Looking for ways to keep your baby happy, engaged and busy on a flight? We travelled the world during my maternity leave so know a thing or two about flying long haul with a baby! In this post, I’m sharing my tried and tested baby travel toys to make flying stress-free.
We’ve survived 10, 12 and 14 hour flights with George, all before his 1st birthday. For this post I will be focusing on babies under 6 months. Read my Travel Toys for Toddlers post to learn how to keep old babies/toddlers entertained. When your baby can move, flying is a different experience. That’s why I’ve split the posts.
TOYS FOR THE AIRPORT
If you follow Gemma and George, you’ll know that I recommend using your pram in the airport. Right up until boarding. There’s so many reasons why but three stand out . 1) Your baby can nap. 2) It keeps them secure so you have free hands. 3) You can store stuff!
A lightweight pram is really handy when it comes to travel. You don’t want to damage or break your really expensive day to day stroller. We use and highly recommend the Baby City Mini Jogger. But there are smaller, more lightweight prams on the market. Below are the best selling travel prams for 2020.
Toys that can attach to your pram or across the middle bar are great. It also means that they will be stored away with the pram during the flight. Meaning you can have a bag full of fresh, new toys for your baby. Pram toys also aren’t going to fall onto the floor and become contaminated. Another win. We love sensory toys, rattles and BPA free plastic, which doubles up as teething toys.
READ MORE: Your Complete Guide To Flying With A Baby
We travel with a lightweight cotton blanket. This doubles up as a sunshade or black out cover when George needs a nap. Look for 100% cotton as they are breathable and absorb sweat when/if they need to. Avoid any type of cover that does not have breathing holes as your baby will overheat.
TOYS FOR THE AIRPLANE
Your baby is allowed a carry on bag of their own. It has to abide by standard airport regulations, in terms of size and dimensions. Check with your airline before packing. If you are bottle feeding, half of the space has gone with equipment. A good bag is essential. We rotate between a Backpack and a sports bag to carry George’s items. Both have an array of pockets and zips, and easy to use handles. Which you need when carrying a bay in one arm and the bag in the other.
BABY CHANGING BAG
A simple, soft toy that will smell of home or you and bring comfort. Many have several arms to encourage gripping and movement. We would often place this above George and let him reach and follow the movement of the toy.
Books with lots of bright colours (black and white particularly for newborns) and interesting textures are fun for babies to explore. Some have hidden sounds and squeaks for an added dimension. Soft books are best for babies under one year, as they are easier for them to handle and can be washed more easily.
If your baby is like George, he puts everything in his mouth. So it makes sense that you should bring some teething toys or BPA free toys for them to chew on. These can be easy to clean down and sanitise. I tend to use a dummy clip to attach the keys to me or George’s bib, to prevent them from falling on the floor. These are fabulous on road trips with babies and of course, for teething!
Lightweight and easy to store, we love buckle toys. Safe for your baby to put in their mouth, they develop fine motor skills, hand/eye coordination and colour recognition. They can be clipped to be above your baby so they can play lying down or sitting up. George was obsessed with his. He would shake it and we could attach it to his pram and/or baby carrier as we explored.
I love the versatility of these toys. From pram to car seat to bassinet, these affordable and friendly toys are hours of entertainment. Plenty of choices on the market, ranging from full plastic to a combination. Various sensory options, noises. George liked crinkles, squeezing and hitting/swinging. You can attach them across the bassinet if you have one, or use the airplane arms as pillars.
Sensory toys help to develop motor skills and hand eye co-ordination. You might be worried about taking toys on a plane that make noise, but don’t be. Long haul, most passengers are wearing headphones and being entertained! And the most that you baby will stick with the same toy is half an hour (if you’re lucky). So you can rotate and offer these toys when you feel the time is right. George loved the activity ball and played with it for ages on the hotel floor as well. It also encouraged him to crawl too!