Flight Travel With a Toddler Made Easy
This article is published in BabyChakra App.
To read it there click here
We are almost at the end of this year and it calls for a vacation. A vacation to our nest, miles and miles away. Like everyone says, a baby changes everything(oh boy! EVERYTHING). Years ago, travelling to India was all about shopping, packing and watching endless movies in the flight. This time it wasn’t the same like before. Unfortunately, my husband could not travel with us for many reasons and it was just ME with an active toddler. The thought of it had made me dread the day of our travel.
I started off with a list to carry for journey as I had to keep in mind about all the circumstances and be prepared for the worst (like flight delays, missing flight). Anything could go wrong. It’s better to be prepared than to cry over spilled milk!
At 17 months, she needs a lot of space to move around, she couldn’t stay put at one place and icing on the cake, she was just not comfortable having her food as she is used to the booster seat.
As per our baggage allowance it was a 10 kilo check-in bag for Little D and a carry on bag (diaper bag) for each of us. I will mention below what I packed in our bags for a clear picture.
What I packed in LittleD’s Check-in Bag:
- 2 Packs of diapers ( If you are travelling for a long stay then ignore carrying so many. I ended up carrying them because I had subscribed for a monthly 186 count diaper box and forgot to cancel it. I had to carry as it would go waste ).
- All her water bottles, munchkin 360 miracle cup for milk.
- Extra set of medicine, thermometer in a box ( I used a small carton box).
- Body and shampoo, toothbrush (In a carton box, I had put them in a Ziploc and during the wear and tear, the body wash had leaked completely!).
- Babyganics Insect repellent, mosquito patch, Babyganics sun screen.
- Clothes for the stay
- Sweater/jacket/socks and her footwear.
- Books for her
What I packed in LittleD’s Carry-on bag (diaper bag):
- New activities (she had never seen it before). I picked Melissa and Doug water paint and Melissa and Doug Cutting Fruit activity.
- Her favorite books (I carried just 3 of her favorite ones and the rest into her check in baggage)
- A pair of sock
- Bibs, washcloth
- Diapers, Wipes
- Diaper rash cream, diaper disposable covers.
- Aquaphor tube (I got a small one from walmart for 2$)
- A pair of dress (warm preferably)
- A warm baby blanket (I didn’t use the one airlines provided)
- Hand sanitizer
- Munchkin Miracle cup for water (I did not carry any straw bottle as water leaks due to high pressure)
What I carried in my carry-on bag:
- A pair of cloth for myself
- Extra diapers
- Carried a extra soft sole shoe for LittleD for the journey.
- Organic valley milk 200ml cartons (around 8, but used only 4).
- Snacks for LittleD (I carried cherrios, Fruits, Baby Mum-Mum rice rusk
Keep some extra space in the bag for the baby carrier in case you need to pack.
What I carried in my handbag/laptop bag:
I carried a laptop bag
- Laptop and charger
- Power bank
- Raisins in a small box (during take off and landing)
- Required documents for travel
- 2-3 diapers
- iPad, mobile and charger
- Passports in another pouch
Our flight was scheduled at 1:30 Pm, we left home 3 hours prior to boarding and reached the airport around 11:00 am. We were traveling with AirIndia. Got all our baggage weighed, checked-in and collected our boarding pass. I decided not to carry stroller and car seat instead carried her in the baby carrier and got into security. Security was a breeze as I had only one bag with all the eatables and liquid. Completed all the formality and reached the gate on time. She was in the baby carrier till I settled down in our seats.
There was an hour delay for take off and LittleD was getting impatient and cranky as it was her nap time. She was just not ready to sleep as she was overwhelmed with so many people around. Unfortunately, airlines ran short of bassinets and that’s when the real challenge started.
Airhostess asked if a 3 adjacent vacant seat works instead of a bassinet seat. I happily said yes but only to my shock it was the last seat of the aircraft. It was in a pathetic condition. No reclining seat or headphone plug point.
At that moment LittleD was my main concern. I had asked for infant meal which she hardly ate. She ate her favorites from my plate and dozed off for next half of the journey. I did not force her to have solids but instead kept her hydrated most of the time.
I could hardly take a nap or even close my eye as I had to be cautious about her rolling off the seat. Just imagine uncomfortable seat, no tv screen and top it off I cannot sleep. That was pretty tough. Finally touchdown Delhi, I took wheelchair assistance and reached the gate way early.
That’s when we changed our clothes and got fresh. The next 3hours journey was just cake walk. She was busy socializing and talking to everyone in the flight and dozed off to sleep until we landed.
Tips for the travel:
- Carry enough snacks for the little one.
- Baby carrier was a blessing for us, so carry or at least borrow for your journey.
- I carried raisins for take off and landing
- Make sure the diaper bag, carry on bag and the handbag (laptop bag) you carry is not too heavy.
- Wear comfortable clothes. I wore a breastfeeding friendly dress and warm romper for the little one.
- Keep yourself and baby hydrated.
- Apply moisturizer often as the baby skin gets dry.
- Do not over eat or over feed solids.
- Keep hand sanitizer handy
- A backpack is better than a handbag as you do not have to fiddle with it while managing carry on bags
- Ask help when you need, don’t hesitate. I was traveling alone so every time I had to use the washroom I asked the air hostesses to just look after LittleD.
- Book the flight around their bedtime.
I wrote this blog from my recent experience and I realized my faults only after committing them. Every mistake comes with a learning. This post is just to give you some pointer.
Let me know if this helped you in the comment section below.
Until next time…