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Packing for your Trip when Flying with a Baby

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

Here is how to fit your entire home into a suitcase…

Just kidding.

There is just no way that could be possible but this is the general sense of dread that I often hear when it comes to packing to fly on an airplane. I am focusing on air travel here because generally, you have more room to bring many more bags and items when traveling by car.

Based on my experiences, I have come up with a few tips that have made it easier for us and a general list of what to pack.

First and foremost, how many bags will you be bringing? This may depend on what airline you are flying and whether or not you need to pay for checked luggage. In this scenario and most commonly, my family and I check one large bag with two carry-on and personal bags.*

It is important to remember that you know your family best, so adjust accordingly. There is no amount of stress that is worth it when it comes to packing. If you need to bring another checked bag to save your sanity, go ahead and check another bag. But do remember you can always buy needed, extra, or forgotten items once you get to your location.

Our large bag is reserved for mainly baby/larger items and our full size liquids while we try to keep our carry-on bags packed with clothes for ourselves. If you have older children, they would get their own carry-on bags and that rule would also apply to them. For us, this works best and we believe it to be the easiest when traveling no matter if you are traveling for a few days or even a week.

Below is a general checklist for you to use when packing:

​Diaper Bag

Carry-on/Personal Item

​Checked Bag

❒ Diapers / Wipes / Cream (one diaper per hour of travel)

❒ Clothes & Shoes

❒ Outfits for baby for entire trip

​❒ Formula / Water / Milk (enough for at least two feedings per flight, more for international flights)

❒ Phone / Identification / Travel Documents/ Wallet / Keys

​❒ Seasonal items (winter or summer wear and additional needs)

​❒ Changing pad

​❒ Accessories/Jewelry

​❒ Sound Machine

❒ Bottles (at least 2 per flight)**

​❒ Small travel liquids and toiletries for yourself

​❒ Larger portion of formula or milk for trip***

​❒ Disinfection wipes & hand sanitizer

❒ Electronics/Chargers

​❒ Additional Diapers for duration of trip***

❒ Blanket

❒ Additional Sleep Needs (sleep sacks, loveys, etc.)

​❒ Toiletries for baby

​ ❒ A change of clothes (per flight)

❒ Anything that you may need for baby and yourself to get through the night in case your luggage is lost

​❒ Feeding Items (Bottles / Spoons / Bowls / Purees)

❒ Sleep tools - Pacifiers, portable sound machine, sleep sack, etc.

❒ Noise Protection Earmuffs (optional, but highly recommended for younger babies especially)

❒ Additional parent items/ miscellaneous needs that couldn’t fit in carry-ons

​❒ Toys and/or teethers

*If you are flying in the United States, Southwest Airlines has the added benefit of two checked bags included in each seated ticket. In that case, we would pack everything in our checked baggage and avoid bringing carry-on luggage.

**Breastfeeding mommas just bring yourselves, although I do always suggest bringing a pump and bottles in case you are unable to feed by breast during the flight. You can bring a separate pump bag that does not count towards your carry on allowance.

***If you are traveling for more than 4 days I would consider buying formula or diapers once at your destination to save space in your bag.


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