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How to Survive a Plane Trip With a Toddler

Mother and toddler on a plane trip

Planning a summer trip with your toddler? Dreading the plane ride you need to take to get there? I don’t blame you. Flying with toddlers is no small feat. Here are a few tips that might help. But first, remember: all bets are off. The rules are suspended. You’re in survival mode now.

1. Snacks

Bring lots and lots of snacks. It’s a good idea to have a combination of snacks you’re sure he’ll like, and some new things to try. Remember, your usual rules around when and what to eat don’t apply here. A cookie the size of his head? That’s at least ten minutes of flying time in which he’s entertained. It’s also important to make sure everything is packed in individual portions. That way you can just grab a snack-sized bag of Goldfish and hand it over, rather than doling out tiny, crushable fish from a giant bag. If you’ve packed something that doesn’t come in individual sizes, spend some time before you leave putting single servings into Ziploc baggies. You’re going to be crammed into a tiny seat, you want to be able to grab something and pass it to your cranky (he will be cranky) kid, not opening bags, undoing twisty-ties, etc. while he whines for more crackers.

And, while we’re on the topic of being crammed into an airplane seat, try not to pack things that crush super easily. You’ll just end up opening your bag to find your snacks have turned into a fine powder resembling sand and your toddler will be clamoring for his beach shovel.