Travelling with a toddler (by plane): a checklist

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A while ago I created for myself this checklist of items to pack when I travel by plane with my toddler son. It saves me from those last-minute panics and it has proved really helpful during my last two plane trips. A friend of mine who is taking a longer plane trip with her daughter soon thought it would be a good idea to post it here. Some mums may find it useful. Of course every mum knows their child’s preferences best and should trust their instinct and judgement first so use this checklist as a memory aid rather than a must-have list of items.

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The items that I found indispensable were:
1. The reins. My little boy kept running towards escalators and all sorts of conveyor belts. The reins helped me keep him close to me. I didn’t need to run after him or leave my baggage unattended.
2. Milk and other drinks for the child. Helps the child to deal with changes in air pressure during the flight.
3. The toddler’s favourite food. Travel is stressful for the toddler and the parents, familiar food brings comfort and reduces anxiety associated with change in the environment and new people’s faces.
4. Walkman (or ipad – I don’t have one but my friend does so do take it if you have it), something to colour in, various books – very useful for long flights when lots of sitting in one place is required.
5. Change of clothes for yourself and the baby – things happen during the flight.
6. Tissues – again just because things happen.

Other advice:

Try to have two bags of hand luggage prepared. One that you can safely place in the overhead lockers above your head and a smaller one with baby items that will be at your feet throughout the flight. You must be able to grab the drink for the baby even if the seat-belt sign is on.

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Enjoy your holiday!

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