I wanted to split what I bring in my bag into two parts because it’s just too overwhelming for one post. So here’s part four!
In the past year and a half a lot has changed, I phased out a lot of things and added in some new stuff. I’ll talk a bit about all of it.
My son is breastfed, obviously not exclusively anymore but he was. So I can’t help you with bottles and the like, but I can offer tips on nursing on a plane. First tip would be to buy an actual nursing top. I know not everyone has nursing clothes whatever the reason, but if you haven’t yet I suggest you splurge. Nursing in tight corners is annoying and sometimes difficult, so I recommend doing anything you can to make things easier. Milk Nursingwear is a brand I enjoyed and they’re not ridiculous in their prices. I didn’t like the company (difficult to deal with and sent me a dress that reeked of cigarette smoke- they did not apologize) so I suggest you look for their stuff on Amazon or go second hand because the clothes are actually pretty good even if the people who work for company are horrible.
Even with the nursing clothes I used a nursing cover. It just made me feel more comfortable and my son really liked it under there. Sometimes he wouldn’t even be eating, just snoozing. He liked being able to see and smell me, but the darkness and the fabric made him feel snug. I had a few different ones but I loved Bebe Au Lait covers the best. The corners have little pockets and have built in burp cloths, yet somehow it didn’t take up more space than my other more basic covers. The fabric was also just nicer.
I used a Travel Boppy a lot too. It was a good place for my son to snooze and it made breastfeeding in those tight airplane seats a lot easier and more comfortable for the both of us. When he was really tiny I could have gone without it, but as he got bigger it was sort of non-negotiable. The armrests started to get in the way and this kept him from having his head jammed into them while eating. My husband liked to set it up, velcro the flap to the bottom and rest the whole thing on his lap. When he was tiny we would put him in it sideways and then as he got older we put him in the middle. Both ways worked great and he really liked napping in it. It was also nice that we were able to zip it up, and stuff a swaddling blanket and burp cloth in the dip, then velcro the flap over it. Back in those days we traveled with a lot of burp cloths and it was nice being able to stash an extra few right where we’d need them most. And I recommend this Boppy even if you bottle feed. It’s just a more comfortable place to keep your baby if you’re not paying to bring a carseat on-board.
I also liked the Munchkin Disposable Changing Pads. Even now I keep one in my plane backpack, though it’s rarely used these days (you’ll find out why soon!). Sometimes planes don’t have changing tables and with a smaller baby there’s really no need to use them anyways. If you find yourself without a proper changing table I suggest taking one of these and putting it on top of the seat back trays and changing your kid that way. It’s easier on everyone, trust me. Then just stick the diaper in an airsickness bag and toss it when you get the chance.
These are the things I got a lot of use out of back when my son was tiny. Now that he’s bigger I find myself needing different things. Gone is the nursing cover and now we use pouches and real food. He doesn’t need to be laid down for diaper changes as he either uses the potty or we have him standing up. Here are the things I use and love now!
We like to use Happy Baby food pouches.
Many of their pouches are gluten free and my son really likes them. It’s fast and easy to feed him on the go with these. We do have reusable pouches as well but I’d have to find someplace to wash and dry them while traveling or be okay with tossing them. And as it’s usually $30 a for a set I’m not okay with treating them as disposable. So we just buy the disposable ones in the first place. The bonus here is that the more your kid eats the less your bag weighs too!
We also like Happy Baby Puffs.
They have almost no calories, a fun crunch, and my son likes to feed them to himself. If he finds that entertaining then so be it. We can kill quite a bit of time just letting him feed himself these one at a time. He also likes shaking the container, instant rattle!
Some of you may be familiar with Bentos, if you are then this will be an obvious thing to pack. If not check this out!
(photo is a link to eBay)
I own this box in pink and it’s awesome because it’s lightweight and folds! It’s a little smaller than a thinnish paperback book, but it holds a lot. You could easily fit a full-sized sandwich and some fruit or veggies and dip in there, maybe a couple of Babybell cheeses as well. I don’t bring this as often as I should but I had misplaced it. I found it today and plan to pack it for our flight at the end of the month. Snack boxes on the plane will run you around $6 but you can make your own for far less and you won’t have to worry about what’s in it health or allergen wise.
I love Take & Toss containers. They’re cheap and weigh nothing. The colors are bright so I can find them easily in my bag and when they get grody I can just toss or recycle them. I also don’t care if they get lost or tossed on an airline floor (is there anything grosser? Ewwwwwww!). I usually don’t loose my stuff but I have managed to misplace a few of these. I really need to remember to buy more the next time I’m at the store. We’re down to two…
These Sippy Cups are a Godsend. They’re so cheap, yet I’ve never had a single one leak. Sometimes because of the way my son uses them there will be a drop or two in the spout but never had they leaked, even when upside-down in my backpack. I love them for that. We have four left I think. Sadly we lost a couple to mold (my son hides them and they didn’t get washed before we went away). They’re so inexpensive I didn’t worry about it and just chucked them. I also put them on the top rack of the dishwasher to no ill effect. I don’t think I’ve ever hand washed one actually. But they always come out clean. We’ve tried other brands too, but they either leak or my son can’t/won’t use them. So yeah, these get my Mum seal of approval.
These are the diapers we use with my son. They’re Huggies Slip-On’s and I love them. When my son started in them he was a Size 3, which you can’t find in stores so you’ll have to buy them from Amazon. They also used to be Winnie The Pooh characters and for some deranged reason they switched to Mickey. So when my son’s 3’s are gone we’ll have to make the switch to Micky and Pluto. For me that kind of stinks because the Tigger’s on the 3’s were a big draw for my son. It really helped to motivate him to want to use the potty instead of his “Big Boy Pants”. But either way these are amazing! When he needs to use the potty they just slide down like Pull-Ups but they have velcro at the sides for “regular” changes. They’re also less expensive than Pull-Ups and I hope I won’t have to use them for that reason. But these are great for on the go changes. No changing table, no problem- regardless if I’m in an airplane bathroom or in my own at home. So, even if you’re a Pampers fan (or you use cloth) consider these for the plane. They’ll make your life so much easier. I don’t even bother to take my son to the bathroom half the time, I just scoot over and stand him on the seat. I pull the new diaper 3/4 of the way up, un-velcro the old one, then just yank it from between his legs, and then pull the new one the rest of the way up. I’ve found that helps if he suddenly starts to go, it’ll go straight into the new diaper most of the time.
Last up are these little baggies.
These are the Arm and Hammer Tiny Trash Bags. Most of you probably know about these, and they’re worth carrying. I usually just pull a few off the roll, fold them up, and stick them in a pocket. They open to a decent size and fit quite a bit, they really came in handy during “the explosion” on that ill fated trip to Florida some months back. So even of you don’t normally carry them I suggest grabbing a refill pack (you don’t need the dispenser, it’s just added weight). You’ll be glad you did when your kid pukes, dumps juice, or something even worse, in flight!
So that’s all for now. I’m not sure what I’ll post about next, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something. If there’s a specific aspect of traveling with toddlers and infants you’d like to hear about feel free to just ask. I’ve probably done it!