Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Packing for Onboard the Plane--Infants

"E" as a happy 3 month old frequent flier
The packing can be the hardest part, so here is my advice on how/what to pack:

Many people advise to pack minimally. I don't agree. You should *concisely* pack everything you need for worst case scenarios like lengthy delays, unplanned overnights, spit up, and diaper blowouts. Illnesses creep up at the least convenient times. On one flight I was working a child vomited on his mom. She was soaked and had no change of clothes. It was just the start of a 7 hour flight. I have learned it's best to always have at least one complete change of clothes for everyone traveling, down to socks and underwear. Bring at least 2 spare outfits for baby. Always bring some kind of fever reducer just in case.

I pack the following in the diaper bag:

  • Small blanket
  • 6 diapers
  • Travel size diaper wipes case
  • At least 3 small trash bags (for dirty diapers, soiled clothes, or trash--I reuse grocery sacks)
  • 3 burp cloths
  • 3 bibs if your baby is a drooler
  • 2-3 NOISELESS toys (No need to annoy other passengers with anything more than baby crying.)
Bright Starts Buzzin Around Bee
  • Pacifier (multiple ones if baby loves paci)
  • Teething tablets
  • 1 change of clothes for baby including socks
  • Baby sweater
  • Snack for me such as Luna Bar, Mixed Nuts
  • Your purse or wallet (With experience you'll be able to blend this with your diaper bag always.)
  • Nursing cover (if nursing)
  • 3 empty 4 oz. bottles (if bottle feeding)
  • Formula (if using)
  • Both Enfamil and Similac have formula packets. I love these for traveling!
Then I pack my backpack:
  • 1 change of clothes for me (including underwear and socks--put in Gallon size Ziploc bag)
  • Sweater for me
  • Additional change of clothes for baby (pack in ziploc bag)
  • Additional diapers and wipes (I like to bring 8-12 diapers for a 10 hour travel day.)
  • Small magazine for me (Don't bother with a heavy book. Even if baby sleeps you'll find it difficult to focus on anything for more than a few minutes at a time.)
  • Any prescription medicines for me or baby
  • Glasses/Contacts/Phone Charger/Other Essentials
  • Ear bud headphones
  • Additional snacks for me (maybe an apple and peanut butter and jelly)
  • Quart size Ziploc bag with baby medicines (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Teething gel), hand sanitizer, any other liquids you need such as contact solution/lotion/etc.
  • Thermometer
Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer--so easy to use and very accurate!
In the airport you can buy water. If you're nursing you're going to be REALLY thirsty on the airplane. Plan on at least 1 liter up to 6 hours. Buy more water if you'll be using it for the baby's formula. You CAN bring water for bottles/mixed formula/breast milk through security, but if you're able to just buy the water in the airport it will be a much simpler process getting through security.

*Buy at least 1 liter of water for the airplane trip
You could fit all these items in just a backpack, but I find it tends to get too heavy and things become difficult to find. For me it helps keep things organized when using 2 bags. The list looks long, but almost everything is small and will fit easily in 2 easy-to-manage bags. Once it's all organized and packed you'll know where everything is and you won't have the stress of needing something you don't have while away from home.


Elizabeth@doievenlikethis said...

Awesome advice. Thanks for starting this blog. You have seen everything from the point of view of a flight attendant and mom. Keep up the great work.

Cloud Surfing With Kids (Surviving air travel with children) said...

Thank you, Elizabeth!