I remember the first time I flew with my own child on a plane. I was downright terrified. Even though she was almost 7 months old and I had my husband with me, I was so nervous. I was nervous about forgetting something, nervous that she would scream the whole time, and nervous about trying to breastfeed her. Luckily, it all went fine and she was an amazing flyer. I was prepared and had a wide variety of items with us to help solve any situation. Here are the 15 must have items for Flying with Babies and Toddlers that will take the fear out of flying with them.
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Always have more diapers and training pants for your child than you think you will need in your carryon bag. You never know when your flight will get delayed, or your luggage will get lost. There is nothing worse than being without diapers or having to pay for overpriced ones at the airport.
I am never on a plane with my kids anymore without baby wipes. Besides helping you with diaper changes, wipes can clean your kids up, clean your tray table and allow you to freshen up before you arrive at your destination.
When you are 30,000 feet in the air breathing in cold, recycled cabin air someone will get a runny nosy. You can never go wrong by carrying a pack of tissues.
If you breastfeed exclusively you have the pleasure of skipping this item. If you don’t, be sure to pack formula, because we all know there is nothing worse than the cries of a hungry baby on an airplane. Also, sucking on a bottle or pacifier during takeoff and landing can help your baby’s ears.
Obviously you need baby bottles to feed your child on the plane if you use formula so don’t forget them!
If your child has moved on from bottles, but is not quite ready for the airline beverage cups, you probably want to bring a sippy cup. While many airlines do have lids and straws, they can still be easily spilled.
If your child uses a pacifier be sure to bring several on board the plane with you. Inevitably at least one or two will end up on the floor during the flight and airplane floors are gross. Your child’s pacifier will also help soothe them during take off and landing.
Blanket/Favorite Stuffed Animal
I always bring a small blanket for my children on the airplane. It keeps them warm on the cool plane and when I was breastfeeding it gave me a nice coverup. Your child will probably want their favorite stuffed animal and you should bring it, but be sure you don’t leave it behind.
When my children were babies and toddlers the minimum number of clothing changes I had in our carryon bags was two. You never know when your child’s diaper will leak or they will spit up or throw up in flight. You will also be glad you have these clothes if your luggage gets lost in route. While most of the time it gets recovered, the clothes in the carryon will get your through until your other luggage arrives.
Pajamas are essential for flying at night with kids. They help your kids get comfortable and ready for bed before you arrive. I also pack them in case of lost luggage. There is nothing worse than making your kids sleep in their travel clothes when you arrive at your destination. If your luggage is delayed and your child has used up all their clothing changes, you will still have pajamas as a back up.
You never know when you might need a place to put a dirty diaper or soiled clothes. I always pack a plastic bag or two in our carryon. If you want to be environmentally conscious you can always bring a waterproof bag. You can read about why I always bring plastic bags in my post 10 Tips That Will Make Flying Alone With Kids Easier.
There are so many uses for water on a plane when you have kids. Drinking, mixing bottles, and putting on a napkin to wipe a dirty face. If your kids are real little you can bring their water through security (it can be a hassle) or you can pick up some in the airport. Either way, don’t board without it. Here is the TSA guide to traveling with children.
When kids get hungry they let you know it, right? So be sure to pack a variety of snacks to get you from your departure point to your destination. You never know when you may get delayed or stuck on the plane. We love cookies, crackers and fruit snacks.
I never, ever pack medicine in our checked luggage. You never know when you might need it. Medicine can include vitamins, birth control pills, prescription medicines, pain relief medicine, cough and cold medicine, insulin and glasses or contacts. A small first aid kid or pack of bandaids are also handy to have. I love a travel medicine bag for arranging all these items.
Babies don’t need much to entertain them on a plane. Most of the time they sleep and eat. A few small toys such as rattles or balls will suffice. Toddlers are a different story. Who thought it was a good idea to trap them in a seat for an airplane flight of several hours? I’d love to see an airline come up with a seating idea that is better. Until that happens though, it can be tough to entertain them. I suggest crayons, paper, coloring books, small action figures, little games and even tablets and headphones for watching movies or shows.
Flying with a small baby or child for the first time is never easy. You never know what to expect or how they will react to the altitude changes. A little preparation goes a long way and with the right items your flight should be much smoother.
Need more ways to survive flying with your kids? Read my post 10 Tips That Will Make Flying Alone With Kids Easier