When you are travelling with toddlers, packing is a full process on its own. It’s also harder and more time-consuming than you think so it’s important to start early, at least 2 days prior to the trip.
If this is your first time travelling somewhere far with a toddler you will be surprised at just how much stuff you need to pack.
You need to carry everything from diapers to travel toys. You also need food and water, swim wear and enough clothes. And don’t forget medications and a first aid kit.
It’s easy to forget something especially if you pack in a hurry. So here’s a complete checklist for everything you need to pack when you are travelling with a toddler on a plane.
Remember to check airline regulations before packing. Most airlines have size and weight limits for things like car seats, certain liquids and strollers.
Note that this list only covers the flying part. If you are going on a holiday you obviously need to pack much more than these items.
Travelling with a toddler on a plane checklist
These are the basic items that you would pack no matter whether you are flying, driving or going on a cruise. Start with these and pack them in a separate easily-accessible bag. This is because you’ll need to use them more than other items.
- Diapers and diaper bag – make sure you carry enough for the flight plus 3-5 extra ones just in case you need more.
- Changing pad – you can either carry one from home or get several disposable ones from the store.
- Diaper cream – make sure the bottle is not more than 100ml in capacity to be allowed to board the plane with it.
- Baby wipes.
- Liners or a couple of small soft towels to wipe up messes.
- Disinfecting hand gel – get a small bottle that you don’t have to check in.
- Plastic bag – for storing soiled diapers and dirty clothing.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Car seat and stroller – opt for small foldable ones. You’ll need to check them in at the gate.
- First aid kit – it should include Tylenol, a thermometer and any prescription medication the child is currently taking.
Clothing will take up most of the space in the luggage since you need to be prepared for anything. I recommend packing dark clothing that won’t show dirt and stains as much.
- 3-5 changes of clothes depending on the length of the flight – layer the clothes to provide enough warmth in case it’s cold. This also ensures it will be easy to take some of them off if it gets too warm.
- At least 2 pairs of shoes.
- A couple of blankets for added warmth. You can also pack a light shawl.
3. Food and Drink
While there are rules about taking liquids aboard an airplane, baby foods are usually exempted. So don’t worry about carrying enough milk or juice for your kid.
Pack everything securely to prevent any spills. If you have a Sippy cup, unscrew it just a little before take-off and landing to even out pressure inside and outside the cup. The change in air pressure can cause the liquid to squirt out.
Remember to pack more than you think you need. Delays and other unexpected things happen. Don’t be caught unprepared with a hungry baby.
- Baby milk.
- Baby food.
- Lots of snacks both for the toddler and yourself.
- Enough water for the flight as well as other fluids like juice.
4. Travel Toys
While you may bury your head in a novel or an inflight movie, your toddler will get bored easily and that’s a recipe for trouble.
They will get fussy and cranky and anything you try to do to calm them will grow old and boring quickly.
So make sure you pack enough toys and books to keep them busy. Stick to small lightweight toys.
Include their favourite travel toys plus some new ones to surprise them during the trip.
Some of the best travel toys for toddlers include toy phones and tablets, matching games, toy cars and action figures.
Also carry a colouring book, a set of crayons, picture books and fun activity books.
For older toddlers you can pack an iPad where they can watch cartoons or a movie.