Flying with a baby: Essentials + FREE baby travel checklist
I always visualized myself traveling as a family with our baby. I imagined myself showing her places and seeing the world through her eyes! It is the most beautiful feeling to watch her explore and expand her little universe. What I didn’t imagine, however, is all the packing and planning that flying with a baby entails. Now that we have had the experience of flying with our 7 month old several times, let me tell you, traveling with a baby is an adventure in itself! Believe me when I say that it takes a lot of effort figure out what your baby needs during travel. It is especially tricky when you are traveling abroad to a place where you cannot buy/rely on the usual things. It is the reason why I wanted write these tips and create a checklist as an easy reference for our future travels. To all new mamas planning to travel with your little one: Here are my best tips and free baby essentials checklist for download.
Download now – Free baby travel essentials checklist
Also checkout – Tips for planning a road trip with a newborn and a dog
Tips for flying with a baby and travel essentials
Consider flight timing
This is probably my best tip for stress free travel – consider when your baby is most active and fuss free while booking the flight. It will make your journey so much easier when the baby is happy and joyful.
During the flight
It is advised to feed or give pacifier (to keep their jaw moving) during take off and landing to ease any pain associated with ears popping. Ours was not interested in any of those and she was fine.
Have a stocked diaper bag ready for flight. Keep all essentials like changing items, extra clothes, food, teethers, toys and whatever you need to keep your baby content and occupied during the flight.
What helped us were a bottle of water and in flight manuals. 🙂
Transportation to and from the airport/carseat
Each country has its own carseat safety guidelines for personal vehicles and taxis. Whether you plan to take your own carseat or rent one, review the guidelines and plan accordingly.
In the US, for example, carseat is mandatory but Uber/Lyft do not provide an infant carseat. You are responsible to bring your own.
In Mexico, carseat is optional.
And in Canada, babies do not need to be in a carseat in public transit and taxis. Carseats are mandatory in private vehicles.
For peace of mind, we booked a limo that came with carseats everywhere we went. You could also check your carseat in the flight but that’s an additional item we didn’t want to worry about. After reaching the destination, we walked or rented a carseat along with the car.
Do not carry diapers if you can buy them at your destination
While this is my #1 tip to save space, we did carry diapers with us. We have been using speciality diapers since she was born and couldn’t buy this specific brand in Mexico so we took them with us. But if you have the option, buy them at your destination.
Ship some things if you can
Flying with a baby comes with extra luggage like diaper bag, travel stroller and I found it a hassle to lug too many suitcases around. If you can, ship a few things ahead and avoid carrying too many bags.
Mama essentials are vital too
Consider Mama essentials like vitamins, pumping parts (if you are still breastfeeding), nursing clothes.
Categorize to make packing easier
Organizing baby essentials into categories for food, sleep, bath, play, changing etc. makes packing easier.
Baby carriers and travel strollers are a must
A light travel stroller is a lifesaver especially in an airport and small spaces. We bought the baby zen yoyo+ travel stroller and it is the most compact and the best for travel! My baby also loves to be in a baby carrier.
Plan sleeping arrangements
Whether it is a crib in a hotel, pack n play in an Airbnb, or co-sleeping, have a plan for where you would have the baby sleep. A blackout cover also helps if you are sharing the room.
Prepare for an adjustment period
It will take a few days for everyone to get used to the new routine. You will not have your usual tools to entertain the baby and it is a new environment. Have patience and look for other ways to keep your baby entertained. Our little one loves outdoors; so in Cabo, we spent most of our time outside. In Vancouver, we did not go out the first two days due to rain but slowly adjusted to the routine and went for walks. Find what makes your baby happy and form a routine.
Keep calm and celebrate your successful trip
Planning a trip with a baby can be stressful. No matter how well you plan, things will not go according to your plan. So when you make it to your destination, take a breather and celebrate! Your next one will will only get easier! 🙂
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I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.