Traveling with a Baby: My 5 Essential Items for the Flight

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@TheTravelingRed), you know by now that my 1.5 year old daughter has flown a lot. With over 20 flights under our belt, this mommy has learned what we need for flights and what we really don’t. Here are my 5 travel essentials for flying with a baby.

# 1 – An iPad with a babyproof case (buy a similar case here). Her case has handles making it easy for her to hold, it stands up on its own and it offers protection in case it falls. However, just an iPad isn’t enough, you have to stock it up with stuff to watch and games to play. Since there isn’t always wifi available inflight, I downloaded the Wayo app and purchased Little Baby Bum videos. If you’re not familiar with Little Baby Bum, it’s a series of nursery rhymes for kids and my daughter loves them! You can purchase and download videos that are about an hour long (purchase them here). These save us when there’s no wifi available.

Watching Little Baby Bum on her iPad on the flight to Italy

# 2 – A harness for the airplane to keep her safe. Often times I buy my daughter her own seat, although I don’t need to just yet. She only flies on my lap if we’re flying Business or on a super short flight. Little kids move a lot, so the standard lap seatbelt doesn’t really keep her in place. I purchased an FAA approved airplane harness that’s super easy to use (buy it here) and really keeps her safe. The top strap goes around the seat back and then the additional straps connect to the regular seatbelt. Basically it belts them in just like their carseat would. It offers the same protection and it comes in a small pouch that fits in my purse. I personally don’t like carrying a carseat because I feel like it’s just too much to lug through the airport. Car rental companies also rent carseats, so I always do that instead.

The harness attaches to the seatbelt

# 3 – My daughter has her own duffle bag. It’s a small duffle bag (hers is pink and personalized, but any would work) that I use it to pack everything she will need/use during the flight. It’s small enough that it fits easily under the seat in front of us for easy access. Everything else can go in the overhead. I use her duffle bag for some diapers, changing pad, some toys, a sweater, a change of clothes, etc. I have a blog post with a full baby packing list, separated by what to carry on and what to check in. You can find it here.

The pink duffle bag is the one we use, notice it’s not very big

# 4 – Whirly Squigz by Fat Brain Toys, basically little suction cup spinners (buy them here). My daughter got these for Christmas and absolutely loves them. We got them for the fridge and sliding glass door, but I realized that they were perfect for the airplane window as well. They are super easy to carry, don’t make any noise (I hate having loud toys on the plane- it’s unfair to the other people on the flight) and they entertain her for the longest time.

Playing with her spinners on the airplane

# 5 – My favorite item on this list and probably my favorite baby item ever, is my BabyZen YoYo+ Stroller (buy it here). This stroller folds down small enough to fit in the overhead compartment, so there’s no need to check it in. I love this because the airline doesn’t mess up my stroller and it’s just so easy to use and super lightweight (under 15 lbs). Most people use this strictly as a travel stroller, but honestly, it’s the only stroller I’ve ever owned and it’s worked out perfectly for us. It is super durable and convenient. Mine has been all over the world, in the snow, on old cobblestone roads, and it is still in perfect condition. This is definitely an expensive item, but it was so worth purchasing it and I have gotten my money worth 100 times over.

My stroller in the overhead compartment on the flight
Here’s the stroller built, you’ll notice how compact it is

There’s tons of items great for traveling but these 5 I would never get on a plane without! If you try any of them out, I would love to hear what you thought of them.

Happy Travels!

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