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Tips on Traveling With a Baby/Toddler

Tips on Traveling With a Baby/Toddler

SECTION 1 – BEFORE BOARDING

 

Traveling with babies and toddlers is nothing short of an adventure. Yes, it can be exhausting and nerve-racking, but it is also the biggest joy. The amount of smiles you receive, the unspoken bond you develop with other parents, the pride you feel in holding your baby whilst adventuring, the amount of attention you are able to dedicate to your child, and the fact that you slow down and appreciate more at every step of the way, are just a few things that always get me excited to jet off again with babe(s) in my arm(s).

We did a total of 28 flights and 5 continents with our first child, before he even turned 1! And repeated a very similar pattern with our second and third child as well! Our fourth is a covid bebe, but we are currently traveling any chance we get. Some may think we are absolutely crazy, and maybe we are, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Needless to say, I feel that I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way which I’m excited to share with you. There is a lot of information that I want to share so I’ve broken it up into four sections: 1. Before Boarding, 2. On The Flight, 3. Arrival at Your Destination and 4. Packing Your Bags.

 

The fear

I think I’m correct in assuming that for most parents, the biggest fear of traveling is blowing the routine. Generally, babies are well-established into a sleeping and eating routine after they are six months or older but believe me, those will not be impacted permanently by a few disruptions due to travel. 

I do get it though. I did the first 10 months of not really having a sleep routine, or any routine for that matter, with my first child. We went with the flow and that worked for us. We traveled so much in that time that I think it was for the best. At 10 months we did sleep training, which was also for the best, because it very quickly resulted in Noah sleeping through the night - hallelujah! But it also came with a whole lot of routine – exact dinner times, milk times, bath times, bedtimes, music on, music off, black out, and so forth. For our first international trip after we had done the sleep training, I was terrified. Literally terrified. And here I was with a baby, who at 10 months had been to three continents already, done more flights than most people do in their lifetime and I was terrified? I suddenly had a routine and I did not want to jeopardize it. I quickly learned that it is very normal to feel anxious when you are in this position. However, you need to remember to trust yourself and most importantly, trust your baby. Babies adjust like nothing I’ve ever seen before. As long as they are with you, they feel safe, happy and they adjust much quicker than you would ever believe, routine or no routine.

 

Getting to the airport

The golden rule when traveling with babies and kids – get to the airport early and leave yourself enough time!

Getting to the airport can be tricky when you plan not to travel with your car seat. Either you’re lucky enough to have a friend or family member that can drive you to the airport and take your car, with car seat, back home. Or you hire a car service that provides a car seat. Just make sure you do this well ahead of time to ensure availability.

 

Check in

Wondering what to check in vs carry on when you already have your hands full? For me it depends on how old baby is. When flying with an infant (under 6months), I would definitely recommend traveling very lightly, especially when its your first flight. Its normal to be anxious about the whole thing and you don’t want to have to focus on unnecessary luggage items when battling with security control, infant seat belts, take off/landing, etc. for the first time with a baby in arm. On my very first flight with Noah (he was 12 weeks old and we were traveling alone), I checked in absolutely everything except the nappy bag, the baby carrier and my baby (of course!). It felt simple, compact and I loved it.

When flying with a toddler or baby older than 6 months, even if you are traveling on your own, I would recommend that you bring a carry on as well as the nappy bag. After a certain age our minis just become more demanding, for which you’ll need to be prepared with snacks, toys, a play mat, etc. The extra room in the carry on suitcase will simply be needed.

Another consideration is lost luggage, in which case a carry on filled with a few extra changes of clothes and nappies (plus toothbrush and essentials for mama!) would be an absolute blessing.

 

Ask for a spare seat

This should always be your first question at check in. The little bit of extra space will feel like you won the lottery. Believe me. If they cannot tell you at check in, make sure you ask the first flight hostess you see once you’ve boarded, whether you can sit next to an available spare seat.

 

A whole row!

Sometimes we get clever and attempt to block a row by getting a window and aisle seat or an aisle and aisle seat (for the middle row). This obviously only works if the flight is not completely full, which they should be able to tell you at check in. If you are planning to reserve your seats online, ahead of time, this could still work. Worth a try anyways. If flying long-haul, make sure you get a bulk head seat with a bassinet available (more on bassinets in the second series).

 

Car seats

Every time I travel with a car seat for my child (or multiple car seats for my children), I’ve checked them in at the counter. I’ve been hearing from some mamas though that if the flight is not completely full, they will often let you bring the car seat onto the plane with you. This would be a massive win, especially if your babe is 6 months or less and ESPECIALLY if you’re traveling alone. My babies have been to a lot of pee trips with mama on the plane since I had no where to leave them safely! In any case, its worth keeping in mind. 

If baby is older than 6 months and you are traveling somewhere where you can rent a car, I would highly suggest you pick your battles and choose between bringing a car seat or a stroller (remember that there’s also the travel cot!). We mostly travel with a stroller and a travel cot (I am in love with our travel cot – more details in the 3rd series) and then just rent a car seat with our rental car. If you are not traveling with a car seat, just be conscious about taking taxis in other countries. In some countries they allow you to take baby on your lap (if you feel comfortable with it) but in other countries (i.e. Germany), baby strictly has to be in a car seat at all times. When we don’t rent a car, we generally opt for trains and subways, when possible. At least when we only had one or two children. Now (with four children) we always make things as easy as possible, and book a large taxi ahead of time. If you do travel with a car seat, I would recommend investing in a car seat travel bag, because they can get quite banged up when checking them in.

 

Wear your baby

Owning a baby carrier will be your game changer, trust me. I have the Ergobaby 360 (now the Ergobaby 360 Omni) and absolutely love it but there are so many out there now-a-days so get what works for you, but just get one.   

 

Security control

Keep your baby in the carrier the whole time (it will allow you to have both arms free!)

Take out your fluids like milk and baby food (you’re allowed to bring as many of these fluids on but just make sure you show them and don’t forget them in your nappy bag). In the US and a few other places, they will test the fluids for any explosives. That is quite normal these days.

Have everything compact and organized beforehand and avoid having loose items.

Take your time. People will wait and you’ll be surprised at how many people are also willing to help.

If your baby is in a car seat or stroller, they will ask you to take your baby out but if your baby is in a carrier, baby can often stay attached to you (not always – just depends on the airport regulations). Keep that in mind for naps. Up until my first babe was 12 months old, I always checked in the stroller at the check in counter and exclusively did the trip with only the carrier until we arrived at our final destination. This saved me having to fold up the stroller during security check and just felt like I had less items to carry. After Noah (my first babe) turned 12 months though, I started taking the stroller up to the gate with me, which is super helpful when they become busier (and heavier!) little things. For things like a quick puree meal time – so much easier if your baby is sitting in their stroller. If you bring a stroller through security check, they will always do a hand swipe to test for explosives. This is quick and painless, but just be aware of it.

I just want to add that some security controls do ask you to take your baby out of the carrier, so that the carrier can be scanned along with your other carry-on items. If you are traveling alone, you might just need to ask someone to quickly hold your baby (people are always willing to help), so that you can strap that carrier on again before popping in baby. But if you are traveling with your husband or partner, or anyone else – all that is easy ;)

 

My routine when getting through security control:

Place baby in the carrier, if he’s not already in it.

Take out my laptop and place it in a tray.

Place the nappy bag in a try and take out any fluids.

Take off my shoes and place in a tray (not relevant in most airports outside of the US).

Place my other carry on, on the security belt.

Fold up the stroller and place on the security belt (if an umbrella stroller) or leave unfolded (if not an umbrella stroller), for a security officer to then push the stroller through.

Walk through the the metal detectors with baby strapped to me in the carrier and collect items on the other side. Or take baby out or carrier, hold baby and walk through.

I take my time to re-pack how things were beforehand (laptop, fluids, etc.) once I am through security. I do not feeling rushed by other passengers.

 

Positive Mindset

I believe this is THE key factor in traveling with your mini companions. Stay relaxed, stay positive and look forward to the event because your baby can feel what you feel. I am a strong believer of ‘happy mama, happy baby’. And if you are ‘lucky’ enough (hehe) to travel on your own with your sweet little one(s), see it as a bonding experience, because it truly is! And when you arrive at the other end, you will feel like a super woman, because that is exactly what you are!

 

Expectations

Don’t set yourself any expectations. Don’t assume your baby is definitely going to freak out at take off but also don’t assume that nothing will come your way. It will be what it will be. Try to remember to keep your positive mindset, stay relaxed and be ready handle any situation.

 

Timing

Good timing can make your life a whole lot lot easier. Try to arrange your flights or drives based on two things – when baby is the most cheerful and when baby will sleep. For example, I absolutely swear by overnight flights when flight time is 7+ hours. If flights are anything less than that, getting started first thing in the morning is probably my preference. In any case, you know your baby the best so try to make arrangements accordingly.

One trick that works for me, be it for shorter of longer flights, I try to keep my kids awake whenever I am at the airport and that way they get so tired that they falls asleep as soon as the plane takes of. It works really well!  If you are going to use this trick, you are going to have to stay relaxed about nap times though. Your baby may be due for a nap at the airport (where you may still have a couple hours to kill) and you’re going to have to get creative on how to keep baby awake, without there being any meltdowns. If this trick doesn’t work, however, just stay relaxed about it all. Expectations, remember?

 

Toddlers & JetKids Travel Suitcases

I wanted to make a special mention of the BedBox by Jetkids, because it has been such a huge aid when traveling with toddlers. These ride on travel suitcases are ingenious and so well made. The wheels glide beautifully, allowing your toddler (they really only work well from the age of 3 we find) to easily navigate through the airport with you, having a whole bunch of fun at the same time. Our kids each have one and they are allowed to fill it with a few toys and teddies (colouring books, pen, etc) for every big trip we take. It converts into a bit of a bed (have a look online for instructions) and this ‘bed’ can certainly be useful. They are durable, look good and make the travel experience really fun for your little one. We have not had any problems with any airlines and have been able to take them on board with us. We mostly fly Emirates, Air France, KLM, Qatar, Qantas, Lufthansa, British…

 

SECTION 2 – ON THE FLIGHT

 

Board early

Board early if baby isn’t walking yet. If baby is walking, make the most of having the space at the airport and board towards the end.

 

Take off/Landing

I’ve been lucky enough to never have experienced a crying baby during take off or landing but I have also nearly always either nursed my babies, fed them by pre-pumped bottles, given them the pacifier, or gotten them to drink water. The most important is that they swallow, as this will release the pressure on their ears. Milk also acts as sedative so if you nurse or bottle feed during take off, your chances of a sleeping baby are pretty high. If your baby is tired, try to go through as much of your sleep routine as possible before/during take off (reading a book or singing softly). Young babies generally sleep really well on planes with the motion and engine noise providing a very soothing environment for them.

The usual flying with baby advice holds true with toddlers as well – try to keep them eating, drinking, or sucking during takeoff and landing, whether that’s by finger foods, nursing, a bottle, or a pacifier – and don’t be afraid to administer a bit of paracetamol/ibuprofen if you think their ears are in pain. I always travel with some pain relief, just in case.

 

Bassinets

They are fantastic, especially if baby is small enough to fit in them. My first born was a huge baby and unfortunately he only comfortably fit into the bassinet before 6 months of age. That being said, I remember placing him in the bassinet when he was 11 months because he had fallen asleep before dinner came. I was traveling on my own and I wanted those hands free for a quick dinner. He looked like a big sardine in a tiny can (legs literally hanging over the end), so I could only leave him in there for a little while but it helped me a lot!

If there is turbulence on the flight, you will be asked to pick up your baby and hold it on your lap, even if baby is deep in sleep. This can be frustrating because baby doesn’t always stay asleep – urgh! Just something for you to be aware of.

Believe it or not, the airplane does sometimes book more infants on the flight than there are bassinets, and unfortunately you cannot reserve a bassinet ahead of time with all airlines. So remember the golden rule and get to the airport earlier than normal.

 

Breastfeeding

Breastfeed anywhere and everywhere – it will save you on these long journeys. My babies would always fall asleep when breastfeeding and it helped me so much! I would definitely recommend getting a nursing cover, if you don’t already have one. There is so much going on at airports and on airplanes, that babies can so easily get distracted, which makes breastfeeding impossible all of a sudden. I hated those moments when my babies would feed for 30 seconds and then realize they wanted to look around instead and BAM (!), not only would my boob literally be squirting out milk at high-volume speed, but it was so hard to get him to latch back on. Those moments would probably make me more flustered than anything else, so try and help yourself by getting a nursing cover.

 

Bottles

Even if you are breastfeeding, bring a bottle or two of expressed milk (or formula if baby is formula-fed). You should have enough for a nursing session at take off and a nursing session at landing. Your babe might surprise you and suddenly much rather want a bottle than your boob, when its usually the other way around! This happened to me on our first trip and thank goodness I had a bottle. I would either carry my milk (out of the fridge) in a small cooling bag for shorter flights and carry it frozen (gradually defrosting) in a cooling bag for longer flights.

 

Bring your breast pump!

If your baby is still under 6 months or just still feeding very regularly, make sure you bring your pump along with you ON the airplane. I packed it into my check in luggage on our first trip abroad, when Noah was only 12 weeks old (2 flights and about 8-hour travel in total). This was a massive learning for me! Because of the noise and distraction, Noah did not want to breastfeed whenever I tried to get him to (take off, landing, or whenever really). He suddenly only wanted the bottle, which he never does normally! It was fine for the first flight because I had luckily brought a small bottle of expressed milk, but it certainly wasn’t enough for the second flight and so, not only, did I have to hand express during layover in an airport bathroom whilst somehow entertaining Noah at the same time (not my finest moment…), but also thought my boobs were going to explode by the time we arrived. I think my boobs were sore for days afterwards. An idea is also to pump as much as possible beforehand if you expect to bottle feed your littlie on the airplane.

 

Business Class

If you’re lucky enough to upgrade through points or you’re just lucky enough to buy business outright, do it! It makes a huge difference when traveling with a baby/children. I’ve had to travel alone quite a lot with my kids (we’re talking long trips - one was 30 hours), and since hubby always feels a bad that he isn’t there to help, there’s been a few times that he has upgraded us to business. Score! You’ll generally be surrounded by travelers who are parents themselves and 8 out of 10 they will be supportive and understanding of you, rather than annoyed that you can potentially ruin their silence and comfort. The air hostesses will also be a lot more accommodating and attention dedicating in business class. So if you do have the means, don’t be afraid to go for it, is what I’m trying to say.

 

Diapers

Don’t pack too many diapers. You can buy diapers nearly anywhere. Take enough for your trip over and a few more and then plan to go to the shops on day 2 or 3 to get your essentials stocked.

 

Changing diapers

Most airplanes will have changing tables in the bathrooms. I always just went in with a changing mat, a packet of wipes, a fresh nappy and some bum cream and left the nappy bag by the seat. The process felt more streamlined this way.

Some small planes may not have changing tables in their bathrooms. If this is the case, you can always ask the person sitting next to you if they would mind it if you change your babies diaper on your lap. I doubt anyone will ever say no, and if they do, too bad for them 

 

Diaper Bag

If you don’t already have one and plan to travel quite a bit with your littlie, be it on your own or with hubby, try to get a diaper bag that can be closed with a zipper. Or a backpack diaper bag – those are the most practical and convenient in my personal view. You bend over a lot whilst traveling and things can easily fall out if your bag isn’t closed.

 

Snacks & Food

At age 6 months, I started bringing a few fruit/veggie puree pouches on the trips, along with a baby spoon and bib. Some airplanes offer them to you on long flights but I would recommend to always pack your own. Once your baby starts eating snacks as well, make it a priority to load up on these. You can never bring too many! Make sure you bring fun snacks that your baby/toddler has never tried before. Even special treats like cookies, popcorn or chips. Its not like you fly every day and having some entertaining snacks can bring you a whole lot of peace. Between 7-10 months, my kids always loved the bread rolls that they gave you with your meals. Not the healthiest but it kept him chewing and crumbling for a long time. These days some of the fun snacks we love are cheese sticks or Babybel cheese rounds, raisins, healthy cheerios, popcorn, wholegrain bread rounds, sweet potato chips, puffed cereal, and bananas.

 

Water

Do not drink the tap water on the airplane. Bring on a couple bottles of your own and if you run out, ask the hostesses for bottled water.

 

Toys

I didn’t bother with toys for the first 6 months. After that, I would pack two of my baby’s favourite toys (a rattle or chewy toy like Sophie the Giraffe). My babies were always way more entertained by the seatbelt, headphones, safety card, buttons on the remote, magazines, etc. than any toy I would bring along for them (unless it were a new toy that they’ve never played with – that’s also a good idea). If your babe is toddler age, a really good tip is a box of tissue paper. They love tearing it all out and putting it all back in. And there’s always the iPad for slightly older babes too. We don’t own one so I can’t speak from experience but I know many parents swear by them for long plane trips (toddler age and older). We’ve definitely whipped out the iPhone for little Peppa Pig or Baby Bum clips in car trips so I am no opposed to technology when it can literally save you in so many situations. I often pre-download some Netflix episodes on my phone before a trip.

 

Play mat

When Noah couldn’t crawl yet, I always traveled with a play mat. It is so useful if you just want to put your baby down somewhere so that both of you can stretch out a bit. When bringing your own, you know its clean and comfortable. In my opinion, it is worth the space that it takes up.

 

Entertainment throughout the flight

I’ve done a very long 9-hour flight that just happened to be during the day. On my own. Eeek! So before I give you any other tips, my number one piece of advice is, make sure your partner travels with you at all times! Noah took his regular naps on the flight but those awake times felt extremely l.o.n.g. He wasn’t walking yet, which made things a lot easier for me, but he was itching to move and if there’s one thing you really don’t want to do, it is letting your baby crawl on an airplane floor. So we would walk the plane in regular intervals and hang out in the back with the flight attendants. We played with the headphones, the buttons on the entertainment remote, and went for more supply trips to the back of the plane for empty plastic cups and crackers (two things you’ll be bound to have on your flight generally). We’d listen to music and watch short cartoon video clips on the entertainment channels. We’d flip down the tray table and flip it back up again, then repeat, multiple times. We’d read a little book we brought and whip out some of the toys we brought along. Side note on the toys - make sure not to bring them all out at the same time. Since each toy will only be novel for a short while, try and be strategic in drawing out the interest. An idea is to wrap the toys in wrapping paper as this doesn’t add to your load but it creates for some extra entertainment. You change up activities in 5 minute intervals at least, if not more. This may sound like hard work but you know your little one so well and there is so much love, that all of this is actually enjoyable. Tiring, exhausting, but enjoyable.

And don’t forget to let your baby flirt and coo at other people (people love it so let this drag on as long as possible). The seat behind you is always your best bet because you can casually hold your baby over your shoulder. New faces keep babies entertained for a long time and it will give you a much-needed break.

 

Germs

Try to stay relaxed about germs. Reality is you cannot avoid them. I always travel with hand sanitizer and otherwise it is what it is. And of course during Covid times, mask up and stay masked up! Don’t stress about your babies and toddlers though.

 

SECTION 3 – ARRIVAL AT YOUR DESTINATION

 

Jetlag and Time Zones

If you are dealing with a small time zone change (3-4 hours difference), it may be smart to only push your night time routine forwards/backwards by an hour instead of adjusting completely to the 3-4 hours time difference. This is relevant if you’re traveling over a long weekend or a bit longer. If you’re traveling further abroad, then its obviously a different story. I always try to book a nighttime flight (lets take a US – Europe trip as an example) and get my baby/toddler to sleep on the plane as much as possible. They generally do because its their night. When we get to Europe, its day time and I simply stick to their 1.5-2 hour nap schedule during the day. By the time its evening again, they are super tired and after giving them a bath and doing the normal bedtime routine, they are already on Europe time. The same on the way back. Works a treat. 

I know there are many more jetlag options than the US-Europe route and I’ve done my fair share, so even if the above doesn’t apply (i.e. you don’t get a night time flight, etc.), my golden rule is I immediately adjust to the time zone that I’ve entered. If its day time where we landed, I treat it like day time and only let my baby/toddler have short naps instead of long sleeps. We once arrived in Vancouver (after traveling 30 hours from Cape Town) and we arrived in the morning Vancouver time. I have never seen Noah so tired but I only let him have short naps during the day (I woke him up from naps and kept busy by being out and about), even if he would have wanted to sleep the entire day away. This will seem extremely cruel at the time but it saves you (believe me!) because your baby will sleep at night and that is what you want.

 

Travel cot

If your destination has a cot available (hotel rooms generally always do), then you wont have to travel with a cot which will be one less thing to carry – hurray! Just make sure to bring your cot bumpers along (if baby is +5 months) because most hotel cots don’t have these and simply supply wooden or iron cots, which is a bit silly isn’t it? Our trips generally span across many different locations and include everything from hotel rooms and apartments to our friends’ and families’ homes. We, therefor, always travel with a cot and our absolute favourite, which I highly recommend, is the Guava Lotus Crib. It is small and light enough to carry on to the plane, it acts as a playpen as well, and most importantly, it is super easy to set up and break down. We also adore the Baby Bjoern travel crib. You really cannot go wrong with either. And the latest travel essential that we have discovered (only with our fourth child!), is the Slumber Pod! It is a camping-like tent that gets placed over your little one’s travel cot, creating an entire little room essentially, also blacking out the sleeping space. It folds down to nothing (very light) and is just an ingenious travel aid for your little one.

 

Travel Stroller

Unless baby is really young (under 3 months – in which case I only took our baby carrier), we always travel with a stroller. From what you read in most reviews, people will recommend to get a travel stroller (in addition to your normal stroller) that is light, compact and easy to fold up. We took this advice and got a Maclaren umbrella stroller (The Globetrotter) for one of our big trips to Europe when our first born was 4-5 months old. We left our Bugaboo Cameleon at home and I’ve never been so sorry. Although the Maclaren reclines, it doesn’t recline very far and so our little one would not sleep in it. We did a lot of evenings out (those late European summer evenings are my favourite!) and unfortunately it was impossible for me to put him into the Maclaren for any naps or bedtime. The carrier was obviously used instead but in hindsight I would have simply traveled with our Bugaboo Cameleon. We did so for our next big trip to the US when Noah was 7-8 months old and it was so much more convenient. Of course we didn’t always use it but it was golden for those times that we did. Any airline takes it along free of charge and although its heavier and less compact than umbrella strollers, it still fits into cars quite easily when folded up.

If you want to get a separate travel stroller that is not an umbrella stroller (something I recommend), consider getting the Baby Jogger City Mini stroller. We borrowed it for a trip to Australia and it is a fantastic stroller to travel with! The recline is far enough for baby to snooze away very comfortably and it folds up so compact and so easy. We now also own the Baby Zen Yoyo stroller and whilst I love it for our toddler, when traveling, I still always choose to travel with a main stroller if we have a baby, like the City Mini or the Bugaboo.

 

Rent a car

We try to always rent a car at our travel destinations (with car seat) because it is just so much easier to have your own car to keep all your belongings in one place (stroller, travel cot, suitcases, etc.), instead having to lug it from train to subway to train to house. In dense cities that have good public transport (say NYC for example) we would obviously NOT rent a car, and take a taxi instead, but most other places we would.

 

Apartments instead of hotel rooms

Book apartments instead of hotel rooms if you can. Having a little kitchenette with sink and fridge (and ideally microwave) is invaluable when it comes to storing milk, warming up food, washing bottles, etc. It is also so helpful if you can have a separate room for baby to sleep in so that you can stick to a decent bed time and not have to tip toe around and whisper for the rest of the evening.  We use Airbnb.com as our go to website but I know there are other options as well.

 

Use the bathroom if in a hotel room

If you stay in a hotel room, you can use the bathroom as a ‘separate’ room for baby to sleep in his/her travel cot at night. Hopefully the bathroom is big enough! Just remember to grab your toothbrush before baby goes to sleep.

 

Music or Sound Machine

Be it white noise for babies or music for older bubs, we always carry this along. It helps especially when you are somewhere noisy and have to put your baby down for bedtime. The music/white noise will drown out the rest. It is one of my favourite little tricks. We use the YogaSleep Rohm Travel Sound Machine.

 

Bathtub

One of our requirements when we choose a place to stay is a bathtub. Although babies are fine under the shower from an early age, the bath ritual is generally such an important part of the day, that it is something we don’t want to pass on if we have the choice. Remember that sometimes the sink may also be big enough but a bathtub is always preferred because what is better than a joint bath with your baby!?

 

Bed time routine when traveling

Yes, things get moved around and interrupted when traveling but everything can fall into place very quickly again. We keep a few bedtime routines the exact same no matter where we are, which can make a big difference I think – milk, a bath, pj’s, reading a book, sleeping bag, music, the pacifier and teddy.

  

SECTION 4 – PACKING YOUR BAGS

 

What to pack, how much to pack and where to pack it. Obviously this depends on where you are traveling to and for how long so I cannot give you the perfect list. I can, however, give you a list of the items that I always bring with me when traveling with a baby/toddler. This list obviously looks different now that I travel with many children of various ages, but I’m keeping things streamlined here and sharing the list if you have one baby or toddler. What may also be helpful is to show you exactly what lives in my nappy bag when going on long or short plane rides.

 

A few items I always bring with me when traveling

The Ergobaby carrier, wipes, nail clippers, Qtips for babies, baby toothbrush (if there are already teeth), thermometer, ibuprofen, paracetamol, teething gel, nose sucker, baby soap, baby moisturizer, x6 pacifiers, a couple Weetabix cereal ovals for the first few breakfasts, fruit/veggies puree pouches, bib, snacks, sippy cup, sunscreen, a hat, a few toys, a book, his teddy, a large muslin, a bottle for milk, sleeping bag, music speaker with iPod + playlist and/or sound machine.

 

What lives in my travel nappy bag (Infant – 12 months)

  • Pacifiers x4
  • Pacifier string/clip
  • Wet wipes
  • Nappies (1 for every 3-4 hours)
  • Plastic bags for diaper disposal
  • Bum cream
  • Changing mat
  • Hand sanitizer
  • x2 change of clothes for baby
  • Pajamas and sleeping bag for baby if its an overnight flight
  • X1 change of clothes for mama (If it’s a shorter flight, just bring a spare shirt)
  • Squeezy baby food (with baby feeding spoon)
  • Bib
  • Snacks for older babies, lots of them
  • X2 chewy toys (if older than 4 months)
  • Large muslin to use as a blanket, cover, etc.
  • Small muslin to use as burp cloth
  • Re-fillable water bottle
  • X2 Bottles of expressed milk or x2 bottles of formula (its easier to just bring the powder, already measured out, and fill it with water on the plane – remember to never use the tap water on planes though, only bottled water)
  • Breast pump (if baby is younger than 6 months)
  • Pain relief
  • Play mat

  

What lives in my travel nappy bag (12 months+)?

  • Pacifiers x4
  • Pacifier string
  • Wet wipes
  • Nappies (1 for every 4-5 hours)
  • Plastic bags for diaper disposal
  • Bum cream
  • Changing mat
  • Hand sanitizer
  • X1 change of clothes for your child
  • Pajamas and sleeping bag for baby if its an overnight flight
  • Comfort – your child’s comforter or blanket
  • X1 change of clothes for mama (If it’s a shorter flight, just bring a spare shirt)
  • Squeezy food and snacks, lots of snacks.
  • X2 toys
  • Large muslin to use as a blanket, cover, etc.
  • Re-fillable water bottle
  • X1 Bottle (for long-haul or night flight so that it can be filled with milk)
  • Milk – I often bring some already in a bottle and at security they allow me to take it through after checking it. Some airlines will not supply milk, other than for tea and coffee, so plan ahead in case.
  • Pain relief