Flying Solo with Kids – Travel Tips for the Brave Mom

Sorry things have been a little quiet at Happy Home Fairy this week.

I took the Happy Buddies on their very first airplane ride to New Jersey to visit my extended family!

To say the Happy Buddy was excited about flying is the understatement of the century.

To say that Mom was apprehensive about traveling with 2 unpredictable children (one of whom got sick the day before we left) is the second understatement of the century.

Flying up I had the help of my parents (Mom and Dad = my heroes!), but the flight home was all me, 300 bags, 2 car seats, and my 2 crazies.

Here are some do’s and don’ts I learned about flying solo with kids.


DO – Have your Happy Buddies run like a pack of wild animals up and down the airport terminals, climb on the chairs, roll down the ramps and play on moving sidewalks before boarding.  This will {hopefully} make them happy to be cooped in an airplane seat for the duration of your flight – and maybe, just maybe even sleep a little.

DO – Pack several new toys, books, coloring books, etc. that your Happy Buddies haven’t seen before and dole them out every thirty minutes or so.  This will help break up long flights as well as give them something to look forward to.

DON’T – Leave these new toys in their brand new packages.  This will create lots of problems as you try to figure out how to rip open, assemble, and deal with the trash in a space about the size of the inside of your oven.

Click Image to Buy

Click Image to Buy

DON’T – Pack the above toy as one of your ‘new toys’.  Because when confined to small spaces for extended amounts of time your Happy Buddy will get creative and curious and figure out how to break open above toy and suddenly there will be 1,567,896,982 microscopic magnetic beads all over his lap and you will have a crying baby in your arms (who is trying to eat the magnetic wand that goes with above toy) and no idea how to clean it all up.

airplane4DO – Pray that the person sitting next to you will be Mother Teresa’s sister.

DO – Whip out any form of chocolate or {insert-your-child’s-most-prized-treat-here} right before things are really about to blow up.

DO – Pack your carry-on bag for the end of the world.  Someone will probably poop or throw up or snot everywhere on themselves and you and a change of clothes for all involved will be necessary.

DON’T – Pack your carry-on so tight that you can’t remove anything without having to take out top objects and put them on the floor and then sadly see them roll underneath a seat that is 4 rows away.

DON’T – Wear those cute new lace-up sneakers you just bought.  You might fall over will struggle to stay balanced trying to take off and put back on said cute laced sneakers while wearing a baby during the security screening process.  Slip-ons, friends.  Slip-ons.

DO – Plan to give your Happy Baby a bottle during take off and landing to help their little ears handle the air pressure changes.

DON’T – Start giving them the bottle when you think the runway has arrived because in fact, the airplane has several more turns and stops before the runway actually begins and your lil’ guzzler will have devoured the whole thing before you have even lifted off the ground.

airplane3DON’T – Wear a watch.  This will just make those 60 seconds from one minute to the next feel even longer.

DO – Sometimes sticking your potty-trained kid in a Pull-Up before flying will work in your favor.

DO – Be prepared to sing every song ever written to your inconsolable baby (and everyone within a 2-row-vicinity).

DON’T – Forget to pre-measure your baby’s powdered formula.  Trying to scoop formula from a can into a tiny bottle opening while holding a small squirming octopus will result in a giant mess.

DO – If your baby starts crying, pass out earplugs with a smile to those in the seats closest to you.

DO – Lean over, point out the window and whisper to your Happy Buddy, “Your steadfast love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 36:5


DO – If all else fails and things are looking rather bleak, just plan on saying loud enough for everyone to hear, “Drinks are on me!” :-)

But most importantly, DO – Remember that you are an awesome Mom who now, if motherhood was like Girl Scouts, has an ‘I survived flying alone with my kids’ badge.

Now that is something to be proud of!!!

Do you have any airplane travel Do’s and Don’ts???

 Happy Flying Solo with Kids-ing! :-)

13 thoughts on “Flying Solo with Kids – Travel Tips for the Brave Mom

  1. Love it Julie ! I am sitting in the dark, giving breathing treatment to a (currently ) sleeping baby, reading your blog. I have been unable to stop myself from laughing out loud but somehow he is still sleeping !!

  2. Oh my word….forgive me but this post made me laugh and laugh {which I really needed}….was like a preview for a movie..I could just imagine….I really hope it wasn’t as difficult as it all sounded. You do deserve a medal and a big pat on the back. WAY TO GO MAMMA! ;)

  3. I needed that. A long day at work, feeling tired and stressed and then I open up my email to see a note from the Happy Home Fairy. Made me smile even before I read what you had to say today. Had a smile from ear to ear reading about your experience. I hope you laughed yourself, as to the wild ride you had. Perfect that God has taught you the gift of laughter and you found Joy in that experience (even if it was afterward).

  4. Ohhhh Julie—I’m soo sorry I’m laughing hysterically at your expense. But this is AWESOME!! You poor sweet mama. I’m SO proud if you. How very very brave of you to fly by yourself with them!! I hope it was worth it and you had an awesome visit with your fam. Xoxoxo

  5. Been there!! We visit family almost every 3-4 months and you brought back so many memories! Our saving grace now is THE IPAD!

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