Flying with your baby can be one of the most stressful things for new parents. There is a lot to plan for, and the process can seem very overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time. From wondering what to pack to how you’ll keep your baby entertained, there are a few things to certainly help make it easier.
We just flew from California to Spain with a stop in Munich with our 7-month-old. It was her first flight and I wanted to make sure we had everything we needed for her. It was daunting at first but honestly now I’m so glad we did it. One of those ripping off a bandaid moments. The flight while long was a breeze and as an over-packer, I’m glad we came prepared for the flight. Sleeping was tough but she was a happy camper through and through.
From durable diaper bags to portable sound machines, here are my top must-have items for flying with a baby along with my own personal travel checklist!
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My Top Items for Flying With a Baby + Travel Checklist
This diaper bag is both stylish and durable, and the black color matches pretty much anything. The waterproof coated cotton ensures that you don’t have to worry about spills, and you can even choose between a medium and large size depending on your travel needs. We have two sizes and prefer the large for flying.
Whether you’re renting a car or planning on taking Ubers during your travels, a car seat is an obvious safety necessity. However, you’ll want something as lightweight as possible since you’ll have to carry it around while traveling. Also, this Zoho car seat travel bag allows you to cover and carry your car seat like a backpack, making it traveling around by car easier than ever. We have been using this car seat all over Europe and it has been working great for us.
Having a good stroller is imperative when it comes to traveling with a baby. This one, in particular, is super light, and it can easily fit in the overhead compartment to ensure that won’t have to check it and be without it at the airport. So far it has been serving us well throughout Mallorca.
4. Overnight Diapers + Outfit Changes (for everyone)
Keeping things as clean and mess-free as possible is a must when traveling with a baby, and overnight diapers give you the peace of mind you need so that you can all get some sleep. That being said, always bring an extra set of clothes for both your baby and yourself!
In addition to being adorable, this KYTE BABY onesie is so soft and cozy, and your baby will feel snug and comfy even on a long flight. It is also available in several different colors ranging from sage to emerald, so I recommend buying two for the flight. We put our baby in one and packed another in case we needed an outfit change for her.
6. Small Toys:
If your baby is teething, some great “chewable” options include this cute banana or this flower press toy. For extra stimulation, this play rattle is sure to do the trick and keep their attention for at least a bit.
Being able to have privacy while breastfeeding is something that a lot of mothers need for their own comfort and peace of mind. This cocoon from Amma is comfy and cozy for both baby and mama, and I love that it comes in different colors so that you can plan ahead with your outfits.
It is super easy to throw and very subtle, making moms who prefer privacy while breastfeeding much more comfortable. We used this a lot to help our baby fall asleep on the plane as well.
I highly recommend investing in an easy-to-transport sound machine. We use this a lot while traveling with baby and makes it convenient to have the consistency for naps. The white noise helps to block out the sounds of other passengers, and it is also chargeable, meaning you don’t have to worry about carrying a bunch of batteries around.
Walking through the airport while carrying your baby can get exhausting, but this tweed baby carrier ensures that you can be hand free and still have a secure hold on your child. It is also adjustable from newborns to toddlers, so it is a solid investment that should last for at least a couple of years.
We used this to get through security and be hands-free through the airport. Instead of using the stroller to carry her, we used it for bags!
My Check for in the Plane
While the items listed above are some basic and reliable must-haves, this travel checklist has some more specific items that I carried for the flight If you’re getting ready for a big trip, simply refer to this post and use this checklist as your own!
1. Overnight Diapers, Wipes, Rash Cream, Gloves, Puppy Pads
I always make sure that I have plenty of overnight diapers, wipes, gloves, etc. because there is nothing worse than being ill-prepared for accidents. Since plane bathrooms are especially small, puppy pads are also great for when you need to lay them down flat on their back but want to keep things as clean as possible.
2. Soft Toys for Entertainment
From rattles to teething toys, foldable and easy-to-transport toys can be a real game-changer when it comes to keeping your kid entertained (especially on a long flight).
3. Nursing Cover, Breast Pump + Parts, One Bottle, 2 Burp Cloths
If you’re still breastfeeding, having everything you need in one easy-to-access place (like a diaper bag) is a must. While I wanted to check my breast pump, I was too nervous to have anything go wrong with luggage to risk losing it.
4. All Important Medicine
Always double-check to make sure that you have all necessary medicines with you before leaving. Also, since planes and airports are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria, I like to bring some immune-boosting vitamins just in case for myself as well.
5. Sanitization Wipes + Hand Sanitizer + Pacifier Wipes
Obviously, traveling in a post-Covid world has taught us the importance of sanitization. From travel-sized hand sanitizer to sanitation wipes for surfaces, these things help put my mind at ease while traveling.
6. 2 Outfit Changes for us, 3 for Baby
Some people can go on a full travel day in the same clothes…I am not one of those people. I prefer to have two outfit changes on hand for my husband and me, along with at least three for the baby in case of any incidents.
7. Sound Machine + Thin blanket
As stated above, the sound machine is a lifesaver when it comes to curating a decent sleeping environment for babies. Also, a thin blanket that won’t make them too hot is another go-to for helping your baby get good sleep on a plane.
8. Pouch Meals + Snacks for us
Pouch meals are one of the easiest and mess-free things to feed your baby on a plane pending the age. I would recommend a few snacks as well.
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PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!
These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.
1. Book Your Flights
Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.
2. Book Your Accommodations
Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.
3. Book Your Tours & Experiences
4. Book Your Car
Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.
5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access
Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.
6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.
My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are: