Traveling with a Toddler

By: Anthony Hayes

Traveling in general can be a stressful time. The strenuous guidelines and regulations of the FAA and TSA making traveling a hassle.  Throw in the variable of children and it is a whole different animal. Or is it…

Prior to our trip to the NY/NJ area we scoured the Internet in search of [answers/relief] for what lies ahead. We read some people packed little care packages for those sitting in close proximity. They included: 

  • A note reading “Sorry if I cry this is my first time flying. Please accept this goodie bag for being exceedingly patient.”
  • Earplugs
  • Gum
  • Well…you get the idea

I liked this idea a lot however we did not find to time to prepare it. We did however pack a few toys, coloring book, and a change of clothes.

All in all I have to say Violet was an extremely good travler and we had no real trouble with her. The flight was 2 1/2 hours. The last 45 minutes she slept. It was a great vacation all around!

Fly JET Blue

(Jet Blue had better cut me a check for saying this.) Rates are reasonable and I’ve been using them for years. The free TV creates the perfect distraction and includes a cartoon channel.

I feel like we carried on way too much to try and keep her occupied. We would have been good with half the toys and activities thanks to the on board entertainment JET Blue provides. 






Everyone loves to save money and probably felt as we did. We don’t need a seat for the baby, she will want to sit on our lap anyway. My advice, buy the extra seat. So long as you are in compliance with federal aviation laws and safety the extra space will be well worth it.

Violet wanted to climb back and forth across our laps most of the flight. And when it came time to nap, if was very difficult for her to get comfortable, even when stretched out across of laps. 

It is very easy to invade someone else’s personal space when in such close proximity. I even feel compelled at times to avoid using the arm rest in fear of any awkwardness. 

Luckily we had very patient passengers sitting beside us both of whom were parents themselves. Avoid the occasional reaching out to grab a strangers belongings. Even more incentive to get the third seat in your row.

Potty Time

First off I suggest putting two diapers on your little “Violet.” Here is why. During the take off we had a situation where the one diaper didn’t quite absorb all the moisture. It actually went through on to my poor girlfriends jeans. 

We use Pampers swaddlers and leaking has never been an issue before. If I had to guess it was just an involuntary reaction on her little body from the pressure change and excitement during takeoff. 

Expect The Worst

Worst case senerio your child will cry some of the flight. Unpleasant–Yes. The first time this has ever happened–No. Likely from the change in altitude coupled with the ears tendency to pop, your child will be fine. Uncomfortable but fine. 


Plan a family vacation. Where did you go? Leave your answer in the comments section. 

Author, Podcaster, Blogger, Dad, Mental Health Advocate.

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