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How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight with a Toddler

May 4, 2022

Tips and Tricks

Lifestyle, Tips and Tricks

This post is sponsored by Sistema®.* Taking a long-haul flight with a toddler can feel really daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re prepared and do a few things before you take off, it feels a lot less overwhelming, and I personally feel like a few hours of travel is worth it to get to an incredible destination where you’re going to make lifelong memories as a family. Here are a few of our best tips for taking a long-haul flight with kids:

How to survive a long-haul flight with a toddler:

Pack Snacks:

My number one tip for traveling with a toddler is to pack snacks! If you’re on a flight for more than a few hours, your toddler is likely going to get hungry and being trapped on a plane without food options for a little one is basically asking for a meltdown (from both of you, haha). Since airplane snacks are not the most toddler friendly, planning ahead and packing your own snacks that you know your little one will love is a must!
 
We love packing snacks for the plane in our Sistema® food storage containers. The Sistema® TO GO™ collection makes it really easy to pack any type of snack you want! Since they are hard containers, nothing gets smashed in your bag while you’re going through security or while you’re on the flight, and the easy-locking clips seal it and make it so that all of the food stays fresh for the long flight. 
 
I always try to bring healthy snack options for both me and my daughter, and the Sistema® TO GO™ containers make it so much easier to do that! Whenever I’ve tried to bring fruit or berries previously, they always end up getting smashed or leaking out of a ziplock bag and it gets all over everything. But in the Sistema® containers, we never have that problem! I love using the PortionPod™ to pack things like blueberries, raspberries, and puffs. And I always pack the Split To Go, because I can pack two different snacks in one container, and then I don’t have to worry about bringing a bunch of different big bags of snacks. The Snack Attack™ Duo TO GO™ is great for bringing things like sandwiches, salad and dressing, dips like hummus with carrots, and granola bars. I love using this one for long-haul flights, because I can pack an entire meal with a bunch of different options in the same container. The Sistema® to-go containers are great for travel too, because they stack really easily, so they don’t take up too much room in my carry-on and they’re easy to grab out during the flight.
 
Not only do toddlers and kids get hungry more often than adults do, but I feel like picking up puffs or snacking on berries is entertainment for little ones too so it helps the time pass more quickly. Packing snacks is a win-win for everyone.

Pack a Change of Clothes:

Between spilling snacks, unexpected turbulence, diaper issues, and all the other unpredictable things that happen with toddlers, it’s always a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes for both you and your baby in your carry-on bag. We’ve been on one too many flights where I forgot a change of clothes and I’ve ended up with spit up all over my shirt or my baby has ended up in just a diaper for the rest of the flight, so it’s always a good idea to pack a change of clothes in your carry-on, especially for a long-haul flight.
 

Keep Your Bedtime Routine:

Little ones respond really well to sleepy cues, and even though you’re on a plane and in a different environment, if you try to keep their bedtime routine, they’re more likely to fall asleep. Pack a pair of pajamas, their sleep sack, a portable sound machine, their pacifier, lovey, bottle, etc. and have it all easily accessible and ready to grab out from your carry-on when you’re ready for your little one to go to sleep. Luckily on long-haul flights, they dim the lights and try to keep it pretty quiet in between meal services, so I always try to wait until after the first meal service and then get her ready for bed and try to get her to sleep once the lights go down. 
 

Bring Toys:

Bringing toys you know your little one loves and will play with is such a good idea for a long-haul flight. Toys like pop-its and spinner toys are great for planes, because they’re quiet and entertain little ones for a long time. If you’re in a window seat, the spinner toy can suction cup to the window and then your little one can play with it on there. Also, packing a few new toys is a good idea too! I try to pack a bunch of small toys and rotate them every two to three hours, so she gets excited about having a new toy to play with. 

Request the Infant Bassinet:

If you’re traveling with an infant-in-arms (a child under two) on a long-haul flight, you can request a seat with the infant bassinet. These seats are in the bulkhead aisles and have little bassinets that attach to the wall so your baby can sleep. These bassinets really only work for your little one to sleep if your baby is under one, but even if your baby is too big for the bassinet, you’ll get the extra leg room and space that comes with the bulkhead area and when you have a little one sharing your space, you want all the extra room you can get.

Try to Keep a Positive Mindset:

Mindset is everything on a long-haul flight. The minutes can feel like hours if you watch the flight tracker for too long, so try to keep a positive mindset and remind yourself that you can do anything for a few hours! And just keep thinking about how it’ll be so worth it once you’re finally to your destination! Download a few shows, podcasts, books, etc. so you can listen to something and be entertained while you also try to entertain your toddler. Remember, you’ve got this! It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it!

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*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post that is part of an ongoing partnership with the Food Division of Newell Brands. They have provided products and monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.

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