I am Mom · Travel

Flying with a Toddler

We made it! And I think for the most part my plan was good and my LO is such a rock star I’m not sure what I was so worried about. We took off on a Tuesday, our flight was at 3pm in Boston which is about a two and a half hour car ride. I thought for sure LO would sleep in the car, but much to my surprise he was wide awake and being silly the whole ride down. At the airport we had lunch and then ran the terminal for the two hours we were there – I was sure he would sleep on the plane after being up all day. I was wrong! He was awake and bounced back and forth between me and my father in law the whole ride. Played peek-a-boo with the people in the seats behind us and didn’t seem to mind flight or being confined to the small space at all! Fortunately the flight was about forty-five minutes shorter than expected and was only a little over four hours.

Okay more on our trip to the National Western Stock Show coming soon, but for now, travel tips!

Going Through Security

  • If you have a stroller it gets collapsed and sent through the x-ray machine with your bags.
  • So do your LO’s stuffed animals.
  • The normal security process of taking off your shoes applies, but I was not asked to take off my sons and didn’t proactively do so.
  • Sippy Cup – on my outbound flight I did not bring a sippy cup with liquid in it, I waited and filled it after we were through security. On our way home however I did have a cup with water. I put this in the bin with our shoes and other items but it wasn’t given a second look.
    • I have heard that normally your liquids (milk, formula, etc.) are tested somehow.
  • Veggie and Fruit pouches do not count as a liquid or gel, mine were looked at closely but there didn’t seem to be an issue.
  • Outbound flight I carried my LO through the old school metal detector, on our flight home they had me walk through and had him walk through after me (okay, he ran through!) and they gave him a sticker.

Basically security at both Boston and Denver airports was a breeze!

The FAA CARES Seatbelt

I really struggled with my decision to buy or not to buy this seat belt, but decided to buy it. We boarded the plane in advance when they offer to let “families traveling with small children” extra time.  Some of the other blogs I read said not to do this, but we opted to do it and get situated and put our roller bag in the overhead bin and drop the stroller for gate check without the stress of people piling on around us (side Note: ask at the gate desk for a gate check tag for the stroller). Back to the seat belt, very easy to use, the top strap goes around the seat back under the tray, the buckle goes through the loops at the bottom and you buckle in your child. The one big downside is there isn’t a crotch strap of any sort so we found that LO could slide down in the seat. Honestly, we probably erred in that we buckled him in right away and after the 20 min or so we were waiting for everyone else to board he’d had enough and started fussing. Because I knew he had to be totally overtired I thought maybe he was fussing because sleep was impending and if I held him he might – I was wrong on that count and we didn’t use the seat belt the rest of the flight. It was helpful for strapping the sippy cup to and the stuffed animal. I think a larger child would do better, at 19 months LO is just too little and just sitting wasn’t going to work.

I had heard from other friends and bloggers that the flight attendants were pretty strict on the way their child was sitting on their lap and belted. We were never spoken to about this on either flight. LO sat on my father in laws lap for takeoff enjoying an apple sauce fruit pouch and saying “vroom, vroom.” We thought the fruit pouches would be even better than a sippy cup to ensure his ears popped – seemed to work!

Overall my stress was somewhat unnecessary, I know my kid and he’s the best. He did great and we were lucky. We just played and enjoyed the flight (screen free I would like to add!).

Now – time to plan our next trip!


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