Tips on flying with a 2 year old?

Someone recently asked for tips on flying with a 2 year old? “Any good ideas to keep the dude occupied and not have THAT kid on the flight?”

One decent suggestion involved lots of lollipops, but apparently this kid is already too hyper. Another suggestion was a portable DVD player (hopefully that would put the kid to sleep).

Timing a flight for the baby’s naptime was a good suggestion as was getting the kid a seat of his own. And I never knew that sipping warm water was good for the ears.

Probably more effective than warm water would be a set of Earplanes for the child. They are pressure regulating plugs for their ears that prevent inner ear pain from cabin pressure changes. You can find them in a lot of airport shops, or you can order them online. Look for the children’s size.

Other suggestions included juice cups, food, a favorite blanket, a car seat, a pacifier (obviously), some toys, numbing ear drops (from a pediatrician), and waiting until the last minute to board the plane (this gives the baby more time to run around).

And I was saving this for last: many people suggested cough syrup to knock the baby out. One person even had a related story to tell: he was flying with his son and “Baby Benedryl was offered and we declined. Stare Daggers from the offerers for the rest of the flight.”

Filed Under: Airlines + flying

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  1. elis says:

    My child is now 3 going on 4. When she was 2 we took a flight to disney world. I did’nt have the luxury of booking a flight to go with her naptime. It was for 9 am, it was cheaper. When she saw the plane out the window she got excited. so i made her a paper airplane that did’nt fly in anywhere and l let her pretend she was an airplane until we had to board. What i did during the flight was give her some ice to chew on taking off and landing. I also read to her in a soothing tone, and let her play with the dolls she picked out from home. That trip was smoother than when we travel in a car now.

  2. Janet says:

    I’m one of the lucky ones….from the time my son was 3 months old to most recent (he’s 3)he falls asleep the minute the planes takes off and wakes up when we land. It is so wierd. On the longer flights when he does wake up during a flight he will eat something, then go back to sleep.

    I have seen people with two year olds on flights and they do everything from books to dvd players.


  3. Heather says:

    When my daughter was 2 years old. We took a flight to Florida. I packed a coloring book, snacks, and juice. The nice part about it was when we where to be seated. There was a man seating in the same row with use and hea asumed that my daughter wolud be crying or making alot of noise.So he asked one of the flight attendants for another seat whick gave my daughter the hold seat to her self by the window. She was so amazed with so clouds that she never really used her coloring books. A half an hour before we land she woke up hungry but, I was prepared.all in all she was a happy camper.

  4. shelby says:

    My son has been flying since he was four months old. Now he is 2 1/2. Best thing I can think of is to get some fun “sit down” toys. We got him a peel and stick Thomas the Train set, coloring books with washable crayons, and travel size lego sets, or hot wheels. We also bring plenty of books (airplane stories are great!)and snacks, and I usually buy him new fun snacks and toys that I don’t give him until we on the plane, then they are new and he pays attention to them longer than some of his other toys. We always bring his favorite toys, and as long as they are “sit down” toys he plays with them.

    I have never had a problem flying with my son. But to those that suggest medication?!?! Great coping technique! NOT!

  5. trista_gabi_flyers says:

    for those of you who think that giving medications is wrong i think that u need to get your head out of the sand… flying can be a dramatic experience of children and maybe some ibprofine or some benadryl will help them relax and take a nap allowing you and the ppl around you to have a better flight.

  6. Amanda says:

    It might not be a great idea to teach your child to use medicine to cope with extenuating circumstances. Medicine is a cop out. My daughter is usually fine with coloring books and some new or favorite little toys. If people have a problem with a smaller baby crying a little then they should lighten up, we were all babies once.

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