Hey y’all… Howdy?!
Sorry for the radio silence here, I’ve been away on a vacation to Istanbul, Turkey and India, and we just got back Sunday before last!
I’m working on a Istanbul Travelogue but today I am sharing with you my carry-on essentials when flying with a baby!
As I post this, I have taken 12 flights (8 international and 4 domestic – 2 within the US and 2 within India) with Lil Miss Krits and hence feel like I am little knowledgeable on this topic to share that knowledge with you all today.
The most important thing when traveling with a baby is to make sure you have read the TSA/Airport rules of where you are flying from, before going ahead with anything. This will save you a lot of time at the airport / security check.
My list in no particular order is as follows:
Diapers: My rule of thumb is 1 for every 2 hour of flight and transit time. And then 5 extras on top of that. Use long term diapers like Pampers Baby Dry or Pampers Cruisers because it has more absorption power and keeps the baby drier for longer when compared to Pampers Swaddlers for example. You’d think my rule is a little extra cautious, but trust me it’s better to not risk getting stranded without diapers during a travel delay.
Diaper cream: Pack a travel size one.
Changing pad: Pack the disposable ones, these are use and throw and make life so much easier. You can use your regular one too, but in case of a super messy diaper, there could be stuff that gets on your changing pad and having to wash and dry it on the go could be a hassle.
Baby wipes: I swear by using baby wipes for everything!!! Not only for diaper changes. Want to wipe baby’s hands and mouth – use baby wipe, want to clean up a spill – use baby wipe, dropped something on your clothes – use baby wipes, you get the hint 😉 Haha!! I always carry an extra unopened new pack as a back up. My favorite wipes are Pampers Sensitive Wipe or the ones I got from Kuwait – Voi and Bivy Wet Towels.
Plastic bags: A few plastic bags and diaper disposable bags (you can use pet waste pick up bags) are very handy when it comes to having to dispose or store away wet or dirty clothes and diapers.
Burp cloths, Bibs and Wash cloths: I always carry atleast 4-5 of each, just because they do not consume much space and it’s good to have backups in case one or two get messy.
Nursing cover: If you are breastfeeding, honestly a big non-transparent scarf would do!
Blankets: Not a big huge one, instead a small just right size one should definitely be packed since airports and flights are always cold. In international flights they give you blankets, so you could skip this if you wanted to, unless there is a particular blanket your baby loves and prefers to have.
Mat: This only works if your baby is tiny enough and isn’t moving around yet. You can spread it on the airport floor / airplane floor for your little one to play on. If you don’t want to pack an extra bulky mat, like I didn’t want to, I used a lightweight big scarf of fine to serve the same purpose.
Two changes of clothes for your baby: Coz messes do happen!
Change of clothes for yourself: Well, coz messes do happen!!
Pacifiers: If your baby uses one, pack the one they use and an extra one just in case. Pacifier’s sucking motion in general is a good idea during landing and take off so that the baby’s ears don’t hurt. Use a pacifier clip to ensure it doesn’t fall down and is clipped to your baby.
Teething Toys: If your baby is in that stage. Try to buy ones that can be clipped using pacifier clips.
Cotton Buds / Ear Plugs: This helps with the whole ear popping situation during take off and landing.
Snacks for the baby: Things like their cereal, puffs, crackers, fruit, purée etc. whatever your child eats.
Breast milk or formula: Both of these are exempt from the TSA’s 3-ounce limit, as is baby juice. They also don’t stop opened formula boxes. You could also get individual, pre-measured formula packets to mix with bottled water, any number of bottles water (ofcourse within limit) is also exempt from the TSA limit. The ready to drink formula bottles are a life saver when it comes to calming down a howling hungry baby!
Canned or jarred baby food: Definitely can carry them along, but just be prepared for additional TSA screening. Some international flights provide you with a baby meal, basically it’s either fruit or vegetable purée. How cute!
Milk Bottles and nipples: Always pack milk bottles and nipples in separate ziplocks as batches. What I mean by this is at one time pack about 4-5 bottles along with some formula and keep that out near you in the flight, once done with that batch, bring out the next ziplock and put these used bottles back. It’s more efficient this way. And always pack them in a ziplock especially if they are already filled with water as it’s always better to be safe than sorry in case for any reason they leak.
Passport (definitely required when traveling overseas) or any other form of identification if traveling domestic: This one’s a no-brainer!
Basic Medicine / First-aid kit: Including the regular antihistamine and acetaminophen, plus any prescriptions particular to your baby. Don’t give your baby Benadryl or another antihistamine unless your pediatrician recommends it. Packing the baby’s nasal aspirator and saline solution in carry-on is also a good idea.
Travel Insurance documents: As applicable.
Download their favorite nursery rhymes and some soothing music too: Having to log into YouTube all the time can be data consuming and also you probably won’t have WiFi all the time, so downloading their favorites for easy access is always a good idea.
Toys and Books: I always carry her favorite toys no matter where I am going along with some current favorite books. You can make a separate smaller bag for these, it’s easier that ways.
Baby Carrier: For international flights, once you give the stroller and/or car seat at the gate, you don’t get it till baggage claim at your final destination – this is when a baby carrier comes in handy. For domestic US flights, they give you the stroller/car seat at the airplane gate itself at arrival.
Stroller and Car Seat (along with covers): I found this stroller bag and this car seat bag on Amazon and it’s a life saver when having to gate check these items – it keeps them clean and germ free along with protecting them from damage and are super easy to identify!
Have you travelled a lot with your kiddo?! What was on your carry on list?? I’d love to hear.
Until next time, safe travels…