Traveling with a hyperactive baby - tips?


Nov 5, 2016
Some background:

Our fist son was probably the easiest baby in the world, and is now probably the easiest toddler in the world.

We probably realized it after our second was born, characteristically a few weeks too early - literally a born trouble maker ;-)

He’s kinda the “white sheep of the family” - always cheerful, always happy, while the rest of us - my wife, my older son and me - look more like Tim Burton characters... happy in our own mellow, chillaxed, almost-melancholy kinda way... :-)

The thing is, he also has the energy of the three of us combined. We adore him and love every minute with him, but we also tend to get exhausted really fast.

His curiosity is crazy and when he sets his eyes on something, he will do anything to get it, including stuntmen-like feats - climbing, jumping, and sort of baby-violence... (hair pulling, pushing, shrieking)... whatever it takes.

It got to a point where we got asked to pick him up from day care one day cause they just couldn’t handle it.

Fortunately, our eldest was such an amazing kid it really allowed us to allocate as much energy as needed so far. We even survived two 12-hour flights with them last year.

But now that he’s just over 1.5 years old, it’s getting out of hand. He just started walking, and he also started climbing which makes things more exhausting than ever, he climbs EVERYTHING.

The biggest problem is he’s taking our “NO!”’s as a positive re-enforcement, enjoying the attention whenever he does something bad, rather than stopping, so being cross with him only makes it worse.

I’m starting to get worried about our upcoming vacation, especially the long flight.

Any tips - for traveling, and otherwise - would be very very appreciated.

Has anyone had experience with that kind of thing?


Nov 5, 2016
(submitted too early... compiling a list of tips for y'all:) - coming soon)


Nov 5, 2016
Alright so the moms over at the Family forum were very helpful and shared tons of stories and tips.

I've compiled a quick guide from their ideas, "cut-to-the-chase-dad-style" :-) They also inspired me to add some of my own. Not everything is new information, but it's a good checklist before a vacation if you have a high energy kid like mine (apparently we're note alone, good to know):

1) Pack small toys for the flight:
- New toys he's never seen before.
- Quantity over quality
- Cheap things you don't mind losing when he throws them around
- He might throw things on other people so try to make it things that won't hurt anybody

(Note: "toys" is a limiting definition, remember that for them things like plastic straws or random dollar store items, etc are just as interesting as proper toys).

2) Pack interesting snacks for the flight - food that is also entertainment - as LongLiveRafiki said: "alphabet shaped crackers/cereal, animal shaped snacks that you can practice animal sounds with or sort, different colored snacks that you might be able to try to get him to practice separating by color")

3) Flight entertainment:
- Make sure to load lots of videos on your devices (phone/ipad). Different things, movies, shows, videos he likes from youtube, as well as new things he neer saw.
- I put on some silent loops of animals, like this or this, he loves them. I'm compiling a long loop now, if anybody's interested.
- Coloring books, etc

On the day:
1) Let him run around at the airport and get as tired as possilble.

2) Board the plane last - instead of making him sit for an hour on the runway

3) Have a bottle ready for takeoff & landing (helps with ear pain as well, I try to really time it for the actual ascent/descent).

4) Entertainment ready for takeoff/landing - the hardest part since he can't run up and down the aisles etc and needs to be sitting and (hopefully) quiet :)

Other tips:
- Get him a seat on the plane and bring the carseat (not gonna work for mine :)).
- "Start working as soon as possible with short car trips in carseat and increase the time of ride to make him get used to it before the flight" (Betty Rohrer's tip).

Sorry if I forgot to give someone credit for tip :-)

Original thread if you want the full stories:

Hope this helps someone :)