When travelling with a baby you need to be well prepared. No one wants to arrive at the airport and realize you don’t have baby’s ID, or have to deal with a dangerous poozaster situation mid-air with no change of clothes. Travelling with a little one is hard enough, so let’s make sure we make it as easy on ourselves as possible by packing the right stuff.
Here are my 8 Essential Items to Pack in your Carry On When Travelling with a Baby.
1. Sleepbelt or Carrier
During Take off and landing your baby will need to be secure on your lap. Since babies are squirmy little creatures having some help is key. If you have an infant, the Sleepbelt is a great product for handsfree snuggling with baby while travelling. It allows baby to be chest to chest with their legs extended or pulled in tight and is easy to breastfeed in. A bonus of the Sleepbelt is that it doesn’t have any knots or buckles to dig into your back, so you’ll be able to rest comfortably too. Plus it folds up really tiny, ideal for travelling.
If your baby is larger a carrier or sling is a great option. For this trip with Baby Lucy being 9 months old I’ve decided to take the Ergo Carrier for the plane ride. I know that Lucy loves it and falls asleep easily while nursing in it. Plus it’s super comfortable for me to lug her around the airport in.
2. Breasts or Bottles
If you’re a nursing mother, obviously you don’t need to remember your breasts, they tend to stay put, but you’ll want to wear something that’s easy to nurse in. It’s always fun trying to get out of a restrictive top with a screaming baby in a limited amount of space. Try it. I dare you ;)
If your baby uses bottles make sure you pack extra EBM (expressed breast milk) or formula in a cooler bag. If you encounter a delay or you get stuck somewhere unexpected you will want the extra supplies.
*Parents with young babies are exempt from many of the rules about food and beverages. See the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority for a full list of exemptions. You can always check with your particular airline to make sure you’re within set limits.
3. Food & Drink
If your little one is eating solids you’ll need to pack some food & a sippy cup for the trip. Keep it simple and bring snacks that you know your baby likes to eat. Small resealable containers or baggies with items like roasted chicken, cheese cubes, blueberries or puff cereals are just some of the things I like to pack. Lucy usually feeds herself (Baby-Led Feeding) which is a pretty messy process, so I thought it would better (*read: neater for everyone sitting within a 12’ radius) if we went with some simpler options.
When I saw Love Child Organics pouches on sale at my local grocery store I grabbed a dozen. They're perfect for Lucy to have on the go during our flight and while we’re travelling around Edmonton. This way I know she will still be getting lots of healthy food while we’re on the go.
I gave Lucy a pouch to try and she was very pleased. Baby Approved!
Don’t forget baby’s ID! Make sure that you check which form of documentation is necessary (Birth certificate versus Passport) for your destination.
In addition if you’re travelling abroad with your child alone (without their other parent, in a 2 parent household), the Canadian Government recommends travelling with a consent letter signed by the other parent. Although it is not a requirement it will save you some hassles when passing through checkpoints. See here for full details
5. Comfy Change of Clothes
In order to help keep your baby content and maximize rest while travelling, choose comfortable breathable light layers.
For our trip Lucy is sporting her Ollie Jones feather leggings, a peach tank top, a simple grey hoodie & some adorable moccasins from Little Lookers. Huge thanks to Kat at This Lil Piggy for helping me pick out some cute & cozy duds for our little lady.
A comfy change of clothes (or 2) is a must! Again if you encounter an unexpected flight delay or a poozaster you will be grateful for the extra clothes. *Always remember to pack a sealable bag for dirty clothing. Cloth diaper bags or large Ziploc bags work great for this purpose.
6. Extra Diapers & Wipes
Diapers & Wipes are pretty obvious items to include in your carry on bag, but always remember to pack more than you expect to need, in case of delay. Wipes come in very handy to clean up dirty mouths, hands or spills while travelling.
As a cloth diapering Mama I knew I would need to use disposable for our trip so I kept an eye on sales and bought some PC Green diapers at a great price.
7. Lightweight Muslin Blankets
Planes make for a very strange environment. Recycled air and hot & cold temperatures are not ideal for babies, so I recommend bringing several light layers so you can adapt as needed. My Aden & Anais muslin blankets definitely fit the bill for this job. I always pack 2 in my carry-on because they’re so versatile. They keep baby cozy, offer protection from sun or light & are great for wiping up spit-up or a runny nose. They’re an ideal travel blanket because they’re easy to wash in a hotel sink and dry very quickly.
8. Something Comforting
Many babies have a special comfort item like a blankie, lovie or stuffed animal. For some babies it's a favourite toy or teething ring. I suggest bringing this item on the plane so your child has some consistency throughout your travel.
Keeping baby calm and happy while travelling is key and with these 8 items in your carry on you'll be sure to have an easier time doing just that. Hope my tips for packing your baby's carry on come in handy for your next family trip.
For anyone in need of a full packing list I like this one created by Travel Mamas. It’s simple and not too over the top. You might not need to pack everything listed on it, but it helps me avoid forgetting something really important.
Stay Tuned for Part 3 of Travelling with Tots later this week on the blog.