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10 Tips for Entertaining Toddlers who Hate to Fly on an Airplane

Are your kids bad fliers? Fear not, I'm sharing 10 tips for entertaining toddlers who hate to fly!

I feel like I can call myself a pro at this. We’ve flown with Brody since he was an infant and luckily, he’s always been so great on planes! I will even go as far as to say that he’s better than Isaiah and I combined, it’s crazy and I don’t take for granted how fortunate we got with him! Levi, however, is the complete opposite!!! He is THE WORST!!! He must take after his parents?! {I say that jokingly, obvs. Isaiah and I both fly all the time but neither of us love it. Feel me??}

Are your kids bad fliers? Fear not, I'm sharing 10 tips for entertaining toddlers who hate to fly!

So back to Levi being the worst plane-goer ever… am I a terrible parent for telling the world this about my child?? The thing is, that I’m speaking the truth – he screams the whole time, wants nothing to do with staying in his seat, just wants to be running up and down the isles, and cries nonstop. Yep. And for that, I thank my lucky stars that at least one of my boys likes the friendly skies. #thebrightside

Are your kids bad fliers? Fear not, I'm sharing 10 tips for entertaining toddlers who hate to fly!

Because my in-laws live out of town and we like taking family trips over winter break and spring break, we fly a bunch during the year. No complaints about traveling but because I know Levi is so so bad on a plane, my gut is filled with crazy anx before we leave for anywhere!! Being a mom is harddddd.

Are your kids bad fliers? Fear not, I'm sharing 10 tips for entertaining toddlers who hate to fly!

Over the past few flights, however, I have to say that we’ve nailed down a few things that have helped – A LOT. Sharing my 10 tips for traveling with toddlers below!

1. My number 1 tip {unfortunately} will only work once your child turns 2 and you need to buy him/her a seat on the plane…

It’s to bring your toddler’s carseat {make sure that it’s FTC compatible} on the plane! Seriously, I’d rather have my child scream and cry IN the carseat than screaming and crying, trying to run up and down the aisles, and bothering the other passengers. Now, if your child isn’t two yet and he/she doesn’t have his/her own seat on the plane, please refer to tip #2.

2. This might seem obvious but BRING LOTS OF FOOD… 

Yes to all the bagged snacks {like pretzels, pirate’s booty, veggie straws, etc} If your child is under two, you might want to bring a snack container too!

BUT also bring a bento box {preferably one with a built in ice pack} filled with some refrigerator snacks and some pantry snacks! –> Check out the blog post I wrote sharing 7 awesome bento boxes you need in your life!

  • From the refrigerator: cubed cheese or string cheese, your child’s favorite kind of sandwich, cut up fruit, apple sauce, yogurt pouches {pro tip: if you pack it frozen, it will thaw over time}
  • From the pantry: small boxes of chocolate-yogurt covered raisins, mini rice crispy treats, fruit snacks, plus the bagged snacks that I mentioned above!

3. More specifically, when it comes to food, kill time with these ideas…

Bring an orange and have YOUR CHILD peel it! This will take up a lot of time and they will most likely be excited to do it because it’s something new. 

Bring suckers!! When all else fails, lollipops to the rescue. We like THIS kind, which also happens to clean their teeth… AMAZE! 

4. make sure you bring a CHARGED iPad…

{with a case that allows for it to stand on it’s own} that you’ve loaded with downloaded episodes on all the streaming apps. Levi doesn’t really fancy watching TV but even so, I’ll still download different movies and show episodes from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ as well as Hulu! I like to download a mix of my kid’s favorite shows and movies + some new shows and movies so they get excited! 

Don’t forget to pack headphones too! We LOVE these bluetooth ones for baby and toddler!

5. A few kid friendly apps to download for babies and toddlers…

Bubbles {where you pop all the bubbles on the screen and it makes noises – it’s awesome for hand-eye coordination}, 

Drawing app to make any creation they want! This is the app that Levi is using in the first photo in this post!

Puzzle app – Brody LOVES this app and could do it foreverrrr.

Also, Instagram story filters are hilarious and great time fillers on a long flight!

6. In a dedicated CHILD backpack, bring:

  • all the food – as talked about above!
  • a water bottle – THIS one is our current fave!
  • the kids ipad
  • the earphones
  • a change of clothes
  • a bunch of interactive books to read – like THIS seek-and-find version
  • small toys! I like to have the kids choose a few of their faves before we leave. Then, I slip in a GIFT WRAPPED NEW TOY {see tip #10 for great plane toy suggestions!!} that your little one{s} will be excited about and haven’t seen before!!!
  • anddddd crayons/coloring books {THIS travel activity art kit is goals!!}

7. If your son or daughter has a lovey, paci, favorite stuffed animal, BRING THEM ALL!!!!

I once totally forgot to do this and it was torturous. Throw these things in the backpack too!!

8. If you have to split up where one parent takes one child and the other parent takes the other child {or children}…

My suggestion is to sit in front/behind each other. It’s way more conducive to the parents communicating with each other without disrupting other adults on the plane!

9. Almost always, Isaiah and I switch seats mid-flight…

A new parent taking over can make all the difference for your difficult frequent flyer.

For tip #10, I’m going to share a bunch of our fave toys for the airplane!

If you wanted to bring a new toy, as I discussed in tip #6, these are all tried and true! Highly recommend! See below! And don’t worry, I included toys for both boys and girls!!


Can I let you in on a little secret? My fam and I are going to Arizona for Spring Break soon and I wrote this blog post to remind myself of all the things I need to prep myself for!! And mark my words, I will be referring back to it again and again!

Please share this post with your friends using the pink email icon below! I’d love for you to PIN it, too! Ya know, so you can refer back to it in the future – like me!! Xox

Shop All The Plane Essentials Below!

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Welcome!!

Welcome!!

My Name is Dana Ivy.

Hey hey! I’m a MOM of two, here to share and I’m so happy you found me!! As a Chicago lifer {currently settled in the North Shore ‘burbs}, self-admitted shopping addict, and foodie, at the core I’m really just a mom {and a wife, gotta give a shout-out to my hubby!} just trying to balance it all! My two crazy toddler boys, Brody {who’s 5} and Levi {who’s 3} are my whole entire world and while being their mom is the BEST thing ever, it ain’t always easy! The chaos is real and because I adore mom life SO MUCH, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you?? I created this space for all the moms out there who are just trying to get by... I want to help make your lives a little easier, one blog post at a time! Join me on my quest to share allll the mom tips, simple style ideas, REALLY easy recipes {if I can do it, you can do it!!}, and our travels. Read More.

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