My Essential, Flying with a Baby Checklist
Don’t worry. I am a mother and travel blogger who has been travelling with my son since he was three months old. I know how stressful the preparation and the travel itself can be when travelling with a baby. I’m here to make your life more comfortable with my checklist of things you would want to have with you on any flight. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short domestic flight or a long international one, preparation is vital.
No matter what, keep it together
Flying with a baby can be very unpredictable. You need to be ready physically and mentally. It doesn’t matter how good, or bad the experience is, remember that once that plane takes off, no matter how your baby behaves, the time is going to pass and in a matter of time you will arrive and you will most likely never see any of the other passengers again. Time flies and even a bad experience will turn into a heartwarming memory that you will be bound to retell to other nervous parents thinking about their first trip with their kid.
One thing that I have learnt is that it doesn’t matter how loud your baby cries or how stressful the layovers are. What matters is how you look and respond to the situation. Staying calm in any stressful situation is very important and something that comes with experience. While your baby is little, he won’t understand much about whats going on while you are travelling, so it’s up to you to make the experience as playful and stress-free as is realistically possible.
As my son grew older, we meet new challenges while travelling, and some things don’t change. Like my checklist for travelling with a baby. Here’s my list of things you will need on the road to keep your baby comfortable and entertained:
- Travel bag. I prefer to travel with a large backpack that can fit all your baby needs and can be easily carried on your back, leaving your hands free. Most diapers bags are not big enough to go with on a long flight, that’s why I prefer to travel with a comfortable sports backpack.
- Diapers. Brings extras but don’t overpack. Flying with a baby requires a lot of extra packing and nappies definitely take up a lot of precious space.
- Plastic bags to store used diapers, rubbish or dirty clothes.
- A reusable, quality changing pad. You never know where you will end up changing your baby while flying. Always have a changing pad with you. Some gates at the airports won’t have a family room, and if a smelly accident happens right before the flight, you would have to adapt to change diapers in the bathroom, most likely on the floor. That’s where your sanitary changing pad comes to rescue.
- Disinfecting hand gel or disinfecting hand tissues in small sizes. (Wipe your baby’s changing pad after every use).
- Gentle baby wipes. These are life savers when flying with a baby. Little hands like to touch everything, and you will want to have these handy at all times.
- Toys and books. Only bring their favourites. Toys must be safe and dependable. Preferably the ones that don’t make too much noise and annoy other passengers on the flight even more than necessary.
- A change of clothes for a baby. I’m always relieved to find an extra pair of pants and socks in my backpack as there is nothing worse for a baby than sitting in wet clothes with the plane’s air conditioning blasting.
- A soother. From my experience, flying with a baby is NOT the time to try and remove a soother from their routine. Wait till after travelling so your baby can avoid being too stressed.
- Snack food. It’s important to bring snacks that your child likes. For food and comforting reasons. No one enjoys the food when flying especially babies.
- Baby formula in a little container with a measuring spoon. I usually buy a good quality bottled water to mix the formula before I get on the plane, to avoid baby getting upset while taking off. I have noticed a bottle of milk is a great way to comfort your child while taking off or landing as it helps with sore ears.
- Two separate bottles for milk and water.
- A travel stroller that fits in the overhead luggage compartment on the plane. I use a Mountain Buggy Nano Travel Stroller and find it to be good quality and inexpensive. HOT TIP: it’s essential to have a stroller with you on a board if you have stopovers between flights. If you have invested in something like the nano, DO NOT let airport staff check your stroller, even at the gate. You want to be able to walk off the plane and transfer baby in it right away. We have had some horrible experiences around this, but ultimately they were our fault for not insisting on taking the stroller onboard.
- If you have some more space left in your handbag, bring a change of light clothes for yourself. You never know if you will get a leaked nappy or get baby food spilled on your shirt.
- Bring any medicine, that you think you will need, depending on child’s needs. When we travel, I always have with me a small bottle of kid’s paracetamol, a thermometer, Bonjela gel in case of teething and a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide in case of a grease.