Flying with a baby: one of life's great joys! :) I've talked about traveling with a mini several times (it's one of my most requested topics, and I love sharing my tips so much!), from the 5 things you need to travel with a baby to my 5 ultimate tips for (long-distance) trips with a little one. But one thing I've never covered is the challenge of entertaining your baby on an airplane! It's something I totally underestimated on our first long flight to Tokyo back in April. Preoccupied with a billion other things pre-flight, I just brought Gabriel's usual toys for the plane without thinking twice. He's a super active baby by nature (spunky Brazilian much :)) so you can guess the end result: we left the flight with about half the toys we boarded with, because he joyfully spread them around haha. Most toys are designed to roll and bounce - anything to entertain little eyes! But that also means they easily bounce their way around, never to be found again when moving space is limited. So yep, I learned the hard way that entertaining a baby on an airplane takes a little prep, so I hope this little list of plane-proof baby toys will get you on your way. Happy travels, everyone! :)
FIRST THINGS FIRST: A NIGHT FLIGHT
This is a no-brainer but may be underestimated if you've never flown with a little one before: always always always try to book a night flight! It's just so much easier when a flight is scheduled around your mini's bedtime, so you can at least (hopefully) enjoy a few moments of rest. Try to recreate his usual evening routine on the plane as much as possible, with a last bottle, a little story, and cosy blanket. Fingers crossed!
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS
Another obvious one: rest assure that travelling with a baby will never ever be light so when it comes to toys, you really want to focus on pieces that are small & lightweight. This might seem easy peasy, but keep in mind that they should also be pieces that don't scatter around all the time and can't be swallowed. Sooo... time for my personal faves? :)
STICKERS ARE LIFE
Hands down my favourite entertainment for a mini on the airplane are stickers! Sticker books are a guaranteed success because they ask for a LOT of attention that will keep you mini quiet for quite some time. And if you have a window seat window stickers will surely earn you some cool points as well (my favourites are the ones with farm animals haha, but if you're baby's a little older the alphabet ones are a great alternative too!).
BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS
I have the BEST memories of reading stories as a kid together with my mama & brother, so I've always embraced telling stories to Gabriel. And since he's always super active it's a nice way to wind down & chill a little. If you're baby's still small textured or sound books are a great option to keep him entertained (but obviously skip the super noisy ones to not drive your fellow passengers completely mad :)).
He probably has it from his papa (tech nerd :)) but this baby of ours looooves his iPad! It doesn't keep him quiet for hours but when his favourite shows (such as the Brazilian Galinha Pintadinha) come on he's happy to watch them for a little while. Try to avoid electronics right before nap time as they can get kiddos a bit hyper. But other than that: go right ahead and turn that iPad onnn!
FINGER PUPPETS SHOW
A more 'old school' favourite are finger puppets! They come in all different shapes & sizes but the animal ones are Gabriel's no. 1. They're super cheap (so not a drama if they get lost), don't bounce and you can make fun stories up, so it's kinda entertaining for mama too haha.
MINI PRESENTS FOR THE GOOD BABES
Nothing is more exciting for a baby (or any human being :)) than unwrapping a present. So if you want to make any of the above goodies extra entertaining, make them into tiny presents that your mini can unwrap every hour or so, as a reward for being good. Sure, it's totally bribing but if it ensures a peaceful flight it's just worth it. :) You can also wrap some snacks to give around feeding time or small beach toys he can use on arrival (smart packing! ;)).
What are your favourite ways to entertain a baby on an airplane? I'd so love to hear! :)