This past Christmas, I took Nora to Jamaica to meet my mom’s family. The trip was in the works for over a year, and we were so excited to go. I was anxious and didn’t know must-haves when flying with a toddler. It ended up being fine, even with an unexpectedly long layover. American canceled the flight from Miami to Kingston, and we were in the airport for nine hours. I attribute my overall lack of stress to the bag I packed for her. I thought I overpacked, but it worked out in our favor. Here are a few things that helped keep her calm and happy during a long travel day.
Must-Haves For Flying With A Toddler
Many of my friends who’ve flown with cranky babes said that keeping their ears from popping is a major key. I don’t know whether her headphones helped with ear pressure, but she didn’t cry during takeoff or landing. If you’re interested, you can find the BANZ Earmuffs here for $30.
I brought Puffs and Cheerios for Nora, and it was a good choice. I swear by Munchkin Snack Catcher Cups for dry snacks — it’s a steal of a price for two. Also, I found out you can bring baby food pouches through security, so I threw them in her diaper bag as well. We bought more food for her when we got to Kingston, so I only packed for the way there.
I’ve spent a lot of time raving about the Mama Bear Weighted Straw Sippy Cups, so it’s no surprise I brought one in Nora’s carry-on bag. I filled it with milk at home, and she sipped it throughout the morning. I washed it in a bathroom sink and re-filled it at a water fountain.
Pacifier & Pacifier Wipes
We want to start weaning in the next few months, but Nora loves hers, and it helped keep her calm throughout the day when she began to act fussy. I also gave it to her on the plane because I read that sucking on something can help with ear pain. I brought paci wipes because she’s always throwing hers on the ground.
I saw this TenFans Montessori Toys Busy Board recommended in a Facebook group and am glad I bought it for Nora. It kept her busy and gave her something to do when we were sitting at the airport. If I didn’t have this, she would’ve been watching Barney on my iPad all day, and I would’ve been losing my mind hearing the songs on repeat.
Diapers and Wipes
I packed what felt like excessive diapers. I think it was six or seven for a five-hour travel day? Believe it or not, I burned through almost all of them, thanks to our canceled flight. Buying diapers at the airport would’ve been hard, if not impossible, so I’m glad we overshot it.
I’m not a mom who’s anti-screen time, and Bluey and Moana do a lot of parenting at our house. Still, I think it’s cool to give her an interactive toy that isn’t the typical electronic, and this Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Tablet fits the bill. It’s surprisingly cheap, and she loves pushing all the buttons. It was a huge help when we were on the plane!
I brought two extra outfits for Nora, and I thought I was overpacking — after all, our travel day was only supposed to last half a day. We didn’t get to my grandparents’ house in Jamaica until 14 hours after we arrived at the Tampa airport for our Miami flight, and I ended up needing both outfits for her.
I am not a huge fan of public restrooms (although most people aren’t). I’ve had to conquer that aversion with Nora because there’s no way around a diaper change. This Skip Hop Pronto Changing Pad has been a go-to, and I loved using it in the airport. I put it on the diaper changing table, and it protects her from yucky germs.
I hope that these must-haves for flying with a toddler make your packing list easier! Safe travels.