If you do need to book a flight with a layover, choose one with a relatively long stop to avoid having to run through the airport with your child and all your baby gear. Also, locate an airport map to see if there is a toddler play area for your child to expend some of his/her energy before boarding the plane again.
Maneuvering through a crowded airport loaded with bags and your innocent one is tough enough, so bring your stroller and use it to hold everything. Airlines will allow you to gate check your stroller, so you'll have it up to until you depart and immediately upon landing.
When it comes to security, no one passes through with any liquid of more than three ounces, unless you have an infant. TSA restrictions are waived for milk/breastmilk in containers larger than 3 ounces. Additional screening in required, but you will be able to feed your little one on a cross-country flight. To make travel even easier, bring empty bottles (or just filled with formula) through security, then purchase bottled water on the concourse. The three-ounce rule, however, still exists on medicines, lotions or anything else you may typically carry with you for your baby. Diaper creams, lotions or other items are available in travel sizes, and if you have a liquid medication you must carry, pour it into three-ounce containers.
This advice can apply not only to long road trips, but also any vacation with airport layovers or many restaurant meals: Buy a few small toys and wrap them up. Then during the trip, ration them and give to your child one at a time.
No matter what age your children are they can do this. Whether they choose to draw pictures of their favorite memory of the day or write a narrative about what you did as a family that day; they can make this their very own. This will be a special souvenir and keepsake that you will enjoy looking at over the years as you made memories as a family!