A well packed baby carry on bag will save your sanity, give you confidence to tackle anything and help you have as smooth a flight as possible. Plan what you will pack and the order that you will pack it in days before you fly. If you are prepared you and baby will be fine.

We’ve pulled together a packing list of the things we have found most useful each time we have flown – and sometimes with the kids this was 10 times a year, long-haul and I can’t even think how many short haul. This is the life of an expat working Mum who wants to see her kids and her family that are scattered all over the world- so here are my top things to pack:


– take whatever you need for baby on the plane. Work out how many feeds baby will usually have and then add a few more. Have you ever found yourself really thirsty after a flight? This is because flying makes you dehydrate really quickly.

It’s the same reason that alcohol is 30% stronger when you consume it on a plane! (hic!).

So baby is going to need to drink a lot and the last thing you want to do is run out of the brilliant white stuff!

You can take pumped breast milk in sterilised bags up to a litre or so. You can also take sterilised water to make up bottles. If you are breast feeding then take what you need to do that comfortably on a plane. Most airlines will happily provide small cushions if you want them, but if you use a feeding pillow add that to your carry on list


– This is one time that I would say don’t take reusable nappies on a plane. For convenience and effective use of limited bag space take disposables. Again take as many as you need for the flight.  You can always buy more when you land and get to your destination. But do pack enough for the flight and the first night, just in case.

Don’t forget the wipes

– in fact you don’t need to put these in your carry on when you have a newborn – they are great whatever age because clearing up a mishap, or just cleaning your hands, is so much easier to do if you have a pack of wipes. make sure you take a good sized pack, and put it at the top of your bag. You will need to to take it out when you go through security to stop your bag been emptied for a bag heck – and you will be left to repack it, while carrying your baby!


– whatever you need to use to help baby suck and get the air pressure sorted on take off and landing. Also great for settling your baby whenever they need a comfort but can’t have a cuddle. If your little ones uses a dummy/pacifier all the time make sure you take spares just in case they get lost or split. For those that don’t ever use a pacifier this is the one time to take one along just in case. Our top tip for toddlers and older is to take a lolly, but this doesn’t work for a new born. If they aren’t used to a dummy try dipping it in some milk – they might like but don’t worry – using it once won’t mean they always want it.

Yu-Yee oil

– If you can get this stuff it is amazing! It’s made from essential oils and can be bought in most Asian pharmacies. It comes in a lovely little metal circular case, with Chinese writing and drawings of good luck symbols, and inside is a small glass bottle. You only need a drop for each foot and it puts baby in a dream like bliss. It is also handy for headaches, colds, and stomach ache – a little first aid pack in one little bottle!

Change of clothes

– take a fresh change of clothes for both you and the baby. Air sickness can happen, and babies are great at getting messy but sitting in messy clothes for a few hours is not nice. So take some extras. And remember it gets cold on a plane, especially if you are flying overnight. So take layers and spare socks too. We always take a couple of baby-gro’s so that little one could change into “pJ’s” at sleep time. it also meant we had extra extras just in case!


– If baby has a favourite blanket then take it on the plane. It will help them settle and keep them warm and cosy. If it has been used at home before you fly it will have the smell of home on it, and this will help your little one feel comfortable and safe, and not in a strange place. Anything that you can take along to normalise their surroundings and make them feel at home helps and makes for a restful flight.

Take your Sling

– or whatever type of baby carrier you prefer. It helps when you need to walk up and down the aisle to be carrying baby in a sling. You may also find it handy when you are in the airport – sometimes it is easier to use the buggy to carry all the bags so you can push them and carry baby.

A sling can also be handy at your destination. In our experience not every place is good terrain for a buggy, even an all terrain buggy like the one we had! Popping baby in a sling means they can see the sights as well as you can, and have the comfort and safety of being close to you.


Download your packing list

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