Plane Trip with a Baby or Toddler: A Survival Checklist

Airplane Travel with Baby

For those of you about to embark on a big summer vacation with a baby in tow, first of all, don’t panic! Secondly, there are some smart steps you can take in order to fully prepare yourself and your family for traveling with a baby. Whether you’re headed to a beachy getaway or a low-key but busy stay with extended family, the best thing you can possibly do to ensure a stress-free vacation with the baby is to plan ahead.

Carryon Packing Guide

Here are some tried and true tips for traveling with babies and toddlers.

Fear of airplane travel with a baby is definitely a thing for new parents. If you are well prepared then don’t sweat it. Here are a few key tips to put in your carry-on for plane trips when traveling with a baby.

Bring an Extra Change of Clothes for Baby

Accidents happen, especially when you travel. In case you have a milk spill or diaper explosion, always pack an extra set of clothes for baby. We love the cheap white onesies you can buy in sets. If there’s a diaper explosion or a major spit-up, you won’t feel bad just tossing the onesie in the nearest trash can.

Bring Extra Changes of Clothes for YOU

If said poop or throw-up lands on you, you’re going to want to get those clothes off pronto otherwise you’ll be stuck smelly or with a souvenir t-shirt purchased in the gift shop at the airport.

Invest in Noise-Canceling Headphones

There’s nothing worse than a sleeping baby being awoken to an announcement on the loudspeaker letting everyone know that the seatbelt sign is off. If your baby is old enough to wear headphones, pick-up a set for babies/children before your trip.

Book Flight Times that Coincide with Baby’s Sleep Schedule

If you have some control over your flight times, try and book the flights according to when you think your baby will most likely be napping.

Bring a Well-Packed Diaper Bag

It may sound fairly simple, right? But in the rush of getting ready to leave for a trip, things sometimes get overlooked. Write out a complete list and cross-check it with your diaper bag before you leave. And always bring extra—pacifiers, burp cloths, diapers, books, quiet toys, etc.

Reserve Your Seating

If at all possible, reserve your seats ahead of time. Idea seating is the bulkhead with extra legroom and aisle seats making it easy to get up and walk around with the baby.

Car Seats and Strollers

If you have a young baby, it’s easiest to check the car seat and keep baby in a smaller stroller that can be checked at the gate before you board the plane. When a baby’s not riding, the stroller doubles as a handy holder for your handbag, diaper bag, and more.

Dealing with Nap Time While On Vacation

While it’s tempting to stray from baby’s nap schedule while away from home, don’t do it. Proper sleep is so important to a baby’s growth and development. Rather than sending your entire family back to the hotel room for each nap time, here are some ways to still enjoy your trip while making sure the baby gets proper sleep.

Trade-off Nap Sitting Times

Take turns nap sitting with your significant other. One of you watches the baby while the other gets to cross something off their personal vacation bucket list or spends time with your other kids. It’s a great time to sneak in a little nap yourself or have some me time to watch a movie or read a book.

Multi-Purpose Rental Car

If you’ve rented a car, take a scenic drive during baby’s nap time while baby snoozes in the car seat.

Plan Nap Time Around Meals

Plan meal time to coincide with baby’s naps. Make sure to bring a reclining stroller so baby can snooze while you enjoy a long and relaxing adult meal.

Don’t Forget the DockATot

DockATot is the ultimate portable baby travel bed. You can let baby nap at the beach under an umbrella or really anywhere there’s somewhere safe to place the DockATot. DockATot infant travel bed is a lot easier to vacation with than an infant travel crib. Invest in the new DockATot travel bag, so you can easily transport your dock anywhere you go.

Designate a Changing, Feeding & Sleep Area

Once you arrive at your destination—hotel, Airbnb, or friend or family’s house—decide on a spot that will be your changing area. Place all the diapers, wipes, diaper cream, and whatever else you need to easily change your little one. Make sure to pack disposable changing pads with you, but don’t over-pack the diapers. Regardless of where you’re going, there will be a store that sells diapers so you don’t need to overstuff your luggage.

Additionally, lay out the bottles, baby food, and formula in one area, either in the actual kitchen if you have one or a makeshift area near a sink. It’s also a great idea to find an ideal place for baby to sleep that will be safe and quiet.

Safe travels, mamas!

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