Having an infant can be overwhelming let alone hopping on an airplane. And every parent wants to bring along everything and the kitchen sink, even though it’s not practical. But here’s a list of things we keep in our bag when flying with an infant.
1 – The Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station
You probably already have a changing pad that came with the diaper bag you bought, but we ditched ours for the Skip Hop Pronto Changing Station. Why? It’s just easier to grab this and go to the bathroom. It’s such a great organizer because it is able to keep diapers and wipes in one package, and we also stick our hand sanitizer wipes in the front zip pocket. Having gone through two kids on flights, this just made things quick, easy, and painless when changing a diaper no matter how organized your diaper bag may be.
2 – Diapers!
This is obvious, but how many diapers should you really pack? Assuming you roughly know how many times you change a diaper in a given day, multiply that number by 2. I would also carry a nearly full pack of wipes. That sounds like overkill, but there’s something about flying that makes your baby poo up a storm, or at least with our children. Maybe they are marking their territory? You also want to prepare for any flight delays you may incur. There’s nothing worse than being stuck at an airport for hours because of a flight delay and you run out of diapers and/or wipes (we’ve run out of wipes before!). You will be hard pressed to find any diapers and wipes at an airport. The best we’ve done is find sanitizer wipes.
3 – Formula/Breast Pump/Pacifiers
The same amount of diapers also applies to formula! You can pre-make them if you feel most comfortable this way. TSA will just take one bottle and analyze it to make sure it is ok. Just make sure your ice pack is fresh from the freezer–it needs to be solid–so TSA won’t give you a hard time. Or you can just divide up the powder and buy bottled water once you get past security. Just make sure you carry enough to last you an entire day in case you run into any flight delays.
If you pump, I personally would pack that in your hand carry luggage just in case your luggage gets lost. I would also take a hand pump because some times those outlets don’t work. Even if you don’t pump you might consider taking a hand pump with you. There’s nothing worse than being engorged, your baby doesn’t want to eat enough, and you are stuck on a plane (that’s happened to me before too). Totally optional though.
If your baby takes a pacifier, bring 2 or 3! They fall, they temporarily get lost, etc., so it’s just nice to have some on hand just in case. They are also a lifesaver if your baby doesn’t want to eat when you are taking off or landing. The sucking helps relieve the air pressure on their ears.
4 – Extra Clothes and Blankets
Babies inevitably spit up, you’ll deal with blow outs, and things just spill. Bring extra clothes for both you and baby. There’s nothing worse than having a terrible blow out that some how gets on you too. I usually pack two extra outfits for the baby and an extra outfit for myself.
I also pack two swaddle blankets. Even if your baby hates to be swaddled, planes get cold. And if you are fortunate enough to have a bulkhead seat, you can lay down a blanket on the floor, put down a few toys, and voila you have a makeshift (clean) play area. And I always pack an extra one in case it gets really filthy from a blow up or spit up.
I keep this all organized with the Skip Hop Grab & Go Dry/Wet Bag. We keep the clean clothes in the front mesh pocket, and when things inevitably get dirty we stick it in the zip pocket. It’s so much easier to just grab this bag instead of fumbling around for clothes and then another bag to store dirty ones. It’s also a great bag for the pool/beach since the zip pocket has a waterproof lining. It’s also really easy to clean; just flip it inside-out and wipe clean.
5 – Toys and Books
Pack light, small toys for this age. We usually pack 2 soft toys that we know captivates our baby’s attention. And then I buy a new toy they have never seen before, which I know is a bit overkill so obviously this is optional. I pull out the new toy when things are a bit dire hoping that it will captivate their attention for awhile. Again, totally optional. But you should pack at least 3 toys that are light and soft.
We also pack two board books to read to the baby. We prefer the ones that are also tactile because that also counts as a toy. Right?
6 – Baby Sling or Soft Structured Carrier
Last, we pack something to baby wear. We are obviously partial to the Ergobaby, but use something you are most comfortable with. But I personally wouldn’t use a warp because you want something you can quickly put on/off and put baby in/out. Why baby wear? When you are ready to board, it’s just easier to wear your baby. That frees up your hands to set up your seat and putting your bags away. Same thing goes for disembarking on an airplane too. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to baby wear when you are taking off and landing. But you can baby wear once you are in the air, in case that’s the only way to get your baby to nap.
That’s what you’ll find in our baby bag when we fly with an infant. What do you recommend we add to this list?
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