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Make Travelling with a Toddler Tolerable (Maybe, even Enjoyable)

Travelling with a toddler. It sends shivers down most people’s spines. And now, I’m no longer the person silently holding my breath, hoping that toddler doesn’t sit by me. I’m the person with the toddler. I’ve come full circle.

Content Toddler

I must say my daughter has been a great traveller since her first trip at three months. That first trip however was what nightmares are made of. I’m not sure what was worse, the constant crying, the diaper explosion all over her, me and the seat belt or the fact that the guy beside us spilled his coffee everywhere as a result of the shenanigans.

What I took from that first trip is the importance of careful preparation. Babies and toddlers have tiny attention spans and they like to move, so airplane travel is a struggle. This is my guide to a great flight.

  1. Food in Small Containers
    Toddlers lover finger foods and they love variety. Pack a bunch of small containers of different snackable foods. It’s entertainment PLUS it keeps them full. No one wants a hangry baby (hungry + angry = hangry).
  2. Stickers
    Stickers provided us with at least a 1/2 hour of quiet entertainment. She enjoyed finding all the new places she could stick them and take them off. I made sure to buy stickers that were easy to peel so there was no mess.
  3. An Active Game
    The reality of flying with a toddler is that you’re probably going to need to get up and move a bit for both of your sanity. We walked the aisles and she touched every seat number sign. She found this thrilling and it gave me a break from her hot little body crammed on my lap.
  4. Use Your Neighbours
    I have a very social toddler and on some flights, some very interactive and helpful neighbours. If you have them, use them! If people want to entertain your baby – let them – they’ve probably been there. A game of peek-a-boo or a babbling chat, anything that buys you some time. “You want to hold her? Sure!” (She’s going to get a cold from this flight anyway).
  5. A Bag of Tricks
    If your toddler is like mine, they ignore their toys. People warned me not to buy toys before I had a baby and I should have listened. So, pack a bag of 10 objects that they don’t normally play with. No need to break the bank- you can find stuff around the house or look on your local used site for some new little treasures. Examples include – a kitchen spoon, an old vitamin bottle, or a calculator you don’t need. Introduce a new item from the bag of tricks every time your toddler gets bored.

Armed with these five items ideas, you should have a happy toddler and one can only hope, a tolerable flight. Who knows, maybe they will even nap because you’ve tired them out! I hope this is helpful for your next trip. Board the plane prepared, avoid the judging stares and enjoy your travels!


Freelance Social Media Consultant/Producer/Production Manager and lover of media, entertainment and "the Internet". Mother to 1 human toddler and 3 guinea pigs, I live in Halifax, NS and I adore it. Follow me on Twitter: @erinberube

2 Responses to “Make Travelling with a Toddler Tolerable (Maybe, even Enjoyable)”


Did they really let you bring a potato masher on the plane? Plus did you have to answer the question: “And why exactly do you have a potato masher in your carry-on?”



    I did get a funny look…

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