How To Keep Baby Happy On The Plane

Traveling with your whole family is always a great idea. It can make your bond with the family stronger as it grows. However, if you are planning to travel with your 6-12 month-old baby, can you keep her entertained for the whole travel?

Some babies at this age can be quite quiet (sleeps most of the time and does not require frequent lavatories visits), but even these ideal children will get bored, and then cry eventually. Here are some tips on how to keep your baby happy on the plane while preserving your sanity intact.

To keep your baby happy while you travel either by land or by air, make sure to pack a diaper bag filled with fun and simple games. Or you can improvise by doing the classic peek-a-boo and making your own puppet by drawing a face on your index finger. However, there are instances where your baby needs to work it out by itself.

When flying with a baby, planning for the best seat must also take into consideration; therefore, make sure when booking the flight, to notify the airline that you are traveling with a little one so that you can request your seats in advance.

It is recommended to pick the aisle seat for easy access on the lavatory or a quick get out access when your baby starts to cry. In addition to this, you may follow these ten helpful tips when traveling with a baby on board.

10 Tips When Traveling With A Baby On The Plane

Flying with your baby looks like an easy-to-tote travel companion, but in reality, it is NOT. Nevertheless, with a little planning and preparation, it can turn your agony into a more peaceful and relaxed experience.

So, to get you through this, make sure you read these tips. Hopefully,  you can put back the Bon on the Voyage when you travel with your little one.

Plan the best seat

Babies under two years of age do not require buying for a plane ticket since they are allowed to sit on your lap.

However, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the safest and most recommended seat for your baby is in the child restraint system when traveling on the plane.

While most of the infant car seats are approved to be used on the plane, there are still that are not safe to be used; therefore, make sure to check the car seat manual for this kind of scenario.

For infants, weighing less than 20 pounds, they should be seated in a rear-facing child restraint and take note that even though your baby use a child restraint, you still need to buy a seat ticket for your baby.

Tip: Check your airline for any discount promo when traveling with children.

Decide what goes to carry-on

You may contact your airline ahead of time to know their policies for bringing strollers and car seats. Are they considered as carry-on items, or must they need to be checked?

According to the TSA website, baby carriers can be transported on either carry on or checked bags, but make sure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

For baby diapers, make sure you know how many diapers you can pack on your carry-on baggage. Knowing these rules will save your time figuring out the dos and don’ts when flying with your baby.

Invest in convenient travel gear

Traveling with a baby is not easy, therefore, cut down on hassle and make your life simpler by investing in dual-purpose items, or items that can save space on your baggage.

Some mom travelers use this Car Seat by Alnoor USA, wherein it converts into an Airport Car Seat/Stroller/Carrier so that you do not need to worry anymore about breaking your back carrying the car seat at the airport.


Wear baby carrier when passing through the security

Since your baby’s stroller needs to pass through the airport’s x-ray conveyor belt, you need to wear your baby through the security area using a baby carrier.

Make sure that your baby carrier is made from durable material and is adjustable so that your baby will not fall.

Well, having your baby worn around your body frees your two hands, which can make picking up your belongings once it passed through the checkpoint easier.

Feed your baby during ascent and descent

During take-off and landing, there will be changes in the cabin pressure, and it can irritate your baby’s little ears. Therefore, to avoid this from happening, try to bottle-feed your infant during these times.

Do you want to know what the rationale behind this is? Well, feeding your baby during take-off forces your baby to swallow, thus keeping their ears open.

Lastly, offer breast or bottle-feed to your baby before landing.

Prepare in advance, and you should think of wearing something comfortable for nursing your baby, but at the same time, look for something discreet.

You can just wear a loose top covered with a cardigan and scarf, which is kinda stylish and, at the same time, hassle-free when breastfeeding your infant. You may also pack spare clothes for you and your baby so that once you have landed, you can change clothes afterward.

Rethink boarding early

If you are traveling with toddler or infant, the airlines will allow you to board early.

However, I suggest you reconsider boarding early. Since it takes more than half an hour for all the passengers to board; therefore, this will add more time for your baby spending time sitting until he/she gets grumpy.

This suggestion does not apply to airlines, such as Southwest, where you don’t have assigned seats, and passengers with kids get priority when boarding. In the latter case, board as soon as you can to get the best seats available.

Book flights during your baby’s naptime

Though this trick will not always work, you should try it. Booking flights that will coincide during your baby’s naptime will give you at least a better chance for a smooth and cry-free trip.

On the other hand, if you cannot book a flight during this hour, plan the trip during the morning since most babies are happiest during this hour.

Prepare ahead and Relax

Make a checklist for the things you need to bring on your carry-on and checked luggage, and then you post it at the back of your front door so that you will not miss anything before you head at the airport.

Here is a general list of necessities for your baby:

  1. Diapers and wipes (pack on your carry-on that is enough for the whole travel time and you can bring extra in case of emergency and delays)
  2. Receiving blankets (this can be used for cover-ups, keeping the baby warm, and protects your clothes from unexpected spit ups)
  3. Spare clothes for baby
  4. Nursing pads (if you are breastfeeding)
  5. Formula and bottles (if you bottle-feed)
  6. Pacifiers
  7. Baby snacks like puffs and Cheerios
  8. Comfort toys

If you are planning a vacation trip, visiting your family or relatives, you could just contact them ahead of time to buy baby-related stuff such as a diaper, baby wipes, etc. so that you can skip packing bulky items on your luggage.

Use baby snack as an activity

If your baby can eat solid snacks, make sure to pack some snacks because you can use this as an activity to make your baby entertained and keep him/her from crying while waiting for the plane to land.

However, make sure to keep the tray clean before pouring some puffs or Cheerios, and then let your baby concentrate on picking and eating it up.

This activity will surely calm a crying baby and can keep your baby’s mouth too full so that she cannot yell or cry.

Bring entertainment

This is the most effective way to keep your baby from crying or climbing the seat of the passenger in front. You can bring books and some of your baby’s favorite toys to catch her attention.

However, make sure to leave toys at home that produce squeaky sounds or make noises that can disturb other passengers.

So, speaking of toys, listed below are some of the most recommended choice of travel toys for your baby, especially if you are traveling by air. This will surely make your baby engaged and entertained while onboard.

Best Travel Toys To Entertain Babies On A Plane

In the next few days, you will be about to depart on a flight with your infant. You are hardly scouring the internet searching for the best travel toys to make your little one engaged and entertained for the whole travel time.

I know that keeping the baby occupied in her seat is not that easy, whether you are taking a quick flight or for the long haul; generally, keeping the baby engaged while onboard takes some time.

No worries, I got your back mommies! I have created an ultimate list of travel toys on Amazon that will surely keep your baby entertained on the plane.

This list is completely tech-free; therefore, keep your iPads and tablets away, and invest in these travel toys. Moreover, these travel toys are compact, can be easily transported, and most important of all, they are safe for your kids.

Buckle Toy Blu Whale

This plush whale is more than just a stuffed animal, well, thanks to its bright “blu” color that can make your baby engaged.

Even though your baby is not familiar yet with numbers and shapes designed on the stuffed whale, it has six child-friendly straps made with different and vibrant color that allows your baby to practice some fastening tricks.

What is entertaining about this plush toy is the zippered mouth, which can also provide a lot of entertainment for your baby, such as feeding the whale. In short, this toy is an excellent choice for keeping your baby busy and engaged while onboard.

Lamaze Freddie the Firefly

With its soft, smooth texture, and joyful feature, this Firefly will surely fly to your baby’s imagination that can stimulate them while flying. Aside from the great play-thing, it provides for your baby, this can also be used to soothe the gums for teething babies.

Moreover, Freddie the Firefly is a great travel-friendly toy not because it is a firefly that it can fly but because of the rings attached at the top and bottom of the firefly, which is perfect to clip and hang on your backpack, your baby’s stroller, on the car seat.

Or you can just place it inside a purse so that whenever you want to boost your baby’s engagement level, you can just pull this thing out and TA-DAH instant boost for your little one’s entertainment.

Bright Starts Clack and Slide Activity Ball

Another travel toy, which is suitable for your baby’s sensory experience is this rollerball made with colorful beads.

The moving pieces and parts attached to the ball are designed to keep your baby’s interest while waiting for the flight and even during the flight. This activity toy comes with a mirror to catch your baby’s attention.

Moreover, it has handles with multiple textures for easy grasping and rolling around.

Skip Hop Baby Activity and Teething Elephant

For babies less than 12 months old, sensory toys like this one are an excellent choice for entertainment since they have multiple places to grab and a variety of textures to feel for babies.

Your baby’s little hands stay active as she explores crinkles, rattles, and more. Furthermore, this plush toy has a soft bandana teether that can be detached and can be worn by mom on her wrist for quick and easy access.

Go Happy Kids Tray

If you are packing puffs or Cheerios for your baby’s snacks, therefore, you can bring along this tray on your carry-on baggage too. As I said a while ago, you can use your baby snack as an activity to keep your child engaged.

Well, this activity will be more interesting because of the Go Happy Kids Tray. It is made from silicone liner that prevents the snacks from falling and sliding off.

This tray also provides a great barrier between your baby and the typical airplane tables, which are a potential source of germs and different bacteria. Make sure you disinfect it well before putting any solid food.

Jellycat Farm Tails Book

This is a 30cm x 20 cm x 30cm soft cloth book designed with bursting animal tails that can be pulled out and has a little button that can be pressed to produce a “moo” sound.

This cloth book is travel-friendly because of the loop wherein you can attach it to your baby’s stroller or car seat. It can be cleaned easily using a sponge, making it dirt and germ-free all the time.

To make it more specific, here are some tips and travel toys recommended for the different age ranges of an infant.

Best travel toys for babies (0 to 6 months old)

Flying with an infant is a great time to travel since they spend most of their time sleeping, eating, and then repeat.

When you travel with a baby between 0 to 3 months old, there is no need to bring any books or travel toys. You will be spending the whole travel time feeding your baby and watching him/her sleep while onboard.

At 3 to 6 months old, flying with your baby is still easier even though your kid still loves to sleep. But your little one may start taking an interest in a few travel toys, as well. Hence, here are the recommended travel toys for your baby at this age:

Lift-the-Flap Books

Where Is Baby’s Belly Button?

Teething Toys

Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys

Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether

Colorful Texture Toys

Lamaze Shiver Sharpei

Developmental Bumpy Ball

Tip: While your baby is asleep, you can keep yourself entertained by listening to some audiobooks. This is a good way to keep yourself engaged at the same time, keeping both eyes on your sleeping baby.

Best travel toys for babies (6 to 12 months)

Babies in this age range are mostly interested in playing whatever they can grab or climb on the plane. Your baby will be more into stuff surrounding the plane, such as the seat buckle, window shade, and the safety card.

Before you pack some travel toys, you can improvise, such as throwing some plastic cups or spoons, and then here you go. Your baby found an activity that can keep her entertained.

You can also play to your baby the classic “Peek-a-Boo” or you can take your baby for some short walks down the aisle. Hence, if these tricks no longer work every time you travel, it’s time to pack travel toys, and here are some of the best toys recommend for babies in this age range:

Manhattan Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether

Fat Brain Toys – Dimpl Sensory Toy


Flying with a baby is a bittersweet experience. Sometimes your baby behaves well while on board, especially when they are in the early stages where they only sleep and eat. This can make traveling to your destination run very smoothly.

However, as they grow older, your baby became more interested in the stuff she can play with. Make sure to pack loads of ideas as a source of entertainment for your little one, or you can invest in travel toys.

Keep in mind that flying with a baby does not have to be complicated.

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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