How to pack the perfect carry-on for baby

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SkinCareForBaby #CollectiveBias How to pack the perfect carry-on for baby (2)Our kids go just about everywhere with us, and that includes when our adventures take us out of state by plane, train, and automobile. This go-anywhere, do-anything lifestyle started with our first baby when she was just days old. Even back then we’d have parents come up to us incredulous that we were able to travel with baby and now that our family size has increased their curiosity has only grown.

And I always tell them that traveling with babies was one of the best things we ever did. Not only did it make them more adaptable and flexible, it also made it easier to keep our adventurous side, which makes us all happier. The kids are growing up seeing things others only dream of and we’re spending some really awesome quality time together starting from day one.

My first tip for traveling with baby is that preparation goes a long way. Before we ever set off with baby, we read a ton and played out all of our worst-case scenarios. There were a few missteps along the way but for the most part we were prepared for just about everything that has come up, and even when we weren't, we were able to approach it with a roll-with-it kind of attitude knowing that you can't account for every emergency.

If you are a new parent wondering about the logistics of traveling with baby, you can relax because we are giving you a peek into our carry-on for baby. This is exactly what we'll be packing for our cross-country trip with kiddos this month, and has worked well for us on all of our adventures. Huggies necessities for travelAre you ready to start? Great, let's break down our packing list by category: food & snacks, soothing & comfort, playtime, clothing, changing, and just for parents.

Food & Snacks

I'm going to start with food and snacks for baby because a hungry baby is straight-up miserable in-flight and coming prepared with food and snacks is a much better idea than relying on over priced in-air cabin food that may or may not have items your baby can eat. We pack fresh fruit that doesn't require cutting, such as bananas, and "squeezers" as opposed to baby food with spoons or those requiring refrigeration. Then we always include small crackers or cereal for snacking throughout the flight and while sitting at gates. Our little one is transitioning from bottle to straw cup, so I typically bring both on flights that I can fill with water or milk I buy at the gate. That way I have one that I can offer during take off and landing to help baby alleviate ear pressure.Carry-on food for babyPlaytime

When packing toys for the plane, be sure to pack toys that baby can use in multiple ways. A play phone is a rattle and makes sounds for louder places such as gates and during loading if you're already in your seats. A small animal or doll is great for keeping baby entertained for longer periods of time. We usually offer napkins and other in-flight items to construct a small bed for toys so you can pretend to put it to sleep or build it a house. A teether is a good idea if baby is cutting teeth, and I always recommend securing the toy with a strap so that if baby tosses it, it won't land on the grimy foot area of the plane. A colorful string of interlocking pieces can be taken apart or used to count, play with colors, and can even be used to secure stuffed animals.

Carry-on toys for babySoothing & Comfort

Like all parents, you are hoping with everything that you have that baby will sleep. Up your odds by bringing some comfort items from home that typically signal bedtime. If baby has a special lovie that can fit in your carry-on, I highly suggest bringing it for adding some of the comfort and familiarity of home. This soft, blanket-type lovie is great because it can be used as a toy as well as a soft blanket to snuggle with. All of my babies have been pacifier babies, and I love using them for flights to help keep their little ears popped so they don't build up pressure. If you do used a pacifier, be sure a secure it to your child's clothing with a binky strap so it can't fall on the floor when you need it most.  Carry-on soothersBonding with baby

We always bring a few small books with thin, hard to rip, pages that we can read quietly to baby throughout the flight. You can also buy a cheap, flexible photo album and fill it with pictures of loved ones, past adventures, and sights that you will be seeing on your journey. The photo album below was one my oldest daughter loved so much that she used to carry it everywhere with her. Now, it's filled with pictures of all the kids and it's really fun to flip through the pages when baby needs a break.Books for carry-onClothing

An extra pair of clothing is always a great idea, as is a pair of pajamas for flights you are hoping to get some shut-eye during. If the worst does happen and baby spills twice, you will be glad for the extra pair of clothes to keep everyone dry and happy. I always bring clean clothing {and other special items} in a cloth water-proof bag that can keep things dry if sippy cups or bottles leak as well as being useful if baby's clothing ends up wet and sticky and you need a way to keep it separate in the bag. Change of clothingChanging

When I talk to parents about taking babies on flights, the biggest concern I hear is regarding changing diapers.I get it, because tiny bathrooms on airplanes are pretty much the worst without a squirming baby, so the idea of changing a baby mid-flight sends most people into panic mode. I start by minimizing the items that need to come with me to change baby so I don't have to bring a full diaper bag with me. My awesome neighbor introduced me to the world of the diaper clutch, and it's been my best friend ever since. It's small and can fit in a purse or a carry-on, and it has a strap that can be used to hang it in bathrooms or place around your wrist for changing ease. Huggies diapers and wipesBefore any flight I will pack away a small stack of Huggies® Little Snugglers inside the diaper clutch. I love them for their GentleAbsorb Liner that has a cushiony layer of protection between your baby's skin and the mess as well as a wetness Indicator that lets you know when your baby's diaper is ready to be changed so you don't deal with unnecessary changes. For those really young babies you will love the umbilical cord cut-out that's perfectly shaped to protect healing belly-buttons. Huggies Little SnugglersNext, I fill up my soft and flexible Huggies® reusable wipes holder with Huggies® Natural Care Wipes. These wipes are thick and soft and have TripleClean Layers that are thick enough to handle any mess, with a texture that's soft against your baby's skin. This means you can use less of them, which makes for much easier changing. Huggies wipesJust For Parents

Don't get so wrapped up in baby that you forget your necessities, too. You will appreciate an array of snacks after flying with baby so be sure a pick up your favorite treats and some fruit to keep you going. Most airplanes and terminals have charging stations now, so be sure and bring your smartphone's charging cable with you for if you have to resort to keeping baby happy by flipping through pictures or playing kids games. If you want to be extra safe, pack yourself a power bank so you can use that if need be. Don't forget some sticks of gum to help with the ear pressure during take off and landing.  Necessities for parentsThis list may sound intense, but it's all easy to find, and great to keep on hand for last-minute trips. We always make a trip to Walmart the week before a trip to pick up any missing necessities. Baby usually comes along and helps me choose her Huggies®, a new toy, or book, and some treats and food for the flight. Huggies shopping at WalmartThis time, I headed to the purse and bag section and even found a great new tote that is perfect for our upcoming trip. I love that it's black to hide dirt and grime, but the interior is brightly colored to make it easier to find things inside. This tote is big enough for our necessities and treats and I can place it on top of my wheeled luggage for zipping around airports.

While sometimes I look wistfully as the passengers who only have a small laptop bag and get through security without looking like they ran a relay race, I really do love the amount of travel our kids have managed to fit into their short years. Hearing them talk with friends about that time they went to Africa or the times they have been to New York or the Caribbean make me really happy that we've created a group of seasoned travelers who are going to see the world one day.

Where is your next trip? Will you take your baby?

Leanne Signature

3 thoughts on “How to pack the perfect carry-on for baby”

  1. You haven’t missed a beat with your list and I can tell you’ve done this before! Fabulous list and I love the photo album you packed. I know my kids LOVE looking at pictures of themselves. 🙂 Pinning this for later, thanks Leanne! #client


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.