I call this post My Diaper Bag Essentials. Honestly though, it could be read as my carry-on essentials because my diaper bag is also the only carry-on I usually take on the plane. I will explain how I fit everything I need for a trip with my two kids. Since the last post was about traveling by plane, this bag is organized for a flight specifically. In a future post, I will show the differences when going on a road trip or just to the mall.
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Type of bag - Have one with many pockets
My diaper bag is a Skip Hop satchel with many pockets that keep everything separated and accessible. I bought this bag after my second pregnancy, because I needed a bag big enough to fit my toddler and my new baby’s items.
I do not like the backpack simply because I don’t like to have my baby on a carrier and a backpack. But, if you like the backpack style, you can probably fit about the same stuff into it too.
I like to organize my bag in a way that everything is easily accessible. Therefore, I use travel packing organizers. So, I keep a change of clothes in a cube, diapers in a another, etc. When I use the super small changing table on the plane, I don’t need to take the whole bag, just a couple of cubes and the changing pad.
Any packing organizer works! You don’t need those that are advertised for baby stuff. They might be cute, but usually more expensive. I prefer to buy a regular travel organizer for a more reasonable price. I have the Isaac Mizrahi organizer set for diapers, food and small items.
Foods and related items:
Snacks may save your sanity on a plane. If it is a long flight, I usually do not carry much food with me because the airline usually provides a couple of meals plus snacks. My son is a picky eater, so I always have something that he likes and allowed on a plane. For domestic flights I usually have homemade cookies, crackers and a type of fruit. For international, I keep it simple and carry a couple food pouches and cookies.
One of the pockets in my diaper bag is just for my stuff. I have my iPad, my notes, my wallet, etc. I also carry a pair of leggings and a shirt, just in case I need a change of clothes during the flight. I also have a few snacks because sometimes it's difficult to eat on the plane with a baby on my lap, if she isn't sleeping in the bassinet.
Here are the basic items:
Regular Diapers + night diaper each, if the flight is at night
Rash cream, wipes and changing pad
1 change of clothes for each
1 small blanket
1 hand towel & bibs
Food related items:
1 munchkin bowl + baby spoons/forks - I like to bring my own bowl because they are not big, attach to any table, and prevent a mess in a public place. They are great when you have some extra time at the airport to grab a bite to eat before boarding.
1 munchkin 360 miracle cup - my toddler usually drinks his milk out of this specific cup, which is another great option to avoid spills. It comes with handles or without handles, so you can choose which one is better for your child’s age.
3 Avent my bendy straw cups - this in my option for water/juice for my toddler and also the only cup that my daughter likes for her drinks, including formula. This one also comes in two options, one without handles, which I use for my toddler and one with ergonomic handles for younger babies, which I use for my daughter. I tried to give her a regular bottle many, many times when transitioning from breast milk, but she never took it. This cup was the only solution. Check my post about transition from breast milk to formula on the feeding and recipes page. These cups are great!
Medela clean bottle/pump wipes - great option when you do not have access to water/soap. I use these wipes to clean the pacifiers, toys and their cups during the flight. If I use to clean the cups, I wait until I have access to water to rinse them after, and to clean the straws. It is still a great option to clean whatever you need, when you can’t get up right away and wash it how you would do at home.
Besides all these items, its good to have baby remedies/medication, travel size lotion, hand sanitizer, etc. Also, do not forget a few small toys and anything that your child uses to help with sleep/nap time.
I hope these tips help with everything you need on a plane in a concise manner. Keep in mind that less is more and you will feel more comfortable during your flight if you do not have a lot of stuff to carry.