Surviving a long flight with young children

Being able to experience a new place with your kids is so much fun!! My husband and I loved traveling before we had kids and after having kids we knew we wanted to travel as much as possible with them too. The not so fun part is getting to your destination, especially if it’s a long flight.


It’s So Nerve Wracking!

It can be so daunting getting on an airplane with young children and seeing the looks that some people are giving you just because you’re flying with your kids. But, don’t let those few unenthused people get to you. Your kids have just as much of a right to be on that flight as anyone else there does. Luckily, most people are pretty kind and are even willing to offer help if needed.

What Actually Helps?!

What I’ve found that helps is just being prepared. Come with lots of little toys that your kids can play with. New toys work best. I like to hit up the cheap section at the front of Target. Things like little coloring books and sticker books are great. I got these from Amazon and they have kept my kids entertained on flights (puffy stickers, window clings, sticker book, drawing tablet, spinning toys, baby activity book ). If you child has a special blanket or stuffed animal that they are very attached to, definitely let them bring it on board. In my opinion, 2.5 years old and up tend to be easier because you can give them some headphones and they can watch movies or shows. I know that’s not ideal on a daily basis, but you do what you need to do to entertain your child when on an airplane. Another good idea is to bring all the snacks that your kids like.

What I don’t think is necessary is bringing a gift to those around you just because they are sitting near you and your little ones. However if you feel more comfortable doing that, then go for it.


Sleep on the Flight

If you’re flight is an overnight flight or if your child is still taking naps, then you’ll want to try to get your child to sleep on the plane. If you are bringing a baby who is 1 or younger, it’s helpful to have a baby carrier that way you can put your baby in it, they are nice and secure, and you can be somewhat hands free while they hopefully sleep. Better yet, if you want to buy your baby a seat, you can bring a car seat on the plane (as long as it’s FAA approved) and your baby can be restrained in it and will hopefully sleep. Though 2 and under can fly free as a lap baby, so many people take advantage of that. I have done both of these options and both work well.

If you have a child who is too big to be in a carrier to actually sleep, maybe 1.5 years and up, you can try to get them to sleep laying down on the airplane seat, but the seat isn’t very big. What we use is an inflatable plane bed. It extends further out from the seat so that your child can lay flat. It makes sleeping so much easier for toddlers.

Final Thoughts

I hope this helps you to feel a little more comfortable and prepared if you are about to fly with little ones. The biggest thing I’d say is to try not to stress yourself out too much over it. I know... easier said than done! But babies and toddlers are unpredictable and they cry sometimes, that’s just how it goes. Don’t let that stop you from traveling all together!

Your Sleep BFF,

Melanie