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18 Months Old

How Should I Prepare For An Airplane Trip With My Toddler?

I think my toddler is ready for her first airplane trip, so we're taking our first real family vacation! But I'm really worried about her being "that kid" on the plane. What can we do to avoid boredom, as well as ear pain from the pressure changes? What else do we need to know about taking a child on an airplane?

Infants often sleep on flights, can be nursed during take-off and landing for ear relief (in most cases), and can be distracted with toys. But toddlers? Toddlers on airplanes are a whole different story; after all, with much more awareness of their surroundings, fear of flying can come into play. Start several weeks before your flight by watching movies and reading books where the characters ride in airplanes and by playing with airplane toys. Pointing to planes in the sky is a game they’ll definitely want to join.

You may not want to spring for that extra seat, but there are age restrictions for toddlers sitting on laps — so investigate those rules when you’re buying your tickets. As for ear pressure and pain, sucking on a bottle or pacifier may provide some relief. And, beyond that, keep her as entertained and distracted as possible (as always) with toys and healthy snacks.

Going for a car trip, not an airplane trip? Get some tips here.

By The Bump Editors