Flying with a One Year Old

Flying with a one year old is not easy but worthwhile. Your baby that was so easy to travel with at 6 months and 9 months, is now entering toddlerhood. That means they probably don’t want to sit still, so….be prepared.

If you are searching for some tips on how to get through a flight with a one year old, then this is the post for you!

We were gone for 6 weeks over the summer, traveling to Israel with a baby and then to Destin, Florida. Now that we’re back, here are some lessons I learned the hard way, so you don’t have to!

Flying During the Daytime with a 1 Year Old

We had 24 hours of travel time spread over 3 flights. Flying during the day is ROUGH. Baby Boy wanted to move all.the.time. This doesn’t work well in economy.  

The short flights were manageable, just barely. The long one (11 hours); I never want to relive that again.  

Imagine: a toddler climbing on your lap up and down, up and down; stepping on your bladder for the twentieth time in a row; lifting the window shade up and down, up and down.  

And guess what he did with the arm rest? Yup! Up and down, up and down! The only time we got a little relief is when he was eating, or walking in the aisle, and there’s only so much you can do that.  

Baby Boy, being the good kid that he is, didn’t cry. But in his typical fashion, made friends with the people in front, in back and to the side of us- initiating peek-a-boo games, getting them to pay attention. By all accounts he was the perfect traveler. Except that all accounts don’t account for my bladder.  

Flying at Night with a 1 Year Old

Surprisingly enough, on the direction when our long flight was at night, Baby Boy slept 7 hours!!! So the remaining 4 hours of entertaining were not bad at all.  

Then again, thank goodness I was flying with M because he laid across our laps, and needless to say, would not have been able to do that without both of us there.  

Other games he liked: taking the magazines out of the seat pocket and play telephone with the remote.  

Contrary to the advice I had read, he had no interest in “new” little toys I brought, nor in old favorites, nor in watching t.v. (then again we don’t let him watch at home, so maybe that’s why).  

Flying First Class with a 1 Year Old

On our flight on the way there, we had a short flight in first class. Heaven. The other passengers were skeptical of course, but they had nothing to worry about.  

The extra space meant that Baby Boy could stand on the floor in front of us and that was amazing! The seat was also large enough that he could situate himself for a short nap.  

This also meant that we had club access during our layover. We took the opportunity to wash Baby Boy in the showers and dress him in pajamas in anticipation of the night flight. It made everything so much more manageable.  

Short Flights with Toddler

On a side note, I also had two short solo flights with Baby Boy. And I learned that the shorter the better!

Two hour flights are not a big deal, even on my own. Then again….lots of snacks….lots and lots of snacks.  

Advice for Flying with a One Year Old

  1. Fly first class, ha!
  2. Perhaps breaking up the trip into 2 with a couple days in between, and definitely not flying that long with a one year old during the daytime!
  3. Otherwise, a healthy dose of “just deal with it” is all I can offer.

Have you flown with your 1 year old? How did it go? 

For those with younger little ones- it’s easier! Check out my tips for flying with a 3 month old, and a 6 month old! Plus everything you need to know for family travel, all on one page.

Before you go, here’s how we prepare for travel with little kids in the house, and don’t forget to download a packing list- it makes things so much easier!

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