What Can I Take on a Plane For My Baby

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Knowing what you can or can’t take on a flight for a baby can be quite confusing when you’re doing it for the first time but rest assured if you prepare for the flight in advance it will make life a lot easier and we are going to help you!

When we traveled with our son when he was 7 months old I remember thinking “what can I take on a plane for my baby that will make the journey as smooth as possible!” There’s so much to think about, right?

Everything from how will I sterilize my bottles to how many nappies will I need? Therefore, I’ve put together a complete guide from my own personal experience and also hours of research, that will make flying with your baby a breeze!

Let’s get started…

What’s the earliest my baby can fly?

Doctors advise that babies fly after they are 6 weeks old as their immune system is still developing however this is not set in stone and it all depends on the airline you are traveling with. Some allow as young as 7 days old whereas others are 2 weeks old so it’s worth checking with the airline before you travel.

What can I take on a plane for my baby?

Answer: There are actually lots of things you can take on a plane for your baby to make the journey more comfortable and stress-free, from teething gel and spare clothes to nappy rash cream and an tablet.

Here is my list of what you can take in your hand luggage to make the journey a breeze!

  • Baby milk
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Spare clothes
  • Nappy sacks
  • New Toys
  • Teething gel and ring
  • Food and snacks
  • Medicine
  • Bottle
  • Pacifier / Pacifier sterilizer
  • Spoons
  • Compact stroller
  • Sleep aids
  • Blanket
  • Bottle warmer
  • Hand sanitizer up to 100ml
  • iPad with kids shows
  • Tissues
  • Nappy rash cream
  • Muslin cloths
  • Antibacterial wipes

Baby milk and food

What Can I Take on a Plane For My Baby - baby milk

It’s important to carry enough baby milk and food for the whole journey. Don’t just think of the flight, think about airport check-in, long security ques and even delayed flights. Factor all those in and figure out how much food and milk you will need, it’s better to have too much than too little.

How much can I bring?

You are allowed to take enough baby food and milk through airport security and in most cases, it can be over 100ml, you may just have to show and taste it, but this isn’t done as often these days. You are allowed to bring breast milk through security even if you do not have the baby, but it must not be more then 2000ml per container.

You will have to let security screen the containers and you may need to open them to be inspected. Frozen breast milk must be stored in hold luggage and not in hand luggage. With Baby food, you can bring enough for your flight. It may be very tempting to pack lots of food but don’t bring too much as security will take it off you if they deem it too much.

How to pack

When packing your food and milk that you are going to take on the plane for your baby try and keep it all together as it won’t go in the clear plastic bags at security, you will have to declare it to security, so they can screen it. Also, remember to have your baby with you at the time of inspection. Squeezable pouches are great for travel as you can buy the reusable ones and they don’t take up as much room as jarred food.

Can I buy or order at the airport?

My biggest tip would be to order all your milk and jars to the airside shop at the airport. This is something we always do as it just saves time at security. In the UK I just use click and collect for the airside shop, so simple and very handy (we use Boots). I always buy the instant little bottles as they are so handy. I’d recommend doing it at least a week to 10days before you travel as they sometimes don’t let you order if it’s too close to departure.

Baby milk / formula

If you are bringing baby formula powder, then I’d recommend Powder Formula dispensers. This way you can measure out the formula before you fly, and you won’t have to bring that huge tub. Heating bottles up on a plane can be a nightmare so I’d recommend trying to get your baby used to room temperature milk before you travel. Tommee Tippee Close to Nature Travel Bottle Warmer is fantastic for when you are traveling as you can heat food and milk in it.

We actually went off the Tommee Tippee perfect prep machine strategy and brought a flask with us, asked at a coffee shop airside to fill up with boiling water and bought bottled water also. When your babies’ bottle is due add 1-2oz of the boiling water than the formula, so all bacteria are killed then top up with the bottled water. Like the perfect prep machine, it should give you the perfect temperature.

This really worked well with us when traveling as no one wants to wait around for a bottle to cool when your baby is screaming for it. I’m not sure if this is the best and safest way to do it but it worked great for us, so I thought id share.

Bottles can actually take up quite a bit of space in your bag so try Playtex bottle liners drop-ins, a real handy thing to have when traveling, I really wish I’d have known about these with my youngest. Basically, you put the drop-in liner in the bottle and pour in the milk, then throw away the liner. This means you can reuse the bottle without sterilizing, perfect for long haul flights.


If you are breastfeeding there aren’t many private places to feed on a plane so make sure you wear a comfortable nursing top, also bring a spare top in case of any baby sick incidents, you know it’s going to happen! Ziplock bags are also a must to keep the soiled clothes separate.

Nursing scarfs are also great for the plane to swaddle over your baby and yourself when feeding. The window seat is a preferred seating location for feeding as you can prop a neck pillow up to feed. Yes, you read it correctly, neck pillow! You can bring a nursing pillow but let’s face it they can be quite bulky things to carry around on your travels.

Baby food

Be aware that there are no microwaves on a plane so the only way to warm up baby food is to place it in some boiling water which we all know takes a long time to heat up. Pouches are better than jars plus they also take up less room in your bag. Make sure you declare that you have food upon arrival in the country you are visiting, even though it is baby food it is better to be safe than sorry.

Diaper Bag

What Can I Take on a Plane For My Baby - diaper bag

It’s important to carry enough baby milk and food for the whole journey. Don’t just think of the flight, think about airport check-in, long security ques and even delayed flights. Factor all those in and figure out how much food and milk you will need, it’s better to have too much than too little.

What to look for

Choosing the correct travel bag for traveling with a baby is essential. I have different bags for day to day use and for travel, why? Because when we travel we need more space and easy access to things quickly. It needs to be spacious but compact at the same time (link to post).

I think backpack diaper bags are the best for travelling with as it leaves you hands free for the kiddies and suitcases. Think about the material and color too, you will be placing the bag on the floor a lot so you don’t want too light a color and a material where you can wipe it down is important. For me a zip at the front that gave quick easy access to bottles is a must.

Here’s a quick summary: 

  • Lightweight
  • Backpack style with multiple ways to hold
  • Insulated bottle warmers
  • Waterproof
  • Multiple pockets and compartments
  • Large inside storage

What’s the best diaper bag for flying?

Here are my top 3 backpack style diaper bags that i think are the best for traveling on a plane.

The HaloVa Waterproof diaper bag –  This back is great because not only is it waterproof it is easy to wipe down. With 2 insuulated bottle warmers in the front zip it makes life that bit easier. There are also 14 gorgeous colors to close from.

Parker Diaper backpack – This bag is a great size and has 14 separate pockets so you know exactly where everything is. Its a lovely stylish looking bags suitable for everyone.

MB Krauss diaper bag – With a large capacity and stylish look this bag was built for heavy duty which is great for a plane journey. There are 12 pockets in this bag to help separate things.

Medicines and first aid

What Can I Take on a Plane For My Baby - first aid kit

I always think of the worst-case scenario when it comes to my first aid kit so as you can imagine it’s a pretty big bag. When I’m thinking about what I can take on the plane for my baby in the hand luggage, I think about things like air pressure pain, colds, teething problems, nappy cream, etc.

Here is my list of first aid items I take on a plane for my baby:

Calpol sachets or Tylenol infant: These are very important in case your child’s ears hurt from the pressure or they are in pain with teething.

Saline nasal spray: If your child is suffering from a cold this will help to relieve pressure especially at high altitude.

Aston and Parsons teething powder or teething gel: We swear by Aston and Parsons teething powder, it was a lifesaver when our son was teething. If your child is teething these will really help to soothe, if you prefer a gel then this is also important to pack.

Bepanthen nappy cream: Sore bums are a common occurrence in babies, so a tube of nappy rash cream is a must for a plane journey first aid kit.

Travel Thermometer: If your baby is very unsettled on the flight and you just don’t know why it’s important to be able to check their temperature. A small travel thermometer will help to determine this.

Cooling gel packs: Sometimes babies can get very hot on a flight so pack some cooling gel packs to help cool them down, also great if they have a temperature.

Teethers with gel: Although the teethers are classed as a liquid you can take these on the plane for your little one! Phew!

Tip: Make sure you have paracetamol handy in case your child suffers from their ears due to the air pressure.

What am I allowed to bring?

Make sure all liquid medicines that are in your hand luggage are put in a clear bag so you can pass through security easily. Split them between all the people you are traveling with so you don’t get stopped for having too much.

How much can I bring?

Bring a sensible amount in your hand luggage, enough to get you through the airport and flight until you can access your hold luggage when you arrive. Remember no more than 2000ml per container.

Take off and landing

As we all know when the plane takes off our ears pop, it’s important to make sure babies ears pressurize without causing them pain. We always give our son a bottle on take-off as the sucking motion helps to pop the ears. If they aren’t due a feed a dummy will also do the job. Just make sure they are sucking on something especially on landing.


What Can I Take on a Plane For My Baby - entertainment

Depending on the age of your baby they will most likely sleep a lot during the flight. My son would fall asleep as soon as the engines start.

I know some of you are reading this thinking “ha yeah right” as you always fear they will scream for the whole flight, I’m not saying they won’t, but those plane engines seem to have a soothing effect on babies.

If your baby is teething make sure you bring a few teething toys, I especially recommend Sophie the giraffe, she also has some nice accessories and a cute touch book too.

Most flights these days have in-seat TVs and these are a blessing especially when they have cartoons. It goes without saying that you should try and bring a tablet with you and download all your kid’s favorites TV shows.

Here are my top 5 baby toys to take on a plane for a baby:

  • Teething keys
  • Vtech peek and play baby book
  • Sophie giraffe
  • Fisher price brilliant basics babies first blocks
  • Infantino spiral activity

Tip: Bring out new toys throughout the flight to keep them entertained.


What Can I Take on a Plane For My Baby - airport strollers

Don’t worry. You can bring your stroller to the aircraft with you then leave at the gate for it to be put in the hold. You will need to attach a luggage label and hand it over to the staff at the gate.

The stroller will need to go through security, so you will have to empty it and get your child out for this to be done. Some airlines provide bags for you to put the stroller in, so they don’t get damaged.

Strollers that fit in the overhead

I’d recommend a lightweight easy foldable stroller with a good-sized basket for putting luggage or even better a fold-up stroller that can go in the overhead compartment, I’d recommend the Babyzen yoyo+.

We have the BabyZen YoYo and I can’t recommend this stroller enough (read my review here) This stroller is very lightweight and folds up small with a strap to carry like a bag. It comes with a cover bag so you can keep it clean in the overhead compartment.

Having been to many airports where we have had to walk for miles to get to the luggage carousel to collect the pram, I can confidently say this pram is a great investment and makes life so much easier.

Sleeping aids

What Can I Take on a Plane For My Baby - sleeping aids

Whether it’s a long or short-haul flight it would be lovely if your baby gets a good nap. If we are traveling long haul we always try to get a night flight, this way kids’ sleep pattern stays the same and they sleep for most of the flight. We have traveled on 14 hour night flights and the boys have slept most of the flight. Sleeping aids really can make or break a flight.

Products I’d recommend:

Skybaby Travel Mattress – This is a great product to help your little one sleep on a flight. The Skybaby wings cuddle your baby comforting them against you without overheating and are easy to move your little one to each other.

Primo lap baby – You will be hands-free with this great little accessory allowing you to eat and use your hands whilst your baby is safe and secure.

Lavender: Something I always do is add a little lavender to my sons blanket or travel pillows, I swear by lavender and think the baby sleep pillow spray is a great addition to your travel bag. Spray a little on their blanket and have cuddles.

Tip: Always try and take a night flight, its a lot easier than a day flight trust me, especially on long haul.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with a baby really doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. In my opinion it’s the easiest age to travel with kids, just wait until they are toddlers!

As long as you are organized and prepared with the right essentials for the journey you will be just fine. It really is all in the planning. I hope this guide helps you to plan and prepare for your flight, have a pleasant journey with your baby.

Kelly Bullock