14 hour flight with a toddler

We arrived in Japan yesterday after a very long flight. Sienna did pretty well overall, although it was exhausting for all of us. Especially me.

This girl loves to be free to roam and she is at the age where she wants to walk without holding my hand. She will throw her body weight down or stop and sit on the floor in protest. I tried to shepard her up and down the aisles as best I could, and stop her from picking up trash off the floor. (One of her favorite things to do right now is put trash on the trash can.)

She did sleep for a good portion of the flight in my arms. So I was actually able to watch a few movies – the Wolf of Wall Street, the Book Thief, and part of the Great Gatsby.

Some tips for flying with a toddler:

1. On international flights, ask for the seat with the bassinet. We got upgraded to more legroom gratis thanks to this baby.

2. Carry a backpack instead of a shoulder bag and travel as lightly as possible.

I usually carry a backpack only. I gate check the stroller and infant car seat. My husband carries a backpack and the travel crib. We have the one by Guava Family and love it.

Since S has now graduated to a much heavier big girl car seat, we gate checked the car seat this time.

3. Wear slip on shoes and use a baby carrier when going through security.

4. Bring non-messy snacks like puffs.

5. For international travel, when you face long lines at customs or immigration, see if there is an expedited line for families with babies. At customs we got to bypass the winding entry line and go to the line for diplomats and families with babies.

6. Before the flight, let your kiddo run around and burn off as much energy as possible. By the time we boarded, S was zonked out and it bought me time to watch a movie.

7. Nurse or bottle feed during take off and landing.

8. Cups, wrappers, and napkins are just as much if not more entertaining than toys. I didn’t carry on many toys for S. Just a small board book (good choice) and a small stuffed bear (waste of space). At this age S is happy playing with things like wrappers and plastic cups.

Eating some snacks on the plane.

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Sienna loves playing with these plastic cards.

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