Flying with a Baby: How to Pack



Baby C is a great travel buddy. She traveled 1500 miles with me by car when she was maybe 3 months old. Since then, she has been on 12 airplanes and a bunch of road trips in her 9 months as a tiny human. D and I are blessed to have such an easy-going, happy baby. She is curious and loves to observe the world around her.

She is also a baby, which means she poops, spits up, pees, throws oatmeal, and slobbers like a Saint Bernard. I have learned (the hard way) some ways to make traveling with my messy little munchkin easier, and now, I will share my hard won knowledge with you.


  1. Remember: Poop happens. Unless you are going to have access to laundry facilities, pack outfits for 1.5 times the number of days you are travelling (i.e., if you are traveling for 6 days, pack 9 outfits).
  2. Trying to dig through a suitcase to find a clean onesie and coordinating (ish) pair of pants for your squirmy child is not easy. So, give yourself a head start and put each outfit in a separate Ziploc bag. Make sure to include the shirt/onesie, pants/skirt, and socks/tights. I don’t usually put pj’s in the zippered bags, as Baby C wears footed pajamas (They’re just so stinkin’ cute).
  3. Put anything with cords (such as a monitor) in a zippered bag to avoid the cords getting tangled with clothes and other items.
  4. If you have a large suitcase, use plastic shoe boxes to separate different categories of items, such as feeding supplies, bathing supplies, and toys/books. Once you arrive at your destination, you can then use the boxes as a way to stay organized.
    IMG_7400 IMG_7398
  5. If you can, plan to buy diapers at a store once you get to your destination. That choice will save you a lot of room in your suitcase.*I have not figured out how to pack my stuff and Baby C’s stuff in a single carry on. If you can pack all of your child’s things plus your things in a carry-on, I am in awe of you. Teach me your ways.


  6. Make sure to bring several diapers and wipes and enough formula and snacks in your carry-on bag for the airport hangout time, the flights, and in case your checked luggage is lost. If you use formula, the premixed liquid bottles are easier to use and less messy than using the powder from the normal formula tubs. However, they are pricey and heavy. Also, if your baby is young and doesn’t drink much formula, the 2oz. tubes of powder are also really great. Also, don’t forget a bib and spoons (if needed)!
  7. Put some hand sanitizer in your clear, plastic zipper bag. It’s difficult to wash your hands while holding a baby after you’ve just changed her diaper. Also, airports are gross.
  8. Bring diaper disposal bags/grocery bags. You never know when you’ll have to change a dirty diaper somewhere random, such as the floor of an airplane (WHY DO SOME LARGE AIRPLANES NOT HAVE CHANGING TABLES???). Trust me, your neighbors on the plane will thank you for hiding the unsightly mess that is your child’s dirty diaper. You can also use the bags to put any wet/dirty clothes in. Just make sure not to let the baby have access to the plastic bags, of course. You know, use common sense.
  9.  Pack 1, maybe 2, changes of clothes in the diaper bag/carry-on. Because, again, poop happens.  And it happens in the most inopportune places at the most inopportune times (i.e., 7,000 feet in the air on a tiny commuter plane during turbulence). Depending on the time of the flight/arrival, you may want to pack some pj’s for baby.
  10. Bring a small container of dish soap (preferably that can go in your clear, zippered bag in your carry-on) in case you need to wash bottles at the airport or in a hotel room.
  11. Bring a couple of small, QUIET toys for baby to play with at the airport and on the airplane. Pack the obnoxious toys in your checked baggage. Trust me, you want the flight attendants to like you. They bring you cookies and coffee.
  12. Onesies are adorable, but they are not practical when traveling with a baby. A t-shirt and pants or a dress make diaper changes a whole lot easier. And when traveling with a baby, you want to make things as easy as possible.

Okay, that’s all the traveling-on-a-plane-with-a-tiny-human knowledge I’ve got for now. I will post about road tripping with a baby soon. What nuggets of wisdom have you gleaned from traveling via airplane with your little one? Any hilarious stories? Please share!

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I'm a Jesus follower, wife, and mom. I have been caught in a Costa Rican riot, once accidentally insulted Gavin DeGraw, and really want to visit Lichtenstein. I love long, romantic walks through the rain forest. I make cakes sometimes. I'm a mess, and I'm learning to embrace that.

2 thoughts on “Flying with a Baby: How to Pack”

  1. Hi Jessica!
    I love posts about organization, and especially as it applies to travel! I’m excited to continue reading your posts about parenting!


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