My parents live pretty far away. We typically have to fly if we want to go visit. And visiting them is a must! The logistics of flying with a baby could take up about five different posts. The thing I’m focusing on today is how I pack my diaper bag when I’m flying with one or both of my boys. The challenge is that you need to pack enough necessities and “extras” to get through your long (or short) flight without packing so much that your bag is unmanageable.
My number one rule is to only bring enough stuff to fit into one diaper bag. I don’t even bring a purse for myself. I want my hands to be as free as possible when we’re flying. So I get everything in the diaper bag and put the boys in the stroller and/or a baby carrier. When you have to get into your seat as quickly as possible and wrestle a curious baby, it’s important to have only the necessities. But they need to be useful and just right.
What do I pack in the diaper bag when we fly? Diapers. Plenty of diapers. You just never know if you’ll get stuck in an airport and you just need as many as you can fit in your bag. Wipes. Plenty of wipes. For the same reasons. A change of clothes for your baby. Drool, spit up, and blow out diapers happen everywhere — even on airplanes. A pacifier! Hudson didn’t take a pacifier but I still brought one on flights in case he decided he was going to scream. Hayes takes a pacifier like a champ, so it does the trick for him. Ready-to-feed formula and bottles. I usually pack two bottles and just plan to rinse them out if I need more than two bottles on the plane or in airports. The ready-to-feed formula helps because you don’t have to mix anything and it’s just ready. Obviously! I try to bring one more than I think I need. After a terrible delayed flight situation in Atlanta last summer, we discovered that we should always have extra formula in case of a 6-hour delay! If you’re a nursing mother, you can completely skip this step.
with Hudson and Hayes on a flight that was delayed 6 hours. we ran out of formula!
Burp cloths are a big necessity, too. I like to bring two. Messes are inevitable and isn’t it true that we always have more messes when we’re not at home with all of our “clean up” tools? I always pack some kind of fever reducer to help with any potential discomfort in the ears. I like to pack as many small toys as I can fit in my bag. Small little light-up toys and teething rings. Just a handful of things to keep the baby interested. Books are a great way to keep the baby entertained for a little while. I always pack very small board books because I’m operating out of one bag. A portable DVD player or the iPad has also been a big lifesaver. The iPad takes up less space in the bag and it provides you with a variety of different movies if you have them stored on the iPad. If you bring a DVD player, just bring a couple of back up DVDs.
When our babies were really little and we were still swaddling them, we packed their usual swaddle blankets. As soon as we started taking off, we’d swaddle them, feed them, and then they were asleep. Hallelujah! What do I pack for myself? Nothing! I bring my wallet and make sure my ID is handy. If I’m lucky enough for Hayes or Hudson to fall asleep, I’ll be falling asleep, too. I can always read something on the iPad or on my phone if I can’t sleep. But trying to bring books or magazines when a child is sleeping on me just never works out. I pack the bag as lightly as I can while making sure that I have everything we could possibly need. What are your diaper bag necessities when you travel?