Sanity on a plane with your baby/toddler/preschooler: Do’s and Don’ts from a frequent flying family

19 Mar

My kids and I travel. A Lot. Both my kids are United Premier members due to the number of miles they have flown with me and my husband in the past year. We live in Eugene, Oregon and have flown with our kids to London (3 times), Barcelona, Istanbul, all over Mexico ( a lot of my family is there), Boston (my husband’s family lives there), NYC (my brother lives there), Miami, Denver, New Orleans, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland Maine, and the list goes on. I am very proud to say that I have never gotten off a flight without other passengers commenting, surprised, on what good travelers the kids are. In our most recent plane flight back from London (via San Francisco, a hellish 12 hour plane ride) a flight attendant said I should write tips and tricks for other parents. She said she had never in her 20 years of flying seen kids who behaved as well as mine on a long flight. The kids were 2 and 4 at the time of the flights.

Now lets be serious. I wish I could tell you in that smug parent way that my kids are always well behaved. I like to think that my husband and i are good parents– but our kids are by no means perfect. They have their meltdowns. They have their “fits” (tantrums as described by my four year old). They fight with each other, they don’t always listen. Just like any normal 2 and 4 year old. But so far we have been able to avoid having any major meltdowns on a plane or in an airport (OK now I feel like I may jinx our next trip!!!). So I thought I might heed the flight attendants request and give you some do’s and don’ts for plane travel with kids. None of these are guarantees, but they have worked for our family. Let’s start with the DONT’S:

  1. DON’T bring large STUFF. The last time I boarded a plane I watched a couple with their less than 1 year old twins get on a plane. Each parent carried a baby, and a stuffed bear the size of the baby. They had not bought seats for the babies, which is fine, but they sat there trying to juggle the babies and these ridiculous bears on their laps. Truly, truly how much entertainment can a large stuffed bear bring to a nine month old? This also means don’t bring pillows, or large blankets. A comfort blankie for a small baby is a must — but a bed sized quilt — not good for anyone.
  2. DON’T  bring lots of small toys with little parts.Your kids won’t care. The toys will go every where and you won’t find them. Junior may scream because the toys can not be found. Junior can throw the toys (not a good thing!). Junior is more interested in pulling the window shade open and shut, taking the in-flight magazine in and out of the pocket in front of them, trying to “use” the in-flight phone, and playing with the pretzels and or plastic cups. Everything on the plane is more interesting than any toys you may bring. toys take up room, are usually bulky and your child will use them for about 2 min. Skip them
  3. DON’T bring a baby car seat on board unless your baby truly LOVES the seat and just wants to hang out there ALL THE TIME. The reality is — if the plane actually crashes — everyone is in trouble. Car seats take up a TON of room, and prevent you from letting your child move a little bit — and be less sedentary.
  4. Unless your child is 5 or more, and really does love to color, skip the crayons and pens. Just like the small toys, in about 2 minutes they are rolling all over the floor of the plane. Ad pens lose their caps and make kids upset. Chances are, your little one won’t really color for more than 15-20 minutes before they get bored
  5. DON’T  fool yourself and bring entertainment and reading material for yourself. It just takes up precious space in your carry-on and believe me — you won’t have time. If you are very very lucky you may be able to close your eyes for 30 minutes. Your purpose on the plane is to be completely attentive to the needs of your child, anticipating their hunger, moods, sleepiness, etc. so that you can keep things going smoothly. We all know that once the tantrum or crying fits starts — its very hard to stop. The name of the game if avoidance and distraction. You will become the mommy and or daddy circus.
  6. DON’T  treat good behavior on planes with candy.  Don’t get lose because you are traveling and buy them sweets. You WILL regret this as will your fellow passengers.
  1. DO understand that the name of the game while traveling with young kids and babies is SELF SUFFICIENCY. Do not rely on the airline or anyone else to provide your child’s needs.
  2. DO pack lightly. This helps you be self sufficient. My husband and I bought these bags from Costco about 2 years ago and love them for travel with the kids. They open up to have 2 separate sides, so I pack each child on one side in one bag, and my husband and I do the same in the other bag. All 4 of us travel with just those 2 bags as checked luggage – no matter how far or long we are going. If it doesn’t fit into those bags, we just don’t take it. As long as you are not packing HEAVY things like large shampoo bottles or heavy electronics these bag pack full and are still under 50 lbs – the current limit on checked bags for most airlines.  My husband can roll these 2 bags without anyone helping him, and I deal with the 2 kids in a double stroller.  I carry a backpack carry-on as does my husband. We have walk over 6 city blocks in Manhattan and London with our luggage and kids to get transportation to the airport — without needing any help.  My kids do know that when we are in a hurry or have to get somewhere with them and the luggage they MUST sit in the stroller.
  3. DO bring a stroller, even if you think your child is old enough. Airports mean LOTS of walking, sometimes very quickly to get a connection, and with often kids that are very tired from early flights or missed naps.  Worst case your stroller can carry things and your child can walk. best case you can put both kids in it and RUN from Gate 22 in Denver all the way to Gate 98 to catch that last flight to Eugene. Yes I have done it.  Our kids are now going on 5 ad 3, and for the next 3 trips we have planned, 2 across the country and one down to San Francisco, I still plan on bringingthe double stroller.  I have a McClaren Twin Triumph. It is super lightweight, folds like an umbrella stroller,  fits through ALL doors, and supports 55 pounds per side.
  4. DO understand that your carry-on luggage is not yours. It is your child’s (or children’s). Bring one bag, preferably a back-pack (hands free is key). This bag will carry everything you need to sustain your kid(s) for the next 24 hours. You want to make sure you are prepared for delays, cancellations, late arrivals and lost luggage. I always pack:
    • 2 changes of clothes for each child including underwear and socks. I have had a child have a pee accident which not only wets his pants and underwear, but his shoes and socks as well. A nice clean pair of synthetic socks can make a BIG difference. If you pack one change of clothes, Murphy’s Law states that your child will spill their orange juice all over them at breakfast at the airport AFTER check-in, and you will face a 12 hour day of travel with no extra clothes. Believe me. I have been there.
    • enough diapers to make it through 24 hours in case your luggage doesn’t show up
    • enough wipes to use them liberally for everything from diaper changes to pseudo sponge baths
    • Baby/kids tylenol, motrin, and benadryl. Most USA airports let you take baby/kid stuff through security that is more than 3.4 ounces. If you are not sure — but airport size containers that are child safe, and tranfer your medicines into them — well marked. You don’t want to face a fever/ear ache/flu mid way through your flight with no medicine.
    • a thermometer. A plane is not the palce to argue with your husband about whether baby has a fever or not. Make it simple – pack the termometer.
    • Water bottle or sippy cup. My kids have the 13 oz SIGG bottles which are easy to travel with.  You will have to take them through security EMPTY and then buy water after security.
    • Healthy, filling, fun food. It takes creativity but you can find snack type food that does well on flights, but in a pinch can sustain a little one for hours and hours. My favorites are: Pirate’s Booty, Barabra”s individually packed vanilla animal crackers, organic individually wrapped cheese sticks, whole wheat goldfish, small little apples, individual organic apple sauce containers, pretzels (although United gives those out and the kids like getting them), kid cliff bars, little jars of Organic Baby brand baby food (when the kids were infants).
  5. DO  bring “real” age appropriate entertainment. A few paperback books with favorite stories are easy to pack and keep kids happy. My husband and I sucked it up and got the kids IPODS to travel with. We purchase movies and tv shows for them. The kids have entertainment that they like and we get a little peace and quiet. Kids really have to be about 2 yrs old to be able to watch any shows — otherwise they just don’t have the attention span. And yes, I know TV is bad for babies and young kids. Our kids watch very little to none at home — so traveling with their IPODs is a real treat. When you are traveling wtih a baby under 2, baby books and food along with comfort items do the trick.
  6. DO bring a BIG bottle of sanitizer.  A flight attendant once watched me use a baby wipe with sanitizer to wipe down the seat rests, tray table, window, window shade, and all buttons accessible to children. She said to me “aha you figured out the secret to reducing sickness. All flight attendants do exactly what you are doing. You would NOT ant to know the germs that are on those seats!  Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I am too anal. But I swear to you I think it helps reduce illness while traveling.  I dispense the sanitizer liberally while in airports and on planes. I have actually been asked on multiple occasions by fellow travelers if they too can have a baby wipe with sanitizer to clean off their area.
  7. Do bring COMFORT sleep-inducing items. Hopefully your child has one or a few. Our kids both had small blankies they loved as babies and between that a nursing they would be off to sleep in minutes. When they got older and stopped nursing I let them have bottles and or warm milk in sippies. For our kids all it takes to get them to sleep on flights when tired is  lying down in the seat with a bunch of airplane pillows and some warm milk. Our older child no longer naps — but is happy to rest and watch some PBS shoes on his IPOD with his warm milk. It is very calming for him. When we take the over night flight to London (we go at least once a year if not more for business and family) I bring PJ’s to change the kids into on the plane. It helps them understand that it is night time and they need to go to sleep.
  8. Do talk to your kids about what is going to happen. Even at a young age. When they are very little you can read them plane books and get them excited about planes. As they get older you can go into more details. Because we live in a small town we are usually 2 flights from anywhere.  My 4 year old does really well when I lay out the trip for him in detail. I tell him when we are going to go to the airport (sometimes it is “in the middle of the night” as he says, because we have a 6am flight. Other times it is later in the afternoon because our connection is a night flight. We start discussing the trip a good month ahead of time, and work up to more and more details. He usually can tell you on the day of travel how many planes we will be on, and what our layover cities will be, and what meals we will be eating at the airport.  If plans change during the trip – I tell the kids.  Last summer we had 3 flights to get back from Portland Maine to Eugene Oregon. Our flight was so delayed into Denver we didn’t think we would make the last flight to Eugene. We told both kids (but particularly aimed the discussion at the 4 year old) so that they knew we would have to run — and that even while running we may not make the flight. Our 4 year old was so cooperative because he KNEW what to expect. He ran almost the whole way and was excited about the “adventure” of it all. He also know that if we didn’t run we wouldn’t make the plane, but even if we ran we still might not make the plane. HE was totally on board and thrilled to bits that we made it, forgetting that he had been promised whatever he wanted for dinner in the Denver airport. Had we not told him and simply dragged him along — we could have been in for one of his famous “fits”.  Kids do better when they know what to expect, just like adults do.

So maybe you think I am crazy. Maybe you think I shouldn’t drag my kids all over the place. But I love traveling with my kids, and I love exposing them to dofferent places. I travel a lot for business and have been lucky enough to take along my mom to help out – or my husband (who runs the business with me) will also come, so we bring the kids. The more we travel the more miles we build up, which we now use almost exclusively to bring along family members for help when we travel with the kids for business. Last year our kids clocked 50,000 miles apiece. They love to travel and still get excited about trips. I like to think we are doing something right … but I am always open to suggestions and feedback!


45 Responses to “Sanity on a plane with your baby/toddler/preschooler: Do’s and Don’ts from a frequent flying family”

  1. David Glasser March 20, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    I founded a company that makes a juice specifically designed for young children. The name is “First Juice”

    Our “single-serve” size is packaged in a spill-proof sippy top bottle, and does not require storage in a refrigerator to stay fresh. The juices are sold in the baby aisle of major retailers such as Babies-R-Us, Whole Foods Market, and about 20 others.

    A friend was on a flight from SFO-JFK, seated next to a mother of two, who had my juice with her. She said that it passed through security.

    My friend was thrilled, because the juice immediately calmed the kids when they became cranky about 2 hours into the flight. (I have 2 children, so I understand this)

    If you’d like, I’m happy to send you samples for review. You can post this reply, or maybe you want to wait until you see/test/taste the juice yourself. The juices are USDA organic, lower-in-sugar than conventional juice, and do not taste sweet, so they will not encourage your children to crave sweets. THAT is why I created them.

    And, I got tired of cleaning sippy cups, and losing parts in the dishwasher.

    Seeing is believing! Happy to UPS samples next week. I think you’d appreciate them.


    • Linda Monk October 9, 2009 at 9:02 am #

      This is a wonderful article. I appreciate the advice. You have an individual who left a comment on your article named “David” who owns the FirstJuice company. He offered you free samples of his juice. Did you take him up on the offer and what did you think about it? I have never heard of it and have 3 boys under 3 and would love to contact him for a sample to test it out.

      Take Care,

  2. cheapbaby Stroller May 5, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    Great article! I’m loving your website;

  3. Jasmine December 27, 2009 at 8:19 pm #

    Thank you for posting this fabulous article!! I will be traveling to southeast Asia in a few weeks and you have helped me figure out how to pack!


  4. jessica February 14, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    thanks for the will be a big help even though im only traveling 3 hours with my boys ages 3 and 4. last time i traveled i was 8 months pregnant,with a bulky double stroller and my 1 and a half year old.NOT FUN! again thanks for the advice.

  5. Sharon March 26, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this article, so useful. We are flying to London next week with our 8 month old. Wish us luck.

  6. madeleine March 31, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    Thanks for the info. I may be traveling with my 16 month old soon. I flew with him at 9 months and he was a disaster. He cried for about 30 minutes upon take off and I had people giving me mean looks the whole 8 hour flight. I didn’t get him his own seat. I am scared to do it again, but this has helped me a lot. Thanks

  7. Sian July 26, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    Wow!!!! This has helped me so much! My kids are 7 and almost 2 and although I travelled with my daughter when she was 18mths she slept the whole flight there and back with no problems! My son is a very different character to her and our flight is at lunchtime so I expect him to be fully awake & alert. We only have a short 2 hour flight but your do’s & dont’s have made me re-think toys & entertainment for both of them. I think I’ll give my 7 year old the loan of my iPod for the journey & some books and distractions for my little boy!
    Thanks again
    p.s I think it’s fantastic that your children are so well travelled!

  8. Dana July 20, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your do’s and dont’s based on your traveling experiences! I found this extremely helpful!

  9. Melissa November 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm #


    I will be traveling with my 19 month old baby on a long haul (12 hrs!) flight. And i was wondering if you recommend that i buy a seat for my baby. I read about this Cares seatbelt system and i feel that its brilliant!! Have you ever used this?

    Also did you let your toddler walk on the plane? My baby loves walking and i dont think i cOuld keep her still for 12 hrs (shes also not a big sleeper so im expecting the worst!)

    Thank you for any advice!

  10. Scot December 20, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    I appreciate the article too. My favorite point was the sanitizing one. One area I am having a tough time with is how to heat milk. I read about 20 sites one the topic. To me the best looks like bring a 32 oz. nalgene bottle, filling it with hot water (from sink or better yet from flight attendent’s hoter water for tea), and putting the baby bottle in the warm water. Wait a few mins, keep upright, voila

    • april December 29, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

      most airlines don’t have restrictions on child liquids…they can’t stop you from bring baby bottles or items for your baby…or they would have to provide them. to heat them up they will put the bottle in a mug of hot water, the issue w using their water to make a drink is that it’s very hot and takes a long time to cool….most babies won’t wait that long. just give a call to your airline and they will tell you about what you can bring on board for your wee one…I know west jet on canada lets you! best of luck!

  11. Zoraida Carolina Herpin January 21, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    I loved your Article, I used to travel all the time with my now 7 year old, and it used to be a breeze; but it’s been what feels like a million years and now i have a 13 month old and will be traveling alone with her in less than two weeks yikes! This is definitely a good refresher and a lot of good much needed pointers, it’s made me more relaxed about our upcoming travel! 😀

    Thanks a million


  12. Beth Guinea March 1, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

    Thanks. I will be travelling with a almost 3 year old and 4 1/2 year old soon on a 22hr flight – Australia to London, London to Rome so I will try some of your tips for sure.


  13. Sarah March 5, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    Traveling to Tucson in a few weeks with my 1 and 18 month old toddlers. I have a few blinking light up wands that have mesmerized them during long waits in the hospital. Sippy cups and blankets are prepped. I will bring a ton of snacks and a jumbo pack of earplugs for those around us for humor purposes to lighten the stress of potential melt downs. Fingers crossed for a low key trip!

  14. Best Baby Car Seat Review March 6, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    Very nice write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website. Continue the good work!

  15. Mrs Jackwood March 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    I have a 15 month old and due to take our first flight (without husband!!) in a few days. This article has been very informative and cheered me up. I feel I can get organised now and have confidence that it’ll all go fine! Wish me luck! Thanks for the tips.

  16. Sam April 12, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Thanks! Great article. But do you have actual pictures of the items you mentioned? (they are all bad links now) but at least with pics, maybe people can look for items similar. #2, your thoughts on throwing them back in pull ups during flight? I have done this for my son who is fully potty trained but has occasional accidents. I usually talk to him about how I’m going to put a pull up on, in case we can’t run to bathroom in time because we’re rushing. That way, he’s not worried or anxious about possibility of wetting his pants either. Also, my son recently received a gift of a traveling blankie that folds up nice and small with a blow up pillow, the bag that holds blanket becomes pillow cover. Simple, light, soft enough to substitute as a ‘stuffed animal’ and easy to store.

    • Mommyceo April 27, 2012 at 11:10 am #

      My sons would not like me saying this… I carrying big boy night diapers (for older kids who wet the bed at night) just in case we are on a plane, and can’t get up due to turbulence or landing and one of my kids decides that is the time they absolutely HAVE to go pee. I discretely put on a big boy diaper on them, let them pee, take the diaper off immediately, and stick it in the barf bags, ready for disposal as soon as I can get up.

  17. Elizabeth April 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    Quick question I flew with my 2 yr old daughter and the whole time she cried, since you have travel a lot is there something I can do for her to sooth her.

    • Mommyceo April 27, 2012 at 11:07 am #

      Hi Elizabeth-
      I think the biggest thing you can do is avoid the meltdown. Once it starts… it is really hard to stop. Is there something that help trigger naps? Can you give her something that comforts her (my little ones kept a bottle for too long according to the going advice– but it helps soothe them on planes. Anything you can do to make sure that you carry fun favorite foods, items that soothe, and keep one step ahead of her so that she doesn’t explode, is your best bet.

      • Elizabeth April 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

        Hello, I brought everything you can think of from favorite snack to favorite toy and DVD player with her favorite cartoon “Barney ” but her response was no she claim she was scare

    • Jennifer May 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

      Hi Elizabeth! I just wanted to let you know you are not alone! Our oldest did not start behaving on planes until he was 3 when he understood what was going on. We packed everything on the list and nothing worked. We will be traveling in 2 weeks with our now 4 1/2 year old and our 13 month old. We are expecting the worst, but sometimes this is just out our control. All kids have different personalities and some parents have gotten more lucky than others! Hang in there, soon she will get better. Our oldest loves his dvd player, reserved only for travel.

  18. Felicia May 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Thanks for such a great article. I’m taking my 15 month old from LA to Berlin and I appreciate all the advice. One question for you- any suggestions for changing diapers onboard? I heard that sometimes the compression can give them explosive poops and the last time we flew internationally, Delta did not have changing tables in the bathroom. She was only 3 months then, so she slept the entire time and we could change her in the empty seat next to us. I doubt we’ll be lucky enough to have empty seats around us again. Thanks- and congrats on your family!

    • Mommyceo May 13, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      If you don’t have changing tables in the bathroom- change her in the back of the plane near where the emergency exits are all the way in the back. Make sure you bring some sort of changing pad. I prefer to find alternatives to the bathroom as the bathrooms are so nasty and full of germs. Even if you don’t have an empty seat- if someone gets up to go to the bathroom jump on the opportunity and change the diaper right then and there while your seat mate is gone.

      • Jed June 18, 2012 at 9:05 am #

        Seriously? If I returned from the bathroom to find that a poopy diaper had been changed on my seat I would be pretty pissed. Have a little consideration for your fellow passengers. The only seat you should be changing diapers on is your own — but honestly, poopy diapers stink. Suck it up, and change them in the bathroom. That’s what I’ve always done with my kids, and it hasn’t been a problem.

      • Mommyceo June 18, 2012 at 9:09 am #

        Joanna- that is why everyone is entitled to their opinion. I never change a diaper on anyone else’s seat. I do it in our seats. The reality is planes stink and air pressure makes grown adults release ridiculous amounts gas. If you don’t want smelly air- don’t fly. I have NEVER been disrespectful of any passengers and no one in my 8 years of flying with babies has said anything but how great it is to see parents take full responsibility of all the behavior their offspring engage in.

      • Jed June 18, 2012 at 9:21 am #

        OK, I’m glad I misunderstood you about changing diapers on other people’s seats! 🙂 I still believe that the only acceptable place to deal with poop on a plane is in the bathroom, though, and not just because of the stink factor. Yes, the bathrooms are probably germy, but that’s what soap and antiseptic gel or wipes are for. If everyone changed poopy diapers in their seats, airplane seats would be just as germy as the bathroom — yuck! But as you note, this is just my opinion; reasonable people may disagree. I just hope I’m not sitting in their seat the next time I fly!

      • Mommyceo June 18, 2012 at 9:31 am #

        I always use a changing pad – whenever I change a baby anywhere- for the cleanliness of everything and everyone.

  19. Kelly May 19, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Hi there,
    I’m about to fly from New Zealand to Zimbabwe with an 11 month old on my own. I felt pretty sure that the car seat was the way to go as I have bought him a seat, however I see you say that it’s not a good idea? Even when I will be flying for almost 30 hours? I have a CARES harness system, but I believe that’s best for older kids? Do you think an 11 month old will sleep comfortably without a car seat? I’m going on my own so just need to be as comfortable as possible! My little boy is a wriggler, always on the go and I feel needs to be harnessed somehow?

  20. pinklady51 May 22, 2012 at 3:13 am #


    Great article. I’m flying in a couple of weeks from London to Dallas (a 10 hour flight) on my own with a then 16 week old and a 4 year old. I’m dreading it because whilst I think the baby will be relatively easy it’s my son I worry about. Luckily we’ve managed to reserve the cot seat area for the baby (both ways) which is a result as I had done without one when my oldest was 6 months old. We ended up using the tray table as a sleep area! I’m going to road-test the infant carseat they provide.

    If you are in the bulkhead seats which is where the cots are, how would you contain your older child. I know germs are bad but would you allow your child to play on the floor? We were thinking of an mps and headphones so that he coud also watch the movies and will download talking books for him. Also we are testing the trunki rucksack/seat booster combo – have you ever travelled with one?

  21. Kelly June 19, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Thank you SO much. We’re about to take our 6 & 3 year old on their first flight. You’ve been very helpful and after I though I though of everything of course I hadn’t. Thanks again for your words of flight wisdom!

  22. momof6 July 17, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Great article. I am a mom of six kids ranging in age from 8 to 4 months and I can tell you I felt much the same as you when I had two kids aged 2 and 4 and I also got lots of positive feedback from flight attendants and fellow passenger. Let me just tell you this, as your kids grow up and if your family grows you cannot control EVERYTHING just through planning and light packing (2 bags for 8 people would just not work!!!!!). I am sure that you will in the future have an experience where your children’s behavior on board is less than perfect and that is fine. Just as when they don’t behave you feel embarrassed and wish people didn’t judge you, don’t feel completely smug when they do act appropriately! Your children are their own people who do choose their own actions – if they choose to behave THANK THEM they are the ones who deserve the most positive feedback! Best of luck!

  23. Dawn August 1, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Great tips — very down-to-earth. As mentioned before, the link to the awesome bags from Costco no longer works; could you please tell what they are? Thanks!

  24. M August 24, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    Everything else I’ve read says DEFINATELY take a carseat for your children- that recently a plane crashed and the only survivor was a 3 year old strapped into her carseat.

    Families have been kicked off of planes when their toddlers repeatedly unbuckle their seatbelts, or refuse to stay on their parents laps while the plane is is on the runway getting ready to take off.

    All of your other advice seemed great, but I think children should be buckled in to their own carseats on planes.

    • Jen June 20, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      I came to this page looking for tips for activities for my 10 month old and was stumped at the advice to NOT use a carseat I was on the “co-carseat” bandwagon until I did the research. Not only does having their own (safe) seat allow you to have free hands, during a crash or turbulence it is so much safer! Even the FAA recommends carseating ALL children in approved cars

  25. Drpatel December 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    I second dawn..can you please tell me what bags you got from Costco?

  26. Michelle December 13, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    great article!!

  27. Cass December 14, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    Thanks you sooo much for writing this up! !! I’m going to be traveling for a 14hr flight with my 18 month old alone. I’ve done it when she was 3 months old. but I really don’t know how to plan or expect since she is much bigger now and wont fit in bassinet. I’ve learned so much from reading this and now I can plan better. thank you so so very much! !

  28. Roxana January 28, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

    Thank you so much for your article. I think it’s full of good advices. On april, I’ll be traveling with my 15 months old son to Costa Rica (he will be 18 months by then) by myself. I’m terrified, because he’s a non stop machine. Even when we take a short flight, it’s very hard to keep him entertained.
    Would you please give me any other advice? He has a lot of energy and gets bored very quick.
    Thank you,

  29. Stephanie April 10, 2014 at 4:17 am #

    We travel a lot with our children as well and your article is spot on! I would only suggest two other things: 1- I always pack myself a change of shirt as well as the changes of clothes for the kids…it only takes one incident of being puked on at the beginning of a flight to make you realize that *you* are the one who needed the change of clothes. 🙂 2- If your kids use electronic entertainment on the flight, pack back-up entertainment in case there is a problem with the electronics, or you’re sitting in a seat where the on demand entertainment system is broken. :0
    Great article!

  30. Dyane Henson April 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    Great Article! I was considering bring ing some of the article s above that you suggested are not worth it! Im traveling with my 1-1/2 year old in a month


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