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How to: Pack Baby for Plane Travel
It’s time to blast off into the wild blue yonder… but you don’t know how you’re going to fit your entire nursery into your suitcase? Worry no more! We’re going to simplify and organize the whole process!
Cheat sheet! Head over to FREE STUFF for your baby packing check list for both breast fed and formula fed babies!
I always have a suitcase for baby and a suitcase for Mom and Dad. We fly Southwest so we get 2 free checked bags per person (50 lbs & under) plus our carry ons! Score!
Know how many days and nights you are going to be gone for. This should be your base line. You’ll need at least that many outfits for the day and sleepers for the night.
You know your baby inside and out and know how many outfits they usually go through in a day. Add those to your baseline and always throw in an extra outfit or 2 on top of that.
You never know how your baby is going to react to a new location, new weather, or a new time zone. Always better to be prepared and expect the unexpected.
Make it easy for yourself. Baby clothes are small and no matter how nicely you fold them and pack them in from end to end, they will get jostled and mixed around while your luggage is being moved.
Do yourself a favor and invest in some quart size ziplock bags! We’re going to make little baby clothes burritos and pack your outfits as sets!
This is especially awesome if you have a baby girl and want to bring along headbands and bows because they stay with the outfits they go with!
So you’re half way through your vacation and you now have half of your outfits left in their bags and the used ones are now just floating around? No way, Jose!
Delicate laundry bags. If you don’t have them already, go get them now! Pack one of these bags when you are away from home and ta-da you have a portable laundry bin!
Pro Tip: Get a set of the laundry bags. Use the smallest ones to hang on the edge of your baby’s laundry bin to keep all of baby’s socks together. Use a medium laundry bag to hang on the back of the baby’s high chair to keep your dirty bibs and washcloths together. Hang a large sized bag in the bathroom for the bath time towels, washcloths and sponges. This not only allows you to refrain from losing pieces, it makes separating baby laundry a breeze. You take it out of the dryer and know where all the bags need to go and your stuff is clean and right back where it started!
Whatever you’ll need during travel time should be in your carry on. But if you’ll need bowls, spoons, bottles, sippy cups, teethers etc., throw those in a gallon sized ziplock bag so they’ll stay all together.
If you’re running out of your vacation at the end, and have freshly washed utensils, they now have a place to go where they won’t get any other stuff wet!
If you’re able to make it through your travel time without pumping, put your pump in a checked bag. This will save you a headache at airport security!
(TSA has really streamlined breastfeeding supplies over the years, but each airport and agent is a bit different with their training, resources, and policies.)
If your formula container is already opened, put it in a gallon sized Ziplock bag. If, for any reason, it opens during travel, you’re not losing those precious pennies of formula dust!
We like to keep things as much like home as possible. It’s nice to be able to put her down for a nap or bed time and be able to go out and socialize while keeping an eye her.
Her naps and bed time get thrown off quite a bit with long travel days and being in a different time zone.
Our monitor is pretty compact, so we take it with us everywhere. I pack mine in a little box that we got in one of our hundreds of Amazon packages. It held a battery pack and cord for one of her toys and our little monitor fits in it just perfectly.
You don’t need a fancy box, but just something to keep the screen safe and keep the cords from getting tangled would help.
We adore our Hello Baby Monitor! It has audio, color/infared, you can do close-up to make sure your little one is breathing, it tells you the temperature of their room, and has a microphone so you can calm them down from a distance!
I adore Little Remedies! They have saved me a lot of sleep and stress. The newborn kit comes with several products and this handy-dandy zipper bag that holds all of the supplies.
I like to throw in Tylenol, a syringe, Vapo rub, Saline Drops, Gas Drops, nail clippers, thermometer, and the Nose Frieda. Our munchkin developed a cough and runny nose on our last trip and I had fortunately packed all of these supplies and was able to make her comfortable.
Side note: We keep bath wash, baby oil, lotions, sunscreens, bug spray, etc. in the toiletries bag in our suitcase.
If you have it in the budget, get a small pack of diapers once you arrive to your destination. This way, you’ll just have to pack them in your carry on and you can save a ton of space.
Anywhere I take my baby, she gets spoiled rotten. We always wind up coming home with twice as much as we came with.
If you don’t wind up using it for new stuff coming home, no worries, it’s a flat bag. And, if anything, it’ll just keep your stuff nice and snug inside your suitcase.
It’s nice to have in case any of your bags wind up weighing over 50 pounds. It’ll save you the fee that comes along with heavy luggage! Just transfer heavy or bulky items into the extra bag and BOOM! Saved yourself some cash!
Each person gets 1 carry on plus a personal item. My husband and I each take a diaper bag. Mine is a diaper bag that I use as my regular purse and my husband’s is a diaper backpack.
When I was still nursing, I took my Boppy as my personal item and, boy, did we use it! My husband had a small, soft cooler I bought at Target as his carry on to bring some frozen milk.
But how did we navigate boarding an airplane with 2 diaper bags, a cooler, a Boppy and a baby?
My husband was able to put on our carrier with baby, put on the back pack and I was able to have my bag, the cooler and the Boppy. I found seats, got settled, then took baby while Dad got comfortable. It was seamless through 4 flights in one week!
Remember, everything in your carry ons will be going through security.
Mom’s Carry On – Diaper Bag
I focus my carry on on the baby. My stuff will be in Dad’s carry on.
If your little one is under 2, you need their ORIGINAL Birth Certificate in order to get them a boarding pass. This is also where I keep confirmations for hotels and rental cars at easy reach.
Have your formula, bottles, water, juice, or baby food in a gallon ziplock bag. They have their own rules and have to be scanned separately from the rest of your items. Be sure to tell a TSA agent that you have these items. This also applies for frozen or chilled breast milk in coolers.
Diapers, wipes, cream and a changing pad. Bring more than you think you’ll need! You never know how your plane will be delayed or if your luggage gets lost. Bring extras!
Pacifiers for those poor little baby ears that don’t know how to handle pressure changes. If they’re not eating at take off and landing, have that pacifier ready!
Burp Cloth. Those poor little tummies can hold a lot of stuff and the last thing you want is for all of that to come flying out and have no way to clean them up.
Carrier. Hands free baby wearing. Travel is taxing. Save your arms.
Dad’s Carry On – BackPack
Phones & Wallets
We have a small outside pocket and a big outside pocket. We keep our phones in the top pocket and our wallets (with ID) in the big bottom pocket along with our boarding passes once we get them. They are accessible at all times and don’t get lost in the baby junk.
Electronics & Chargers
If you have to bring a lap top or tablet, put it in the bag not designated for baby. Also, bring phone chargers. If you’re stuck in an airport with a delay, you don’t want a dead phone.
Keep your extra outfit for baby in a ziplock bag. Also bring an extra shirt for Mom and Dad. If you get thrown up on mid-flight, you don’t want to be stuck in it AND you’ll have a ziplock bag to keep the mess contained!
Diapers, wipes, and a changing pad. Aren’t these in Mom’s bag? YES! Have them in both!
If you plan on nursing in-flight or in the airports, get yourself some private space and bring a blanket. Not all airports have designated rooms.
Baby may want to spread out and play, better to have them on a blanket than the airport floor and it’s always freezing in airports and in the plane… keep your little one as comfortable as possible.
You never know how long your airport stay or wait on the runway will be. Keep your baby as happy as possible. Bring some favorite toys to keep them at ease.
If you’re planning on bringing a car set with you, DO NOT forget the base to connect it with whatever car you are going to have.
They have car seat bags available online if you’d like to check your stuff and give it a bit of protection.
If you would like the space, security and have it in the budget, you can also opt to buy baby a seat on the plane if they’re under 2 and take them in their car seat. The magical little hooks on baby’s arm rests are meant to be used with airplane seat belts.
Call the airline that you have bought your tickets from and discuss the options for strollers.
It is handy to have a stroller if you’re going to a big airport and you’re going to be walking for a while. Most airlines let you check your stroller as you board the plane and have it waiting for you as soon as you land, but policies vary and can change.
Do your research and find out ahead of time. Be sure to clean your stroller out before you head off to the airport. It has to be emptied and collapsed to be sent through the X-ray at security.
And there you have it! Congratulations, you’re all packed and ready to go!
If you want a printable check list so you don’t forget anything, you’ll find it right below! Head to my FREE STUFF page for other printables and check lists!
Happy travels and may the odds be ever in your favor!
Head over to grab your free printable checklist!