What to pack: Flying with your toddler

We're heading back to our home town of Orange County, Ca this month to visit family and spend 3 days at the Disneyland resort. I've flown with Archer, now 2-years old, only once before when we moved here to Washington recently and the flight went so much better than I had anticipated, thankfully! So I knew I just had to share my experience, tips that made the difference, and what essentials we loved for flying with our toddler. These will be packed for our upcoming flight for sure. He's currently cutting molars, (3 at the same time!) so I'm counting on these wonderful distractions to come in handy. 

Keeping a busy toddler entertained is quite the task but don't fret because this list will have you covered through the flight. 
  • iPad mini. Every mama's fave. Load it up with apps, games, and movies prior to traveling for infinite fun! We like the Disney Junior App, Find Little Dot, Endless Spanish, and PBS Kids. And when it's nap time I use it to read on the Kindle app, win-win.
  • V-Tech Touch & Teach Word Book. This little book is so amazing! It has several tabs each with a different category- items in your home, food, animals, etc. and each set of pages are touch enabled that match up with 3 different settings- words, letters, and music. It's super interactive, we keep it in the car for trips and he loves it! 
  • Books. Nothing beats your babe's favorite book, it's something familiar that they can relate to. Not to mention quiet, if you don't want to bother those immediately around you. We love All Aboard California: A Landscape Primer by Lucy Darling.
  • Coloring. Another quiet activity for your tot, a great coloring book. We love looking through Target's dollar spot for some good finds, like this jumbo Disney coloring & activity book. But our favorites are the Crayola Mess-Free Color Wonder markers and paper that don't mark on skin or fabric- thumbs up from me!

Call it bribery if you must but whatever you call it, it works to brighten their attitude! Pack plenty of snacks, trust me. No need to worry about a mess with our list of best spill-proof products!
  • Munchkin Miracle 360 degree Sippy Cup. This cup really is a miracle, no spilling and your toddler can drink from anywhere along the edge! 
  • Re-Play Snack Stack. Archer is a major fruit eater so taking along fresh cut fruit is a must for us. These snack stacks twist onto each other and are roomy enough for fruit, bunny crackers- we love these, cut-up string cheese, or even applesauce. 
  • Munchkin Snack Catcher. I'd say this is my favorite on-the-go self-feeder product (I even use it at home!) Toddlers love being able to feed themselves and the top design of this snack cup let's them do just that without spilling! And I like that it only has two parts and are super easy to clean. 
  • Summer Infant Bibbity. Silicone saves the day, again! Easy to wipe down or wash and I love the width of the straps and catch-all. Plus, it rolls up to be compact. 
  • Happytot Fiber & Protein. Because he isn't big on meat and veggies I always have a variety of these organic superfood pouches handy to make sure he gets his veggies and protein in and with these favors he doesn't even know he's eating them, and loving them!
  • The Honest Co. Skulls Lunch Box. To keep everything cool and in one place (your little will love zipping it up!) we like this insulated lunch bag. The coated linen is so easy to clean.
    • Ikea Kalas Flatware. I'm pretty sure we all have these. How can you beat an 18-piece set for $1.99, right? I've found these to be the perfect size for about 18-months and up.
    That much sough-after nap time can't come soon enough when you're flying but it can be tough to make it happen. Oh, the struggle. Here are our tips to help your tot catch some Zzzs. 
    • Disney Tsum Tsum Dumbo Plush. I am so hooked on all the Tsum Tsum plushies, they're the cutest. They're the perfect size for a toddler pillow, to take along on the flight and still be able to fit in your carry-on (I love my Birdling bag for travel.) He sleeps with this regularly so it'll be a small piece of home while in a strange place. Bring along their favorite stuffed animal for comfort.
    • Toothbrush and Toothpaste. Continue as many of your day-to-day routines while traveling so that you don't break any good habits, like teeth brushing. We like The Honest Co.'s kid's toothpaste. And this light-up timer toothbrush (with suction cup base) adds to the fun!
    • Solly Dolly Wrap. Because your little traveler might want to carry their baby along for the trip, we love this wrap! It's a great size to act as a small blanket lovie to drape over them during the flight. 
    Every parent's priority, safety. If you purchase a seat for your toddler- I'd recommend this if he's older than 18 months, not only is it roomier for you so that you don't have to lap-sit, but it is the safest option. This way you can provide them with their own seat and harness. This is where this unique, one-of-a-kind and completely necessary (in my opinion) product comes in, the CARES Airplane Safety Harness. You can read more about it on kidsflysafe.com. It makes complete sense that your toddler should have the safest restraint and the lap belt made for adults just doesn't work that way for them. This harness (suitable for 22-44lbs) attaches to the seat back and through the lap belt to create a 5-point restraint, just like the one on your car seat. And I like not having to carry the huge car seat onto the plane. 

    Let me tell you, Archer treated the flight just as if he were in the car! I believe the harness kept him calm since it was a familiar accessory to him, which made flying a breeze while giving me a total piece of mind that he was completely safe in his seat. I purchased it through Amazon. *This is not a paid ad, these are all my own opinions. I just really like this product and want to let you know I highly recommend it. 
    Other Tips:
    • If you've got a runner or just want an extra safety precaution, this DIY lost & found temporary tattoo idea is perfect. I'll be using it while at Disneyland. 
    • Give yourself an additional 10-15 minutes to get places on time, to account for some delays while traveling with your toddler. 
    • If you need to have your hands-free to carry luggage (or a younger sibling) think about carrying your child in a wrap or toddler carrier
    September 07, 2015 by Arleene Taylor
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