Monday 2 September 2013

Flying With A Two Year Old

The first time Leo flew he was only 5 months old, a mere baby in arms he slept most of the way there and most of the way back. I had been worried about taking baby milk and water through security and panicked that the pushchair would get lost or damaged in transit.

I needn't have worried, the whole process of flying with a baby was a relatively easy and stress free experience.

So how did I feel about the prospect of flying with a 2 year old?

To be honest... I couldn't think of anything worse than a toddler who had ants in his pants for 4/12 hours.

I had decided ahead of the trip to leave the pushchair at home, but in hind sight this would have been a very welcome addition to just have around the airport to keep Leo where he was supposed to be at certain points.

Outward Flight

I took a number of steps in preparation to taking Leo on such a long flight. It involved a Trunki and lot's of his favourite toys, the idea was that he could ride the Trunki around the airport and then have all of his toys for entertainment on board the plane.

I even let Leo help me pack up the Trunki with things that I knew he would play with, things that would keep him happy. His LeapFrog LeapTop, His Thomas Train, lots of little cars as cars are the ultimate toy's right now, and finally... I invested in a portable DVD Player for him to watch a few of his favourite DVDs which of course included... Disney's Cars.

Arriving at the airport for a very early flight Leo was thrilled to be riding his Trunki around, I lost count of how many people I apolagised too as Leo rode over their toes like a lawnmower cutting the grass. But still it kept him entertained while we were lining up to check in, and kept me firmly on my toes in case he decided to gain some speed...

With check in now behind us the next stage ahead of us was tackling security, a point I really did wish that I had brought the pushchair along. Leo was just interested in everything going on around him and this certainly reflected in how busy and into everything he was. Lining up and waiting for things is just very apparently not in a two year old's mind set.

In my head I had already in-visioned how I thought the flight would go, being so early in the morning I had quite honestly thought that he would succumb to his heavy eyes and sleep. Leo seemed to have other ideas... Leo decided he detested being strapped in on the airplane, and kicked up such a fuss that as soon as the seat belt sign came off, he was free to climb all over me. Luckily everyone around us was incredibly understanding, and I guess they have all been in our shoes at one point or another. 

In all fairness to Leo aside from the initial screaming at take off (because of the seat belt) he was actually incredibly well behaved.

Leo spent the entire flight climbing all over the seats (and me...) playing with Thomas and watching Cars. Leo was thrilled that his cars had been included in his goodie case, so Thomas and the cars kept on being crashed into one another just so he could say 'Mumma...Crash'.

If you are planning on flying with a toddler then the more activities you can take along with you the better. We made the most of Leo having his own hand luggage allocation (as for a two year old you have to purchase a full price ticket) and this made so much difference in keeping him busy. I don't think I would want to attempt a longer flight with Leo just yet...4/12 hours was really quite sufficient,

My visions of Leo taking a nice long nap on board the plane were far from realistic, despite how tired he felt, there was no sign of him falling asleep... Well not until we were nearing touch down we had to try and strap him back into his seat... Yes that is when my little sleepy head decided to finally close his eyes.

Nice timing as always little man...

Inbound Flight

A week comes and goes pretty quickly, and all holidays have to come to an end eventually. The return flight departed Paphos at 21:00 and after reflecting on the outbound flight I didn't hold out much hope for a sleeping toddler. I was mentally preparing myself for a very long journey back home.

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare so that we could get some dinner prior to departing, Leo jetted around on his Trunki having the absolute time of his life. Passers by pointed and smiled at my little guy as he passed them by, as usual Leo reveled in being the centre of attention, performing for his admiring audience. 

Boarding the flight I knew the time was fast approaching where Leo would have to get strapped into his seat, I even apolagised to people before Leo began to scream in temper about the seat belt keeping him firmly in his seat. I thought maybe if he stayed strapped in then he may just drift off to sleep like last time... but it turns out all my little man wanted on this occasion was a cuddle with his Mumma.

Leo is not one to cuddle up and go to sleep, so I relished this moment. Leo proceeded to cat nap for the entire flight home. It was by no means a deep sleep but it kept him quiet for the most part, but when he did wake up he was more than happy to sit and watch Cars in the comfort of his seat. 

Leo didn't mind taking off or landing (bar the whole seat belt shenanigan) and really was exceptionally well behaved. It was lovely being complimented on how well behaved he was, and reassured even when he did decide to have a little cry.  I definitely think Leo's Trunki full of goodies was the secret to our successful flights, and I will be packing it full of treats for each and every future flight we jet off on.

Flying with a toddler was certainly more of a challenge than flying with a baby in arms, but it was not as daunting as I had anticipated. The whole experience for Leo has been so exciting and I am sure he would have no objections to doing it all again.


  1. I flye freequently with charley and its not that bad he is on the other hand quite used to flying by now. But i dont think that parents should be affraid of flying with a baby or a toddler as long as the are occupied its fine:)

    we always have a bit of a fight with the belt charley and i but its fine in the end:)


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