angeles on

My three favorite tips are small cheap wrapped presents (we use tissue paper) of lots of new quiet toys, reusable stickers, finger puppets, the markers that only write on the special paper and not on the airplane, small books, flat velcro or magnet boards that can create stories and scenes, etc. go to Big Lots, Ollies, or a local clearance store and have fun. The unwrapping of the gift makes it exciting and special and the newness helps keep their attention for longer. Next I suggest a portable dvd player with new and favorite dvds with head phones that go over the ears not in the ears, and calms forte for kids, a non addictive homeopathic remedy (like chamomile) to help take the edge of the excitement off so she can relax enough to fall asleep in a strange place. (Then you can watch a movie on that portable dvd player.) A forth tip is to look for a mom looking person or a grandma looking person to sit next to, someone who looks willing to help out a bit and watch the baby when you need to go to the bathroom, or drop something etc. A nice seat-mate can really make the difference on a long flight. My fifth of my three tips is to buy a Sit 'N' Stroll which is a car seat - stroller - airplane seat, if the plane is not full they may let you take it on to the plane, but even if they don't it is a million times easier in the airport on both side of the flight than traveling with a car seat and a stroller and a booster seat. I used my Sit 'n' Stroll all the time and they advertise them in the airplane magazines for smart travel gadgets. LOVED my Sit 'n' Stroll, that's my best tip.

Safe Travels.

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answers from New York on

We have done the 16 hour flight to India several times with my now 3 year old. The money savings is well worth the inconvenience I think! If they are under 10 kgs or around there they can still fit in the bulkhead seat basinette, which makes the trip really easy- call the airline and request it in advance. If its not possible then when you check in tell them you are flying alone with baby and they are usually very accomodating and will seat you next to an empty seat if possible. Otherwise, lots of little fun snacks always saved me!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Hi D.,

I think you are very wise in taking a later flight. Make sure she hungry and tired prior to take off. Take her food, drink and snacks on board....also a favorite toy and blankie. Feed her after take off, and hopefully after dinner she will ready for sleep.

It is my hope for you that the plane won't be full and you will have one or two extra seats so she lay down. The flight attendants tend to be very nice to parents with small children, who very nice to them.

Have a good visit with your family and I pray for your husband's safety in going and coming back home to you and your daughter.


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answers from Kansas City on

absolutely - bedtime is best. lots of snacks (don't worry too much about over indulgence, of course try to have healthier snacks, but as much as she wants). some new toys she's never seen before...and ipod with some kid friendly music, a portable dvd player with her favorite videos. you'll be fine :) and yes, bulkhead seating if at all possible - WAY better. good luck!



answers from Dallas on


You might want to think about keeping her up as long as possible and taking a 9pm or so flight so everyone on the plane will be asleep a lot of the trip. The less movement around her the less stimulation she will have. Great idea to make sure her tummy is full after take off. You also may want to get an isle seat so you don't have to continually climb over people in case you need to walk her up and down the isle if she gets restless. Upon boarding do ask the airline attendants to move you if she has an empty row, etc. If there are empty rows others will start taking them quickly. It might be a pain to move your carry on but will be a relief for 10 hours. Have a great trip!



answers from Chicago on

My boys had some small favorite toys. I let them pack a little bag of carry-on items themselves. They usually packed some Matchbox cars, a couple of small stuffed animals and a book or two. They loved to play with the cars and usually kept occupied the entire time they were awake. If she has some small toys that she loves to play with, I would pack some of those.

Also, occupy her by talking to her. Point out things that go on in the plane or on the runway. There is plenty of interesting stuff to see.

Don't let her see your anxiety about it. Make it sound and feel like an adventure. She will pick up on your tension if you worry about it too much.


answers from Santa Fe on

We just flew up to Alaska with our 17 month old. It was 4 flights up to Fairbanks and 4 flights back. If a flight is timed with nap or sleep it's awesome...she would take a bottle and fall asleep. We took stickers (I'd hand her a sticker of say a horse and she would get all excited and stick it on her dad...then I'd hand her the next sticker...lasted 30 minutes). And we took lots of toddler books (she loves to look at books with us) in a backpack as well as lots of little snacks she likes. Looking out the window and pointing things out during takeoff and landing was a hit. Playing with the drinks/cups/straws/snack packs was a hit. Walking back to the bathroom and saying hi to people along the way was fun for her. Good luck! It's so tricky flying with a little one at this age!!!



answers from Austin on

When we travel with our son (which we did a lot in the first 18 months) I nursed at take off and landing and sometimes a good part of the flight so he would sleep and not have ear issue.

For a toddler, I recommend stickers (like the big teacher books of them), small quieter toys, little books, my son has a leapfrog my first laptop and that is great for traveling, it's small and keeps them busy. Snacks and drinks are good too. Just have an arsenal to keep her busy and hope that she sleeps.

For us, it's never been too hard because my son either sleeps or he loves to look around, he thinks it's the greatest time ever, loves the takeoff, etc and to look out the window.



answers from Fayetteville on

I have traveled alot with one and am headed across the globe alone with 3 littles in a few months, so been thinking about this a lot.
Basically, just keep them involved in what is going on at the time. Be prepared with lots of snacks, but in my opinions overloading yourself with games, toys and books deprives them of the adventure. Teach them about what they are seeing, and enjoy interacting with them.

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