Traveling anywhere with a very young child can be taxing, and it becomes even more complicated when you’re hampered by the limits of air travel. You can only bring so much on to the plane with you, so it helps to know just the essentials.
Sara broke down the list into two groups, one for traveling with infants and one for flying with toddlers.
Here are the five carry-on essentials for flying with infants and babies:
1. Diapers and wipes: One for every hour of travel plus an additional five for unexpected delays.
2. An adequate food supply: Babies are not limited by the TSA’s 3.4 oz. liquid rule so be sure to bring enough formula, including some extra for possible delays.
3. Extra clothes: Also bring a change of clothes for you in case the baby spits up.
4. Ziploc bags: For soiled clothes, soiled diapers and leftover snacks.
5. Ear plugs: “Bring enough for your neighbors,” writes Sara, “as handouts like this will take some stress off potentially tense situations with a screaming or crying child.”
And here are her 5 carry-on essentials for traveling with a toddler:
1. Snacks: “Think on the healthy side; save the sugar treat for your destination. Your kids need to maintain a steady blood sugar level. Think of some things they enjoy at home–carrot sticks, granola bars. I actually pack veggies frozen so they stay good throughout the day.”
2. Disposable place mats and wipes: A good way to let your kids use the tray table for playing an eating without worrying about germs.
3. Refillable water bottles: Bring them empty through security and fill them up at the water fountain near the gate.
4. Activities: Sara recommends DVD players, paper dolls, activity books, paper and triangle crayons (so they don’t roll off the table).
5. A CARES harness: “This is an acronym for Child Aviation Restraint System. It’s a one pound device that becomes a seat belt harness for kids 22-44lbs. It straps around a regular airplane seat and easily packs into your carry-on.”