Traveling with a toddler is very different than traveling with an infant. Not only are they a lot bigger, but they are mobile! Hopefully this video gives you a few tips to make your time in the airport and on the plane easier.
A few things worth expanding on:
Several companies make wheel attachments for car seats. I use the Kidz Travelmate by GoGo Babyz and have been very satisfied with it. Once on the plane, you simply remove the wheels and put them in the overhead bin.
Unfortunately, not all airports have child play areas. You can often check the airport's web site to see if one is listed. If your airport doesn't have a play area, then find an open area to run around and burn some energy.
I can't emphasize enough the importance of being prepared when you travel with a toddler. I know it is tempting to take a small diaper bag with only the bare minimum, but trust me, you do not want to not be stuck with not having something that would make a difference between a happy child and a fussy one. I spoke with a Flight Attendant on a recent Southwest Airlines flight who said it was amazing how many parents fly without plenty of items to entertain their child, diapers, an extra outfit, etc. I love the kiddopotamus tiny diner placemat when we travel with Elias around meal times.
Also, I have traveled alone with Elias several times, and it was impossible for me to carry him, the diaper bag, my purse, and the car seat on the plane by myself. Therefore, I recommend asking someone who is walking in beside you if they would be willing to carry your car seat. I have also had friendly Southwest Flight Attendants offer to help. No one wants to see a mom with a toddler struggling!
Of course, only FAA-approved car seats are allowed for use on an airplane.
I hope that these tips help you the next time you fly with your toddler.
Southwest Airlines provided my and my family's airfare. The views shared in this post are my own. Southwest does not endorse any of the products mentioned in this post.