By Jennifer Lindqust

My husband's job requires him to travel and moved us overseas when my daughter was six months old. As a result, my daughter is a world traveler. Suffice it to say, I have learned through trial and much error (I still shudder over the great goldfish spill of Oct. 2014) great ways to keep a little one entertained and comfortable on a long long airplane ride.

Containers and snacks

One of the most important things I have learned flying with a toddler is to pack more snacks than you think they could eat and divvy them up into different snack size containers. The containers double as fun stacking toys and musical instruments (when full) and will prevent a spill losing all the snacks for the trip. Some of our favorites are Cheerios, fish crackers, dried fruit and squeeze pouches. I also always pack a PB&J just in case the airplane food isn’t a hit with my daughter.

Be prepared

Whenever I pack my carry-on bag I feel like I am getting ready to go on a week long excursion filled with danger at every turn, not a twelve at most hour flight. Anything can happen on a long flight, from fevers, to stomach upset, to allergic reactions. I always pack my thermometer, allergy medicine, cold medicine for my daughter and myself, extra change of clothes for my daughter and myself and lots of wipes.

Comfort Items

On an airplane, everything is new and different. Comfort items for your little ones are key to help them relax and (hopefully) sleep. Pajamas are a must if you are flying at night or through time changes. We always packed my daughter’s Flying Squirrel PJs to help give her cues that it was night time. Blankets are also a great cuddle item as well as stuffed animals.

Surprises

I always stock up on dollar toys and novelty items for long airplane trips and introduce them one by one when my daughter’s attention starts to fade. When the flight is over, I put them back in her flight bag and use them for restaurant entertainment on our trip or save them for the next flight.

Stickers are my daughter’s favorite airplane entertainment, she sticks them to her, to me, to the tray, to the window, to the air sickness bag. Bonus, most stickers remove easily from surfaces and can re-stick again and again.  She also likes a white board and dry erase marker, chunky beads and cording for beading, fake cellphone, magnet toys, and puzzles. If I am feeling creative, I will laminate coloring pages and worksheets for extra fun. A balloon filled with playdough is also a fun non-messy entertainment toy if your little one is old enough.

Double Check

Not to mimic the flight attendants, but be sure to check in the seat pockets, on the ground and in the seat cushion to make sure nothing is left behind on the airplane and keep an eye on special items at the airport. Toys that attach (like the Trendy Teethers)

Traveling is an adventure, and traveling with a little one even more so! Hopefully the tips above help you and your little one have a great adventure in the skies as well as at your destination.

Also read: 5 Ways To Calm A Fussy Baby On An Airplane

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Jennifer Lindquist graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead MN in 2005 in business and French. She currently acts as Social Media Manager for Sleeping Baby. She is also a photojournalist and has been featured in various newspapers. She has traveled and lived all over the world. She currently  lives in New York with her husband, four year old daughter and cat.

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