What’s Up in the Air: Preparing for Long Haul Flights with Babies and Toddlers

Traveling with infants and young children can feel overwhelming especially when facing the challenge of flights. The thought of spending hours in a confined space with one can be daunting. 

However, with planning and preparation it is possible to make long haul flights with babies and toddlers an enjoyable experience for both parents and children. In this article we will explore tips and strategies to ensure that flying with your ones becomes a breeze.

Flying with your child can be an adventure if you approach it in this way. From making bookings to arranging in flight entertainment we will guide you through the steps for a stress free journey.

Early Booking Advantage

Preparation begins well before you step onto the plane. Begin by booking your flight in advance taking into account factors such as layovers, departure times and overall travel duration. 

By planning you can choose flights that align with your child’s sleep schedule, which increases the chances of them resting during the flight.

Research airlines that offer services and accommodations specifically designed for families. Booking early not ensures rates but also improves your chances of securing seats that offer additional legroom or bassinet options.

Thoughtful Packing Tips

Make sure you have all the essentials, like diapers, wipes, formula or baby food, bottles, and an extra set of clothes. Pack a variety of snacks to keep your toddler entertained and hydrated during the flight. Remember to bring their comforting items, such as a blanket or a cuddly stuffed animal to create a familiar environment.

Don’t forget to include a nappy backpack to keep all your diaper-changing essentials organized and easily accessible. This should contain extra diapers, a changing pad, diaper rash cream, and disposable bags for used diapers.

Consider including a first aid kit with medications and baby-friendly pain relievers. Having these readily available can be extremely helpful in situations.

Strategic Seat Selection

Selecting the seat can greatly enhance your in flight experience. If your budget allows, consider reserving a seat for your child particularly if they are over two years old. This will provide space for them to move around throughout the journey. 

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Additionally opt for seats near the front row for legroom and the convenience of having a bassinet for infants.

It’s also wise to check with the airline about their policies regarding seating arrangements for infants and toddlers. Some airlines may offer discounted rates. Have guidelines on where child seats should be placed.

Timing the Flight Strategically

Timing is crucial when it comes to long haul flights, with children.Here’s a rephrased version that aims to sound like human written text;

When planning your flights try to schedule them around your child’s sleep routine so they have a chance of napping during the journey. 

Opting for red eye flights or those that align with their nap times can make the travel experience more peaceful.

Entertainment is Essential

Strategically plan layovers to provide opportunities for breaks and playtime between flights. This will help your child burn off some energy and reduce restlessness throughout the journey.

Entertainment is key when flying with ones. Make sure to pack a variety of toys, books and electronic devices to keep them engaged during the trip. Downloading their shows or games beforehand is an idea since internet connectivity might be limited. Don’t forget child headphones for an experience for other passengers.

To keep your child entertained, introduce toys or activities during the flight. Surprise them with a wrapped toy that they can unwrap during the journey to add an element of excitement.

Comfortable Dressing Approach

Both you and your child should dress comfortably in clothing for the flight. Airplane cabins can have fluctuating temperatures so having layers allows you to adjust accordingly. 

Remember to pack a set of clothes in case of spills or accidents and choose shoes that are easy to slip on and off for security checks.

Choose clothing that’s easy to put on and take off for diaper changes. It’s also an idea to dress your child in layers so you can adjust to temperatures, throughout the journey.

Planning for Quality Sleep

Making sure your child gets sleep during the flight is important for their well being and your sanity. Bring items that are associated with sleep like a blanket or their favorite bedtime story. 

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Consider dressing them in pajamas to create a sleep environment. For babies using a baby carrier or sling can be really helpful as they can nap close to you while you have your hands free.

Coordinate with your child’s regular sleep routine by dimming lights and creating an atmosphere during designated nap times. Having a routine can help your child relax and fall asleep easily.

Staying Calm and Adaptable

Long flights with babies and toddlers can be unpredictable so it’s important to stay calm and be adaptable. Be prepared for situations like delays or turbulence. Be flexible with your plans. 

Maintaining a demeanor as parents can have an impact on the child making them feel more comfortable, in unfamiliar surroundings.

Practice deep breathing exercises to manage stress during challenging moments.

A calm and composed parent sets a tone for everyone on board during travel.

Utilizing Airline Family Services

Many airlines provide services and amenities specifically designed for families traveling with children. It’s worth asking about the resources, such as baby bassinets, child friendly meals and priority boarding.

Some airlines even have baby changing facilities on board to make it easier for parents to attend to their child’s needs during the flight.

Make sure to inform the airline in advance if you have any requirements like restrictions or the need for a bassinet. Airlines are usually. Willing to assist families to ensure a journey.

Strategies for Dealing with Jet Lag

Long flights often involve crossing time zones, which can result in jet lag. To minimize its effects, gradually adjust your child’s sleep schedule a day before the trip. 

Once you arrive at your destination, encourage your child to be exposed to light during daylight hours and try to schedule naps according to time as this can help them adjust better to the new time zone.

It is also essential to stay hydrated throughout the journey and encourage your child to drink water. This will help combat dehydration which can contribute to jet lag symptoms.


Traveling with babies and toddlers, on long haul flights requires planning and some flexibility.

With planning, strategic packing and embracing the nature of the trip you can transform what may appear as a challenging undertaking, into a remarkable and pleasant adventure for the entire family. 

Always keep in mind that having the attitude and making necessary preparations can open up possibilities for enriching family travel experiences. Wishing you a journey!