We just came back to Toronto from our first flight with two kids. Baby D had flown twice before but at 3 months old. which made this officially his first time, where he will hopefully remember everything. Before the trip, I did a couple of things that really helped traveling with my two babies. Here are my 5 Tips to Travel with a Toddler and a Baby, Including what Netflix shows you should download for offline viewing:
1. LOTS OF SNACKS
So on our plane ride to Vancouver, I packed some juice boxes, goldfish, cookies, and some dry fruit. But what the heck was I thinking! That’s a lot of sugar to give to a toddler on a plane where the options to burn that sugar off is very low. I ran out of options to keep his tantrums from escalating and learned very fast what I shouldn’t have done. That being said, on our plane ride back to Toronto I was prepared! I cut up cucumbers, carrots, and apple slices right before the flight and stored them in a tin snacking bowl that has a cover. To keep them fresh you can even sprinkle very little orange juice or lemon juice. I also got another pack of goldfish, veggie snack chips and bananas (has the natural muscle-relaxants magnesium and potassium, that helps children sleep better).
5 Tips for Airplane Travel with a Toddler and a Baby, Including Netflix Downloads
2. NETFLIX OFFLINE DOWNLOADS + CHILD-FRIENDLY TABLET
Baby Ds first tablet was actually a tablet that was given to me for my birthday. It was the newest Samsung tablet with all the bells and whistles! But soon as Baby D got his little hands on it, the tablet wasn’t mine anymore. Kind of bittersweet because now he was self-sufficient for a couple of hours a day but I lost one of my favourite gadgets. Long story short, he cracked the screen and then we got him a child-friendly tablet with a cover. We got him the Amazon tablet (click here) that has been proven to be child-friendly and the tablet cover (click here) has saved this tablet from damage, even when thrown from the second floor! P.S We bought the tablet brand new off of kijiji because it’s not available in Canada or wasn’t at the time we purchased it.
- Land Before Time (Dinosaur movie) This movie keeps him glued to the tablet because he loves dinosaurs so much. I also played dinosaurs with him while the movie played in the background with the toys I brought him.
- Paw Patrol – At least 5 of newest episodes that he hadn’t seen yet. Yay for the new season on Netflix!
- Octonauts – He loves sea animals!
- Dora the Explorer – What I love the most about this show are the scenes where Dora interacts with the viewers. Asking questions or to do something.
- Magic School Bus Rides Again – He’s been loving this show as much as I did when I was a child.
One thing I did learn through our trip to BC was that it’s so loud on the airplane that you can barely hear anything from the tablet. I tried getting him to use the earphones but he hated it and threw them off. We went to the mall while in BC and picked up headphones in hopes he would use it. When we first showed it to him and how it works he said a hard “NO!”, but then I sneakingly plugged it in so he could hear the sounds coming from the headphones. Then after a couple more minutes, I put them on him and he let them stay. But to ask me a question he took them off and then wouldn’t put them on again. We did this at least 10 times. Then I gave up and hung them from the armrest as if they were just extended speakers. New plan: A month before our next trip we’re going to practice putting on headphones, and hopefully he’ll understand the concept and accept it.
2. SMALL TOYS
Make sure the toys you choose are soft and not too noisy, to ensure you don’t disturb the people around you. Especially toddlers they’re unpredictable and might feel like throwing them in the air. Yes, it happened to us. Smaller toys will also be easier to travel with. Here are some suggestions for toys and where you can buy them:
Light squishy plastic dinosaurs – Found them at Wal-Mart for $2 each
Kinder Surprise Eggs – Any convenience or grocery store
Play-doh – You can make anything out of it!
Soft/Teddy bear books – Example
You have to plan ahead for what kind of activities to keep your toddler busy. Especially if you have other children traveling with you, activities are the only thing that will keep them busy and be playing friendly. I brought colouring books and a massive Peppa Pig sticker book that kept him busy for an hour. We put the stickers together and then coloured them. He loves to build stuff so Ièm going to look into getting some soft toy building materials. Maybe from an arts supplies store and put together a ziplock bag of items we can use to build stuff. Another thing to take note is that the flight attendants can get very pushy about when the seat trays have to be put away. A toddler doesnèt understand that and it could easily turn into a really bad tantrum. This happened to us on the plane. For the next trip, I plan to purchase a travel tray or I saw one that skip hop carries used for cars. That might work as well.
Have a couple of surprises to reward for good behavior. However, stay away from candy, chocolate or anything with too much sugar. Organic fruit gummies or a new toy will suffice.
5. STRETCH IT OUT
Make sure your seating situation makes it easy for you to walk around or for washroom breaks. Your toddler and baby will be drinking a lot more on the plane to stay hydrated, which means more washroom breaks. After diaper changes in the tiny plane washroom, I sang a song and do a little wiggle dance with him so he can stretch out. You can do the dance near the exit areas where there’s space if you’re feeling brave.