What to pack in your carry on when flying with a baby
Miles is 7.5 months old now and he's already been on 3 flights and going on his 4th flight this week. I watched a lot of youtube videos to prepare myself for each flight and thought it could be helpful to share what has worked for me!
CARRY ON ESSENTIALS
The list changes every time Miles gets a little older, but here are a few of my essentials for flying with a baby! Also, I never bring his actual birth certificate because he's clearing under the age of 2, but I do keep a picture of it on my phone just in case they need to see it!
1. Infant Pacifiers | 2. Pacifier Clip | 3. Bibs | 4. Hand Sanitizer and Wipes | 5. Nursing Top | 6. Footed Pajamas | 7. Bottles | 8. Extra Clothes | 9. Travel Changing Mat | 10. Baby Carrier | 11. Baby Tylenol | 12. Diapers | 13. Baby Wipes | 14. Blanket | 15. Toys
Miles' first flight was at 3.5 months to NYC. The flight was about 4-5 hours. If you're able to take a red eye flight and coordinate it with their sleep schedule that's key. Since Miles was so young and still sleeping the majority of the day, he pretty much slept through both flights. I made sure to nurse him at take off and he would fall asleep right after.
For this first flight I definitely over-packed but at least it made me feel more prepared. Here are a few notes on the items above! I love the teething beads on my pacifier clip as it acts as a clip and toy in one. Bibs are lifesavers and I pack them with me always. Hand sanitizers and wipes are great for the plane and during your travels. I've ordered a few nursing tops and my favorite one by far is the one I picked up at Topshop. They're super soft and comfortable to wear and make it easy for you to just lift up one side and discreetly feed your baby. Planes are always cold so a footed onsie is my favorite things to dress baby in. And zippers are definitely your best friend when you want something easy to get on and off for diaper changes. I like packing an extra bottle in my carry on with some extra formula powder just in case. Extra clothes! You never know when baby is going to have an accident. We bring this travel changing mat with us everywhere. Obviously great for changing baby when you're out and about and it has nice compartments for you to put extra diapers, wipes, bibs, etc. Since we were going to NY, we didn't have to bring a car seat or stroller and only brought our baby carrier. Worked out great since NY is a walking city! Of course you need to pack some diapers and baby wipes. Blankets are always nice to keep baby warm and cozy and finally these simple rings are great for the plane. They're quiet and small - easy to pack and easy for baby to grab and chew on.
His second flight was a shorter trip to Seattle. At 5.5 months, he was already much more alert and curious about his surroundings. I nursed him during take off and he napped for about 30 minutes but then stayed awake the rest of the flight. We brought more toys this trip and rotated them in and out for entertainment. We were also lucky because we booked the window and aisle seats on both trips, and for both flights the middle seat was empty! On the way home, we had another night flight and he was able to sleep most of the way! This time we also brought his car seat which was very easy to check-in for free. Again we only brought the carrier this trip since he was still too young to fit in our travel stroller.
His third flight was a 4 hour flight to Minneapolis. We got lucky again and had an empty seat next to us on the flight over. And again he took a short nap after I nursed him on take off, but then he was awake for the rest of the flight. We brought lots of toys and some pureed baby food for him. He didn't really enjoy sitting between us and wanted to be held most of the flight. He would get a little fussy at times and then I would either bring out a new toy, try nursing him, or just try holding him in different positions. On the way back we didn't get lucky with an empty seat, but he did sleep 2 out of the 4 hours. Again I would just try entertaining him with toys, snacks and various holding positions. The plane was filled with kids since it was during July 4th weekend so compared to some kids on the plane he was an angel.
Hopefully that helped some parents who are traveling with their baby for the first time!