This is the second post in our travel series! To see the first post on the best baby travel gear to bring, head over here.
Today we’re going over some of the must-have items we bring on the plane when traveling with baby or toddler. Some of these things may be no-brainers, while others might seem a little silly until you reach the moment you need them. Trust us… We’ve definitely learned from experience!
So if you’re wondering what to bring on the plane when traveling with baby, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our top picks.
What to Bring on the Plane When Traveling with Baby
Although you will likely already have a bag full of things you’ve grabbed for the plane ride, there are a few more random items you may not think about but will definitely want.
- A change of clothes for mom. Speaking of learning from experience, this one is not something you’d want to experience first-hand… Take our word for it! If your poor sick child is going to projectile vomit, you know you will be holding him and caring for him. At least pack a spare top.
- Wear something easy. While we’re on the topic of mom’s clothing, make sure your outfit is easy to take on and off with one hand while in the bathroom. When your baby is still crawling and not yet walking, there’s a good chance he/she will be trying to escape under the bathroom stalls in the airports. Think ahead when you get dressed in the morning.
- A scarf. We almost never fly without a scarf. Not only can it be a fun accessory for mom, but it also doubles as a blanket for the car seat when the baby sleeps. Bonus points: It smells like you.
Plane Food and Snacks
- Food: The Munchie Mug Snack Cup (above) is great. It’s easy to use, machine washable, and large (16 oz.). I fill it with cereal, Goldfish crackers, and raisins.
- Milk/Formula: We still brought milk on the plane for our son up to about 20 months. However, this is not the easiest thing to do, and it will cause you to have extra screening (thus extra time with a fidgety toddler). The easiest, and least-questions-asked, way to get milk through TSA screening is to put it in the tall bottles, with the lid for the bottles (you don’t necessarily need the nipples), and maybe throw one nipple in your cooler lunch bag. This way it looks like formula or breast milk and the TSA agents really don’t scrutinize it. However, if you have a little carton of milk they will question the heck out of it and might not let you bring it. When you get on the plane, you can just throw it in a sippy cup.
- We really love the Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cups.
- For longer trips, we bring a very small container of dishwashing liquid to wash the cups in hotels. After a few days, the cups really start to stink.
- Water: Obviously, water is great. So bring an empty bottle and fill it up in the airport. If However, if you forget to empty the water bottle before you get to TSA, just say it is for the baby and they have to let you have it.
- We also really like this ingenious screw-on nipple that fits water bottles. It turns any water bottle baby-friendly, and it’s awesome for traveling.
Distractions for Your Baby or Toddler on the Plane
Lastly, you’ll want to keep your little one as occupied as possible so no tantrums break out. Of course, sometimes a fussy baby is inevitable, but the below are some of the ways we’ve found to be most effective for keeping baby quiet on the plane.
- iPhones, iPads, etc. We haven’t really resulted to using them, but these devices do work.
- In-flight entertainment. When you take longer flights, our toddler has tolerated watching the cartoons on the in-flight entertainment with the headphones on. When he was around one-year-old, he would just watch it but not use headphones. Now, he uses these cute panda headphones, and he likes them.
- Activity books. We’ve really found that reusable sticker books are really helpful for distractions on the plane. You can grab any activity type book where the child is engaged in the book.
- Some of our past successful books: Melissa and Doug reusable sticky books and Roger Priddy lift-the-flap books (pictured above).
- White noise phone app. If your child is just over-stimulated and crying, a white noise app on your phone will really help your child go to sleep. We have White Noise Baby, which also has a rattle function where the child can shake the phone, and there are balls that bounce with the movement along with a rattle noise. It’s great and distracting for the child, but annoying for the parents, so keep that in mind.
Finally, sometimes the babies/toddlers just scream and cry. It’s probably mainly due to over-stimulation, excitement, and/or lack of routine. And you know, you just deal with it. Most other passengers are sympathetic, and those who give you snide looks should have flown privately… Just kidding! (Kind of.)
Hopefully, now you’ll have a better idea on what to pack when flying with your baby or toddler. As mentioned above, we’re no experts, but we do have quite a bit of experience traveling with a baby/toddler. Any questions, just ask in the comments!