When my oldest daughter was a newborn, we flew from the west coast to the midwest to visit family. At the time I thought it was the hardest flight I had ever taken. Surely, it would only get easier as she grew. Boy was I wrong! At about 9 months, we took another 5 hour flight for a family vacation. This time I knew flights would never be easy again. At least not until my kids are 8+ years old (it does get easier right??!!). I learned very quickly that toddlers and young children are much more difficult than newborns to travel with for one very simple reason. THEY GET BORED. From struggling to escape from your arms to throwing a tantrum over not having a very specific toy (that's way to big to take on a plane), toddlers test your patience every second of the flight.
After our second plane ride I decided to pack smarter. I've always known to pack the essential diaper bag items, but now I have a much better idea of what is really needed to keep my little-one fed, clean, dry and entertained. What's in my ToteSavvy? Take a look!
How to Pack a Diaper Bag for a Flight with a Toddler
1. Get the essentials out of the way - Pack the basics like diapers (or pull-ups), diaper cream, wipes, and a clean shirt (or whole outfit). Always pack a few extra diapers and a brand new large pack of wipes. I've gone through an entire pack on a flight before and was very glad I didn't throw a half-used pack in at the last minute!
2. Add the snacks - If your toddler is anything like mine, she'll be hungry 99% of the flight. Most snack food isn't very compact, making it difficult to fit a large amount of food in one bag. To save space, opt for puree pouches, granola bars, and small containers packed with trail mix or crackers.
Don't forget the water! Hydration is also key when traveling. Be sure to pack a decent size sippy cup to keep your toddler well hydrated. P.S. I love how the ToteSavvy organizer keeps the sippy cup upright so it doesn't spill inside my handbag!
3. Do you need special medication or toiletries? - My daughter had frequent ear infections around the age of 1. This meant we were always equipped with pain medication for every flight. I also suggest packing hand sanitizer, chapstick and sunscreen.
4. Finally, grab the entertainment! - Between snacks and diaper changes, a digital tablet, headphones, coloring book, and paperback books will keep my toddler entertained for a few hours. My strategy is to rotate each activity so when we cycle back to it my toddler is excited by the same activity again. Make sure you download age appropriate games to the tablet. Even a simple coloring game or matching game will prove to be a fun and unique endeavor.