Flying with a Baby and Toddler: The Baby Travel Gear You Need For a Smooth Landing

You want to minimize turbulence. Here's how.

by Donna Freydkin
Originally Published: 
Emma Chao/Courtesy Melissa & Doug, JetKids, PuroQuiet; Fatherly; Getty Images
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

If given a choice between spending an afternoon at the DMV or engaging in that sweaty, full-contact sport known as baby travel, any sane parent would choose the former. That’s because flying with babies and toddlers is akin to U.S. Marine Corps boot camp, albeit more intense. It also requires the same amount of gear, some of which is essential and some of which is optional but makes life easier, from travel toys, pillows, and trays to airplane beds and baby headphones.

Traveling with kids will inevitably involve a few spills, meltdowns, and glares from strangers. These will likely be out of your control. But we also guarantee that with a few things on this list, you will experience fewer, they will be shorter, and you will have a much better experience.

Of course, there are a few basics: Arrive at the airport early, pack enough snacks to avoid any pre-boarding temper tantrums, and bring a select amount of toys to keep them occupied during the flight. Have kids chew on something during takeoff so their ears don’t pop, consider noise-canceling headphones if they rely on silence or white noise to fall asleep, and ditch any guilt about screen time. If all else fails, know that when traveling with kids, it really is about the destination, not the journey. So focus on the future, because we guarantee that no one enjoys the present during baby travel.

Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Baby Travel Gear

The Best Airplane Car Seats

You’re going to want to cuddle your baby in your arms. Just don’t. Because if your plane encounters turbulence, your kid can go flying. Thus, you need a car seat. Make sure it’s FAA-approved, and has a label that reads “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”

The Best Kids Travel Trays

The Best Travel Toys

This article was originally published on