Flying with Kaiden up until now has been fairly easy.  I say fairly because of course we’ve had our shares of ups and down.  But this is how it usually went– get on plane, let him crawl around and play with whatever, K passes out in my arms as soon as plane takes off.  See, fairly easy.

So you can imagine how nervous I was flying with him for the first time since he turned two.  Why nervous?  Because after kids turn two, they get their own seat.  And my Kaiden isn’t one to sit for prolonged periods of time.

Thankfully, the flight time from Chicago to Atlanta is only about 1.5 hours.  A good testing ground I suppose.

Given this was my first time flying with a two-year-old, I’m certainly no expert.  But here are a few tricks/tips that worked for me. 

TIP/TRICK  1 – Now that Kaiden understands what we’re saying, I tried my best to hype up our ‘airplane’ trip a few days before we left.  That excitement helped us get through security, to the gate, and on to the plane. 

TIP/TRICK 2 – One word – snacks…and lots of them.  I brought so many snacks, including apples, a PB&J sandwich, cereal, freeze dried fruits and veggies, etc.  He didn’t eat much of it, but I did have peace of mind knowing I was prepared.

TIP/TRICK 3 – Don’t be afraid to ask for and/or accept help.  For example, when we were standing in line to board, the man in front of me asked if I wanted him to carry our stroller on to the jet bridge.  He carried it out for me as well.  I could’ve easily said no and looked like a crazy woman trying to wrangle her toddler, carry two bags and a stroller. No thanks!  Example number two happened when Kaiden wouldn’t sit in his seat.  I quietly asked the kind man sitting next to me to tell K to sit down and put on the seatbelt.  At first, he was like, “You want me to tell him that?”  And I said, “Yes, please.”  He did it and guess what…K sat down and let me put his belt on!  

TIP/TRICK 4 – The things that saved me this time around in terms of toys/activities were the Crayola Color Wonder Markers and Paper.  This kept Kaiden entertained in some form or fashion for longer spurts.  And because these markers only work on the special paper, they didn’t transfer on to the seats, our skin, our clothes, etc. 

I also brought two brand new little trucks and a pack of stickers for K as ‘surprise, be good now!’ treats.  They entertained him for a little bit.  Ha!

TIP/TRICK 5 – Forget about everyone else and do what you have to do.  Flying, in my mind, is grounds for going into survival mode.   Anything and everything goes.

That’s all I have in terms of tips/tricks.  I’m hoping to build my toolkit as we travel more with K.  We have our trip back home to Chicago on Sunday, as well as a trip to Cabo and the Bahamas coming up.  Cross your fingers for us!

I will say that Kaiden did relatively well for most of the flight, excluding the last 20 minutes.  He was pretty much over it at that point and wanted to sit in my lap.  I sang him songs and distracted him as much as I could, but boy, those 20 minutes felt like 2 hours!

Please share your best tips/tricks for travelling with kids!

By Parita

One thought on “Tips/Tricks for Flying with a Two-Year-Old”
  1. These are great tips – especially the one on thinking of it as survival and taking the help! I’ve been on 18 flights, many of them solo with my 1.5 year old, and it’s a new thing every time because they change so much every few months. My son is not a great plane sleeper (but has napped when we’ve taken the train…go figure), so for me it’s keeping him distracted with snacks, books, toys, tablet, etc. When we’ve had an extra seat (we’ve always flown with him as a lap child), it helps to have the extra space but agree that you can’t count on them to sit still…with the lap belt on the whole time.

    A tip I have (courtesy of Eva Chen) is to BOARD LAST. Even though they let you board early with kids 2 and under (and 5 and under on Southwest) – if you board last it gives your kid(s) a chance to run around, stretch their legs, etc, and you’re not stuck sitting in the seat for 30+ minutes while others board. I find it’s easier to keep my son in his seat after making him walk through the airport, runaround at the gate, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.