The Best Accessories for Flying With Young Children

The Best Accessories for Flying With Young Children

If you haven’t had the experience of going on vacation with a toddler, then you might have no idea what to expect. Traveling as an adult can be difficult enough, but what happens when you add a restless young one to the mix?

You’ll need to aim for a laid back vacation to avoid over-stimulating your lovely child. This means staying in the suburbs for a quiet experience and reducing the stress of a lengthy flight.

Planning an agenda for your vacation isn’t too difficult, but flying is where the real difficulty lies. Airplanes just aren’t comfortable and they certainly aren’t designed for young children.

Fortunately, you can make a flight more enjoyable by making sure to bring along some helpful accessories!

Let’s look at four of the best mommy-approved accessories to help your child feel a little cozier while flying!

Flying With Young Children Can Be a Hassle

Flying With Young Children Can Be a Hassle

Unless you’re extraordinarily lucky, you’re likely to encounter some degree of hassle when flying with a toddler.

If you think that it’s stressful to see many different faces and brand new environments, then just imagine how much more impactful it will be for a small child!

Flights can produce ear pain for children, don’t allow for moving around, and limit how much entertainment is available to them.

There’s no way to get around the fact that flying is uncomfortable for children. The last thing you want to experience is dirty looks stemming from your crying child! 

Accessories can help bridge the comfort disparity, making a flight just a little more enjoyable.

FAA-Approved Car Seat

FAA-Approved Car Seat

One great tool is an FAA-approved car seat. Extremely young children can technically sit in your lap, but this is not a great way for your toddler to fly. 

Not only is this unsafe, but your arms will quickly get tired of holding your child on a long flight. It may be inconvenient to purchase an extra plane seat, but it will go a long way for making you and your child feel better.

This will involve looking for a child restraint seat with a hardback. Many will be clearly labeled as to whether or not they are approved for flight. 

Because airplane seating is fairly tight, you’ll want to make sure you find a car seat that is not too wide. Make sure you find one that is less than 16” wide to make sure it will fit inside the seat. 

Car seats are often quite comfortable and add an extra layer of protection during turbulence. 

Inflatable Footrest

If your child is a little too big for a car seat, then another great choice for comfort is an inflatable footrest.

This nifty little device is extremely easy to transport and simple to set up. When fully inflated, it provides a cushion for your child to allow your child to lay their legs straight.

Alternatively, it also offers an option for them to curl up and sleep on when the seatbelt lights are off. 

Inflatable footrests will expand and are generally the same height as an airplane seat. It will fit in most economy-seating sections and adds a lot of comfort for any small child.

Travel Tray

Your young one isn’t likely to sleep for the entire flight, so you’ll want to provide some entertainment for them. 

One of the best tools for this is a folding travel tray. These will fit right on an airplane tray and provide a nice area for your kids to play.

The main problem with playing on an airplane tray is that toys can easily fall off and get lost. With a folding travel tray, you’ll now have an enclosure to keep everything in place!

Better yet, you can fold it up after the flight to conveniently store their favorite toys. 

Snack Containers

The Best Accessories for Flying With Young Children

One last vital accessory for any plane ride are some containers for snacks.

If you think that you have a hard time managing your hanger, imagine how much tougher it will be for your little one! 

There are many different containers that you can look for. You can get a bento box, stackable containers, or even use a craft box.

You should look for something that has several different compartments for food. This will allow you to bring a nice assortment because you never know what your child will want to eat!

Closing Thoughts

Flying with a young child can certainly be stressful, but you can minimize this with some useful accessories!

If your child is extremely young, a car seat can provide some extra security and comfort.

Alternatively, an inflated footrest for slightly larger kids is a nice way to let them put their feet up or curl up for a nap.

Any child will appreciate a folding travel tray to keep their toys safe and organized during a bumpy flight.

Don’t forget to bring along some food containers with multiple different sections to hold a variety of tasty snacks!

Use of any of these tools is sure to help your child enjoy the flight more and will also reduce the mental hassle for you!

About the author
Mrs. Hatland is a 30-something married, mom of 7 and the face behind the popular online publication, Motherhood Defined. Known as the Iowa Mom blogger by her local peers and “The Fairy Blogmother” worldwide. She has professional experience in working closely with clients on brand ambassadorships, client outreach services, content creation and creative social media advertising exposure.


  1. Great advice! I also found a hand puppet of some wacky animal or a sock puppet is great for a ton of laughs! Slip it on and start a conversation about what you are seeing or experiencing.

  2. On my son’s first flight He cried for every take off and landing. The mini M&M’s just made a mess. On the way home I gave him a lollipop. Now he’s able to use the iPad so flights are much easier.

  3. great tips, my kids wont sit still for a minute, next time i wont forget the snacks

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