Tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

Parents from around the world often worry about flying with their children so we’ve put together some of our to tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane.

With summer approaching, there is no better time to start preparing for your trip abroad. We are here to help! Our top tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane will ensure a stress-free journey for you and your child.

Flying with a toddler on your lap

Until your little one’s second birthday, your child is legally allowed fly for free on your lap. Toddlers are completely mobile, intolerant, and incapable of all reasoning at the most inconvenient moments.

Regardless of how well behaved your toddler may be, flying with him/her on your lap is not an easy task. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are flying with a partner, older children or friend, they can give you a break while keeping your little-one entertained. If you are on your own, don’t panic, there is often a flight attendant or kind person willing to engage with your toddler.

Book nonstop flights when possible

This may seem obvious but the cheaper connecting flights may not be worth the hassle. It is impossible to predict how your child will find their flying experience. Whether they are restless, frightened or experiencing travel sickness or ear pain, you don’t want them to have to through this twice or more. It is worth the investment to book direct flights when possible to avoid extra distress.

A connecting flight is sometimes the only option depending on your destination. The key to a successful layover is not to waste this period by allowing your toddler to nap. It is a good time to let your toddler get the wiggles out. Flight gates are often crammed with people. Go find an isolated area and let your toddler run around and burn off some energy before boarding.

Request an aisle seat

Trying to keep a lively toddler on your lap for a long flight is a tough endeavour. Don’t be tempted by the window seat views, this position will present you with problems later on. Toddlers need to move and have easy access to the toilets. An aisle seat can give you freedom and space.  Plan to spend some time in the aisle getting a little exercise. It is important to stay out of flight attendant’s’ way, walk and take toilet breaks between the food and beverages service times.

Carry essentials – tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane

The right carry-on bag can make your journey a lot easier. A canvas tote or backpack with convenient zipped departments will hold everything you might need to reach quickly. A first aid kit is vital for any journey. Pack away the essentials and any medication that you or your child may require throughout the duration of the flight. Plasters, antihistamines and painkillers can save a lot of stress later on.


Avoid sweets, this is one of our top tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane. Resist the temptation to spoil them on a long journey. Pack a mixture of savoury snacks like cheese cubes, breadsticks, fruit and raisins to avoid an uncontrollable sugar rush. The air conditioning on a plane can cause dehydration, make sure you and your little one drink plenty of water.

The cups on airplanes are not toddler friendly. Bring a spill-resistant drinking bottle such as a straw cup to avoid awkward spillages on you or even the person sitting next to you. A small bottle can be tucked into the seat pocket in front of you.

Bring extra supplies

Preparation and organisation are one of our crucial tips for travelling with a toddler on a plane. Entertainment, like colouring and sticker books, drawing paper and other small toys are great for keeping your little one amused and preoccupied during the flight.

If your toddler is still at the nappy stage don’t forget to pack spares in your carry-on. Baby wipes can be used for multiple purposes including washing hands, wiping down tables and of course cleaning your baby’s bottom. You don’t want to forget them.

Travel health

Contact your nearest TMB clinic and book an appointment for more advice on what you may need to keep your travels safe and healthy.

1040 total views203 views since Mar 2024