Best Toys for Baby on Airplanes (+ Tips for Keeping Babies Entertained Even on Long-haul Flights)

best toys for baby on airplane

You’re going on a flight with your baby for the first time.

It’s exciting. But you’re also a little bit anxious that they’re going to be miserable during the whole journey. That’s normal. Every parent has gone through exactly the same emotions during that first trip.

Here’s the thing:

Like a lot of parenting “secrets”, the trick is preparation. As well as being prepared for the possibility of things going south.

They might sleep for most of the time. But during the times they’re awake, you’ll want them entertained.


The best toys for baby on airplane.

Look. Ideally, you’d want toys that your baby hasn’t played with before. Something new often means they’ll be entertained for longer. But also, you’d want toys that don’t take too much luggage space.

In this list, I’ve included the best airplane toys for babies that parents say have been very useful for keeping a baby occupied for an extended period of time.

So for your long-haul flight, get:

  • a couple of these toys
  • some books
  • a few fun materials to play with (like paper that crinkles, small silicone baking cups, stickers) and
  • some snacks (finger food)

and you’ll have the things you need to keep your baby occupied during the flight.

1. The Charmer Play Kit by Lovery

This is a play kit full of developmental toys for babies. What I love most about it is that you’d get a selection of toys to choose from to take with you on the flight. It includes a:

  • Soft Book
  • Black & White Card Set
  • Crinkle Bag
  • Hand-to-Hand Discs
  • Framed Mirror
  • Rubber Triangle Teether
  • Rolling Bell
  • ‘Talking’ Book
  • Wooden Rattle

The kit includes a lot of small toys for your baby to play with while traveling by plane. Definitely worth checking.

Click the image to read more about the Charmer kit

2. Any small book with different textures

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 also love the Winnie the Pooh selection of teether books. It’s small for little hands and the cloth is soft for them to handle. The teether is made of rubber. If you’re with a teething baby, this will come handy. It’s a small book that crinkles and squeaks. It also has different textures your child can touch and feel.


3. Hand or Finger Puppets

Hand or finger puppets are light to carry and don’t take up too much luggage space.

Check out this Old Macdonald hand puppet {affiliate} and board book. If your baby loves farm animals, they’ll love this too.

Top tipDon’t want to buy a hand puppet? You can also use clean socks and fabric pens to make your own puppet 🙂

Old Macdonald: A Hand-Puppet Board Book (Little Scholastic)
  • Old Macdonald: A Hand-Puppet Board Book (Little Scholastic Series)
  • Ackerman, Jill (Author)


4. Not a toy but you’ll love this when you travel

You know how babies love throwing things on the floor? It’s not a big problem at home. But when you’re 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 frustrating.

Well, not anymore! Check out this suction baby toy holder {affiliate}. 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.

And talking about suction, many high chair toys suction on to a flat surface. They’re usually small and make perfect toys for taking with you on the plane, too.

No products found.

How do I keep my baby entertained on a plane?

You’ve got the toys for the plane journey. The next question is is that enough? How do you keep your baby entertained on a plane?

The general tip is to have new toys and activities for every every 30 minutes of the trip. These activities can include toys or books. You can also entertain your baby through simple activities like looking out the window or waving to friendly people.

That said, here are a few more tips to get your baby entertained on long-haul flights. These have worked for me and other parents I know. I hope they’ll work for you, too.

1. 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

2. Take Some Homemade Developmental Toys

If you have time to make your own toys, some of them can be really fun for babies. Not only do these toys practice a lot of the skills to learn at this time of their development. But these toys also occupy baby for a long time.

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!

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3. 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.

4. Take a lightweight 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.

5. Bring a pacifier to help deal with air pressure

Take off and landing might affect your baby’s ears because of the change in air pressure.

Breastfeeding is the best way to alleviate the pain, but sometimes, you won’t be able to breastfeed your baby during these times. If that’s the case, use pacifiers instead. Take more than one so that if your baby drops it on the floor, you have a clean one to give him. Have his favorite pacifier with you as well as a new one as the novelty of it might get him more willing to try it.

You can also use a sippy cup or milk bottle for babies who don’t use pacifiers.

6. Take snacks that take a long time to eat

Snacks that take a long time to eat can be a way to pass the time. Take finger foods like cheerios, this organic superfood puffs {affiliate} , or yogurt melts.

Traveling With a Baby on a Plane: Best Ways to Manage the trip

  1. 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.
  2. If you don’t want the person next to you to go crazy, refrain from taking any toy that makes a noise.
  3. Take toys that your child haven’t played with before so it’s more interesting to him.
  4. Take a pain-reliever and teething gel. You never know when those little teeth will decide to come out.
  5. Are you flying with your baby on your lap? You can use a wrap. Also, here’s a lap baby holder {affiliate} that makes things so much easier. Now your hands can be free.
  6. 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 {affiliate}. 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:

  1. a way to ease air pressure pain
  2. food and toys for calming, playing and entertaining

Then, you’ll have done everything needed to plan for your first trip with your baby on a plane.

And don’t forget to have fun and savor the moment!

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