Flying with children

Flying with children is not as difficult as you might think. Being prepared is a and O. If you feel prepared and have planned for different eventualities, much of the worry is unleashed. Our longest flight together with the children is our 12-hour direct flight to Mauritius. Ditresan was night flights and the return trip was Dagflyg.

The flight is often something that worries parents. How will the children cope? How to employ them? Will they be able to sleep on the plane? Here I give you tips on how you can prepare your flight and make it as smooth as possible.

Prepare your baby for the flight

A little bigger child you can prepare by explaining what will happen at the airport, in the aircraft, any stopovers and on arrival. You can practice to gape, yawn, chew gum to avoid getting sore ears during takeoff and landing. You can also explain which rules apply during a flight, for example. Do not kick or cling to the front seat, etc. A little smaller child you can prepare by talking short moments about the trip and on several occasions.

Day or night flights?

We have flown both day and night flights with our children. I cannot say that any of it is better than the other. At night flights, you sleep away some of the flight hours which can be easier, but it may take time to get the children to come to rest and often they fall asleep very late on the flight. During the Dagflyg, the children are often lively and leksugna and it is quite easy to maintain them.

If the little child does not come to rest but just screams, try the toilet-trick, where you go in and lock a little half of you.

Seats on the flight

Paying extra to be able to choose your seat is a controversial subject. Airlines seldom divide families but if you want to be on the safe side it may be nice to pre-book seats so you do not have to concern. 

Sitting at the window is nice when you can sit down if you have a small child in your arms. A little bigger children usually think it's exciting to be able to look out. The advantage of sitting at the time is that you can smoothly go to the toilet and to move around in the aisle.

Paying more for places with extra legroom can be worth the money at long haul flights. Then the child can sit on the floor and play and sometimes Sleep on the floor.

Children under 2 years of age usually travel without their own seat and should sit in the adult's lap. However, it is often possible to book an additional seat for the child for a small fee, which can facilitate the trip for both you and the child. If you book a chair, you will often need to bring your own car seat that the child can sit in. Check with your airline. Sometimes you can pre-book the baby cot or the bassin to the little child. However, these are not available on all levels and there are only a few on the planes that have these. So first come here.

Even small children need

Everyone needs a passport when travelling outside the Nordic countries, including babies. Schengen does not really need a passport, but the rule says that everyone must be able to legitimise themselves, so the passport is often the only possibility.

Check the validity period of your passport in good time before your trip. Children's passports have a shorter validity period than adults. Many countries also require that the passport must be valid for up to six months after the return date. It takes about 5 days from the filing date to get a passport. Please note that some destinations require a visa.


Many airlines are now careful to check the weight and size of each individual baggage. Weigh your luggage at home before departure. There are special luggage scales to buy for under 100-patches if you want.

Weight limits for hand baggage and checked baggage are different between airlines. Please note that there are special baggage rules for children under the age of 2 who do not have their own seat. Check out what applies to the particular company you are travelling with.

Children at the airport
Wilhelm and Hjalmar look forward to the flight

Dressed for air travel

Dress the child in comfortable, soft clothes that are not snug or itchy. On the aircraft, the temperature can often vary so feel free to dress the child in stock. The temperature at the final destination may also differ from home. If you land in a warm, humid country, you must quickly get onto airy clothes. On the contrary, if you land in Sweden during the winter period. Sometimes you have to go outside from the plane into the gate and then it is good with sweaters or blankets and hats.

At the airport

Make sure to arrive in good time to the airport, everything often takes a little longer with children. Maybe you have to eat something, go to the bathroom, etc. If you are two who travel with the children, one can queue in the check-in while the other employs the children. Remember, however, to be nearby so you can all go up to the check-in desk for verification of identity when it is your turn.

Let the child run off at the airport. Please find a playground where the child can do some energy before the flight. Also take the opportunity to make toilet before boarding. We often go on board last on the plane. The children are then allowed to move right into the boarding and you minimize the time that children need to sit still.

Remember to have passports and tickets easily accessible, they should often be presented both in the check-in, at the security checkpoint and at the gate when you are going on the flight.

At the safety check it is good to have already prepared by packing the baby food in transparent plastic bags. Sometimes the safety check staff will make a check on the baby food you have with you. Some airports also allow liquid in the baby bottle. Also, prepare yourself before security by unpacking your mobile phone, wallet, belt, keys in your hand baggage. Usually, you must remove the child from the harness or pram when you go through the safety check.

After security check, you can take the opportunity to fill any water bottles to have on the trip. Water is also available for purchase on the flight.

Children at the airportEmployment on the planet

Employing children over 3 years is often not so difficult if you have a tablet. The child can then play games and watch movies. One tip is to pre-download new exciting games and movies that the child has not seen before. Download content that can be accessed in airplane mode. Headphones are good for not disturbing fellow passengers.

On some flights there are screens in the airport with games and movies. However, you sometimes have to pay extra to get access to the full range of movies and games.

Another tip is to pre-wrap craft books and color pens in packages that the child gets open. If you have multiple packages, surprise with a new package after a while. This will be a fun surprise for the child. Do not be afraid to let the child become bored. If you do not maintain them all the time, they will find ways to entertain themselves with the help of their imagination.

Small children do not need so advanced things to be employed. Surprise with new small toys, open and close boxes, Pixi books, corn hooks and other finger foods that can occupy the baby. A Russian doll, a divisible trädocka with ever smaller dolls inside, can occupy Judith for a long time. To be able to scroll through the aircraft magazine can also be a fun game. Don't forget that singing and Peklekar are excellent activities.

Children often like to move around.  Going back and forth in the airplane and greeting passengers is usually very exciting. Tablet can of course also work for smaller children. Looking at the Babble or jump hat can occupy for a while. Remember not to have toys with loud sounds that can interfere with fellow passengers.

Here you can see our tips on Travel games:

Tips on Travel GamesIf the child screams

Try to take it easy. I know that you get extremely stressed and think everyone is looking awry. Actually, most people feel sorry for you who are struggling with a screaming child, and they're excited not to be in your seat. The worst thing that can happen is that the child screams throughout the trip and it's not really that bad, the world doesn't go under. If you are concerned about this happening, bring extra earplugs to hand out to the passengers around you. Then there are always bully, negative passengers who do not like children on planes, but it is their problem that they cannot cope psychologically with a screaming child.

My husband has come up with a trick to get our little Judith to sleep when she has been overtired. If the little child doesn't come to rest but just screams and screams of fatigue, you can try to go into the airplane toilet and "lock a little half". Thus, lock so much so that the door is locked but that the lamp of the toilet does not light up. The darkness and tranquillity inside the toilet has led our little Judith to quickly stop screaming and falling asleep.

Sleep on the planet

A thin blanket and a pillow can help to sleep on the plane. On night flights you often get a blanket. By hanging it from the child's seat to the front seat, you make a small hut, which can make it easier for the child to come to rest. Try snapping the child into its belt when it should sleep. During the flight, you are sometimes asked to snap on because of turbulence, then it is good if the child is already fastened.

Another tip is to purchase a bedbox. We have bedboxar from Jetkids and think they are top good. Jetkids Bedbox is a small child travel bag on wheels with accompanying mattress that can be laid out in the airplane seat. The bag is placed at the Benutrummet and becomes a support for the mattress. The child can then stretch the legs or lie and sleep on it. Besides the mattress you also get space with Ipad, headphones and crafts book. We ordered our Bedbox from the children's Travel Shop (NOTE no sponsored post)

Have you booked a bassin/baby cot for your little child? Top! Then you can put the baby there and avoid having it on your lap during the entire flight.

During our long flight to Mauritius there was no bassin on the plane. To Judith, 1 year, we had a carry cot that we took as hand baggage. Our idea was to lay her down in it when she fell asleep and put her at our feet. In practice it was not so smooth. Our moving little girl woke up quickly and started crawling around under the seat, which ended with her sleeping in my arms throughout the flight, which was fine too. Be sure to add something soft, a garment, a blanket, a pillow, underneath your arm to prop up, so you can relax better in your arm.

Having the child in harness during the flight is also very helpful. It can be difficult for a small child to come to rest when there is a lot of noise and movement around. To cradle the child in a quieter part of the plane can make him/her relax. Napp holders for a possible pacifier is also preferable since it is not so much fun to accidentally lose the pacifier on the aircraft toilet.

Nice to stretch out on a Bedbox

Food on the plane

Children under 2 years usually do not get baby food on the plane, so bring your own. On the flight it is usually good to have the baby food warmed. Please tell the staff directly when you board, in the middle of the serving it can get quite stressful. Bring baby food cans so it is enough for the flight and preferably some extra to have in case of delay. Premixed gruel in the Tetrapack and baby's grueling bottle is also good to have with. Let the child try Premixed gruel before the trip so you know he/she is drinking it. You can also prepare by filling the gruel powder in the grueling bottle and then ask the staff to replenish with warm water.

Please bring baby food that can be eaten cold if it would be that there is no possibility to heat the food. It is also good to have fruit, sandwich robbery, corn hooks, nuts and other snacks. Keep in mind, however, that not only include nuts. Sometimes they cry out in the speaker system that there are nut allergy on board and therefore you must not open their nötpåse. Try to avoid candy and sweets on the plane that can make the child more active.

Sometimes you can pre-order food when you book your trip. Tex. Has TUI a special children's menu served for kids 2-11 years. The best thing is that children get their food before us adults so we can in peace and quiet help them with their food before we adults get into our food.


A stopover in the day can be nice for the child. It is good to let them run off while waiting for the next plane. Find out in advance if there is a playground at the airport and where it is located. If you happen to get apart, write your phone number on the child's arm.

Diapers and Toabesök

Bring extra many diapers! Good to have in case of any delays, lost luggage, missed connecting flights or sick. Bring the bags to add diapers and other debris in or to have in case of nausea. To reduce infection, gel or antiseptic napkins are good to have at hand.

Children can experience airplane toilets some creepy, especially the loud noise when flushing. Let the child go out before you flush if he/she thinks it is nasty.

Your mood

You have to take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of your child. Keep in mind that you are comfortably dressed and have snacks at hand. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you travel alone with your child. Ask a flight attendant or a fellow traveller to keep your baby while you go to the bathroom. Try to release your concerns and think about what a great opportunity you have to show your children the world.

Upon arrival

When you land all the will of the plane at the same time and it gets crowded and messy in the aisle when everyone should have their hand luggage. Sit in your chairs and wait until it gets a little quieter. You do not need to rush because you still have to wait for your luggage. Look through your seats, chair pockets and the floor where you are sitting to be sure that you have not forgotten anything. Also look for an extra time on the top of the hat shelf so you have not forgotten any bag.

Packing list for hand baggage

Pack your hand luggage in a handy bag that can easily be found out. For several hand luggage, you can divide the content into themes, eg. Food and drink in a bag, diapers and extrakläder in one, etc.

  • Tablet-prepare with new games and movies that the child hasn't seen before
  • Headphones
  • Secret packages-wrap packages in advance with crafts book, Activity Book with stickers, pens, etc. and give the child during the flight
  • Travel
  • Snacks-Sandwich robbery, corn hooks, biscuits, fruit, nuts. Good as a snack and pastime
  • Gruel in Tetrapack and grueling bottle at night flight
  • Porridge in Klämmis-bags-(Judith likes Organix-apple, banana, raspberry, blueberry)
  • Baby food-preferably fruit purée or yogurt unless micro is available
  • Bib in Fabric
  • Harness-so small children can come to rest and the adult gets his hands free
  • Pacifiers and pacifier Holders-pacifiers disappear easily
  • Thin Blanket
  • Wipes
  • Diapers-Bring extra many if there are delays on the plane or if the baggage would get away
  • Blöjpåse
  • Small Travel Pharmacy-Advil, Ipren, nasal drops and nasal spray
  • Toothbrush at night flight-press down a little toothpaste in the brush on the toothbrush and put it in a case before the trip, then you just soak the toothbrush before brushing
  • Changing both to you and the child-accidents happen easily
  • Ink Pen-Sometimes you have to fill in entry documents already on the plane

Do you have more tips on how to facilitate the flight?  Please comment! 🙂

Please read my tips on packing list Sun and beach holidays
and tips on packing list ski holiday