My 19 month old and I recently boarded an airplane together to go visit family. The original plan was to have a 30 minute layover scheduled in Minneapolis which would provide us with just enough time to run from one gate to the next and get back on a plane. However, this ended up being a 3 hour delay due to weather issues in Texas holding back our expected plane.
With spring- like conditions in both Indiana and North Dakota I did not see this one coming. Anytime you are traveling with a toddler it is best to be prepared for anything, Here are 7 ways you can be prepared if an extended airport stay happens to you and your little one.
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Wear shoes that are comfortable and you won’t mind running after your busy toddler in. Never go for fashion when flying as speed is more important if your child likes to run. I was so thankful I was in my running shoes, because I spent most of the three hours running with my toddler so he could burn some energy. He ended up sleeping through both flights so it worked!
I thought I had brought WAY too many diapers. You never know how long you could get stranded and your toddler may have more diapers than they would on a “normal” day. We had 3 messy diapers while traveling. Factor in wet diapers too and we went through 5 diaper changes which is way more than I expected (in 4 hours!)! If you do run out the little airport stores sell them but at a hefty price.
The diaper bag I used to travel with was not great for a long stay at the airport. Make sure to have a backpack instead of an over the shoulder or hand-held. You want to be able to be hands free so that you can grab your little at a moment’s notice and be comfortable. A back pack style diaper bag (like this one) would work well, it even had hooks to hang on the stroller as well.
Pack some good snacks for you and your little companion. Airport snacks are expensive so you can save money here by bringing extra of foods you know your child will eat.
- Granola Bars
- Whole Grain Cereal
- Trail Mix
- Soy or Almond Milk (if your child is lactose intolerant-The TSA will do some extra measures to check you over but usually they will let you through security with it)
- Squeezable fruit and veggie pouches
- Dried Fruit
Empty Cup and Water Bottle
Water and beverages are another spendy item when at the airport. Save a few dollars and throw an empty cup and water bottle in your bag so you don’t have to spring for one when you get thirsty. Just head to the FREE water fountain and fill it up!
Bring ALL napping essentials so that your little one can get some much-needed rest either in the airport or on the next plane. Traveling is a lot of work for your toddler so making sure they have everything needed for a good nap is essential.
- Pacifier Clips (no lost pacifiers!)
- Stuffed toy (this is the one my guys has)
- White noise app on phone
Traveling in Pajamas
Putting your child in pajamas when you travel allows them to be in comfortable clothing all day long. If you choose to use footed pajamas there is no worry of lost shoes or socks. By being in pajamas your little one will be ready to take a nap where ever possible.
For us the long layover actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My very active son had a lovely time exploring the airport and slept the whole flight. We watched airplanes, ate snacks, and actually got to play with a puppy.
One more thing! I created a FREE packing checklist that you will want to download below! This way you won’t forget anything and it will make packing for your toddler a breeze!
Happy Flying all!
Free Packing Checklist
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