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Flying Internationally with Baby: What to Pack in your Carry-On for a Long Haul Flight

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

When you’re flying internationally or for a long haul flight (5 hours and over) there is a certain strategy to packing that will differ from your shorter flights.

You are more likely to have checked baggage included in your international flight which means you can typically pack more of what you need there and focus on having enough items in your carry on to get you through the flight and remaining travel day.

For more tips on how to survive an international flight with Baby, click here.

In this scenario I am only going to focus on one parent and one baby. For any additional babies, you would just adjust based on this list and their needs (likely doubling the amount of food and sleep related items).

First let us start with your baggage allowance. For one parent and one lap infant your baggage allowance will be one carry-on bag, one personal item, and one diaper bag (size and weight restrictions depend on the airline). If you have purchased a seat for Baby, you will be able to bring an additional carry on bag and separate the following list in more bags. If you are bringing your pumping items you can also bring those in a separate bag at no extra cost.

Now for each bag…

Diaper Bag

Here is where I would organize my immediate needs & essentials. This will include anything you may need up to the point where you are in the air and the seat belt sign has been turned off.

This may also take a bit of thought to determine amounts of each item. You don’t want to over pack unnecessarily but you know your baby best so you will need to determine how many diapers, snacks, etc that you will need.

▢ Diapers - I like to use either night diapers or go one size up for long travel days. This will help limit blowouts due to changing cabin pressure.

▢ Wet Wipes - I like to bring a whole full size pack instead of a “travel” pack which I usually keep for day to day

▢ Disposable Changing Pad - When messes happen on a plane, it's much easier to just throw away the whole pad than trying to clean a reusable one in an airplane bathroom while holding baby.

▢ Extra change of clothes

▢ Wet/Dry or Plastic “Doggy” Bags to hold any messes

▢ Antibacterial Wipes

▢ Pacifier Wipes

▢ Milk/Formula - enough to get you up in the air

▢ Bottles for milk/formula ▢ Water Bottle for Baby

▢ Snacks/Puree/Pouch incase baby is hungry for more than milk, consider enough even if there is a delay.

▢ Portable Sound Machine

▢ Comfort Items (Pacifiers or Lovey) if needed

▢ ICE medicines - Tylenol/Ibuprofen, Teething Gel, Gas Drops

Carry On

For all of your additional items, the key here really is organization. Being able to quickly grab whatever you need when you need it will be very helpful. I usually separate changing items, feeding items, sleep tools, etc into their own separate packing cubes or bags.

▢ Additional Diapers and a few more change of clothes

▢ Feeding Items (bowl, spoon, bib)

▢ Additional Milk/Formula

▢ Additional Bottles to make it through the entire flight - You can clean the bottles using water from the bathroom sink but its not suggested to reuse and give back to baby.

▢ Additional Food/Snacks

▢ Toys or Tablet - Anything you may want for entertainment

▢ Pacifier Clips for toys and pacifiers

▢ Cozy Blanket

▢ Sleep Tools - This should be anything you include during your bedtime routine. Could be a sleep sack, bedtime book, toothbrush, etc.

▢ Baby Carrier

▢ Anything else that will help get Baby through the travel day

Personal Bag

Your personal item can be where you will focus on your own needs… finally 😆

▢ Toiletries/travel size liquids

▢ Headphones (airplane friendly)

▢ Portable Charger & Cords for all devices

▢ ID/Passports/Wallet

▢ Keys

▢ Phone

▢ Snacks for yourself

▢ Change of Clothes or two for yourself - I suggest one comfy pair of pajamas and one outfit you could wear in public if needed. Bonus points if your comfy pajamas are also nice enough to wear in public.

▢ Anything else that will get you through your travel day

And even if you don't see it on this list, that doesn't mean its not important. Its up to you to determine what you and your family needs and you can add anything that will help you make it through your travel day with baby!


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