Long haul survival guide: Flying with toddlers (Sponsored by Target)

what to pack for a toddlerPIN IT


Flying with kids can be a bit daunting, and when doing it alone it can be down right frightful. Bo and I have flown a lot together, just the two of us… but in a mere matter of days we will be flying on the long haul 17 hour flight from Sydney to Vancouver… Over the last 18 months I have managed to get packing down to a fine art. I know what we need and what we can leave behind. The list has changed and evolved along with Bo’s needs. what to pack1PIN IT

What to pack for a flight with your toddler:

what to pack3PIN ITEat

Some airlines are excellent when it comes to little kids and food. Others, not so much, so it’s always best to be prepared. I pack a sturdy lunchbox with snacks and treats that will fill up a hungry tummy or act as an effective distraction to stave off a total meltdown in the time of need. I pack a few pouches of pureed fruit or veggies (I like the organic bubs range personally as they are local and organic), I also pack dried fruit, a small sandwich, a piece of fresh fruit, a few slices of cheese and a couple of little treats (some sugar free dark chocolate or a home made honey and oat slice work wonders). It’s important that the food you bring is easy to carry, easy to digest and not terribly messy if dropped. This isn’t the time to try your kid out on new foods. Bring things you know he/she likes and things that aren’t packed full of sugar or preservatives (the last thing you need is a hyperactive toddler in a confined space). Always bring a water/milk bottle that you can fill up in the airport or on board if necessary.

what to pack6PIN ITSleep

Airplanes and sleep don’t work well together at the best of times and with a toddler in tow it can be a nightmare. If you can get your toddler to cuddle up and go to sleep you will both have a much more pleasant flight (and you might even get to watch a movie of your choosing and/or eat a meal without little hands in your food). Bringing a nice warm blanket, a much loved soft toy and a comfy set of pj’s can do wonders. Airplanes can get really cold and uncomfortable (if you hadn’t already noticed) so making your little one comfortable and warm is the first step to sleep.

what to pack5PIN ITEntertain

How do you keep a toddler entertained for 17 hours whilst confined to a small space? You don’t, but you try anyway! The tablet is our saving grace these days. I load it with books and kid friendly drawing apps that are age appropriate and already tried and tested. A few favourite picture books, flash cards and a few small toys wrapped up (I use cars, trolls and dinosaurs because they are the current rage for my little tornado) that are designed to distract and excite during those moments when you think hell is going to break loose. Get your little one a set of kid safe headphones and get them to practice using them before you hop on the plane…

what to pack 2PIN ITWear

Keep your little one comfortable in cotton breathable cotton and layers. Stretchy leggings, soft long sleeved tops and singlets are a must along with slip on ugg boots and a warm hat and jumper for your destination if the weather is predicted to be chilly. Avoid synthetic fabrics and fancy restrictive clothing… comfort is key.

what to pack7PIN ITCarry

A good sturdy bag to put all your goodies in that has a long cross body strap to free your hands up for all of the grabbing and carrying and herding that you know doubt will have to do in the airport. I don’t ever fly without my ergo baby carrier, it is our saving grace and it has literally saved my ass a thousand times during long layovers and unexpected delays and airport transits. Having Bo safe and comfortable up on my back means I can worry about getting us onto or off of a flight without worrying about her running off or getting trampled by the crowds.

Don’t forget the every day essentials including nappies, wipes and a spare change of clothes for yourself too… oh and don’t forget your sense of humour, you never know when you might need it!


This post was sponsored by Target Australia. Target gifted to Bo lots of the bits and pieces she needs for our next great adventure, for which we are very greatful. All are pictured above and are available in store at Target right now. Eat: Smash rubbish free lunch box and Very Hungry Catepillar drink bottle. Sleep: Cellular cotton cot blanket, organic baby doll, Target baby sleep suit. Wear: Piping Hot Cat beanie, Bonds leggings, Target essentials cotton long sleeved top, Target kids Ugg boots. Entertain: Kid’s noise limiting headphones. Carry: Hot Options oversized slouchy bag.

what to pack8PIN IT


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  • September 18, 2013 - 4:01 pm

    Mother Down Under - Safe travels!
    I have travelled a fair bit with Toddler C too…I think my best piece of advice is if there is a meltdown, don’t be afraid to lock yourself and your toddler in the bathroom and let them scream without feeling like all those eyes are judging you!
    Also, the back of the plane is a great place to meet other toddlers and their parents!ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2013 - 6:42 am

    Julie - I pack the above, plus moisturiser and pads/tampons (without fail I am always the one who gets my period mid flight)ReplyCancel

    • September 19, 2013 - 8:03 pm

      Sash - oh moisturiser is a must! periods mid flight, what a drag!!ReplyCancel

  • September 19, 2013 - 8:57 am

    J - Have a safe flight! See you and Bo soon! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • September 20, 2013 - 9:48 am

    Laura June - We flew from the US to Korea when our oldest son was two and I don’t know how we survived it. He was amazing but awake the WHOLE FLIGHT until the last hour. We had an amazing experience, I hope the same for you guys!ReplyCancel

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