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Flying with Toddlers

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

You might remember my post with tips on flying with babies a while back. Flying with a toddler is a whole new kettle of fish :) A child under the age of two still sits on your lap for the flight so below are a few tips to survive a short haul flight with your lovely little person ahead of your summer holidays (which I bet you are planning and looking at now just as I am :) ) or any other flights you are about to undertake. I don't have much advice on long haul flights as I have not done one with a baby or toddler but imagine it will be similar :) Only you might need more than one glass of wine once you land.

Magda Bright Photography

We fly pretty frequently and as I am a proud mum of 3 children one of them being under the age of 2 I get the most fun seat on the plane. I sit with a child each side and the youngest on my lap (not jealous of my hubby across the isle being able to read his book at all :D ). I do often daydream about what flying without kids is like, especially when I am sitting on the plane and feel like I need to be an octopus to keep them all happy.


A child under the age of 2 gets to sit on your lap for the flight. You are still able to bring their buggy (and a car seat I believe) with you and usually can take it all the way up to the gate where you are asked to fold your buggy up. It is a good idea to use a bag for your stroller as it is likely to get a bit battered. I ordered a cheap one from amazon and while not perfect, it does the job. Remember to have the tag for the buggy put on the bag, not your buggy if you are using a bag.


Prepare for the journey in advance, pack LOTS of snacks for your little one. You can bring a drink in their sippy cup with you, you will be allowed to take this through security control. A book, sticker books are brilliant to entertain toddlers, I usually take a small pad and a pack of crayons (the ones you get in restaurants) or we have also tried getting the special colouring books where the pens only work on the paper and will not colour/stain anything else. Just be prepared to constantly pick pens and crayons off the floor :D A phone with some interactive games or videos (but please do turn volume down or teach toddler how to use headphones if you can).


Next thing to pack is spare nappies, wipes and a change of clothes for your little one. A change of clothes for yourself if you do have the space is a great idea. On our most recent flight (yesterday) my youngest managed to kick one of the fold down tables with a can of coke on up soaking me and her sister and jackets on the floor. Once we dried this off as best as we could and the plane was starting the descend towards London I felt my lap get rather warm. My youngest is close to two and after a very promising start she could not be less interested in potty training if she tried. She managed to wee through her nappy and onto my lap. By now I was covered in coca cola, a sweet that was licked and dropped and the latest addition: wee. I was really wishing I did pack a spare pair of trousers for myself by then :D


You will probably struggle a bit trying to keep your toddler from opening the fold down table, kicking the seat in front and trying to escape your lap. But a short haul flight is not too bad as you can distract them with snacks, stickers and looking out of the window if you can. We spent a while looking at the clouds that looked like snow.


Prague and Gatwick (the airports I know the best) offer sort of strollers to borrow once you land (they are usually in the corridors and free to borrow) saving you having to carry your little one in your arms all the way to passport control and baggage reclaim where you will receive your buggy on the carousel or via over-size baggage.

So if you are going to be boarding a plane with your toddler this year, I hope you find these tips useful and if you have any of your own or any questions please comment below.

And last little thing to share whilst we were looking at the gorgeous clouds outside I took a photo (too lovely looking not to). In the space of two minutes from taking the photo and the aeroplane going through the clouds, the sun was gone and the sky outside looked all grey. So a little reminder for 2019... even if the clouds cover the sun for you for a little while, remember it is still shining above them. xxx

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