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You may have already read my guide on packing essentials for a baby. In this guide, I am focusing solely on what will make your life easier when traveling by outlining all the baby airplane essentials you will need! For reference, Kennadi was seven months old when we took her on her first airplane ride and she did amazing!
When planning your trip, I highly recommend booking a flight time that coincides with your baby’s feeding and nap schedule. It will be highly unlikely to find a perfect fit but we focused on the departure time in relation to her feeding and nap schedule. This is important because you want to feed your baby during takeoff to help their ears. If your baby is anything like Kennadi, hopefully they will knock out after their feeding and nap during the first part of the airplane ride, making it much more relaxing on you.
The big airplane debate: to buy them their own seat or not? I only have experience with purchasing her own seat, so I am biased, but I can take a guess that it is much easier than holding a baby the entire time! Also, for us as a family of three, it ensured we would have our own row and no stranger shoved in with us. I can’t think of anything worse than having to get up and down or calm a fussy baby with a random person right next to you. I personally think it is worth every penny to buy the extra seat. It allowed us to set her car seat in that seat and that is where she napped and even played for a little. It is also much safer for the baby to be in their car seat than held the whole time. Last thing to take into consideration is how banged up the car seat might get if it is checked on to the plane with luggage versus you carrying it on and using it.
If you are bringing your baby’s car seat on the plane, I would suggest using a stroller / travel system where the car seat snaps on to it. We had to bring the car seat base since we would be using a rental car at our destination but we checked it (no additional charge) with our luggage. It was SO easy to have Kennadi in her car seat, snapped onto the stroller to push around through the airport. The airline will allow you to check the stroller at the gate and then you can just carry the car seat on the plane if you purchased the extra seat. When you land, the stroller will be waiting for you at the gate.
Baby Airplane Essential Must Haves:
So here is the list of baby airplane essentials that made our airplane ride SO much easier:
- Portable Sound Machine: I mentioned this one in my other packing list. If you don’t already own one, do yourself a favor and buy one! We attached it to her car seat and turned it on during her naps to help her stay asleep. It is great at blocking out any other noise on the plane.
- Clorox Wipes: Babies touch everything and airplanes are full of germs. We brought Clorox wipes to wipe everything down. It was helpful for any messes Kennadi made too.
- Benadryl and Tylenol: If your baby happens to start getting sick, is inconsolable, or has an allergic reaction to anything, you do not want to be stuck on a plane without anything to give them. Side note: make sure you bring medicine your baby has already had before so you don’t experience any unexpected reactions or side effects on the plane.
- Suction Toys: Any type of suction toys will be perfect for the plane! We used the tray to suction them on to and Kennadi was completely entertained. We did not let her see the toys before the plane and when we were on the plane, we only pulled out one new one at a time to keep her as entertained as possible. You don’t want your baby to be over their toys within the first hour! We chose toys that weren’t super loud and didn’t play music so we wouldn’t annoy everyone else.
- Travel Changing Pad: So, our plane had a “changing able” in one of the lavatories. It was TINY but it worked. I was so grateful I brought this changing pad because their little platform was the hardest surface and likely pretty dirty. The pad has a spot to hold diapers and wipes so I just had to grab the one item when I took Kennadi to change her.
- Portable Bottle Warmer: This one is for any Mama’s whose baby takes bottles. Kennadi prefers her bottles warm and this was the best way to heat them up a the airport and on the plane. No need to worry about where you will find hot water. Don’t forget to pack the charger!
- Elvie: For the pumping Mamas, I swear by my Elvies! Hands free pumping is life changing, especially on an airplane! I didn’t have to worry about pumping in a bathroom or finding a nursing area in the airport.
Well, those were the main baby airplane essentials that made our trip really easy!
If you want more information on taking your baby out of the country, you can read all about our Costa Rica trip here!
Have you already taken your baby on an airplane or preparing for your first ride? Was this guide to baby airplane essentials helpful? Have questions? Comment below or connect with me on Instagram! And don’t forget to subscribe to be notified of new blog posts.