Traveling with a baby can be stressful, especially when trying to remember all the essentials. But don’t worry, a carry-on checklist can help you make sure you have everything you need when flying with your little one. This checklist will help you stay organised and make sure you don’t forget any important items, like nappies, snacks, and toys. Whether you’re flying solo or with other family members, this carry-on checklist will help you prepare for a successful and stress-free flight with your baby.
Essential carry-on checklist – what to pack for baby
For their comfort, you will need to pack:
- A blanket: Bring a lightweight blanket or swaddle to help keep them warm.
- Sleeping bag: Particularly if they associate it with sleep, pack one to keep them cosy when they nod off.
- Dummies: Bring plenty of back-ups along with a clip to fasten it to their clothes so that it doesn’t end up on the dirty plane floor.
- Changes of clothes: In case of any messes or nappy blow-outs, ensure you have a couple of spare onesies that are easy to put on and take off (ie zip-ups!).
- Their comforter: If they use a blankie or any other comforting object, don’t forget it plus a back-up or two!
For nappy changes, you will need to pack:
- Wipes travel case: You won’t need a full pack of wipes as it can be heavy. Instead, take a travel sized pack.
- Nappies: Pack twice as many as you normally would use in that time period, in case of any flight delays or unexpected poonamis.
- Disposable nappy bags: Bring a few of these rather than the whole packet to dispose of smelly nappies or any rubbish throughout the flight.
- Change mat: Pack a lightweight or disposable nappy change mat, plus a small tub of nappy cream.
For feeding, you will need to pack:
- Wipeable bib: For feeding solids or bottle feeds, having a bib you can easily wipe off after each meal or feed is so convenient.
- Pouches of food and packets of snacks: Depending on whether your baby usually eats finger food or purees, and even if you usually make everything from scratch, now is the time to rely on prepackaged food for babies. It’s a good idea to offer any new foods at home first and not try them for the first time when you’re 10,000 metres in the air!
- A small cooler bag: If you’re bringing expressed milk with you, use a lightweight cooler bag just big enough to contain the bottles you’ll need for the entire journey.
- Formula dispenser: A must-have for the formula-fed bubs. No one wants to be measuring out formula from a large tin on a flight.
- Bottles: Prefill your bottles with the exact amount of cooled boiled water you’ll need for formula-fed bubs.
- Detergent and bottle brush: If you need to re-use your bottles mid-flight, you can wash them in the plane bathroom or when you transfer flights. Dishwashing detergent is considered a liquid so only pack a small amount in a bottle and declare it at customs.
- A sterilisation option: If you need to sterilise your bottles, toys, or dummies, you can ask the flight attendants to help you do so with boiling water. Alternatively, you can use a portable steriliser or pre-sterilised disposable liners for the bottles.
For their health, you will need to pack:
- Antibacterial wipes and hand-sanitiser: To avoid picking up any bugs on the plane, you’ll want to give everything near your seat a good wipe down, and sanitise your hands regularly.
- A ‘snot sucker’: Just in case bubs gets congested from the recirculated air in the plane.
- Baby pain relief: The cabin pressure can be terrible for little ones’ ears and cause them pain (or your baby might be teething or uncomfortable), so ensure you have enough pain medication.
To keep them entertained, you will need to pack:
- Baby carrier: This is an essential for the airport anyway, but during the flight it’s handy when you need to get up and walk up and down the aisle with bub to give them a change of scenery and check out the fellow passengers.
- Toys and teethers: The novelty of flying should keep them occupied for a while first but bring along a couple of their favourite toys or something new to engage them.