What should you pack in kids travel bags?
As a mom and speaking from experience, traveling with a little one in tow is hard work. Kids, especially those under one, can be very unpredictable, but being prepared during the journey ahead can make things a little easier no matter what your plans might be.
If you fail to be prepared, which I have done on occasion, you will be in for a rough ride. However, there are many things you can do to be ready, and the right attitude will help you.
Packing your kid’s travel bags perfectly will also take some of the stress away from your trip and mean that you can focus on enjoying family time.
So what goes in kids’ travel bags? It’s time to find out all the crucial bits, from one mom to another.
What do kids under 1 need to take to fly?
The last thing you want to do is over-pack your kid’s travel bags, especially if it is just you and you don’t have anybody else to help with all the extra belongings. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be unprepared either.
You might not need EVERYTHING mentioned in this article; it depends on your situation and what you regularly use with your child. With that being said, let’s dive right in so you can discover those essentials, many of which you are probably going to need.
Stroller, baby carrier, car seat and booster seat
Your infant is probably not even walking yet, so a stroller is going to be pretty essential during your trip and even just getting around the airport. For most airlines, you can take the stroller right up to the boarding gate, and then it can be put into the aircraft right at the last minute, providing it has gone through security and has been tagged accordingly.
Make sure to check the guidelines of the airline you are traveling with to be sure of this. The same policy will usually go for all the more oversized items you might need to take with you, including a baby carrier, car seat, and booster seat.
While taking all of these items might be a bit of a headache, consider what is important to you and what will make your travel journey run as smoothly as possible.
If you are visiting another country for a more extended period, you might need to take more equipment with you, but it depends.
Food and drinks
One of the main reasons children under one year of age cry and are generally unsettled while flying is that they are hungry and thirsty, or at least that applies to mine.
Young children drink little but often because of their small stomachs, so you need to make sure that you are as prepared as you can be for your upcoming flight. There should be plenty of space and different pockets in kids’ travel bags to carry all the food/drink necessary.
It would help if you had sterilized bottles filled with formula or breast milk, depending on how you choose to feed. You can, of course, breastfeed during the flight if you prefer to do this, although it might not be the most comfortable.
There is quite a small amount of space in the cabin, and if you do breastfeed, expressing and filling bottles might be a much more convenient option.
You might also want to bring juice/water for your little one and food if you are in the process of weening or have already weened the child. However, snacks are best, and if you are traveling for an hour or so, you shouldn’t need to bring vast quantities of food anyway.
Ensure that you store food and drink appropriately in the hand luggage/kid’s travel bags so that it is easy to get to during the flight.
When buying kid’s travel bags, try and look for one that has several different sections. This way, you can organize the load much more efficiently, and there will be less rummaging around during the flight.
Diapers and clothes
When I took my youngest to a place for the first time, he made a little surprise in his diaper for mommy more times than I could have expected, and I completely ran out of supplies. Luckily for me, somebody else on the plane had a spare diaper.
Diapers and wet wipes are things you cannot have enough of when flying with your child. While airplane toilets are not the most spacious, they will contain a changing table to utilize whenever you need to.
If possible, try and change your baby right before boarding the plane, and then hopefully, you will only need to change them once again during the flight.
In addition to plenty of diapers and wet wipes, a change of clothes is also necessary to take on your carry-on luggage.
Your baby might spit upon himself, get dirty or even soak right through their clothes from the diaper. Therefore, I would recommend at least two sets of clothes during even a short-haul flight. It might sound like a lot, but you never know when you might need them.
Try making the clothes as simple to put on and take off as possible; onesies will usually be your best bet.
Toys and games
While your infant probably doesn’t play a great deal at their age, it’s still nice to take at least one toy/game or something that reminds them of the home, like their favorite cuddly toy. Flights can be tedious even for us, so you can only imagine how bored children get.
Try and take a toy that is not too big or not too loud, unless you want to drive the rest of the plane crazy.
When your child has been fed, their diaper changed, but they are STILL grumpy – that toy you previously packed in your kid’s travel bags can be a pretty important lifesaver.
Please don’t show your child this toy when they are at the airport. Instead, keep it for when you need it during the plane, and you will be so glad that you did. They will be distracted, and hopefully for long enough so that you can make it through the entirety of the flight in peace.
Following the guidelines
In addition to taking the things that are right for your family, it is really important that you read the official guidelines set by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), which can be found here https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures/traveling-children.
You will find essential information here, including the screening procedures for flying children and why they are crucial.
If you have a child with a medical condition or any other condition that might be of importance, you should inform the TSA of this, especially if it might affect the screening process.
You can also read more about the correct storage of liquids on the flight, including breast milk and formula.
Your child’s safety during your travel is critical, and that is exactly why the TSA guidelines are in place.
Other things to keep in mind
When traveling with a baby, you instantly feel like all eyes are on you. This is because so many people there get irritated by children on flights, but you need to do your best to ignore these people; we were all young once.
You have paid for your flights, and you deserve to be traveling just as much as everyone else on the place.
I used to worry about what everyone else thought about me if my baby got grouchy mid-flight, but it won’t do you any good. If YOU stress, your baby will stress, which will only make your child behave worse.
The best thing that you can do is be prepared and relax as much as you possibly can. If you pack everything you need in your kid’s travel bags, you are guaranteed a smoother journey for yourself and everyone else.
Now that you know everything you need to have in your kid’s travel bags, this should make for a much more comfortable travel experience in general. Pack the bags a few days in advance so that if you forget anything, you still have time to put it in before you fly.
All children are different, and if your little one has any underlying health conditions, other things like medication. etc. might be necessary.
Traveling with a child under one might seem like an impossible mission for many people out there but providing you are prepared, it doesn’t have to be that difficult, and when you’ve done it once, you will feel like you can conquer anything.
If you cross your fingers and wish hard enough, your child might even sleep for the entire flight – now wouldn’t that be amazing?