Flying with a baby on your lap or traveling in general with kids of any age adds an additional layer of planning, but hitting the road while your little one is still considered a lap child means you can save money and create memories as a family. With the right preparation, vacationing with a baby can be a time you look fondly upon for years to come.
We’ve put together our tips for flying with a baby on your lap that will help you enjoy your trip.
7 Tips For Flying With A Baby On Your Lap
1. Pack Smart
When you are packing for yourself and another person, you may be tempted to overpack. Depending on where your destination is, bringing along a car seat may be necessary, so the number of items you can check may be limited.
Before taking out the luggage, create a list of how many days you will be traveling and activities you plan to participate in. You’ll want to outline anything that requires specific attire like hiking shoes and swimsuits.
Add in a list of what items you need for the baby. If you are breastfeeding, don’t forget pump supplies if you need them and extra bottle parts. Pack enough diapers to get you through the trip and the first day in a new city. Swinging by a store will be more enjoyable than hauling a fourth bag through the airport.
Plan to bring one outfit per day for yourself and 1.5 per day for your little one. Grab a ziplock bag and toss a laundry pod or two in. If you run out of clean clothes, washing a set in the sink is easy! When packing smart, the 7 A.M. laundry hamper bag is the perfect bag to pack along and use to store all clothing as it dirties, or use it as a dry bag on your way back from the pool.
Folding completely flat, the bag fits conveniently into a front pocket of your luggage, and the drawstring closure ensures that when full nothing falls out on your way to and from the room. With a focus on combining fashion with versatility, 7 A.M. Enfant designs baby essentials parents can depend on and use throughout the baby years and beyond. With velcro closures, the 7 A.M. hamper bag can hang conveniently on the back of a stroller or up out of the way of water (or little hands) at the pool.
2. Keep Your Hands-Free & Baby Close
If you’re flying with a baby on your lap and are traveling with more than one child, you’re going to need your hands-free and clear to not only keep the other child(ren) at bay but to also move items back and forth, from car to hotel, and back again. Heck, even for just a rest stop visit! The Ergobaby Omni 360 not only keeps your precious baby close to you and away from friendly but stranger-hands that like to play with babies in strollers (we got your back germaphobia moms), you also have the option of an all-position carrier. Flexibility is a must for the traveling family.
Omni 360 Baby Carrier All-In-One offers every carry position for your ‘do anything’ days, from nap time at the market or together time at the museum while touring the latest city. A popular feature for breastfeeding moms is that you can do so, discretely and effectively in the Ergobaby Omni 360. It’s newborn ready for a comfortable ride with breast-on-demand access.
Now you can control how much baby sees, eats, and interacts with their environment while on the go this summer. With the options of forward facing, hip riding, back slinging, or the traditional baby to chest carrier, traveling really couldn’t be any easier. The crossable shoulder straps give you that personalized fit you’ve been waiting for.
You’ll have the added benefits of the wide waistband for extra back support and a comfortable position for baby. Ergo comes with the adjustable padded should straps for neck and shoulder comfort all traveling day long, rain or shine with the added bonus of a hoodie compartment and detachable storage pouch.
Don’t worry traveling momma, it’s definitely machine washable for those “Eeeuuu” moments!
Whether you’re busting out weeks of travel from place to place and rest stop to rest stop, the Ergobaby 360 is still going to be your go-to-carrier when your traveling days are complete. For those moments baby is teething, sick, or just wants to be close to you, strap ’em, sling-hip ’em, back pack ’em around the kitchen, or just snuggle close (even while nursing), while keeping your hands-free and baby snuggled as you go about your day like the mom boss (or dad boss) you are.
3. Bring the Necessities
Flying with a baby on your lap can be challenging, so it’s especially important that you be prepared. All your plans can come to an immediate halt if you’re missing a favorite bunny or a change of clothes for those “oops” moments. The reality is you always need diapers, wipes, medicine, snacks, drinks, favorite toys, and a change of clothes when you’re on the go. The important thing is having them all conveniently located and organized for quick access.
The Be Right Back Diaper bag from Ju-Ju-Be is perfect for anyone on the go with an infant, toddler, or older children. This backpack diaper bag can easily handle all your needs for one or more children. With what seems like endless amounts of pockets for storage, you can keep all your personal things in the convenient front pocket, allowing you to easily organize all your baby items throughout.
You can pack this bag full and still be comfortable carrying it around with its padded back panel and shoulder straps. Backpack diaper bags are perfect for traveling, allowing you to keep your focus where it is supposed to be and not on your bag.
Made with a Teflon fabric protector, this bag is tough enough to withstand little ones. It’s even machine washable so that you can easily keep it clean and looking new.
4. Plan Ahead for Meals While on the Road
Flying with a baby on your lap that is also hungry is a recipe for stress. Planning to feed your little one while at the airport or on the flight lowers the chance of a fussy baby at 40,000 feet. The TSA allows families with infants to travel with baby food, including formula and breast milk in their carry on bag.
There is no need to limit your supply to 3.4 ounces, as baby items are sent through x-ray without any issue regarding the amount. Traveling with less is always a bit easier, so be intentional about how much you need to bring to make carrying your bag plus a child more manageable.
If your children are old enough for purees, the One Step Baby Brezza Food Maker is a life saver for families on the go. Making your own baby food at home is easy when all you need to do is prep and steam before the machine purees everything to perfection. Homemade baby food means there’s no need to be concerned about allergies or introducing new foods while you are traveling.
The Baby Brezza comes with a set of three travel pouches, and additional ones can be purchased to ensure you have enough food on the go. Fill with your favorite blend of fruits and vegetables and freeze before traveling so that they can double as freezer packs for breast milk.
5. Create a Play Space
If you’re flying with a baby on your lap, it’s important to set up a space for them to play while you have down time. You probably don’t want them crawling around the germ-infested floors, so the Summer Infant Pop n’ Jump is the perfect solution. They can have fun while getting out some energy in a safe play space that doesn’t take up too much room.
This portable activity center is lightweight, unfolds in seconds, and features three height levels so you can adjust it for your little one. One of the amazing features to love is the removable, machine washable seat; no matter what happens, you can toss it in the wash and it’s good as new.
Let baby be entertained so you can sit and relax, knowing they are safe and having fun. The Pop n’ Jump features a spinner ball, rattle, teether, and mirror book, so there’s plenty of things to hold your little one’s attention. Baby’s feet will be protected from germs and gross floors with the built in floor mat. It also comes with a UV canopy, so when you get to your destination you can have peace of mind knowing baby isn’t being harmed by the sun while you’re enjoying your outdoor time.
The Pop n’ Jump comes with a compact travel bag with a shoulder strap for easy transportation. When you have little ones in tow, it’s important to have your hands free!
When your travels are over, you can continue to use the Pop n’ Jump over and over. Whether you’re cooking dinner, folding laundry, or just need a few minutes for a break, this activity center can be moved anywhere to give baby some entertainment and Mama some peace.
6. Set Up a Sleeping Zone
Traveling with a pack and play isn’t ideal for most situations, and if co-sleeping isn’t your thing, you’ll need to find a happy medium to ensure that your little one is secure and comfortable for bedtime and naps. For the smallest travelers, a good swaddle and firm surface may be all you need for bedtime. With bigger babies, a few barriers might be all you need to provide a safe and comfortable bed for the evening.
The LilyPad playmat from Nook Sleep is ideal for traveling with infants. This easy to pack mat can fold down easily into an extra bag or tuck into the bottom of a stroller to provide the perfect barrier to protect your little one from questionable surfaces (hotel carpet, ewww) while you travel.
During waking hours, the mat doubles as a space for tummy time, or can easily go from the hotel room to the outside for a picnic. The 100% organic cover is soft and infused with zinc to resist microbes and bacteria, and the outer surface is treated with non-toxic materials that provide liquid-resistance.
Fold back up and clasp together the fasteners to put the LilyPad away in minutes. Once you arrive home, toss the LilyPad directly in your washer and and all the dirt and grime from flying with a baby on your lap will come off in the wash, leaving you with a versatile mat for play dates, nap time, and outdoor activities.
7. Stay Clean
We learned about eCloth at the JPMA show a few months ago, and it was really love at first sight. This is right up our alley – non-toxic, truly green & safe, cleaning products for families. When you’re flying with a baby on your lap, you come across way too many gross and dirty situations – from public restrooms to airplanes and more. And this Reusable Hand & Face Cleaning Kit is our #1 go-to item for summer travel.
Let’s think about all the other dirty situations you find yourself in when on summer vacation – sticky popsicles, dirty/sandy beach hands, ice cream faces, hands that have picked up frogs/bugs/worms/critters – we could go on forever! In short, summer is a messy time of year. Thank goodness for eCloth for keeping our kiddos fresh & clean while flying with a baby on your lap.
You won’t believe how this stuff works – it still shocks us daily, and we’ve been using it every day since it arrived. These cloths clean with just water. Yes. You read that correctly. JUST WATER! We’re not really sure what kind of sorcery is packed in these cloths, but we know one thing – they are cleaning powerhouses.
This kit comes with a carry pouch, perfect for your diaper bag, a spray bottle for the water, 10 reusable cloth wipes, and a laundry bag because – guess what – they’re also washable! No chemicals, no toxins, just clean, happy faces and hands (or whatever else you use these on!). We call this summertime winning.
Traveling together as a family is a great way to create new memories, and we hope this tip list has inspired you to hit the road with your littles this summer and not be afraid of flying with a baby on your lap. What tips would you add to this list?
WANT TO READ MORE?
For more tips about flying with a baby on your lap, check out our post on traveling abroad with kids.