You’re going away with your nine-month-old baby for the first time.
You’re nervous and afraid that he’s just going to be miserable during the whole flight.
Truth is, short flights are usually manageable. You don’t need a lot of activities. Just a few toys and some finger food are usually enough to entertain your baby for the duration of the flight.
But when you’re going on a long-haul flight, it becomes a very different story.
Here’s the thing:
You’ll never know how your 9-month old will react to traveling by plane. The most chill kid can easily get bothered by air pressure while the child you thought would be a “nightmare” might just chill and enjoy the new surrounding.
But of course, it’s always a comfort to know that you’re prepared for whatever may happen. One of the things you’d want to be ready for are activities for the journey.
To help you with that, here are some toys that usually entertain a baby of this age when flying. They’re great ways to keep your baby happy.
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The best toys for 9-month-old on airplane trips
Books with different textures or make different crinkly noises can entertain a child for a long time. Bring a new one so that it’s more interesting to your baby. Here are some of my recommendations.
Here’s a favorite from Melissa and Doug which is a small activity book. It’s a great development book that helps with developing fine motor and cognitive skills. It has a few different activities that are perfect for a baby at this age. For example, it has flaps to lift, has a squeaker (the hot air balloon on the front if you miss it) and with different types of fabrics to feel. Note: Some parents say that if you think the squeaking will bother other people in the plane, then you can easily take it out before the flight.
I love this Winnie the Pooh Teether Book. It’s small for little hands and the cloth is soft for them to handle. The teether is a great idea, too! The teether is made of rubbers. And if you’re traveling with someone who’s teething, these are useful to have. It’s a small book that crinkles and squeaks. It also has different textures your child can touch and feel. Plus, it’s Winnie the Pooh!
If your child already loves coloring books, then this is a great idea to while the time away (my son stayed away from holding pens and crayons for as long as possible – so this was never a good idea for me).
The Aqua Doodle travel mat is easy to carry and is mess-free. So it’s great for traveling if you have a baby who already loves holding pens.
Personally, I think they require too much of your energy while on the plane. What a lazy, mother am I! But if you’re the type of person who likes the idea of playing a finger or hand puppets with your baby while in an enclosed space, then bring one or two. They’re light to carry and they won’t take up too much luggage space either.
Check out this Old Macdonald hand puppet and board book. If your baby loves Old Macdonald or farm animals, he’ll love this too. All of the finger puppets are the same as the ones in the song so you can even sing to him — as long as other people near you don’t mind!
Top tip: Don’t want to buy a hand puppet? Just bring clean socks and voila! Instant puppet. If you have a fabric pen, so much the better.
Make the best of what’s in the plane
Looking for the best toys for a 9 month old on an airplane? Believe it or not, toys that you take with you may not exactly be the things that will entertain your baby. At this age, she can be fascinated with all the things going on around her. So expect her to be looking around a lot and wondering what in the world is going on.
Also, if you take the window seat, looking at clouds and windows can be entertaining and hypnotizing for your little one (albeit a bit more tricky if you need to take her to the toilet at some point)
So what things do babies like in the plane?
- The magazine – just flip through it and all the colors are just like reading a book. TIP: Take your own magazine that your baby can rip (and don’t forget to have a bin bag, too). This is great fun and will entertain her for a long time.
- The plastic safety instructions – A bit dirty, I know. But boy do babies love it. Maybe clean it first with your disinfectant wipes before giving it to her?
- Paper or plastic cups
Homemade Developmental Toys
If you have time to make your own toys, some of them can be really fun for babies. Not only does it practice a lot of the skills to learn at this time of their development. But babies can spend a long time doing these.
Here’s a video of some developmental toys that you can make beforehand. I think the “coin” game and the pom-pom drop are ideal as an activity while flying with your 9-month-old. To make it even lighter in your bag, use a smaller container and just changed the lid depending on the activity!
Not a toy but you’ll love this when you travel
You know how babies love throwing things on the floor. A bit tiring but it’s not such a problem when you’re at home. But when you’re sitting in a plane strapped on to a seat, and you have a baby who keeps throwing toys on to the dirty floor, then it can be a bit of a challenge.
Well, not anymore! Check out this suction baby toy holder. You can suction it onto a tray and attach the toys into a leash. Problem solved! No more toys on the floor. And your baby will always have his toys at hand
Save one toy for emergency
Ok. you’ve prepared everything. But you know what babies are like and they might just go into a crying fit at some point.
But if you can catch it at the right time, just before the screaming starts while the pent-up energy bubbles up inside your little one, perhaps you might be able to save the day with one special toy that he hasn’t seen during the whole journey yet.
No guarantees this is going to work – but it’s worth a try.
Easy to do puzzles
This depends on your child. Some babies at this age still don’t want to play with puzzles and will only get frustrated. But if your child has tried one before, then they’re great to take with you as you can usually find travel versions of baby puzzles.
Bring a mat
This is not for the plane journey itself but for the time when you’re waiting for the plane. Get all the energy out of your baby by going to a quiet place at the airport and prop your baby on the floor. You can even give her a massage at this time if you think that will calm her during the flight. Your baby will love being able to “stretch” and she can release some energy before boarding. Take a small lightweight mat like this one.
These teething toys that babies love
If your baby is teething at this time, it can be difficult for both of you. But even if he’s not, teething toys do entertain babies and they can play with them for a long time. A teething necklace is fun to have.
Pacifiers to help deal with Air Pressure
Sometimes, you won’t be able to breastfeed your baby during landing and takeoff. Another way to ease the pain is by giving them their pacifiers. Take 3-5 of them. So that if your baby drops it on the floor, you have a clean one to give to him.
Of course, you can also use a sippy cup or milk bottle.
Give In to Electronics
Sometimes, you just have to. I generally forget about normal day rules when I’m 30,000 feet up in the sky. I mean, as an adult, I get pretty stressed about being inside a plane, so when my child gets bored or wants to chill with a game or two online, I really don’t mind.
What about you? What do you think about using electronics when flying? Do add your opinion in the comment section below.
So, back to electronics, you can fill it up with shows and games. If you have a YouTube subscription, you can download a movie for offline viewing! So that’s a good one to have.
These snacks that take a long time to eat
Yeap, that’s right! The mission here is to find toys and activities that fill all the time your baby is awake. And one trick is to give her snacks that take a while to eat. I suggest taking, cheerios, this organic superfood puffs for babies, and yogurt melts.
Tips For Flying With a Baby
- Have a wrap ready. Sometimes, especially when you’re traveling alone, you will need both of your hands free and having a wrap on hand is a lifesaver.
- If you don’t want the person next to you to go crazy, refrain from taking any toy that makes a noise.
- Take toys that your child haven’t played with before so it’s more interesting to him.
- Bring pain-reliever and teething gel. You never know when those little teeth will decide to come out.
- Don’t take anything that your child might throw out. Babies at this age like throwing things away so toys like wooden puzzles or balls are probably not the best toys to take with you.
- Are you flying with your baby on your lap? You can use a wrap. Also, here’s a lap baby holder that makes things so much easier. Now your hands can be free.
- Some babies love the sound that an airplane makes. It’s like white noise. But if you have a baby who doesn’t like it, then ear-muffs are your friend. One like this helps with noise reduction. However, try it before you travel as some babies don’t like having anything over their head/ears.
One final thing
Don’t go overboard with toys. I find that a lot of times, I carried a lot more toys than was necessary. With kids of this age, they can be easily entertained by things that you can find on the plane like magazines, paper cups, etc.
If you’ve got a way to:
- Ease air pressure pain
- Take food and toys for calming, playing and entertaining
Then, it usually turns out ok.
But if it doesn’t, go for the last resort: your phone or tablet! 🙂