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How to travel with a toddler on a plane

 Travelling with a toddler can be very cumbersome (Photo: iStock)

Travelling with a toddler is literally a survival skill. As a first-timer taking a child on a trip can be one wild ride, it is no wonder most parents prefer leaving their kids at home.

When you’re travelling by plane, specifically, it’s a whole new test. You need to really take your time because chances are your child is going to get bored really fast and you can’t just make a pit stop to distract them.

But if you arm yourself with these tips, travelling with a toddler should be easy peasy:

Explain what to expect beforehand

It would help to prepare your child psychologically if this will be their first time on a plane. You can try and remind them how they should behave and encourage them if they are feeling a bit nervous.

Of course, they might not behave how you expect them to throughout the trip but it still makes a difference. 

Dress them in something comfortable

You need to ensure that you dress them in very comfortable clothes. If you had a fancy outfit prepared, save that for when you arrive.

Your choice of outfit for the journey should also be convenient for you when you need to change them. So just keep it simple and don’t dress them in too many layers.

Have your essentials and snacks ready

You’re advised to pack double the amount of necessities like diapers, baby food and snacks because it’s better to have extra than to run out. Also don’t forget to carry items that will make them comfortable like a pacifier, a baby neck pillow, a small blanket and a car seat. It’s a good idea to do more research for a comprehensive list of items you might need to make sure you have everything.

As you book, you can confirm the airline policies on what’s okay to carry in your hand luggage, the right procedures to follow and the restrictions that might affect your experience.

Have an extra set of clothes

Make sure you have their extra set of clothes in your hand luggage for both long and short flights because you never know what could spill.

Being around a toddler can be hectic for you as well so you should also pack something extra like a spare t-shirt. If anything spills on you by mistake you will have something to change into.

Bring some entertainment

You also need to think about some distractions that you can bring to keep them busy. Your toddler will most likely get restless at some point and that is a recipe for a major tantrum.

Think of toys that you can carry and consider bringing a device for some entertainment. You can even download their favourite cartoons early so that they will have something they are familiar with to keep them occupied.

If you want to minimize screen time, you can bring other options like a storybook or colouring book.

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