Traveling by Plane W/ a Toddler

Updated on July 17, 2008
R.B. asks from Deltona, FL
4 answers

In 2 weeks we are flying to the New England area. Our 3 yr. old will be traveling with us and this will be his first time flying. He's very excited so far. I have two questions. (1) Any good suggestions on what to do if his ears get plugged while we are in flight? (2) Is it necessary for him to sit in the car seat while we are on the plane? I'm taking the car seat w/ us to use before and after the flight. So it will be with us no matter what. I just don't know if I should just check the seat w/ the luggage or if he needs to sit in it on the plane. Thanks for your help.

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answers from Orlando on

We traveled a couple of months ago with our two year old and I learned a lot! We bought her a seat so that we could use the car seat...being safety-minded parents, you know! She hated being in the seat because she couldn't tell the plane was moving once airborne. She wanted out and wanted to be able to roam and play. We forced her to sit in the seat for take offs and landings but other than that she sat in my husband's lap. I'm still glad we brought the car seat but it's a lot of money and you should consider how important it is to you. Most people just hold their toddlers and it's all fine. My advice is to pack lots of snacks, have a cup with you, and some books or toys. As for the ears popping, she didn't complain once. Happy flying!



answers from Orlando on

try your best to give him a drink just as the plane is taking off/landing. My daughter drinks from a straw cup & we just make sure to give it to her at those times. As far as the seat- no you don't need it on the plane- they only require it if he's under two & has his own seat- it's really kinda screwy but it's also probable that your car seat wouln't fit in the seat anyway. Check it with your luggage. there's no charge. He'll just buckle in just like you- bring a stash of new toys/videos (if you have a portable dvd player) books stuff he's never seen to kep him occupied. We have flown with our daughter about 5 or so times-once international (she's 27 months) and by doing all the above we have always had a great experience. Also just in case....if it happens to be around nap time or if he's just being super fussy (if he's still doing that) you might also take childrens benadryl-just in case you need somke help getting him to sleep- however per my pediatricians recommendation try this before you go to make sure it doens't have the opposite effect and make him hyper. It takes about 45 minutes to take effect.

I hope this is helpful- have a great vacation!
:-)Sofias Momma



answers from Orlando on

Hi Robin. I traveled with my children alot when they were that age. The best thing to do is let them chew gum on the way up and on the way down. You can also give them a dose of Children's Tylenol or whatever pain releiver that you prefer. As far as the the car seat goes, you will not need to take it on the plane. It may be to obtrusive for the long ride. Another tip is that you can use your stroller all the way up to the door of the aircraft. They will give you a claim tag for it right as you are getting on the plane. When your plane lands, they will have it ready for you right as you exit the aircraft. It is so much easier to keep your children in a stroller as you move through the terminal with your carry on luggage, especially if the stroller has room to hold some of your carry ons.



answers from Orlando on


I have a 3 almost 4 year old son and we've flown with him several times. The best thing we've discovered to keep his ears from popping is chewy candy during takeoff and landing. Gummi Bears, Mike and Ikes, anything that will keep him chewing. And the bonus also keeps him entertained for a while.

We also carry on a portable DVD player, coloring books and crayons, quiet things to keep him entertained. Luckily New England isn't a super long flight, so you all should be fine.

Good luck,

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