Travelling with babies, especially young ones, can be daunting. It’s kind of like ripping off a bandaid…you think about doing it, agonize over doing it, imagine the pain, and then actually do it…and it’s not that bad! For Randy and I travel really just had to happen. We live in the far north of Canada, have family scattered throughout the country, and friends scattered literally all over the world. If we were ever going to see anybody, we needed to travel. Couple that with a massive case of wanderlust (more on my part, but Randy never, ever, complains about coming along!) and we were stuck with two options; get on a plane with the kids, or live a lonely, miserable existence. We chose to rip off the bandaid and get on the plane. You can too! Flying with kids isn’t that difficult, it just takes a bit of preparation. Here are my list of what to pack for flying with infants.
Above – 7 week old Calais on her first flight, to San Fransisco.
Below – Kacela snuggled in on her first flight, to Victoria, at 10 days old
For us, the earlier we took our kids on an airplane, the easier it was. They were so small and contained that there wasn’t much we had to do to be prepared; a carrier, spare diapers and a boob pretty much did the trick! Afterwards, as the girls got older, plane travel didn’t seem as daunting since we’d already done it.
1. Baby Carrier
The most important thing is a comfortable baby carrier. My absolute favourite is the Ergo Performance Babycarrier. This keeps baby contained and you hands-free for boarding the plane, navigating the airport, going through customs, bathroom breaks if you’re travelling alone, etc. You can’t have the baby strapped in for take-off, landing or when the seat-belt sign is on in flight. I find this a bit silly, but rules are rules! Baby can happily sleep away in the carrier the rest of the flight while you read a book, or eat your meal, or whatever you want to do on the plane!
IF baby is between 7 and 12 pounds, or under 4 months, they must use the Ergo Infant Insert. I only used this once and found it a bit bulky for the plane, however baby’s safety is worth it.
2. Feeding Paraphernalia
a. Breastfeeding – Nursing Cover
All you need is your boob and a comfortable, breathable nursing cover. A pashmina will also work and saves packing an extra item. Jolly Jumper makes a pashmina nursing cover that does double duty!
b. Bottle Feeding – bottles and formula at a bare minimum
Bottles, formula and EXTRA formula if baby is bottle feeding. I also like having a bottle warmer, if your baby is picky about temperature! Or you can just ask for warm water on the plane. The extra formula is really important. Delays happen, flights get cancelled, you never know when you might spend an extra night somewhere unexpected. It is best to be over-prepared, just incase!
Just as it is important to have extra formula and bottles, the same goes for diapers. I usually bring two days worth.
4. Diaper Disposal
I love these cute little disposable diaper bag dispensers; it’s nice to have something to contain a used diaper. One trick that I picked up early was taking the “barf bags” from the airplane. These are lined on the inside so they tend not to leak, and are compact so you can just tuck them anywhere.
Lots and lots of wet wipes. You can never have too many of these. Enough said!
6. Change Pad
My absolute favourite is the Kushies Change pad. These are awesome. I buy them for everyone I know when they have a baby. They are small and compact, wash and dry easily, and can be pulled out in a heart-beat for diaper changes on the seat beside you on the plane, on the floor in the airport, on your lap if you need to, pretty much anywhere!
7. Extra clothes
Always, ALWAYS, bring a spare pair of clothes, at least for your baby. It’s also not a bad idea to pack an extra shirt for yourself! You never know when someone is going to get sick, or a diaper is going to explode!
8. Baby first aid kit
Optional additions for international travel:
9. Comfort Item
This could be a pacifier/soother/sucky/whatever your baby chooses for their comfort item. For Calais this is a blanket, for Kacela it’s her thumb (and a blanket-bunny that we can’t find a duplicate for). Whatever you know will calm down your baby, make sure you bring it with you… and a spare if you have one.
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Check out my “Top 7 Tips for Flying with Infants” to see how you can make your flight stress-free (almost!)
Am I missing something? What essentials do you need when flying with an infant? Leave me a comment and let me know below!