We did it. We took our first flight with our twin toddlers. I won’t lie – leading up to the trip we were anxious about the flight – what if they cried the whole time? What if everyone around us was going to throw shade? After all, the internet is filled with horror stories of people being hateful and nobody likes sitting next to babies.
It turns out that the flights really weren’t bad. There were a few moments of fussiness but overall the girls were entertained and happy. I attribute this to a combination of my prep and a new environment.
How we keep our twins happy on our 3.5 hour flight
Leading up to our flight to Colorado, I obsessively researched ways to keep babies entertained on planes. I queried my mom groups, my travel groups and my friends. I surfed on Amazon and I quickly realized that there’s a huge, very expensive industry geared towards travel toys.
I was not about to spend $30/per toy per baby just for a flight. That’s absurd. As I was getting ready to head out one day, I noticed that Zoey was playing at my feet with my husband’s toiletry bag. She was hyper focused on unzipping the side pockets and pulling things out. Which gave me an idea, so I headed to Target and raided the dollar section, school supplies and party favors. This is the outcome:
Because we were flying with so much stuff, I wanted something compact. I also wanted things that weren’t going to cost a lot of money in case the girls broke or lost things (inevitable).
I originally was looking for makeup bags, but found that pencil cases were cheaper and had much more fun prints. Inside each case, I put in the following things:
- 1 Indestructible book
- 6 soft, shiny poofs
- 3 Clothes hangers
- 2 sticky felt letters/numbers
- Teething toys
- A koosh ball
- A plastic spoon
- Linky loops
- 2 Balls with suction cups all over
- Post-it notes
Outside of the bag, I also had a roll of colorful tape that we tore pieces off and stuck to hands, tray tables, etc.
Each item was new (except for the teething toys and linky loops) and had different textures. While they didn’t play with the pouches exclusively, they did enjoy sticking their hands inside and pulling out everything.
The biggest hits were the Koosh balls (they liked pulling the rubbery strings), Post-It notes (all my seat mates were “gifted” Post-It notes on the way there), the clothes pins and the suction cup balls. Noted.
What we ate on the plane
When we booked our flights, we intentionally booked early flights to try to capitalize on naps (for the record, Zoey was way too excited to sleep on the plane on the way there). But I know my babies – they love to eat. Milk was not going to be enough for an almost 4 hour flight, and I didn’t want to rely on crappy plane snacks. So on the way there I packed food for all of us, including:
- 8 oz bottles of milk for the girls
- Homemade oatmeal bars with apples and raisins
- BBQ Turkey meatballs
- Snack packs of granola for El Hombre and I
- Baby teething crackers
We gave the girls bottles at takeoff and landing for their ears. As we were flying, we broke off parts of the oatmeal bars for the girls for their breakfast. As we got close to landing, we switched to the BBQ meatballs. This way we had full bellies with real, homemade food. Because full babies are happy babies.
What we learned
Flying with babies isn’t as bad as it seems if you plan in advance. Also, everyone around us was nice and supportive. Several people asked if we needed help, offered to share food, etc. Instead of getting static, we were told lots of stories about our seat mates’ children and their first flying experiences. I’m sure there were some anti-baby people on that plane, but we didn’t feel any rudeness from anyone.