Flying with a toddler: Australia to New Zealand


By Olivia Pigeot

Travelling with my toddler usually makes me a little nervous. He has just started walking so it’s not so easy to make him sit still & he’s into absolutely everything! I took Jane’s advice & dosed him up with Baby Panadol 1/2 hr before takeoff. He’s had problems with his ears when we’ve flown before, but also he has 4 new fangs coming through. The Panadol takes the edge off all that.

The plane was delayed so we’d already had 4 hrs of chasing him around the airport, banging teaspoons & cups, dancing to the iPads on display, banging spoons & cups & tabletops, playing the xylophone on the iPhone, banging spoons & cups & tabletops & display cabinets, racing through the terminal on the trolley scaring the hell out of everyone else embarking on their holidays, mushing food & pouring his drink onto anything he laid eyes on… Banging teaspoons & cups.

Fun times…

Christchurch is only a 2 & 1/2 flight, but the Gods of Sleep smiled down on us anyway and he nodded off as soon as daddy put the seat belt on him. Yay! We made a little bed for him on the spare seat that was blocked off for us on check-in. (We were flying Emirates, touted as one of the most child-friendly airlines, which I can totally vouch for.) We settled in for a stress-free flight when 45-minutes in he rolled over & fell of the seat. Cue major meltdown.

His father took him for a walk & the darling hosties at the back of the plane soon calmed him down & had him smiling & giggling for their Polaroid camera. They are obviously well prepared for this—they hand the pic to you in a little folder that even has a space for the child’s name & flight no & the airhosties’ names. Cute.

Anyway the rest of the flight was fairly uneventful, jammed between mummy & daddy, and more of the same… banging teaspoons and cups etc.

This is the first blog by Olivia Pigeot, who heads up Itchee Stuff: our bags and T-shirts for little travellers. Check them out. 

Also, there is a section in AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WAYS that deals with toddler activities, perfect for plane travel.


  • Awww! What a remarkable experience you had with your infant. Perhaps he won’t remember when he turns an adult but you must show him some photos of this wonderful flying trip. You can share some with us too! 🙂

  • Thanks for posting. And speaking of great pics, I just looked at your website. I’ve run across it before. What an amazing place. 🙂