Flying with a baby or toddler? Here is how to pack your carry on bag.

Flying with a baby or toddler, or both? Flying alone with them both? This is a quick guide to packing your bag for the plane.

A frequent flyer, my toddler and I have flown back and forth to the UK and further abroad for nearly 3 years. Now we have an extra addition she is quickly racking up the airmiles as well. I often do these journeys alone. With preparation and confidence – anyone can!

If you find this post useful and want to read about my first journey alone with two under the age of 3. You can see it here.


Preparing your on board baby bag 

I recommend using a decent rucksack. I find my husband’s North Face one amazing. I have now acquired it as my own. It has lots of pockets and makes it much easier to sort out than a baby bag. You can also put it on both shoulders which is much easier!

A rucksack like this has useful clips, so you can attach a lunchbox to the side for all the snacks. Easy access, yet you don’t have to worry about trying to juggle it in your hands getting on and off the flight.


  • Bottles & formula

Don’t forget to pack your bottles and milk. If you are bottle feeding the cartons come in handy as they are small and already made up!

I was breastfeeding on this journey so we didn’t need to worry about bottles this time around. I did take along my breastfeeding cover which ensured I had some privacy. Not everyone likes these, but I am a fan!


  • Nappies ( I take plenty, just incase of delays etc.)
  • Wipes ( I always have a pack in the bag and a small set I keep on the side of my backpack for easy access)
  • Changing Mat
  • Blanket
  • Bibs


I always prepare a “liquids” bags before I get to the airport and put them into clear plastic bags.

I recommend taking

  • Antibacterial handwash and wipes
  • Mini medicines (nurofen and calpol)
  • Syringes (nothing worse that trying to deal with a spoon and a poorly baby mid air!)
  • Vaseline (I always put this on their noses, it is supposed to help with germs)
  • Nasal spray – I read once it was supposed to help with the germs mid air. I take two one for the baby and one for the toddler.

I also pack into another clear plastic bag;

  • Teethas (great if your baby is teething or I find they are a great way to keep them calm)
  • Rescue remedy – you might need some!


  • Dummies (if you use them bring 2 at least)
  • Dummy clip to make sure they don’t fall onto the floor.
  • The steriliser box that comes with the MAM dummies are very handy if they do end up on the floor. They can sterilise the dummy in 2 1/2 minutes. You can also buy a dummy steriliser separately from Milton.
  • 12166532_10206449051163364_1059751466_n_FotorAlways dress both of the children in comfy clothes. Tracksuits, pyjamas, baby grows, whatever is most suitable.
  • Spare clothes for both is also a must (light easy layers are helpful as it can get very cold on the plane.)
  • I normally pack mine into the Ikea sealable plastic bags. If we have an accident it means nothing else will get wet when we do the change over.


  • Pack some small toys for the baby.
  • Sophie the Giraffe or a simple rattle works well.

Preparing your toddler’s bag 


Take plenty of nibbles, small things specially prepared for travel work great. If not just buy some small tubs and pop some crisps, popcorn, crackers, ham, golden grahams, cheerios, small biscuits etc in. I also always take a little bit of chocolate or goodies as a treat.

Take along a water bottle for your toddler, leave it empty through security but ask them to fill it up on board. This reduces any spillages and means you will have a clean and dry toddler on landing! also recommend taking an empty drinks bottle. Very handy if you have your hands full with a baby too! To make space just pack some of the food into the cup whilst you aren’t using it. Chances are there won’t be any food left when you get off the plane! I always take LOADS of food, I like to eat a bit too!


Choose a couple of items suggested below and pop them in their bag.I find the Cath Kidston draw bags really handy as they expand but are also very lightweight.  I also recommend buying something new that they can open. It doesn’t have to be big, small things like stickers, crayons, colouring books will work well.

  • Playdoh
  • Sticker book
  • Colouring book
  • Crayons
  • A few cars/trains
  • Little plastic animals, dinosaurs they can use on the tray table
  • Load up your iPad with plenty of apps suitable for their age.


Make sure you take a toddler’s special toy. This helps to settle them down if they want a sleep.


If you have any other hints or tips please send them to I’d love to hear them and add them to this post!


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  1. Excellent list and great tips! I’ve brought the nasal spray in case the little one has a cold but I didn’t know about using it against germs – I will make sure to pack it and use it more often. #TotsTravel


      Thanks so much! Glad you liked it. I hear there is actually a nasal spray for Cold Defence (Kids)! I am going to try that next time we fly :-). #TotsTravel

  2. I am bookmarking this post for later this year. I’m due in June and we’re thinking about taking a trip in October maybe. It scares me but I think it’s like ripping a plaster off – we should do it sooner rather than later!!

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