Traveling With A Toddler + The 5 Hour Flight

Before I start talking about traveling with a toddler I have to share a little store about this photo. As a blogger I’m always looking for an interesting spot to take a photo. When my parents, Myles and I were walking on Abbott Kenny Blvd I saw these little wings down low and really wanted Myles to stand in the center. I thought there was no chance I could get him to stand there and I didn’t want to push my luck so I had him look at the wings and took a photo of the back of him. It was pretty cute but then my dad stepped in taught Myles to lean up against the wall. I was so thankful for him, I got the cutest picture! The best part of all is after that moment Myles would back up to all the walls with something on them! It was cracking us up, I now have a handful of photos of him and one or both of my parents pressed against a wall and I love them all.

Back to the point of this post. Myles and I travel a lot but it’s usually between Memphis and Columbus where we live so I never have to pack much and the flight isn’t more than an hour and a half. Over the holidays we headed to LA for 4 days. Last year we were in LA over New Years also but this year was so different. Myles is a completely different person one year later and I didn’t know how to prepare for our trip.

We were flying to Los Angeles from Columbus. My first dilemma was do I choose the direct flight because, well, it’s direct and there is no chance of being delayed and missing a flight or luggage being lost. For myself I’d always choose a direct flight. For this trip I was contemplating a layover because Myles is very active and I thought he could use the break to run around and stretch his legs. Can you imagine if your baby fell asleep right before landing for your layover and then never fell back asleep on the second leg!? That would be so frustrating and another reason I choose the direct flight. I will say Myles didn’t close his eyes for one second on our 5 hour flight!! Thank goodness my mom was with me so we could pass him back in forth and take turns walking up and down the aisle which he loved to do so much!
When you only get a 30 min nap and choose not to sleep on a 5 hour flight. He was knocked out!
I am sure the first time you choose to travel with your little one you probably googled “how to travel with a toddler” or “flying with a baby”, something along those lines. I actually didn’t do that but I thought about it but I ended up just sharing my ideas and options with my husband, mom and sister and made my own choices knowing my child. I want to warn you guys, if you google tips for your upcoming travels, their recommendations may not work. I am telling you this so you can be prepared.
I didn’t let Myles watch TV for the first year of his life. I wasn’t super strict on it, we watched a lot of basketball games on TV and other occasional shows that may be on in the morning or evening. I never sat him down in front of the TV to watch cartoons or a show that would/could entertain him in order for me to get something, anything, done. When I’m with Myles I am present and when I have a sitter that’s when I’m productive outside of being a mom. Well, that may have come to bite me in the booty. He wont sit for more than a few minutes to watch a show! My sister let me borrow her portable DVD player that her kids use, some great DVD’s any little one would love and some headphones. Myles wasn’t a fan of the headphones so my mom made up a story while watching Thomas. Myles loves trains and sat for I think a good 5 minutes watching the show, definitely not more than 10 minutes. There was a little boy behind us who was a month older than Myles and he watched a whole movie on his portable DVD player. This just goes to show you every child is different. If you don’t think your toddler will sit and watch a movie (even on a 5 hour flight when you really need a good chunk of easy entertainment) make sure to bring a lot of back up activities. I also brought a notepad and crayons, action figures (borrowed from my sister), snacks that he could feed himself which is always time consuming. He did look out the window a lot and he loved to walk up and down the aisle. I was a little embarrassed and felt bad but then I remembered seeing parents and children do the same thing when I was a child. It’s just what you have to do sometimes. The seat belt sign wasn’t on and he was quite so win-win right?
Another reminder when traveling is try not to stress too much about the “schedule”. I know it is very important and I am pretty strict. I used to be crazy strict when I was still nursing but if you let the schedule get to you it can ruin your trip. Our first day we went to Venice (since I needed my NYE outfit) and I knew Myles needed to nap but I was like should we all go back to the hotel for him to nap? What if he doesn’t nap, or it’s only for 30 minutes? I decided to walk around and let him fall asleep in his stroller. He put up a huge fight to get in his stroller which proved to me he was tired. He only slept for 30 minutes but he was a great sport and we all were happy. We walked to the beach and Myles loved all the action and chasing the pigeons.
My dad was in charge or strolling Myles and he got him to sleep while in Rag and Bone.
Other things for my trip…
I had the hotel provide a crib/pack n’ play for Myles to sleep in.
I brought my own noise maker.
Brought plenty of diapers and snacks.
I went to the store to buy basics we would use every day like milk, bananas, blueberries, bread and peanut butter. It was so helpful to have all of that on hand.
I thought I brought enough clothes for Myles but I ran out of shirts and had to do laundry at the hotel. It’s not the cheapest but do keep in mind you can do laundry while on your trip.

Live votre rêve!
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2 thoughts on “Traveling With A Toddler + The 5 Hour Flight

  1. Traveling with a toddler is always an adventure! I agree that it’s important to remember that all children are different and what works for one may not work for another. For my last flight with my daughter who was around 18 months, I googled entertainment ideas and ordered a ton of stuff from Amazon. I packed it all in a cute little backpack and she wanted nothing to do with any of it. We pretty much just read the same book over and over again. I have no idea what to expect the next time we travel. Thanks for sharing your experience!