Best Baby Travel Essentials: What to Pack for Your Baby on a Plane


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Figuring out what to pack for your baby on a plane can be challenging. I’ve been there, flying with my boys as babies, and I’ve learned what works. This post will help you know exactly what you need to bring and what you can leave at home.

We’ll deal with the big worries: bringing too much, forgetting important stuff, and keeping your baby happy in the air. Let’s prepare your baby’s bag for a smooth and fuss-free flight.

What to Pack for Your Baby on a Plane – Diaper Bag

When you travel with your baby, having a diaper bag with everything you need is essential. This is especially true when you’re on a plane. As a diaper bag, I use a regular backpack and packing cubes to organize everything inside.

Here are some essentials that you should consider packing in your diaper bag:

1. Diapering Essentials:

  • Diapers: Always pack more than you think you’ll need. This accounts for any delays, layovers, or unforeseen circumstances.
  • Changing Pad: This allows for more sanitary diaper changes while on the go.
  • Wet Wipes: Essential for clean-ups and hygiene.
  • Travel Diaper Bag: Choose a bag that is easy to carry and has plenty of storage pockets.
  • Bag for Dirties: Carry a wet/dry bag or many plastic bags for soiled clothing or diapers.

2. Feeding Supplies:

  • Baby Bottles/Feeding Equipment
  • Baby Food and Snacks: Bring lots of food, your baby’s favorite snacks, and feeding supplies.
  • Full Bib: This can help keep your baby clean during meal times.
  • Burp Cloths: These are handy for clean-ups after feeding.
  • Nursing Cover (optional for breastfeeding privacy)

3. Clothing and Comfort:

  • Spare Outfit for Baby: Accidents can happen. Having a change of clothes for your baby (and even for you) can save the day.
  • Spare Outfit for Parent
  • Pacifier: If your baby uses one, remember to pack a spare.
  • Baby Blankets: Pack at least three. They can be used as burp cloths or to cover yourself while breastfeeding.
  • Baby Lotion: This can help moisten your baby’s skin, especially in dry cabin air.

4. Health and Hygiene:

  • Sanitizing Wipes: Quick and convenient for sanitizing surfaces and your hands.
  • Hand Sanitizer: To help maintain hygiene on the go.
  • Infant Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen (with pediatrician’s approval): These can help with any aches or pains.

5. Travel Gear:

  • Baby Carrier: This can help free up your hands during transit. Must-have!
  • Plane Window Toys: These small toys can entertain your baby during the flight.
  • General Toys: Your baby will feel comforted and entertained by their favorite toys.
  • Book: A favorite book can provide a comforting bedtime routine on the go. (optional)
  • Teething Ring: A ring can relieve discomfort if your baby is teething.

6. Travel Documentation:

  • Birth Certificate or Passport: It proves your child’s age and identity.

7. Parental Essentials:

  • Cellphone and Charger: Essential for communication and entertainment purposes.
  • Portable Charger: This ensures you always have a backup power source for your devices.
  • Antibacterial Wipes and Hand Sanitizer

A Few Important Reminders

If you have liquids, baby food, breast milk, or medicine, inform the TSA officer at the airport security. 

These items are often subjected to additional checks compared to other carry-on things. But you shouldn’t have any issue if you bring reasonable quantities. Just communicate about baby care items you’re bringing in advance.

Flight Attendant: Your In-Flight Ally

In the air, flight attendants can become your best ally when traveling with your baby. Their main goal is to keep everyone safe and comfortable. They are happy to help with your child’s needs. 

Here are some ways a flight attendant can help during the flight:

  1. They have extra supplies. So if you need additional pillows, blankets, and sometimes even diapers and baby food, you can ask them. 
  2. If you need a quick break, a flight attendant can watch your baby for a moment.
  3. Help with your luggage. Flight attendants can put it away and get your luggage from the compartments above you, making it safer and easier to walk down the aisle with a baby in your arms.
  4. Help warm a bottle or give you extra water for formula.
  5. Flight attendants are experienced travelers who know how to comfort a crying baby. They have helpful tips and techniques.
  6. Help with basic first aid if there is a medical emergency.

Remember, communication is vital. Tell the cabin crew what you need to have a good flight with your baby. Chances are they’ll help you.

I already cover what to pack in your carry-on luggage, but what about your checked bag? There are a couple of essential things to consider when packing your checked baggage, for example, the duration of the trip and the season you are traveling. 

Here is the list of the items I pack for my trips. Use it as a reference. If you don’t use these items at home, you don’t need them on your trip either.

Baby On-the-Go Sanitation Supplies

When creating a list for packing, remember to include hygiene items as a priority. Keeping your baby clean and healthy is even more important when traveling. Here are some essentials you should never forget:

  1. Diapers: Always pack more diapers than you think you’ll need. It’s better to have too many than not enough! If you have little space, bring what you need for a few days and buy more when you get there. Diapers can be bulky and occupy a lot of space.
  2. Changing Pad: This will provide a clean surface for diaper changes, no matter where you are.
  3. Wet Wipes: Wipes are indispensable, and every parent knows that! They are multi-purpose, and you will always find a usage for them. Anything from a diaper change or messy meal, wipes are perfect for any baby-cleaning need.
  4. Diaper Rash Cream: Another must in the list. Diaper Rash Cream helps prevent and treat diaper rash.  It will keep your baby comfortable throughout the journey.
  5. Baby Lotion: Travel can dry out your baby’s skin, so packing a good baby lotion is necessary.
  6. Wet Bag: These are great for storing dirty diapers, clothes, and bibs until they can be washed.
  7. Plastic Bags: A multi-purpose item that I always carry with me! Trust me, a plastic bag can save you in many situations. 
  8. Hand Sanitizer: When you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands, sanitizer is a lifesaver.
  9. Baby Shampoo: Depending on the length of your trip, you might need to bathe your baby on the go. A travel-sized bottle of baby shampoo is perfect for this.

On-the-Move Nutrition Essentials for Baby

Whether you have already introduced solids to your baby, you must bring some items for feeding time. Here are some must-have feeding essentials for traveling with your baby:

  1. Muslin Burp Cloths: Perfect for cleaning up spills or spit-up. 
  2. Bottle Necessities: Pack enough bottles, nipples, and a brush for cleaning your bottles. A bottle warmer can be a convenient accessory, but it’s not a necessity.
  3. Sippy Cups: If your baby is old enough, sippy cups are convenient for travel and can help prevent spills.
  4. Food / Formula: Don’t forget to bring enough formula if your baby is formula-fed. For babies who have started on solids, pack their favorite food pouches or items that are easy to eat on the go.
  5. Bib: An easily washable or disposable bib can help keep clothes clean during meals.
  6. Food Accessories: This category includes your baby’s spoons and snack containers.
  7. Nursing Cover: Provide a little extra privacy if you’re a breastfeeding mom.
  8. Breast Pump: Bring it only if necessary for your specific situation.

Baby’s Wardrobe-to-Go

It’s essential that your baby feels comfortable and is appropriately dressed when traveling. When you pack, choose clothes that are easy to change and suitable for the weather. Here is a list of clothing essentials to pack for your baby:

  1. Onesies: These outfits are practical, comfortable, and perfect for layering.
  2. Pants/Shorts/Skirts: Pack pants, shorts, and skirts that can be mixed and matched with your baby’s tops. Consider the weather and destination.
  3. Pajamas: Comfortable sleepwear is essential to help your baby get a good night’s sleep.
  4. Hats: A sun hat can protect your baby from harmful UV rays, while a warm hat can keep your baby cozy in cooler weather.
  5. Socks: Pack plenty of socks as they are easy to misplace, and it’s always good to have clean pairs on hand.
  6. Swimming Suit: Remember a cute baby swimsuit and a swim diaper for swimming or the beach.
  7. Jacket/Warm Layers: Bringing a jacket or warm layers in any climate is a good idea. Temperatures can change, especially on planes or in air-conditioned places.

You don’t need to bring a new outfit for each day. Instead, you could wash clothes at your destination. But of course, if space in your luggage is not a problem, then by all means, bring as many outfits as you judge necessary.

If you opt to wash your clothes at your destination, check with your accommodation provider about laundry facilities before you travel. 

We usually find laundry services that don’t cost too much on our trips. We leave the clothes in the morning and pick them up after our planned activities for the day in the evening. 

Baby’s Travel Gear

Having the right gear can make your travels much more comfortable for you and your baby. Here are some essential gear items to consider when packing for your trip:

  1. Stroller: A compact stroller is a must when traveling or exploring new places. In our experience, the Babyzen Yoyo is the best travel stroller. We have taken it on many trips, and it has never failed us. Its exceptional performance and functionality have won us over!
  2. Diaper Backpack: Choose a diaper bag that can hold all essentials and keep them organized. A backpack style is convenient as it leaves your hands free.
  3. Baby Carrier/Sling: A carrier or sling can be handy when a stroller isn’t practical. It allows you to keep your baby close while freeing up your hands. We used it on all our flights. Our little one liked being near Mom or Dad. In most cases, they would drift off to sleep while in there.
  4. Car Seat: Safety is paramount when traveling. If you rent a car at your destination, ensure you have a suitable infant car seat. Before your trip, ask the car rental agency if they have the right size car seat. Sometimes, their stock might be limited. To avoid any inconvenience, we prefer to bring our own car seat.
  5. Car Seat Travel Bag: Protect your car seat from wear and tear during transit with a durable travel bag.
  6. Travel High Chair: A light, portable high chair can make meal times easier when away from home.
  7. Travel Crib: Ensuring your baby has a safe and comfortable place to sleep is crucial. A travel crib can provide a familiar sleep environment for your baby. Additionally, you can check with your hotel if they can provide a crib to your hotel room. Or, you can consider a pack n’ play.
  1. Portable Mat: A portable mat is convenient. It can be used as a changing pad or a clean surface for your baby to play on.
  2. Portable Bathtub: It can make bath times more manageable and safe during an extended stay. But, this item may not be necessary if you have access to a bathtub.

Baby’s Amusement and Soothing Kit

Keeping your baby entertained and comfortable during travel can make your journey smoother. Here are some essentials to pack that will help achieve this:

  1. Plane Window Spinners: Attach these toys to the plane window to entertain and stimulate your baby during the flight.
  2. Baby Blanket: A familiar blanket can make your baby feel secure and sleep better.
  3. Pacifier: Some babies find comfort in pacifiers. They can be beneficial during takeoff and landing for ear pressure relief.
  4. Favorite Toys: Bring your baby’s favorite toys for familiar entertainment during the journey. Try to keep it small!
  5. Favorite Book: This can be a great distraction and comfort for bedtime routines.
  6. Teething Toys: If your baby is teething, don’t forget to pack some teething toys. These can provide relief and distraction from any discomfort.

Supplementary Baby Trip Items

When making a list for traveling with your baby, there are other essential items to remember. Consider packing the following:

  1. First-aid kit: Essential for treating minor injuries or illnesses. It should have band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any needed medicine.
  2. Portable Charger: Have a backup power source for your device during a long flight.
  3. Adapter: If the power outlets differ in the country you’re going to, you’ll need an adapter.
  4. Sanitizing Wipes: Great for cleaning and sanitizing surfaces while you travel.
  5. Sound machine: If your baby uses it at home and is used to white noise to sleep, it is a good idea to bring it.
  6. Nail Trimmer: Babies’ nails grow super fast! A nail trimmer can prevent your little one from scratching themselves.
  7. Baby Monitor: A baby monitor isn’t necessary, but it can be helpful, especially in a large place. If you decide to pack this, choose a compact, travel-friendly model.

Baby’s Warm Weather Travel Kit

When you’re going to a hot place, it’s important to have things that keep your baby safe from the sun and heat. Here are some hot-weather baby travel items to consider packing:

  1. Sunscreen: This is super important! Baby skin is so sensitive and delicate that you need to protect it from the sun. Pack a sunscreen with high SPF (+50).
    Remember that it is not recommended to use sunscreen on babies under 6 months. Instead, it is advisable to dress them in UV-protective clothing.
  2. UV Protective Clothing: Consider investing in UV protective clothing for your baby. This clothing has a high UPF to block harmful UV rays and protect your child.
    UV clothes are convenient and give us peace of mind that our children are protected. I always dress my boys in UV clothes when we go to the beach or a swimming pool.
    Remember a wide-brimmed hat to shield their face and neck.
  3. Baby Sunglasses: Just as important as protecting your baby’s skin from the sun. Make sure to shield their sensitive eyes from harmful UV rays. Invest in a pair of baby sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection.
    One suggestion: Choose sunglasses with a band that can be adjusted for comfort and stay put.
  4. Swim Diapers: Swim diapers are a must-have if you plan to spend time at the pool or beach.
  5. Beach Tent: A beach tent can provide a shaded area for your baby to play or nap, offering relief from the sun.
  6. Stroller Fan: Stay cool during hot summer days by attaching a portable fan to your stroller.

Baby’s Essential Travel Documents

When traveling with your baby, it is vital to bring all necessary documents. This especially applies to international flights. 

Before you travel abroad, check for any specific document requirements. 

Here are some essential travel documents that you should carry:

  1. Birth Certificate: Birth certificates are needed to verify the baby’s age and identity. It is typically optional for domestic flights. But, for peace of mind, we recommend checking with your airline before your travel.
  2. Passport: If taking an international flight, your baby will need their own passport. Make sure you apply for this well ahead of your planned travel dates.
  3. Consent Form: If only one parent is traveling with the baby, it is recommended to have a Consent Form. The other parent should sign it. This document can help avoid potential legal complications at the borders.
  4. Travel Insurance: Travel Insurance is crucial when traveling with a baby. If something unexpected happens when you travel, travel insurance can help you pay for it.
    Some insurance policies also offer specific coverage for babies and children. Read the fine print and determine what is covered before purchasing.
    Travel insurance gives you peace of mind. It protects you from unexpected situations during your trip. This is a priority for all our trips. 

Though this baby travel checklist might seem quite extensive, fear not! With a bit of planning and organizing, it’s totally manageable. 

To keep your luggage organized, use packing cubes. They’re a very effective strategy. They are not only great for maximizing space but also for keeping similar items together. 

For instance, you can keep all feeding essentials in one cube, hygiene items in another, etc. By doing this, you’ll find everything in your suitcase easily. 

Traveling with a baby needs careful planning, but making memories as a family is worth it! 

Pack these essentials and prepare for a fun family travel with your baby.

Related Post


How many diapers do I need to pack?

The number of diapers you need to pack depends on the length of your journey and your baby’s age. As a general rule, pack one diaper for every hour of travel, plus a few extras. It’s always better to overestimate!

Do I need to pack a separate outfit for each day?

No, You don’t need to pack an outfit for each day. Remember you can wash their clothes at your destination. Aim to pack enough outfits for three or four days, plus a few extra pieces just in case.

Are there any items I should not pack in my suitcase?

Yes. Always have important documents, medicine, food, and baby essentials.

What is the best way to pack baby food?

Consider packing baby food in individual servings to avoid spoilage. When you can, choose non-perishable items. Remember to pack feeding supplies such as spoons and bibs.

How should I pack baby gear, like strollers and car seats?

Most airlines allow you to check these items at the gate. Ensure they are well protected, as they can get banged up in transit. Consider using a travel bag designed for this purpose.

What are the baggage policies for babies?

Baggage policies for babies vary by airline. Some airlines allow parents to check strollers and car seats for free. Others include them in your baggage limit. Some airlines also allow an extra carry-on bag for baby essentials.

Should I buy a separate seat for my baby?

You can choose whether to buy an extra seat for your baby. It depends on the baby’s age, flight length, and comfort. Children under 2 can travel on an adult’s lap for free or at a reduced fare on most airlines. But having a separate seat for your baby is safer and more comfortable. It allows you to use an FAA-approved child safety restraint system or car seat.

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Astrid Chacon

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