Monday, 1 June 2015

Flying With A Toddler

Roughly six months ago, I did a little post on flying with a baby and now the time has come to enlighten you all with my experience of flying with a very mobile one year old. On my own. On two flights. Past bedtime. Honestly, what was I thinking?!

Never the less, here’s a cheeky little video on the whole, delightful experience:

To be honest, I am very lucky and Isla is, generally, a very good baby. She listens when she’s been told not to do something. She’s easily distracted with toys and food. And she’s also very sociable so likes attention from other people.

Of course all these things can work against my favour too sometimes. She often finds it funny to be told not to do something and then tries to do something worse instead for an even bigger laugh. She’s also easily distracted by other people’s things and food. And she often wants attention so much from other people she sits and stares or points and shouts at them!

It all depends on her mood which type of Isla we get coming out to play these days but one thing is for sure, she is definitely not the same relatively relaxed, quiet little baby she was six months ago!

We were flying on FlyBe on the way up to Scotland and if anyone has been on a domestic FlyBe flight, you’ll know how ridiculously space challenged those flights are. They are much smaller than your usual British Airways and Easyjet aircrafts. They also don’t let parents board first or provide any sort of assistance to parents flying on their flights. Shame on you FlyBe!

On the first flight we were sat next to lovely man (THANK GOD) who helped distract Isla and was very chatty. It really helped the whole flight go past much quicker and kept Isla entertained for the whole hour.

The next flight was a little different. We had two seats to ourselves, which was great but Isla got FAR too excited about the whole thing and wanted to throw herself from one seat to another! Then we progressed onto wanting to explore under all the seats and generally let the whole plane we were there by shouting BA BA BA at the top of our voices for a while. It wasn’t like she was crying and annoying people or anything but I was a bit like ‘oh gawwd, people are probably thinking make her be quiet’. The problem is a 13 month old doesn’t really know what ‘shhh’ means! She wanted to get up and about the whole flight and it took every ounce of energy, patience and quick thinking to keep her from becoming a nuisance.

So after my experience here are some tips I hope may help some of you in the future.

Top tips:
  • Try to arrive in plenty time - there is simply nothing worse than rushing with a toddler in tow. Rushing = stress and stress and toddlers do not mix
  • Be prepared for security - it still baffles me how people rock up to security without even thinking of taking off their jackets or getting their laptops/liquids out in preparation. Make sure the baby milk is out too. Also, be prepared for baby to get searched. Isla has been on ten flights and has been searched on eight of them. Even as a six week old!
  • Bring snacks - I’d say mainly things that will take a toddler ages to get out of a packet and eat. The more time, the better. Raisins, bags of mini bread sticks and are all winners!
  • Bring distractions - new toys, books, window stickers, colouring in books, iPads, whatever works for you child. Anything they might see as fresh and new will be much more interesting and hold their attention for longer
  • Make sure you have everything you need to hand for the flight - cover your back and pack everything you might need into an easy access hand luggage bag that you can keep with you
  • Use a carrier instead of a pushchair if you can - it just makes life easier getting round the airport and on the plane. Of course, if your baba is too big for a carrier then don’t hurt yourself. Get one of the cheap strollers that pop up and down and you don’t mind getting damaged on a plane
  • Ask to move seats if there are more suitable ones available for you - for example, seats by themselves, seats nearer the front, aisle seats, window seats, whatever is best for you
  • If it’s a night time flight get them ready for bed - get those jammis on. Who knows, they might even be more inclined to sleep. HA!
  • And above all, pray you are next to people who like kids…

Thank goodness it was just one flight on the way back. And Easyjet I may add!

What are your top tips for flying with kids?


  1. Oh my god sarah I think I would have killed myself! hahah You did amazingly well. I'm not sure I'd be able to put william in a baby carrier through the airport he's go mad! Love the video as well :) x

  2. Wow how on earth did you do that, and video it all too?! I would have collapsed! I tip my hat off to you! Love the video, it's like a proper documentary Xx

  3. Wow! You are brave doing this on your own. We did an early morning flight with the Tot and she had a mini breakdown half way through. If there hadn't been two of us I think I'd have had one too ;) x

  4. We are about to fly for the first time with our little W who is similar age to Isla so this post was MASSIVELY useful - I'm normally laid-back but the thought of the flight is STRESSING me out and there are 2 of us, and only 1 flight not 2 haha! I bought raisins today and he loves them so they will come in handy... I love the video, and I fully expect baby W to be clambering over and under the seats too - I will keep you posted when I'm back! thanks again - really handy post x x x

  5. Interesting. This looks super cool. I haven't read it all yet, but I'll be back to read the rest of it.
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