One of the (many many many) reasons I have an only-child is because it makes travel easier. My kid has wracked up more airline miles than I did at her age. And recently I went traveling with my toddler BY MYSELF. I know, I know. I lived to tell the tale. So, my fellow toddler-minders: Learn from my many mistakes. Here are some things that I’ve found that could make your life easier when traveling with a toddler.
1. Use a car seat on the plane
It keeps them buckled in so they don’t move around as much. If they’re used to sleeping in their carseat they may have a better chance of sleeping on the plane. And it’s also safer. I highly recommend the WayB Pico travel seat because it’s small, folds up easily, and it also makes traveling with a toddler easier with ride shares. When my kid was younger and smaller we absolutely adored our Doona for similar reasons.
2. Embrace screen time with your whole heart and soul
Traveling with a toddler is already hard. So let go of any time and programming constraints. Download all the awful nutrient-deficient children’s programing you can and let it work it’s magic. I save the really awful stuff that my kid loves (ie. Baby Crack) JUST for plane trips. That way she’s excited to just sit there, drooling, while she gets to watch freaking gawd-damned Baby Shark a million times.
3. Ride-along suitcases
Guess what? Kids legs are tiny and they get tired before you even reach your gate. I did not factor this in on my solo trip, and it was a literal pain in the back to have to either carry your kid and bags, or push a stroller while rolling a bag. After my first solo trip with my toddler I got a ride-along bag. Now she can climb aboard when she gets tired and my back won’t be aching before I even get on the plane. And, if you use one like the Lil Flyer, you can slip your WayB Pico car seat onto the handle and you’re good to go.
4. Sugar-free lollipops
I have nothing against giving my kid sugar. Buuuuuut I made the mistake of giving her a sugary lollipop during landing (for her ears) and she was bouncing off the freaking walls while we were trying to de-plane. NEVER AGAIN. I bought a bag of these guys and she’s happy and not trying to actively climb up my limbs while we’re on the go.
3. If you’re potty training…
NO YOU’RE NOT. Or you’ll end up changing a pee-soaked toddler in a tiny airplane bathroom during the only time that there’s turbulence on the flight. Use diapers. Big ones. And while you’re at it, get some for yourself. 😉