Flying with a baby or toddler

Its vacation time and I have started making a list of things I will have to carry while I am flying and while I am at the destination again! Last time I travelled with my son when he was 6 months old. He was breast fed then. I had to travel alone. Since he wasn't crawling a lot, it was easier to carry him in my lap the whole 16 hours. So travelling with a baby, travelling alone with a baby, flying with a baby on very long flights, I have done it all. But now I have to remember all the things I carried and modify the list per his present needs. Its better to note it down somewhere so I won't have to start from scratch the next time and I won't miss anything from the last time. So here is the list:

Carry on luggage
  • Carry extra clothes (2 sets) for baby and an extra set for mom and dad (in case the baby gets sick on your lap)
  • Milk bottles are allowed on board (I carried a bag meant for keeping the bottles cold with couple of ice packs and 4 bottles of pumped milk). The cabin crew can warm the milk for you. Test the temperature of milk/food before giving it to baby.
  • Pack soothers/pacifiers or something to chew or suck on for the baby. Sucking action relieves the baby from air pressure during take off and landing. I gave my son a bottle (I timed his feeding such that he will have his milk during takeoff) while take off, landing and whenever I felt change in air pressure.
  • Carry a disposable bowl and some cotton balls. If the baby is in pain due to the air pressure, cotton balls soaked in warm water could make him feel better. Also, carry a disposable cup. If for some reason the crew refuse to warm the bottle, you could ask for hot water and keep the bottle in it to warm the milk.
  • Carry extra Sippy cups.
  • Keep the medicines (tylenol, motrin, thermometer, salin spray) handy.
  • Carrying bibs, burping clothes, wash clothes are recommended.
  • Wet wipes, diapers (I would suggest 4-5 diapers. You may need more diapers while travelling than usual) and diaper rash cream are must to carry.
  • Some moms have suggested carrying a back pack to keep your hands free for the kid and the stroller.
  • Empty plastic bags for soiled clothes/ diapers.
  • Extra zip lock bags.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Take some snacks and toys (some moms suggest to wrap the toys in gift wrap and keep one end open if the security wants to check the wrapped toy. This creates an excitement for the kids).
  • Carry a bed sheet or something if you are changing the flight and have a long stop in between. Your baby will be able to sleep on the floor. He will get a nice space to take a nap and could use the space to stretch.
  • Sometimes it could be very cold inside the plane. Consider clothing your kid in layers. Layers could be removed depending on the inside temperature.
  • I am not sure about carrying a car seat. It could come handy when you don't have a bassinet. Baby will feel safe in the carseat with the harnesses. I did not carry it.
  • If the baby is breast fed, carry breast pump and accessories, nursing cloth, extra bottles and extra nipples
  • Depending on the weather, carry hats, mittens and socks
  • If the child is teething carry a teether
  • If the baby is very small (couldn't sit and crawl), you can carry a baby carrier.
  • Important: Consider a wheel chair option when traveling alone with a baby. It was a life saver for me! I cleared the check in lines, the security lines and the boarding lines in no time and I did not have to worry about carrying my son as he was on my lap the whole time. The wheel chair assistant carried and checked in the entire luggage for me. He also put the luggage on the security belt and brought it back to me. Easy!
  • Another thing to consider, while boarding a flight you have a choice to board before everyone. It helps if the child is 0-4 months old. It could irritate the child (5-6 months onwards) to not to move for a while. Consider boarding later in such case.
  • Also, keep the diaper bag (with extra set of clothes, extra set of bottles and extra diapers) under your seat. Do not put it in the over head compartment. While travelling alone, getting the stuff out of the bag could be a huge deal.
  • Try to fill in the custom form when the child is asleep.
  • Get the cabin crew's help (while eating lunch, while using bathroom etc.)
Other things to carry:
  • Baby cereal (its easy to make and is a good back in case of emergency)
  • Baby monitor
  • Child safe night lamp
  • Baby blanket
  • (if you get a kitchen) rice, lentils, cracked wheat, raagi, Rava and small utensils to cook these items
  • body wash, tooth paste, tooth brush, baby powder, lotion
  • Tissue paper
  • Cloth bandage, antiseptic cream, vicks vapor rub, nebulizer (my son needs this to keep his cough in check), hot pack, multi vitamin drops, orajel (since he is teething), and some other medicines
  • Cap, sun screen, swimmer diapers, bug repellent
  • feeding spoons
  • disposable bowls
I am trying to find out best toys to carry in the plane. Any suggestions?


Anonymous said...

Good work1 keep it up. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Nice list. You have really thought it through. Thanks for the exhaustive list.

Marathimann said...


Trip Fairy said...

great job ..very helpful...