Traveling with kids could be a lot of fun but if your kids are under 2 or under 3 then it is going to be quite a ride. No doubt traveling with an infant and a toddler is overwhelming in so many ways, however, you need proper planning for your flight, no matter how many long hours flight you have.
Although planning for each day could be tricky for moms when you have a lap child and a toddler because both are little and you cannot have everything to entertain them while onboard or on the destination. Still, you have to choose some specific kids stuff to feel them at home.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclaimer for more information.
Friendly reminder – I am not a medical professional. All medicines that have been mentioned in the post are recommended by my kids’ pediatrician. Always talk to your child doctor before you leave on a vacation.
Traveling tips you definitely need when you are traveling with a toddler and a lap child
1. Consider getting a seat for your lap child
When you have 2 kids under two years of age and your lap child is over 1 year of age or seems to be a healthy baby (more than 20 lbs) then you could consider having a seat for both of your kids.
We are talking about too many ifs over here as you really need to give it a thought.
Although paying for flights is super expensive and you really want to enjoy NO TICKET for lap child when you just have to pay 10% for your kid under 2 years of age. However, If you have resources and you can afford to get a
IF you have a flight for more than 5 hours (depending on your stamina). You cannot have 14 hours flight with baby in your lap.
If your baby is on a bigger side even though she is under 2 years of age then bassinet would not be a suitable option and you would not be able to have your baby sleep in the bassinet.
If you are traveling alone without any help then this would be a sanity saver.
If you still want to consider buying a separate ticket for a newborn baby, then you might have to think about taking an infant car seat along on the plane.
2. Do not overpack
Now you have decided if you are getting a ticket for your lap child as well, the next thing you want to do – Do not overpack.
Do not try to get everything in your carry on just with an idea what IF you need it while on the plan except a few items that you have to have for
While your trip – you can get whatever you need at your destination if you are traveling domestically whereas if you are having an international trip then you have to make sure everything is available or their substitute
If you are traveling to a country which you are not sure if those particular things you need are going to available then it is better to take those along.
3. Take kids necessities in your carry on
You know your kids the best. You know what stage they are at and what they are going to need while on board.
Water and milk is a must. Although water you can get on the plane too, still you want to take a couple of water bottle while at the gate or at a terminal. You can take a few with you (absolutely sealed) if you use formula milk for your baby.
Also, you need to take breastmilk with icepacks if you are pumping.
Moreover, you must take your kid’s favorite blanket or stuff toy along.
4. Stroller for two
This one is a must-have. You need a stroller even you are traveling alone or with your husband
For long flights, airlines take your stroller while you enter the plane and give that back on the destination. For fights wherever you have a transit, airlines provide you with their own strollers at the airport.
Make sure you tell them you need a double stroller for the transit even if you are traveling all by yourself.
5. Stay hands-free
This one is really important. When you are traveling with small kids, and you have a stroller too, then make sure you do not have a strolling carry on. Get a backpack. A good size backpack is a
A small Crossbody bag for easy access for passports or boarding passes and your cell-phone.
You can put basic necessities in your backpack, like milk bottles, baby food, diapers, wipes, a few toys, tablets, and an extra outfit depends on your flight.
Diapers, diaper sacks, changing sheet and wipes has to be packed in a separate ziplock bag or transparent travel bags. It would be easy for you to take them out
Fortunately, when you have your husband or a significant-other traveling with you, then you might want to make an extra carry on bag or a backpack for extra stuff you need on a long flight. That certainly does not mean you just keep everything taking advantage of your partner who is traveling with you.
His backpack should have very specific JUST IN CASE items whereas your backpack has all your kids must-haves. For instance, diaper essentials, medicines, baby food, milk, toys, and a couple of snacks.
6. Baby food and milk
For toddlers, you can have packaged food on the plane, like, apple sauce, baby food jars, or snacks. Moreover, put all baby food, formula, water, milk, in a clear bag and put those in a tray before a security check to avoid any hassle or delay.
Do you need ideas on the baby food? Check my post on baby meal ideas.
7. Travel with minimalism
Do not just keep everything. Be selective in choosing what you need to take with you even in your luggage. Plan outfits for each day, however, you need to have a few extra outfits for your kid in case of blowouts or spillovers.
Else you can have your toiletries in travel size to avoid weight issues. If you want to travel – travel light.
8. Favorite toys
You need to keep your kids’ favorite toys for a plane ride. Just a friendly reminder, it would not a good idea to get really small toys which are hard to pick up whenever they fall down.
Be prepared to bend down back and forth to pick your toddlers toys with a baby already in a lap. Choose toys wisely.
9. If you are a breastfeeding mom
For breastfeeding moms, take a window seat, chances are you might get a little privacy to feed your baby depending on your comfort level on the plane. Breastfeeding babies could get more fussy while on the go if they get really hungry or just wants to snooze.
10. Adjust seating with a lap child and a toddler
Your lap child might want to sleep on your toddler’s seat. It would be an option if you want to move armrest on lay your lap child on the seat and have your toddler sit in your lap and have some fun with toys etc.
11. Taking technology with you
Only if you allow screen time then having that on the plane is not a bad idea but there are chances that your toddler might not be interested in watching videos rather just look around and play.
12. How to cope up with motion sickness
If any of your kids is having motion sickness (which is likely for some kids ) then you have to first discuss with your pediatrician prior to your trip as they guide you better.
The medicine I had been advised for my 3 years old was Dramamine. Recommended age for this medicine 2 years plus for kids. In case if your lap child or infant (under 2) gets motion sickness then you cannot really give her any medicine – just a Benadryl would help and it is considered safe if your baby has no other medical concerns. ALWAYS discuss with your pediatrician about travel medications for your kids,
13. How to deal with an upset stomach or diarrhea
What if your kids get diarrhea ….
It is recommended not to take any medication for diarrhea unless it is going on for a really long time. Let that stomach bug excreted out. Although, it is quite stressful for moms as kids lose a lot of weight. However, they are going to regain once they would start eating better.
Pedialyte powder would help to maintain hydration.
14. Medicines you might need on the plane for kids
For a short flight, you don’t need any medicines unless your baby has a medical concern going on like fever, cold, flu or allergies. However, keeping a Tylenol and Saline drops would not hurt at all. In fact, the air pressure might make your baby’s nose dry and crusty and spraying a few times would help her breath better.
Reminder – All medicines have to be in a clear bag for a security scan.
Always discuss medicines with your child’s pediatrician once you plan your trip and let your pediatrician know when and where are you visiting.
Some pediatricians require you to get your baby tested for tuberculosis once you come back after visiting some other country.
If your child has seasonal allergies or having just a random sick phase. Read more on what are sick days essentials for babies.
15. Time to board – Dos and Don’ts
Do not buy anything you cannot put in your backpack before boarding. Especially sodas and drinks unless you can put it somewhere in the backpack.
Do not occupy your hands with random stuff even if you have stroller because when you enter the plane you would not have a stroller with you and you have to carry one of your kids and have your toddler walk to her seat.
For long flights, if you are having a carry on just always make sure it won’t be a hassle for you to drag with a stroller
Give your baby Medicine if your baby has a teething stage or some kind of allergies going on before you go on a plane.
Have a candy, lollypop for your toddler to suck on while taking off or landing or wear earplugs (if she does) so her ears won’t pop. For an infant have a bottle ready or breastfeed when your flight takes off.
Always make sure diapers are clean and fresh when you are about to board.
Be sure your powder milk is fresh and in the dispenser before your TSA security check. TSA’s alarm could beep for powder milk. It did happen to me once.
For long flights, anything more than 6 hours you have to pack something extra – like formula extra clothes for yourself and the baby – keep that In a hand carry if you are taking one along or you have help with you (probably your husband or friend) is traveling with you.
Use formula dispenser for formula feedings. And it would be better if you put the whole container or the box In your hand carry (if you are taking one) otherwise plan according to feedings and hours you are traveling.
DO NOT STRESS
On my first flight alone with my kids, I was so stressed out because of their crying as it is not very comfortable noise for other passengers. However, stressing out made it even worse.
Do not stress at all. You are a mom and you should know why your baby is crying (hungry, tired, sleepy, wants some toy). If you are a new mom or it is your first-time travel plan with kids – always remember, they are going to be tough because they are too little to behave
Try to resolve the problem – remember some things are unavoidable and you cannot do anything about it.
Distract and that’s all you have to do. Either with candy, some toy, or remind your baby about something he loves ( Beware do no remind me If you cannot provide him with something right away.
Traveling is going to be fun with kids when they grow a little more in a few years and start enjoying with you.
Is there any suggestion you want to share with other moms?