Toddlers on a plane: A list of items to make it suck less

I hated flying before having Milo and I hate it even more now. Before I had Milo, I mostly hated the airport part of flying. Line-ups, waiting around, shitty food, and trying to pee as many times as possible before boarding. Once I was settled on the plane it was okay. I would pay big bucks to be able to sit on a plane by myself and binge watch random shows and listen to podcasts now. If only I had known what a luxury that is!! Now that we have Milo, the worst part about flying is definitely the actual flying part. In the airport he is restrained in his stroller. It’s glorious. Once you board the plane he has freedom to move around and be a crazy-ass toddler in a tiny area with people crowded around. It’s a rather undesirable situation. To alleviate as much stress as possible on the plane, I plan out our carry-on bags days before we leave. Below you will find my list of carry-on items. I hope I can make your travels a little easier with my neurotic/Type-A packing guide!

 

A few days before we leave I start laying everything out on the kitchen table. I also keep a list beside the pile of things that we have pack the morning we leave (i.e., chargers, soothers, etc.). So we don’t forget anything!   

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT THINGS:

  • iPad + Charger (Download your child’s favourite TV shows/movies on Netflix before you leave the house. Fill that sucker up!! If you’re a no-screen kind of parent… stop trying to be a hero and just do it. You will thank me when you’re thousands of feet up in the air with a screaming child).
  • Phone + Charger (duh).
  • Baby Bluetooth Headphones (Milo doesn’t really use these yet. He just watches without sound. But, I think as he gets older these will definitely come in handy).
  • Toys (Bring some favourite small toys and a couple new toys they have never seen before – don’t bring any that play obnoxious sounds… obviously).
  • Books (Milo loves books. We always bring 2-3 of his favourites.)

COMFORT THINGS:

  • Lysol Wipes (Wipe everything down before everyone gets comfy. These are great to have on hand for when they drop toys or books or soothers on the ground. I usually put 10-15 lysol wipes in a little zip-lock bag in my purse).
  • Disinfectant Hands Wipes (Wipe everyone’s hands often – especially before eating – we use the Wet Ones brand because they kill germs and come in a thin little package that is easy to throw in your purse).
  • Face Wipes (I know what you’re thinking – “how many fucking wipes does this woman need” – my answer is ALL THE WIPES! We use the Aleva face wipes for babies. Throw a pack in your purse!).
  • Warm Socks (Sometimes planes are cold so be sure to bring warm socks for everyone).
  • Kleenex (Plane tissues suck! I always bring my own soft luxurious Kleenex).
  • Change of Clothes (I don’t know if you know this but, toddlers are messy AF. I threw two extra t-shirts and pairs of comfy pants in the diaper bag. If your child is really messy, you may want to bring an extra t-shirt for yourself also!).
  • Blanket (A small blanket – throw it in a re-usable shopping bag – easy to carry and when they’re using the blanket you can fold up the bag and throw it in another bag).
  • Favourite Pillow (We bring Milo’s favourite Paw Patrol pillow. This is so handy when your child has their own seat because you can lift the armrest and put the pillow on your lap so they can lay down comfortably. We fold it up and put it in the reusable shopping bag with the blanket).
  • Ovol (Life saver when your child is gassy or has an upset tummy).
  • Tempra (Just incase there is a fever, or your babe is teething).
  • Camilla (These are great for teething!).
  • A Favourite Stuffed Animal (for cuddles if your lucky and your child naps on the plane).

YUMMY THINGS:

  • Sippy Cup for Water (The absolute best sippy cup is the no-spill cup by Re-Play. Throw it in the diaper bag but make sure it’s empty when you go through security. We buy a huge water bottle after security and fill it up).
  • Pouches (Easy for them to eat. Keeps them entertained for a bit. Easy to pack!).
  • Snacks GALORE (Bring all their faves – Cheerios, Arrowroot cookies, Rice Puffs, Berries, Goldfish, Banana).
  • Bottles + Milk (Bring at least one empty bottle and whatever your baby is drinking – breastmilk, formula, cow’s milk, Bebe Latte, etc.).

OBVIOUS THINGS:

  • Diapers (duh).
  • Change Pad (duh – we also Lysol the change tables down before we change him – Lysol wipes come in handy again!!).
  • Butt Wipes (duh).
  • Dirty Diaper Bags (These aren’t necessary, but, they are nice to have if you can’t dispose of the diaper right away – you can throw it in a little scented baggy and not smell like shit till you reach a garbage).
  • Hand Sanitizer (We always have sanitizer in our diaper bag. Sometimes you have to change a diaper in a weird place. There may not be a sink nearby).
  • A collapsing/lightweight stroller (Apparently Air Canada is starting to not allow bigger strollers to be checked at the gate. Do you know what that means? You will have to carry your freaking child through the airport. Sounds like the plot of a horror movie. Our travel stroller is the BabyZen Yo-Yo. This stroller has been a life saver. You can easily collapse it, put it in it’s backpack, and check it at the gate).
  • Straps (By this I mean those little straps you can put attach to toys or soothers on one end and attach to the stroller on the other end. These are to prevent your child from throwing things on the ground. We didn’t have any of these on our last trip and they would have been super handy!!).

Your carry-on list may look a bit different than this, but, I think this is a good starting point. If there are specific things you would bring that I don’t have listed here, mention it in the comments!

XOXO Renee Reina

Subscribe so you don’t miss a post
Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 Comment
  • Sarah Zatalokin
    June 24, 2021

    We bring suckers for when there is a melt down and you just want them to shut up so people will stop staring. Definitely movies like you said. The kids like window clings or alphabet stickers were a big hit. I have one puker so whatever you need to make that kid more comfortable- I cloth diaper so I give him a damp cloth wipe for his forehead. Also love the pipsquigz & Squigz suction cup toys by Fat Brain from Diaper Depot.

    Absolutes- we have flown a bunch with littles, a big old stupid fleece blanket- (like the big ones from kohl’s or character blankets- it’s the most used item we bring- all kids have their own dumb blanket.

Previous
Feeding a Toddler: Our Secret Weapon
Toddlers on a plane: A list of items to make it suck less