Tips For Flying With A Toddler On Your Lap

Traveling with a Toddler can be challenging. Scratch that; it nearly always challenging! If a toddler is old enough to understand the concept of flying, they will be super excited about it. That is until reality hits, and they realize it means they have to sit down and be quiet for hours on end. Before a Toddler hits a certain age, they do not need a set of their own, which can only mean one thing! Here are some tips for flying with a toddler on your lap.

7 Tips For Flying With A Toddler On Your Lap

1. Try and book extra legroom 

Tips for flying with a toddler on your lap extra legroom

It goes without saying. The more legroom you have, the more comfortable your journey will be.

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The more comfortable your journey is, the more comfortable your toddler’s journey will be!

Get your seats booked early enough to give you extra legroom. If it is too late, you will have to make the most of what you have got!

2. Ensure everything is in reach

Tips for flying with a toddler on your lap keep everything in reach

Having a toddler on your lap while flying is not going to be very comfortable. There is no escaping that harsh reality. They move far, far too much.

When you are on the receiving end of constant demands for food, drink, and toys, you need them to be within reach.

That means they are either placed in your toddlers’ hand luggage and placed under your seat, or they should be packed at the top of your hand luggage and placed in the overhead locker. Ensure you are the last person to add your bag, then it is easier to get to.

As each demand comes in from the Toddler, you must react quickly and efficiently before the meltdown clock hits 0.

3. Pack for toddler

Tips for flying with a toddler on your lap pack for toddler

Enlist the help of your Toddler when packing their bag. Obviously, it would help if you topped it up with important stuff like a tablet, some food, and some drink.

Get them to pick the toys they want to take on the plane with them. When they pick toys, use your head. Do not take anything too noisy or too annoying for everyone else, and they will thank you for it.

4. Use a toddler carrier

Tips for flying with a toddler on your lap use a toddler carrier

I have identified some of the best baby carriers for flying but now are need to think about Toddlers. Many of the options shown on that page are also good for Toddlers too.

The best reason to use a carrier is to help them settle down and go to sleep, which will make some of the journey much easier for you.

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Be wary, though; some Baby carriers are not built to host a Toddler. If your baby carrier does not offer much lumbar support, then you will need to get one that does. Toddlers are heavier than Babies, and walking around with a Toddler attached to you will only result in you having a bad back right at the beginning of your vacation!

5. Wear the right clothing

Tips for flying with a toddler on your lap dress well

When flying, I am usually flipping between too hot and too cold, sometimes within seconds. When you fly with a toddler on your lap, you are likely to be hot more often than you are cold.

Dress appropriately for the journey. I tend to wear loose clothing when flying in general, but I would also think about just wearing a t-shirt and shorts if I have a Toddler on my lap.

If you are getting too hot, you will become short-tempered and a bit snappy. Every small movement from your Toddler will feel like water torture, and you will want to flip out! Reduce your temperature and reduce your stress levels.

6. Fully charge electrical items

Tips for flying with a toddler on your lap charge technology

There is no way I would be thinking about flying with a toddler on my lap and NOT having a tablet or phone for them to play games or watch movies on. Not a chance.

When I am flying, the last thing in my Son’s hand luggage is a set of kid’s headphones and his tablet.

Kids love the takeoff, the 10 minutes after takeoff, followed by the landing. Everything in between needs to be filled with stuff for them to do. A tablet will certainly give them something to concentrate on during the more tedious parts of the flight.

Charge up the tablet and your phone. If you are walking onto the plane with anything less than a 90% battery, then you have failed as a parent.

7 Bring a comforter for sleeping

Tips for flying with a toddler on your lap bring blanket

As I said above, the tedious parts of a plane journey need to be filled up with entertainment…..or with sleep!

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A sleeping Toddler sounds great, in theory. In practice, when they are on your lap, you will be spending a lot of time moving your arms and legs as they go numb whilst trying not to wake them up. It is a fine line, which you must walk.

Bring in their favorite toy or blanket, which they like to cuddle with while they sleep. Whichever item offers them enough comfort is the best option. My Son has a blanket that has been ever-present for him when sleeping (except one time, which was a challenge!). Every flight that we go on, the blanket is there with us.


If you need to know some tips for flying with a toddler on your lap, then I have you covered here!

It is a struggle, and it can get very annoying, but it does save you money. Please make the most of traveling before you have to pay for a separate seat for them.

During the safety presentation, the flight crew always says, ‘make sure your own oxygen mask is on before you place a mask on someone else.’ The same message should apply to comfort.

Always ensure you are comfortable before your Toddler is comfortable. That way, you will not be putting your frustrations on your Toddler as you struggle for comfort.

Take care, and chill out! The flight will be over before you know it.


About ME

Let’s start with the obvious, I’m a dad.

I have 2 kids. One was dragged out from the comfort of his Mother’s womb kicking and screaming, and the other was a little easier.

Dad Gold was created to give tips that I wish someone had given me!

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