There’s a new addition to the family. I recently gave birth to a baby girl last year. So this means, ‘hello diaper bag’ again. For the past couple of years, whenever I travel with my son, I let him bring his own bag. That way, I can bring my own tote bag or a Katherena’s rucksack, and be stylish.
But now… I need to use my diaper bag again as a carry-on when flying with my baby.
I pack light. They said it is impossible to pack light when you have a baby. I totally understand that. Imagine at 30,000 feet and not having access to what your baby needs would be outrageously frustrating! My husband always tells me, “It is better to have it and not need it, than not to have it and need it“. But I am the one who travels alone with our kids most of the time, so I don’t have the energy to bring 2 or 3 carry-on bags with me. Duh! I have a toddler son with me plus his bag, my baby in my arms, and 2 carry on bags?! Heck no. I still value my arms, shoulders, back and my sanity. That’s why I only carry 1 diaper (carry-on) bag with me whether it is a 1-hour flight or a 15-hour flight. Just ONE carry-on bag.
If you are traveling with an infant alone, you can read my tips here.
This is the bag I use, a Koala Baby Multitasker 5-piece Diaper Bag Set. It includes a large tote bag, small tote bag, changing pad, plastic pouch, and a bottle holder. I use the large tote bag for long-haul flights. It is a simple one, but I am very comfortable with it.
Now, here’s my carry-on packing checklist for flying with a baby 0-6 months. Depending on your baby’s age and needs, you may not need all of these items.
Must-have baby items:
Most of the mommies out there suggest bringing one diaper for each hour plus 3-6 extras.
My take: I go to Miami twice a year, that is a 15-hour flight time from Doha. That means I need to bring 15 diapers plus 3 extras equal 18 diapers. That will take almost one-third of space in my bag! What about the other stuff?!
For me (this is just ME), I bring 1 diaper for every 2 hours I will be flying plus 1-2 extras in case of delays. That means, I only need to bring 9-10 diapers for my Miami flight! But this is all up to you! Bring what you think is the right amount.
Please don’t forget to check the airport regulations on liquids.
Formula & bottles
I rarely bring bottles and formula dispenser. They take up space. I usually bring ready-to-use formula plus nipples to attach it with. If I will use bottles, I bring packets of pre-measured formula instead of formula dispenser.
Right now, I am exclusively breastfeeding my baby. So I only need my nursing cover. However, I bring ready-to-use formula for emergency cases.
Pacifiers in a pacifier holder
None of my kids likes the pacifier, but I bring it just in case…
A blanket is multi-purpose. It could be used to lay your baby on, cover your baby, protect your clothes from burps, shade your baby, and more.
My take: I only bring 1 cardigan, 1 bodysuit and 1 footies. Nowadays, there are also stylish and comfy one-piece pajamas. Meaning I don’t need to bring socks and shoes. My baby is less than 6 months old. I don’t think she will walk or crawl through the airport or do a fashion show. Footed pajamas are more practical.
Tip: If you are going to bring a complete set of outfit, pack them in a Ziploc bag so you don’t have to look around your bag for tiny socks, onesie, and so on.
You can buy disposable changing pads at supermarkets. My (reusable) changing pad came with my diaper bag.
Some airlines have medication onboard. But I doubt they have medication for babies aged 6 months and below. Bring all the needed medications like gas drops, gripe water, pain reliever, saline drops, etc! Again, remember the airport regulations on liquids.
Tip: Pack your medicines in resealable plastic bags or Ziploc bags to prevent leaks.
This is for storing soiled diapers, clothes, and blankets.
Good-to-have baby items
Your baby is only less than 6 months, you’ll be the judge on how many and what kind of toys you want to bring!
Baby food plus a plastic spoon
Usually, babies can start eating solid foods from age 4 months. However, I will not bring 1 jar of baby food if my baby will only eat 1 teaspoon of it. I think it can wait until we get to the destination or hotel.
Since I only bring 1 carry-on, it means my things are also in the diaper bag. Know the 5 things I can’t travel without when traveling solo (without kids) here.
– Wallet (IDs, cash, credit cards, insurance cards, etc)
– Nursing pads
– Pen (to fill out landing cards)
❗Very important: Do not forget to bring your passport/ID plus any other necessary documents like tickets, hotel reservation, visa, etc.
Whew! Little travelers but big amount of stuff! Hope our checklist helps you in your travels.
What is in your carry-on bag when flying with a baby? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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