How exciting that your holiday is coming around, it will be a huge adventure and loads of fun. If it’s your first long haul trip, traveling with a baby can make you quite anxious, especially when trying to work out what to pack.
My first flight with Jack was when he was 9 weeks old. It was only a short trip but I was doing the first leg on my own and completely strung out about what to expect and what I should take. Since then I have been all around the world with both my boys who are now young kids and it’s not as hard as you may think.
I put this list together based on what I have found during our flying experiences. You will feel like you are carrying enough to need a donkey but the stroller at the airport will help. Don’t check it until you get to the boarding gate, even if the kids won’t sit in it, it’s really useful to hang the bags on.
When the boys were babies I alway had the Baby Bjorn carrier as having your hands free for extra bags or toddlers is essential at boarding if you have a baby. I found the one I love online here Baby Bjorn Carrier One
and I have no hesitation recommending it as it was awesome and I could still carry my 20 month old son in it without straining my back. See image below of my husband wearing our son!
Getting through security is always the most stressful part. You have to take baby out of the harness or stroller no matter what so don’t bother trying to get them to sleep before you go through.
You can take baby milk through security. They will tell you no liquids but if it’s baby milk then I have never had it confiscated. These days I always pack box milk as fresh milk goes off way to easily. Or if baby is on formula, take the boiled water in a number of bottles for the trip.
The hardest part for us now is separating Isaac (3yo) from his blankie to put it through the security check- endless distress and inconsolable screaming as he won’t be parted with it even for a minute.
Tip on Booking your Seats
Depending on how big your baby is, if you get a choice between a bassinet or a spare seat- take the spare seat if your baby is able to sit on their own and there is any chance baby will be considered too big for the bassinet, once they are a bit bigger they often sleep better lying between you than in the bassinet. Also you have to get them out of the bassinet at the first sign of turbulence.
Our son was considered too big for the bassinet once he was over 12months old. We had a terrible flight from Melbourne to Dubai – 14 hours. We were in the bassinet row but they would not install it so he had to sit on my lap and wouldn’t sleep. It’s the only time he has screamed for an entire flight. It was horrible and the staff showed no mercy!
Prams/stroller, we have a collapsible stroller that does recline. It was a cheepie and is great for traveling because it’s light and sturdy (we are actually onto number 4 replacement, they get thrashed traveling).
If you decide not to take a stroller, you can easily buy them in most countries so don’t panic if you get there and suddenly your 2 year old goes on a walking strike!
Also, I’ve noticed that many airports now offer strollers to parents for within the airport.
Cots- we have always been able to get one via the hotels we stayed at, we put the request in at the time of booking and haven’t had any issues with this. Usually they don’t charge and if they do it’s been very reasonable i.e. $10 for the duration of stay.
On the plane- here is the list!
- Nappies (Diapers) if your baby usually goes through 6 nappies a day, pack at least 10 in hand luggage. I don’t know why but both my boys either go twice as much or half as much but you can never predict it.
- Full packet of wipes
- Nappy disposal bags
- Change of clothes, pants and top, socks and singlet.
- Pj’s or sleepy suit
- Sleeping bag- if your baby has a sleeping bag or a usual blanket this will help with the sleeping, at sleep time I always put my boys into Pj’s and bag (or blanket) and they settle much quicker.
- Dummy (pacifier)- If baby is using a dummy still take a couple, this will help with their ears and spares mean you don’t have to worry if one gets lost or dirty.
- Children’s Panadol- (over the counter children’s pain relief). If my boys start getting really wound up when we board I give them one or the other and they will normally settle really quickly. I think the cabin pressure really gets to them even before the plane takes off.
- Bib-plastic washable if you have one or the disposable ones.
- Plastic Spoon/s
- Food, try to pack some of what your baby likes- muslie bars, crackers, baby food jars, just a few as you’ll have to bin them if they don’t get eaten before you clear customs at the other end.
- Bottles- are you using a bottle for milk. If so take a couple. Usually the plane can give you fresh milk but it’s not always easy to wash the bottles. I also take UHT milk in a carton because my boys drink loads of milk and fresh milk won’t go the distance. If your using formula- take pre boiled water in the baby bottles and mix as you need to.
- Toys- if you have a little etch a sketch they are good, some little cars, favourite soft toy, pencils and paper, sticker book- (sticker books are a life saver!!!) a couple of story books. iPad or tablet if you have one with kids games and a movie or show they like. The reality is your going to walk endless laps of the isles!!!
- Comforter- if your child has a blankie, dummie/pacifier or other security toy then make sure you have it and a spare- I can not stress this enough!
For you- MUST take a change of clothes for you and your partner in your carryon luggage- essential!
If you can get everything you need in the nappy bag for the plane you’ll be fine. Don’t worry to much about the other end. You can buy everything you need so if you forget something, it will be easy to find when you get there. Remember they have babies all over the world and the brands maybe different but the nappies and wipes are really just the same.
I usually try to pack some nappies in the luggage so that I don’t have to worry for the first few days.
My boys and I usually share a suitcase so I don’t end up taking many clothes for me but it’s really never been a big deal.
Your going to have so much fun, all I can say is don’t worry about it too much, traveling with a baby or young kids is a bit tricky but all in all you make it work somehow. If you can stay at the same place for the first few days that will help with the jetlag because you’ll be able to plan your day with a big sleep for all of you in the middle! If you managed more than a couple of hours sleep on the plane you’ll have done REALLY well!
I hope this helps!
Looking forward to hearing about how it all goes, and please ask if you have questions.
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