Holiday Travel: Survive Flying with a Baby or Toddler

Tips for Flying with a Baby or Flying with a Toddler during the Holidays

Estimated Read Time 3 minutes

Let’s face it. Traveling during the holidays is stressful. The airports are crowded, people are stressed, and the weather can be less than conducive to keeping things going as planned. Add infants and / or toddlers to the mix and you start thinking about faking an illness or some other excuse that can help you stay home. Holiday travel doesn’t have to give you nightmares. We here at Ayoopa are self proclaimed experts in family travel and are happy to share holiday travel tips for families flying with a baby and / or flying with a toddler this holiday season. Keep reading for our top 4 tips!

Tip #1: Know your child when making travel plans

My daughter is a bit…difficult when it comes to sleep. She is not the child that is going to be able to block out the things going on around her and sleep peacefully the entire flight (we learned this the hard way). For her, we know that day flights are the way to go. Other people swear by night flights, as their child will sleep the entire time. There is no one size fits all approach so know your child and plan accordingly. The younger they are, the easier it is to be flexible on this, but even around 7 to 8 months we had to start taking this into account when planning. If you aren’t sure, just take your best guess based on his or her ability to fall asleep at home and trust me, you will have learned for the future after this flight!

Flying with a baby can be stressful. Just take a deep breath and know you will get through it! Flying with your kids can be fun. Keep them entertained with lights, new people and simple toys like the safety information card.

Tip #2: Give your child (and yourself) a break

If this is your first flight with your infant or toddler, take a deep breath and know that you are not alone. The vast majority of people are very understanding and willing to help if you need it. If your child fusses the entire time, my best advice is don’t make eye contact, but also don’t apologize. No matter how painful it is for the people around you, it is always worse for the parents. The flight will eventually end and you can all go on your merry way. Once the fasten seatbelt sign is turned off, take some time to walk around. Looking at all of the people, lights and other things going on around them will provide some entertainment, or if it is a late flight and the lights are turned off, the combination of bouncing as you walk and the white noise from the plane will (hopefully) help them drift off peacefully! For toddlers, there is no need to bring a lot of toys as the plane is entertaining enough on its own. Safety cards, buttons on the armrests and window shades all make for great entertainment. Do be respectful of those around you by not letting your child play with the tray table and try your best to avoid kicks to the back of the seat in front of you. Again, most people are very understanding as long as you are doing your best to be respectful!

Tip #3: Less is more!

Keep the amount of luggage to a minimum to reduce stress and to cut down on baggage fees. Rent pack n’ plays, highchairs, exersaucers or whatever else you might need to make your trip comfortable and have them delivered to your loved one’s house or your vacation rental. A few additional tips for what to bring or not bring on the plane are as follows:

  • Many airlines will check strollers and car seats for free, but be sure to check your individual airline before pre-paying for luggage. If you decide to bring these items with you, be sure you have a protective bag to help avoid damage. If you want to avoid lugging a car seat with you, be sure you rent them from a reputable company like, Car seats from rental car agencies have been reported to be dirty, damaged or unavailable adding unneeded stress to your trip. If you choose to bring a stroller, bring a lightweight umbrella stroller that is quick and easy to fold and carry as you will want to have it ready to drop off before you enter the jet way.
  • Do bring plenty of milk or formula on the plane and plan to feed your baby during takeoff and landing to help their ears pop. TSA will allow you to bring these critical liquids with you through security. For information on what you can and cannot bring, check out TSA’s guide for traveling with children.
  • Bring a baby-wearing device (Ergo, Moby, Baby K’tan or other) to help you through the airport and on the plane. You can’t wear the baby during takeoff or landing, but this will give your arms a break during the flight.

Tip #4: Remember the reason!

While travel can be stressful, the holidays is about being with and enjoying your loved ones. Don’t let the process of getting to your destination take away from the enjoyment that comes from being with family. And remember, grandparents make great babysitters so keep that in mind to help keep your spirits bright during your journey!

Looking for more family travel tips? Check out our post, 8 Things you should know Before Traveling with Kids!

Lighten the load and the baggage fees when flying with a baby or flying with a toddler with Ayoopa stroller rentals, car seat rentals, crib and pack n’ play rentals, and highchair rentals! 

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