Table of Contents

37 Best Baby Travel Gear Items for 2023 + What NOT To Bring

37 Best Baby Travel Gear Items for 2023 + What NOT To Bring
By
Updated on

Hi All! My name is Lyric Fergusson. My husband, Asher, and I are the parents of two incredible babies named Kingsley and Aurora (pictured). Our little ones have been with us to France, Italy, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, South America, five Caribbean Islands & on a road trip to California and the Grand Canyon — and having them along has been amazing and mostly stress-free!

This said, as a mama, I fully understand how intimidating it can be to travel with a baby, especially for the first time.

We feel that having the right gear is key to making a family trip a truly enjoyable one, and we believe it is a large part of why we’ve had such wonderful travels with our babies. That’s why we created this guide for the must-haves and great accessories that will make traveling as a family way easier!

asher lyric fergusson family at grand canyon
Our family visiting the Grand Canyon during our road trip across the USA.
See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

37 Essential Baby Travel Items

  • 1. Travel Stroller

    Airport security rules state that any stroller that weighs over 20 lbs (9 kgs), is too bulky, or is non-collapsible must be checked at the ticket counter.

    Mamas, this means if your stroller exceeds the weight limits, you will be schlepping your baby and ALL of your bags through the airport with no stroller. Suffice it to say, you’ll regret the decision to bring a heavy stroller.

    This Summer Infant 3DLite is our top travel stroller pick. It’s inexpensive, durable, only 13 lbs, and has a multi-position recline that goes practically flat for an on-the-go nap. It fits in the smallest of trunks and we’ve even hauled it (pretty easily) up and down six flights of stairs in Paris. If the 3D Lite isn’t your bucket-list stroller, check out the Nova for luxury, the Summer Two-Seater, or a foldable wagon which is always a fun idea (especially if you’re hauling around more than one toddler or headed to a beach destination!)

    Travel Stroller

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 2. Stroller + Car Seat Combo

    You can compromise with the best of both worlds – opting for this 3-in-1 Trio system by Chicco. It is designed with travel in mind, helping you create a full-blown system that your kids can grow with. While in stroller mode, the canopy expands for UV protection, or you can push it down and click it into place to activate car-seat/booster mode. It quickly folds and unfolds to suit your needs and holds so much stuff like groceries, blankets, etc.

    I will say, it’s slightly bulkier than some options, but that’s the trade-off of having an all-in-one piece, which means fewer items to carry around. Overall, it will make your baggage lighter and cut down on the amount of equipment you have to keep up with.

    Stroller + Car Seat Combo

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 3. Convertible Travel Carseat

    While the stroller + car seat combo is ideal for infants, this option is better for families needing more weight flexibility and a car seat for growing kids.

    I would never put my baby in a car without a car seat. However, I cannot imagine lugging around our 35 lb one across the airport, let alone Europe! This one weighs only 12 lbs and works for children from 5-65 lbs (check the weight limits for each mode, forward or rear-facing).

    Note: All airlines will check your car seat at the ticket counter free of charge.

    Convertible Travel Carseat

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 4. Travel Crib (a.k.a. Travel Playpen)

    In our experience, the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib is the best of the best when it comes to travel cribs. It’s only 12 lbs, really well-made, and you can put it together and take it down in less than 10 seconds (without reading any instructions!) The crib has an extremely cushy mattress pad that lays flat on the Earth, (unlike the Guava Lotus which we didn’t like) and most other travel cribs where the mattresses hover above the ground and wobble whenever your baby shifts during the night (sounds comfy, right?)

    It even comes with a chic, easy-to-carry case. Our little guy has slept beautifully through the night on every trip we have ever taken and I really think it is because of this crib. You can let them play and nap in it before you head out so they can become familiar with it. They will sleep so much better!

    Note: All domestic airlines will check your crib at the ticket counter free of charge. I always check with international carriers about their policy prior to traveling.

    Travel Crib (a.k.a. Travel Playpen)

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 5. Packing Cubes

    If you have ever dug frantically into a suitcase looking for a single clean baby sock while your whole family is downstairs waiting for you, you will understand why packing cubes are a necessity! I usually put my son’s t-shirts and shorts in one cube, his long-sleeved sweaters and pants in another, and accessories in another. It seriously helps us stay organized!

    Available on HeroTravelSupply.com with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    Packing Cubes

    Or View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Your Trip

    No matter where you’re traveling, it’s worth it to protect your vacation investment with travel insurance. It’s a small price compared to anything else you’re booking, yet will cover you for flight cancellations, baggage loss, theft, and medical emergencies. Since your domestic provider doesn’t typically cover you outside of the country, the last thing you want to worry about is rushing a spouse or child to the hospital or paying out-of-pocket.

    We use Faye because they are revolutionizing the insurance game! While most providers make the process miserable with tons of paperwork and hoops to jump through – Faye reimburses you through their mobile app, making the claims process a breeze. Get a customized quote for each trip and traveler, it’s worth the sheer peace of mind for your family.

    Travel Insurance for Your Trip

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Diaper Changing Pad

    My husband and I use the Kopi Baby changing pad religiously during travel because it folds up easily into a small bag, keeping everything clean (wipes, diapers, etc.) even when we’re in seriously dirty places.

    We have used it on the airport floor, in the Louvre, and in Caribbean bathrooms that had no changing tables. Yuck! It’s honestly the bomb and really worth the spend for travel.

    Diaper Changing Pad

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 8. Quick-Dry Travel Towels

    Travel towels are one of the most versatile items you can pack. It can serve as a drool rag, seat cover, packing cushion, and much more. They’re also amazing for cleaning up spills! When we discovered these, we stopped bringing along bulky towels or trying to pack fluffy ones that the hotel provides when going on beach trips. This one dries 10x faster than cotton and weighs less than half a pound — perfect for in the diaper bag!

    Quick-Dry Travel Towels

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 9. Short-Sleeved Bib

    These amazing bibs from Bumpkins are my favorites because they are wearable like a shirt. Simply latch the back and your kiddo’s outfit will have full coverage from even the goopiest of foods. It’s waterproof and therefore super easy to clean — even in small cruise ship sinks — while also drying quickly and saving you a lot of cleanup!

    Short-Sleeved Bib

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 10. Stroller Clips

    Whether you are using a blanket to block out the sun or to keep your little one warm, stroller clips are awesome because they’ll secure the blanket just where it needs to be. That way, your baby can sleep peacefully — and you can push them easily (no more blankets getting tangled in the wheels, blown off by the wind, or dragged on the floor).

    Stroller clips are also great for attaching the diaper bag, your purse, baby’s toys, or really anything else to the stroller.

    Stroller Clips

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 11. Stroller Protector Bag

    You will typically have to check your stroller at the gate between flights and this bag will save it from getting wet or damaged as the flight crew is literally throwing it on and off the belly of the plane. The Hap Tim Stroller Bag is extremely sturdy and streamlined, which is helpful when moving the stroller in and out of taxis, hotels, and rental cars, and it has a long set of straps that make carrying the stroller a piece of cake.

    Stroller Protector Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 12. Wet/Dry Sacks

    Poop can happen at any time. In case you don’t want to mess up your nicer diaper bags, having wet/dry bags on hand at all times is beyond useful. These are just as durable as your high-end bags but not so precious that you’ll worry about them getting ruined (about what you would spend on a week’s worth of ziplocks). It also is easier to clean in the washing machine and traps the stinky diaper smell so you’re not trapped in a stink bubble all day! Besides being leakproof, you’re helping Mother Earth by going reusable.

    Wet/Dry Sacks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 13. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    After having items stolen out of our check luggage, we never forgo luggage locks. We bring a couple of sets for suitcases, city lockers, using backpacks in crowded areas, and more. Plus, these are TSA-approved so you won’t suffer through any hang-ups at security.

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 14. Insulated Food Jar

    This jar has saved us so many times. If your baby is eating solids but is picky, likes warm snacks, or is just not into eating restaurant food yet (and you aren’t too keen on always giving them jars of pre-packaged food), I would bring along one of these. You can bake them a yam at grandma’s or order some steamed veggies at your hotel and throw the food in the Foogo Thermos, and it will stay warm for hours while you tour Rome or head to the beach.

    Insulated Food Jar

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 15. Neck Wallet

    When traveling with little ones, things can get hectic REAL QUICK while going through airports, taxis, and beyond. This neck wallet makes it super easy to keep track of where your family’s passports, phones, credit cards, cash, and plane tickets are while also preventing petty theft or sticky fingers. My hubby wears his with all four of our family’s passports and when we’re in crowded places, he conceals it under his shirt. This one also comes with RFID-blocking material to stop e-thieves from scanning your financial data.

    Neck Wallet

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 16. Diaper Bag

    For your full-blown Diaper bag, this bag is awesome for allowing you to have tons of storage in a waterproof case. This diaper bag from BabbleRoo is stylish, lightweight, and won’t break the bank. It also has 18 pockets to hold everything from diapers to a water bottle to your cell phone. And if you spill milk (or baby pukes on the bag), no problem! The wipe-clean material is super easy to clean. Bonus: It comes with a matching changing pad in case you forget your Kopi Baby!

    Diaper Bag

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 17. Sleep Sack

    We love the Woolino sleep sack! It is 100% natural, made from premium soft Australian merino wool, has an organic cotton outer shell, and is machine-washable. It also regulates the body temperature and is comfortable for baby from external temperatures as low as 60°F (16°C) to as high as 77°F (25°C).

    It’s a great way to keep your honey cozy on an airplane, and so helpful for unpredictable temperatures in hotels or and even at grandma’s house. One extra bonus: we don’t have to travel with many blankets which keeps our luggage weight down.

    Sleep Sack

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 18. Homeopathic First Aid Kit

    Don’t leave home without these remedies – we certainly don’t. They are natural, safe, effective, and don’t cause harmful side effects.

    They have saved us repeatedly during teething, tummy aches, or crabby spells. I can’t recommend them enough.

    • Camilia Teething Relief – These all-natural drops relieve painful gums and irritability from teething, as well as associated digestive distress. The single-use containers help prevent contamination.
    • Natural Gas Relief – Even with the grape flavor, these drops have NO artificial flavors or dyes. They provide natural relief for all the symptoms that come along with gas, like bloating, colic, constipation, and restlessness.
    • Baby Calm – If your baby is fussy or won’t sleep, try these tablets. They’re quick-dissolving and provide immediate relief, so you can both get back to sleep.
    • Earache Relief – If your baby has an earache, these all-natural drops will help relieve symptoms like fever, pain, irritability, and sleeplessness. The dosing dropper makes it super easy to apply the drops.
    • Echinacea Drops – Our little guy has yet to get sick while we’ve traveled, and I really think It’s due to these drops. If Kingsley looks like he is possibly heading in the sick direction I give him this and it boosts his immune system immediately. He even likes the taste.
    • Baby Vitamin C – Vitamin C is another awesome immune booster which I give our son a few days before we begin traveling. I give it to him again if I think he seems like he might be catching something.
    Homeopathic First Aid Kit

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 19. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    Did you know that you risk your private data every time you join a public network at places like cafes, Airbnbs, hotels, and the airport? A virtual private network (VPN) keeps all of your digital information secure from hackers so you don’t have to worry about your credit cards, passwords, or other confidential info getting stolen. You’re bound to connect to random wifi when traveling, so take the extra step to encrypt your network with a VPN like NordVPN.

    vpn

    View options at NordVPN ➜

  • 20. Mini White Noise Machine

    You might think, “Why do I need a white noise machine when I have an App on my iPhone?” Well, let me tell you that if you use your phone for white noise, that means your phone is held hostage in the baby’s room while you are in the living room trying to make a dinner reservation or check work emails, etc.

    This pocket-sized white noise machine was the best purchase we made before our Caribbean cruise adventure. Both at our hotel in Puerto Rico and on the cruise itself, we had to deal with some really rowdy people yelling at all hours of the night. We were kind of shocked – our little dude slept peacefully through the night when we had this white noise machine on. I won’t travel without it now. It takes up virtually no space and you never know who is going to be your neighbor!

    Mini White Noise Machine

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 21. Sanitizing Wipes

    These are awesome! They are cheap and I’ve used them to wipe down airline trays, restaurant high chairs, bathroom changing tables (and of course, our hands) while exploring. The individual packets fit easily in your diaper bag or your coat pocket without being bulky. An absolute 5-star in our book.

    Sanitizing Wipes

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 22. Baby Carrier

    Ok, I know most of you probably already have a baby carrier, but I have to mention this Baby Bjorn Carrier because it’s been amazing for us while traveling.

    It’s really comfortable, not bulky, and can easily fold up and fit under the stroller. We even use it as a portable high chair! How? Well, when my little dude was too tiny to fit in a restaurant high chair but was eating solids, he could comfortably have his entire meal while strapped to my hubby. It made eating out really enjoyable and low-stress, plus the carrier is super easy to wipe down and wash.

    Baby Carrier

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 23. Universal Power Adapter

    There are 15 styles of outlets around the world, so it’s nice to avoid buying a brand new power adapter for each country. This universal option is compatible with outlets in 100+ popular destinations and has multiple USB outlets for efficient charging. Not to mention, it very well could be the last adapter you ever have to buy since it comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee.

    Universal Power Adapter

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 24. Inflatable Travel Bed

    This adorable inflatable toddler bed is a game-changer for kiddos who are too big for a crib but need their own space to sleep on a trip. I worry about my tots falling out of massive beds at hotels or Airbnbs, and this option is comfy, easy to blow up, and keeps them close while still giving them a sense of independence. We’ve traveled with two of these for years and our kiddos are big fans!

    Inflatable Travel Bed

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 25. Neck Pillow for Toddlers

    Speaking of difficulty in transit, a neck pillow for kids is smart to have on-hand in case your babes can’t sprawl out. For those of you familiar with the strange positions your children’s heads can get into on long car rides, this one will support your toddler’s neck and be useful in almost all traveling scenarios. Moms that are breastfeeding may consider an inflatable nursing pillow that is made for travel and lumbar support.

    Neck Pillow for Toddlers

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 26. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    An umbrella should always be in your travel artillery and this one weighs only 1-pound and fits in your diaper bag. It comes with a convenient carrying case and has sheltered us from some pretty vicious storms since it’s windproof and covers 2 people (plus baby if you all snuggle close!)

    Umbrella

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 27. Portable High Chair

    We love bringing our foldable high chair to make mealtime go much smoother whether you are at an AirBnB or at grandma’s. It works for babies up to toddlers and is a great solution for restaurants that don’t have booster seats or high chairs. It’s compact and has some sneaky pockets, plus a carrying case. The tray is free of harmful chemicals like BPA, and it’s dishwasher safe.

    Portable High Chair

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 28. All-in-One Food Processor

    A food processor is so useful for blending up fresh fruits and vegetables for your little one on-the-go. This set comes with silicon molds as a freezer tray and glass cases for storage. My babies loved easy concoctions like mangos with sweet potatoes, carrot with orange, and bananas with strawberries. Yum!

    All-in-One Food Processor

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 29. Cooling Towel

    For any tropical escapes or warm destinations, this cooling towel is a godsend! It’s absolutely non-toxic and safe for baby to hold onto. By adding water and wringing it out, the towel magically drops to 20-30 degrees colder than the outside temp. Anytime you need more icey relief, simply add more water. It will save baby, dad and mom from heat-induced melt-downs. Try it out and you can thank us later!

    Cooling Towel

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 30. Baby-Proofing Gear

    Babyproofing is something you should consider doing anywhere you stay. Whether they’re crawling, scooting, or starting to walk, it’s a preventative measure worth taking, especially if you are traveling to a home or Bnb that you know is not baby-proofed

    Of course, a gate should be kept anywhere you don’t want your little one to roam (like the stairs or outside). For your curious explorers, you may also need outlet covers, safety straps for cabinets, door knob covers, and corner protectors for tables or sharp edges.

    Baby-Proofing Gear

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 31. Car Seat Protector Backpack

    Many parents complain that their car seat has gotten dirty, cracked or damaged when they’ve traveled — especially if they check it at the ticket counter. Because of this bag, we’ve never had any trouble.

    It’s padded, and although you might look a little ridiculous with it on your back, I can’t tell you how nice it is to have two free hands when you are trying to wrangle multiple children and luggage. I’m a pretty tiny woman, and I can very comfortably wear it while using my hands for other things.

    Car Seat Protector Backpack

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 32. Inflatable Baby Bathtub

    Not only is this thing cute as can be, but it blows up easily to make a bathtub that’s fantastic for travel. The textured bottom means baby won’t slip around, but it’s small enough to keep them in place. It’s surprisingly scientific since it has hot-white technology that lets you know when the water is too hot, displaying a different color. It was awarded ‘top baby bath’ in 2016 and is easy to drain from the bottom without any heavy lifting.

    Inflatable Baby Bathtub

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 33. Baby-Safe Dish Soap

    Cleaning bottles, sippy cups, bibs, and pacifiers on the go can be a bit of a challenge, I know! And it’s really hard to get to a destination and realize you have no soap to wash your bubba’s stuff (story of my life in the Caribbean… whoops!) I now bring along baby-safe dish soap so that I can be sure that all of Kingsley and Aurora’s belongings stay clean even when I’m rushing to wash them in a tiny bathroom basin.

    Baby-Safe Dish Soap

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 34. Travel Potty-Training Seat

    This is excellent for traveling families with a toddler in toilet training! Not only is it adorable, but it comes in many different colors and latches onto most standard-sized toilets. The foldable design means you can store it in your diaper bag and then whip it out when necessary at hotels, malls, airports, on planes, or wherever. WAY easier than holding your kid in the air as they hover over a gross toilet seat! And super easy to clean.

    Travel Potty-Training Seat

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 35. Diaper Rash Cream

    This is hands down the best diaper rash cream out there! We initially got it in a gift set with our first baby but have now bought countless tubes. It is the main diaper cream we use, especially if we are trying to treat a rash. We will sometimes use Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment if we are just preventing irritation on a clear butt. If we have a really bad rash, we will layer and use both. This cream is so thick, smells lovely, and works without the harsh chemicals.

    Diaper Rash Cream

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 36. Your Favorite Bedtime Story

    Maintaining your routine while traveling will add a sense of normalcy to the experience. Your little one will find comfort in familiarity and it will help them sleep in a new place. So bring along your favorite book or try a new one to end the day with a sweet story. Reading aloud builds a network of words in their heads and can help them develop their language and speaking skills more quickly. Plus, your voice is so soothing to them and will help ease them into sleep.

    Your Favorite Bedtime Story

    View on Amazon.com ➜

  • 37. Sheets For Your Travel Crib

    If you are bringing a travel crib or playpen, don’t forget the travel crib sheet. This brand is incredibly soft and made of 100% cotton! It comes in a two-pack which is really helpful. In Paris, I only brought one sheet, and it ended up getting really dirty, and we had no place to do laundry. It was a bit frustrating. Now I always travel with 2 sheets, especially for trips longer than a few days.

    Sheets For Your Travel Crib

    View on Amazon.com ➜

What NOT to Bring when Traveling with Baby

  • 1.DON’T BRING a bulky stroller (no jogging strollers!

    They’re hard to get in and out of a small rental car, and almost impossible to lift when you’re juggling baby AND luggage at the same time (and don’t even think about trying to collapse it!).

  • 2.DON’T TAKE a bulky car seat

    A big, heavy car seat also makes it hard to hold baby and deal with luggage, and even harder to run through the airport to catch your flight! Plus car seats can get damaged when traveling, so you don’t want to be using an expensive one.

  • 3.DON’T PACK cloth diapers

    Cloth diapers are eco-friendly, but don’t feel bad if you don’t want to mess with them when traveling. They create a lot of extra work, and you’ll already be plenty busy traveling with a baby.

  • 4.DON’T BRING heavy toys

    There’s no need to lug around your baby’s heaviest toys when you’re traveling. Bring their lightweight ones instead, and you can always buy a few new toys at your destination for added fun!

  • 5.DON’T PACK too many blankets

    It’s tempting to think you should bring tons of extra blankets “just in case.” Just don’t. Go for a sleep sack instead – they’re easier and they stay put on their own. Bringing extra blankets is asking for weight, bulk, and extra laundry!

  • 6.DON’T TAKE too many diapers

    Disposable diapers are bulky, so think about how many you’ll need before you pack (do bring some extras – just not too many extras!). Better yet, have Honest Company Diapers ship a pack to your location, or if you’re going overseas, just buy them when you arrive.

  • 7.DON’T BRING heavy baby books

    Maybe you want to use your vacation time to catch up on some reading, but this is not the time to tackle that 500-page book on everything you’re doing wrong as a parent. You’re on vacation, treat yourself to some light beach reading instead, and make it even more convenient by using a Kindle.

  • 8.DON’T PACK too few baby clothes

    I know this sounds odd, but it’s a balance. Of course you don’t want your suitcase to be too heavy, but you don’t want to spend your whole trip washing either. And honestly, it’s not like baby clothes weigh much!

  • 9.DON’T TAKE full-sized bottles

    Traveling with a baby means packing lots of liquids (baby shampoo, baby lotion, dish soap, etc.), on top of your own toiletries. So many regular-sized bottles will be way too heavy, so pack all your liquids in travel-sized containers instead.

  • 10.DON’T PACK too many disposable items

    No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll probably be able to get things like wet wipes, tissues, and plastic bags pretty easily. So just bring as many as you’ll realistically use, and know that you can easily pick up more if you end up needing them.

FAQs about traveling with a baby

  • 1. Does my baby need a passport?

    Does my baby need a passport?

    Yes. Regardless of their age, your baby needs a passport for international trips, including to Canada.

    To get them a passport in the U.S., you will need a copy of the birth certificate and two 2″x2″ photos of the baby (from the shoulders up), and both parents need to come with the baby to a passport acceptance facility. Single parents must present a custody agreement, and if one parent is not able to come (such as if they’re stationed elsewhere), a signed and notarized Form DS-3053 will also have to be presented.

  • 2. How should I choose a hotel when traveling with a baby?

    • To minimize your time schlepping everything around, look for a hotel that’s near the attractions you plan to visit or at least near public transportation if you’ll be using it.
    • Having quiet at nighttime is key, so try to avoid hotels on busy streets, as well as older buildings, which may not have good soundproofing.
    • You’ll probably need to do laundry at some point, so check for either coin-op laundry in the hotel or a nearby laundromat.
    • Try to find a hotel with large rooms, which will allow plenty of space to set up a crib or playpen.
    • Make sure the bathroom has a tub, and not just a shower, which seems to be getting more common.
    • Even if the room doesn’t have a full kitchen, it’s useful to at least have a refrigerator, as well as some counter space to make bottle-washing easier.
    • If you’re not planning to bring a travel crib, call the hotel before you book to double-check that they’ll provide one.
  • 3. What should I do to baby-proof our hotel room?

    What should I do to baby-proof our hotel room?
    • Ask before you arrive if the hotel offers baby-proofing supplies (or even baby-proofed rooms)
    • Check that all the furniture in the room (including the TV) is stable
    • Check the floor (including under the bed) for anything a baby could put in their mouth: coins, rocks, pills, bottle caps, etc.
    • Put blue painter’s tape over outlets.
    • Tape foam squares over any sharp corners near the floor
    • Tape the toilet lid down
    • Tape any electrical cords to the furniture out of baby’s reach
  • 4. Does my baby need a plane ticket?

    Different airlines have varying policies on infant travel, but buying a ticket for children under two years old is usually optional. Without a ticket, the baby has to be held on your lap throughout the flight, and some airlines charge a “lap child fee,” especially for international flights.

    If you’re planning to fly with a child in your lap, you should inform the airline in advance. But if you’d rather have a separate seat for your baby, you can book them one at a child’s fare.

  • 5. Which airlines are the most baby-friendly?

    Lyric and Kingsley at airport
    Our toddler started traveling the world when he was 10 months.

    The best airline for you depends on what’s most important to you when it comes to flying with your baby. These airlines are regularly rated as the most family- and child-friendly:

    • Eithad: Their Flying Nannies are special flight attendants whose job is to help you fly with your baby, and they also offer a bottle-warming service on board.
    • Emirates Airlines: The Dubai airport provides complimentary strollers, and the airline provides children on the plane with an entertainment kit that includes blankets and a fuzzy “We Fly With Me” stuffed animal.
    • Air New Zealand: Their Economy Skycouch connects three seats and converts into a bed for comfort and easier sleeping, and the airline also provides bassinets on board.
  • 6. How much baby food and milk/formula can I bring in my carry-on luggage?

    Bring as much as you’ll need for the flight. Baby food, formula, and milk are exempted from the 3-ounce rule for liquids, but you do need to declare it at security so it can be inspected separately. They run a harmless test on excepted baby liquids, and once they’re done they will reseal it and give it back to you.

    Even for parents traveling with children, water is still not allowed, so plan to buy it or bring a reusable filtered water bottle to fill up once you’ve passed through security.

  • 7. How can I help my baby sleep on the plane?

    How can I help my baby sleep on the plane?

    Parents planning on using a bassinet, book a front-row seat if possible to make sure there’s plenty of space. Consider bringing a sleep sack to keep them more comfortable and a blanket or scarf to drape over the bassinet and block out light. And of course, bring their pacifier and any favorite toys. Feed your baby during take-off, which will help pop their ears, reduce discomfort, and calm them down.

  • 8. How many diapers do I need to bring on a trip?

    A good rule of thumb is to bring one diaper per hour of flight or car time, but it’s always a good idea to bring some extras beyond that, just in case.

  • 9. Can I go camping with a baby?

    If you’ve never been camping before, this might not be the best time to get into it.

    Otherwise, it’s a good idea to get an okay from your pediatrician first, but many families absolutely go on camping trips with infants, and have plenty of fun! You’ll just want to be more aware of weather, drive time, cleanliness, baby-safe insect repellent, and supplies, and it probably goes without saying that your baby likely won’t sleep through the night in a tent.

  • 10. What are the best places to travel with a baby?

    What are the best places to travel with a baby?

    Depending on your travel preferences, beach destinations and national parks can make for great baby-friendly getaways. They tend to be mellow and allow for a lot of flexibility with your schedule and activities.

    Alternatively, all-inclusive resorts make things easy and will usually provide all the amenities you need – plus they tend to be VERY fun!

    Of course, a staycation or a visit to family or friends are good options, too, and will probably feel a little more familiar to you and baby.

  • 11. What kinds of things are required when flying with a baby? Do I have to have a special seatbelt?

    YES, you do need a special seatbelt for toddlers and up to a certain weight. Babies will likely need their own carseat, or you can typically hold them in your lap. If the airline doesn’t require you to purchase a ticket for a lap-child, this is a great way to save money as long as you’re comfortable holding your little one the whole time.

    In instances like this it’s handy to have a baby sling which can be tightened to hold baby close, or loosened to act as a lap-cradle to relieve your back and arms while baby sleeps.

    Verify the TSA requirements for traveling with small children here.

Here are some links to the relevant car seat rules for the major US airlines so you can be prepared for your next flight: