long-haul flights: packing for a toddler

I have arranged the days off of work, checked in with the fam in Germany about things such as cell phones, wireless access, and charger converters… now to prepare for the actual flight(s). What does one do with a child whilst contained in two 18 inch wide seats for 1 hour, 7.5 hours, and 45 mins consecutively?

1. New books and old books
I have a couple new books featuring frogs and turtles and moons (all three should be a big hit) and plan to take a couple old books for familiarity and comfort.

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2. Electronics… save my life!
Can I somehow download videos onto a kindle fire? Cause my plan is to get tons and tons of videos of M that I have on google+ and youtube (private, mind you), and toddlers love to watch themselves on TV so… As always, I’m looking for games/apps/etc that would interest a toddler and don’t involve anything more advanced then just tapping the screen. I have a DVD player that I fully intend to strap around the seat in front of us (sorrynotsorry future plane-mates) so that she can watch but not mess with the buttons. Frozen, Tangled, Lion King, and Finding Nemo are the discs I’m bringing. We do not own Frozen or Tangled, and she loves them, so that should be helpful.

3. Puzzles and art
Below are all of the travel-sized toys M will be lugging in her Dora rolly-bag. Small wood puzzles, foam puzzles, re-usable ocean animal stickers, a magna-doodle (I got her one in her stocking last year from the dollar store… she still loves it!), and a mini connect four, because she really likes putting coins in things. How long do you think those little disks will make it til they’re all over the plane? 10 minutes?
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4. Snacks, milk, more snacks, more milk.
Tried and true “travel-only” junk like fruit snacks and dum dums will make the list. Also, veggie straws. Milk in a real bottle is going to be a struggle, because she needs it to sleep and therefore I will need refills on the plane. Maybe I can talk to the stewardess about keeping one of mine in a fridge? Is that even possible? Maybe Canadian airline stewardesses are nicer than American? (Really, how could they not be…) I plan to bring an apple and an orange, squeeze it applesauce, cheese and crackers (handi snacks), and maybe some PB&J sandwiches.

5. Essentials
A pacifier, and a back-up pacifier. Diapers (pull-ups aren’t very absorbent, and we could be stuck without access to a toilet whether she tells me she needs to go or not). A plastic bag (for trash or poopy diaper or whatever). A sandwich baggie (for god knows what). Burp cloths (for spills or water or snot). Wipes. Two changes of clothes and one sweatshirt. A t-shirt to change into for me (should barf wind up all over my front or something) and my own sweatshirt, my phone (for the camera and clock), phone and kindle chargers, outlet converter for airports, our passports, my money and ID, a water bottle, excedrin migraine, a couple bandaids, a printout of our flights and times, my cousin’s phone number and address.

6. Sleep
My neck pillow, should my child decide to grace me with a couple hours of sleep!!!

7. Big Stuff
The stroller (checked at the gate), the car seat, the car seat case (stuffed under the seat in front of us? It is thin and can stuff down). The diaper bag with essentials and snacks and electronics, and M’s rolly bag with her toys and books.

Did I forget anything???

Author: Mother of All Things

Mother by fostering, adoption, and marriage... wife to my best friend... Bay area critical care nurse... travel in my blood, reading in my bones, clean food on my mind!

9 thoughts on “long-haul flights: packing for a toddler”

  1. Can your stroller fit into the car seat bag? If not gate check the bag anyway, and stuff if with things you needed in the airport but not on the plane (your sweatshirt? Extra clothes?). Also a week or so before start taking away everything she loves that will also be with you she hasn’t seen it for a week (or more if you can swing it). I cut way back on any screen, any special treats, etc. Then everything is brand new again. Also a thrift store wallet with tons of pockets might be a hit. I ask people for used gift cards and other goodies to stuff in there (assume you’ll loose them all so nothing important), pictures of you two, etc. My other tip is to embrace the “grandmas” if there are older people on the plane who want to spend hours making faces at your sweet toddler let them! If they want to hold your kid so you can pee say thanks! When someone asks if they can help with your stroller, take them up on it! This took me a while to do but it is a lot more relaxing when you let go. You’ll do great!

    1. Great ideas! The sweatshirts and extra clothes are actually for on the plane… It’s a great idea to make sure she hasn’t had screen time of played with similar toys a week before!

  2. Stickers and window clings? If you happen to get a window seat the clings could be fun. Bring a couple plastic bags (garbage, dirty clothes if that happens). We have this Abc app that Wallace loves. They also make other songs and one with musical instruments. I have a balloon pop one and some coloring ones. Kindle isn’t by me at the moment so I cant get details.

      1. Wallace doesn’t get the kiddle often so they are all exciting still. He loves the animal flash card picture ones a lot. The abc and music one he likes are by TabTable LTD. Animal finder, animal train, car wash, kids glow, rubrub animal, lego trains.

      2. My laptop is over ten years old! I barely touch it. Just use the kindle for emergencies like doctor visits and long trips. The Abc app calmed and mesmerized him the last 2 hours of the drive from Chicago. The friend that came and helped us has a daughter just a little older and she had it on her phone.

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