10 Tips for Airplane Travel With Your Baby

airplane travel baby


Whether you’re traveling home to visit relatives or taking your baby home after becoming an Intended or Adoptive Parent, it’s always nice to be prepared to travel with your infant and have a few tricks up your sleeve.

We’re happy to share our top 10 sanity saving tips and tricks to help make this trip a little bit (or a lot) smoother.

  1. Check with TSA’s current guidelines. Rules change occasionally and it’s better to be safe than sorry. TSA provides an outline of it’s policy on the transportation of baby related food items: breast milk, formula, water, baby food and snacks. It is wise to review this in the week before you travel as there may be changes due to varying levels of security. Also check with your airline regarding what i.d. is required for your baby to travel.

  2. Check with your pediatrician. Make sure your baby is cleared to travel and that, if immunized, is up-to-date. This is even more important if traveling internationally. Protecting your baby from illness is paramount during these first few months of life.

  3. If you are still in your 6-8 week window postpartum, check with your obstetrician to make sure YOU are cleared to travel as well. If traveling within the postpartum healing time, make sure you have plenty of helping hands and ONLY carry your baby and your purse. Pack plenty of nutritious snacks and, once past security, buy food and a beverage…..just in case.

  4. Carry on your breast pump. Most airlines count this item as a medical device; therefore, it does not count as one of your carry on items. This is another thing to ask about when you call the airline in advance as mentioned in #1.

  5. Either check your car seat and stroller at the gate or at the ticket counter. Hint: If you have not booked your baby their own seat, take your car seat to the gate for checking just in case there are any empty seats. If so, the airline may provide you use of the empty seat for your baby to use their car seat. It’s worth a shot!

  6. Pack a small purse/pouch in your diaper bag. Or make your purse/backpack (like this one from Eddie Bauer) your diaper bag. Either way, the less you have to juggle with your baby in tow, the better.

  7. Carry your baby in your favorite baby wearing device like a Moby Wrap, K’Tan or this 4 in 1 Baby Wrap Carrier and Ring Sling. These devices can be put on while you are still home or in your hotel room and removed once you reach your final destination. They can often be worn through security and provide your baby the ability to be carried face-in which protects their little noses and immune systems from all the germs, sneezes and coughs in the airport and plane. If you are breastfeeding, this set up will also lend itself well to modestly feeding your baby, especially during take off and landing. Let’s face it, your baby will be super comfortable and if they fall asleep, they’re already in a great place for a snuggle and a nap…..anywhere!

  8. Turn to travel packing lists on the internet. The ones with a more minimal approach, not the one that tells you to bring EVERY single thing possible. MAKE A CHECKLIST and use it! Your new parent brain can get a little foggy and you don’t want to forget the important stuff. I mean, once in the air, you’re kinda screwed if you don’t have the basics. Click HERE for a great list for the carry on stuff and HERE for the “mother of all packing lists” (that’s what it’s called) for all the bags you plan to check. Ask your postpartum doula to help you out, or better yet, add their postpartum travel support to your travel plans.

  9. DO bring something that entertains your baby AND can be sanitized with a wipe or in your microwavable sanitizing bag.

  10. Dress both you and your baby in super comfy clothes, including slip on shoes for you. I like the cute sleep and play one piece outfits for babies under 6 months old. Their feet stay covered (no baby socks to lose!), they’re protected from the draft on an airplane and, well, they’re so stinkin’ cute. We also suggest layering these one piece sleep and plays over a onesie or another jammy to be taken off as you reach your destination. Think of that outer sleep and play as your baby’s Hazmat suit.

You may be a new parent, but you are going to be a pro at traveling with your baby!


We’ve compiled a list of our favorite baby travel products HERE.

ALSO….To make breast milk storage, bottle clean up and testing of your breast milk at TSA (if necessary) so much easier, we this Kiinde system is our go-to. This disposable bag system cuts down on using your vacation time for clean up and they are so easy to pop into the bottle holder. The parts are easy to transport with your refrigerated milk or pre-measured water for formula in this little cooler.


Did you know some postpartum doulas, like those at Family Tree Doula Services, are available to travel with you, ensuring that both parents and baby are well cared for. Ask us about this service!


As an Amazon Affiliate, Family Tree Doula Services receives 4% from the sales of products via affiliate links. Family Tree Doula Services uses half of the affiliate payment to provide supplies to local new parents in need.


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Family Tree Doula Services

From the day you leave the hospital...to the day you no longer need us, we’ll help you adjust to life with your new baby and give you all the tools you need for a healthy, confident start.

Not a client yet? You'll find many of our favorite tips & resources for new parents here on our blog.  Learn more about our daytime, overnight, and live-in postpartum doula services as well as our postpartum support offerings for intended parents.