My ‘must have’ when flying with a toddler

When my daughter was 22 months old, we went on our first overseas trip as a family of three. My main concern was how we would handle flying with a toddler in a 11 hour flight from San Francisco to Paris. If something makes me nervous when planning a family trip is the fact that I’m never sure how my daughter is going to react to the new experience. So I like spending some time preparing all the things I want to take in the carry-on. From something very essential as wet wipes all the way to new little toys to surprise my toddler and keep her busy. Because, after all, no mom wants to be stuck in an airplane with a crying child, especially if there is a way to avoid it and enjoy the trip.

I’m aware that as a mom I cannot always avoid a melt down but it’s always worth trying.

These pictures I’m sharing are from our latest trip to Mexico. I like it because I can show you the things I carry on every trip.

In our latest flight from Mexico to California

So here is the checklist of things I always make sure I bring with me in when flying with a toddler.

headphones for kids

This is a must have when on the go. Based on previous flights I knew that the headphones provided on the airplane do not fit little kids so I opted to bring our own and it was worth it. She used them for listening to her favorite songs as well as watching ‘The Jungle Book’ movie on the plane’s screen. Having her own special headphones also made her feel cool and she happily watched most of the movie.

Fire HD 8 tablet

At first I got a kids tablet, where I had to pay for each of the apps/games/books I wanted to add. Not worth it!. Then we got a good deal on this Fire tablet that is a fully functional tablet. So we created a profile for kids and added lots of apps, books and games that we approve and reviewed before installing. And, as a plus, we (adults) can use it as well.

If your kid has a tablet, bring it with you on the trip for those moments where you need some quiet time or even a nap on the plane.


Before traveling, I make sure I have downloaded on my phone the latest favorite songs for my toddler. Yes, I’m talking about the latest Disney movie soundtrack.

Portable potty

I never go out without this, and some disposable covers. For me, they are a life savior because they make things so much easier. For more details, read my post about portable potty

Security blanket or doll

I’ve seen many parents doing this. We carry our daughters favorite doll or which ever thing she normally sleeps with. I find that sticking to the same routine for nap/sleep time helps to keep them rested and happy.

Snacks we like and water bottle

As many moms do, I also carry kids favorite snacks for them to munch on. Kids not always like what airlines provide, even I don’t like it sometimes. Giving them something they know will certainly help calm down a energetic toddler.

Extra change of cloths and waterproof bags

Besides diapers and wipes I always bring 1 extra change of clothes in case of any water/food spill accident or any other kind. I like carrying the extra cloths inside a waterproof bag and so far it has worked out pretty well.

reusable stickers on the go

I got this for my girl and we both loved it. These are great because kids can create many different scenarios and stories. It’s travel size, easy to put away and the best part, reusable!.

finger puppets

I carry this in the carry on backpack along with other little and new toys to have diversity and options when trying to keep kids busy during the flight. I also got this mini play-doh and it worked fine.

Check out this next post about how to prepare for a long flight with a toddler for more tips.

Are you traveling soon?  what are your kid’s favorite travel size toys? Please leave your questions or comments bellow and if you liked this article please share.

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