What Flying With a Toddler Is Really Like

mom and toddler on airplane

If you've ever been on a plane with a toddler, then you know all too well that doing so could probably be used as a form of torture.

Sure, flying with a baby is tough too, but air travel really goes to a whole new level of suck once they grow up a little and become mobile. It's like the minute you sit down in the seat, they're all, "You mean I can't climb onto the floor and/or run up and down the aisles? Oh, HELL NO."

Here's a general rundown of what flights with toddlers in tow are really like for moms.


You make it through security without any issues and finally get to the boarding area. It's not very busy, so you can let junior run free around the chairs in the seating area for a while. Score!

Christina Aguilera

All of a sudden, you hear them call the pre-board for families who need a little extra time making their way down the jetbridge. You grab your tot and think, "All right. It's GO time."

Snow White

You settle into your window seat and you're like, "Whew! So far, so good!" But then your seatmate arrives, takes one look at you and the kiddo, and immediately gives you the stink eye. Cue the sweats.

nervous gif

You do your best to ignore said seatmate. It's time for takeoff. And just when you think junior won't make a peep, he lets out a squeal so loud, you can't cover your ears fast enough.

Ben Savage

And then about 10 minutes into the flight, the unthinkable happens. Yep, he freakin' poops.

bug eyed gif

The second you've reached a comfortable cruising altitude and the seat belt sign goes off, you look over at your seatmate and tell him you need to get up, and that's when you notice he's straight-up gagging.

Jim Carrey

You make your way to the back of the plane, and lo and behold, the drink cart is blocking the lavatories.

Kristen Wiig

And that's when you turn swiftly on your heels, put your big girl pants on, and march your ass straight up to the first class bathroom. Screw the rules.


You change junior and ignore the looks of disgust from the first class passengers. You head back to your seat, and he falls asleep almost immediately. You're so freakin' excited, you can hardly stand it.

Shirley Temple

But alas, the nap is short lived. He wakes up, and he's beyond pissed that he's still on the plane. Next thing you know, there's a huge lump in your throat and you're fighting back tears.

Heather Morris

You start pulling anything and everything out of your purse to try and entertain him. You're fu%&ing desperate.

Jan the Brady Bunch

He's not impressed. At all. He pushes everything you try to offer him out of your hands and all your shit falls on the floor. Cue the panic over majorly disgusting airplane germs.

Lea Michele

As you're trying to pick everything up, he starts kicking the seat in front of him, and at this point, you literally just want to die.

Sarah Michelle Gellar

But then all of a sudden, the aircraft starts its initial descent into wherever it is you're landing. You breathe a small sigh of relief. Who the hell cares how he behaves now -- the flight is almost over!

Sarah Chalke

The plane touches down. As soon as it pulls into the gate and the captain turns off the fasten seat belt sign, you're all, "GET ME THE HELL OFF THIS PLANE!!!"

muppet gif

Do you have any tips for flying with a small child?


Image via 2/Jerry Driendl/Corbis

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