Baby Packing List for Your Carry-On: With Printable Checklist

With free editable printable checklist!

Be prepared for anything, in the airport or on the plane, with our full baby packing list for your carry-on.

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We will never, ever forget our first family travel experience. Our first time flying with a baby was when our daughter was ten months old.

We really didn’t know what to expect. She was a pretty chill baby, but busy! I figured it would be challenging, and the best way I could ensure happy travels was to be as prepared as possible. 

Read our tips and tricks for navigating busy airports and airplanes with kids!

I am a list person, so naturally I researched extensively and created a packing list of what to take for each long flight to best control our 10 month old on the airplane.

What I didn’t prepare for, however, was other passengers!

We happened to be seated directly behind a man who was violently sick during the entire plane ride. It was, to say the least, a very unpleasant experience! It was a mixture of terrible sounds and smells- I will spare you the details!

However, our baby was an angel who made friends with the other passengers, played with her new toys, and fell asleep on one of the tray tables. 

Lesson learned: you can’t control the fellow passengers around you, no matter how much you plan.

But, you can make your experience a little bit better with planning.

Oldest and youngest on a recent plane trip

We have flown several times since this experience with our babies, and its generally a very smooth process, thank goodness!

So, what baby travel essentials should you pack for a domestic flights with young kids?

Baby Packing List: Travel Essentials

I find I never need as much stuff as I think. I like to pack a diaper bag backpack as mine and the kids’ carry-on bag, and a crossbody bag for my personal item. You’ll need your hands as free as possible!

And, we usually have a stroller as well as a baby carrier. 

For Your Purse, fanny pack or cross body bag

-Travel documents, like driver license, passport, birth certificate for your kiddo, if necessary (we’ve never needed these for domestic flights.)

-Wallet with money, debit/credit cards, insurance card, and other important personal information.

-Phone, with charger


-Boarding Pass- You can print it, but we don’t recommend it! Most major airlines have an app and you can get your boarding pass on your phone. One less thing to worry about!

Baby carrier or sling

Despite having a stroller, I also like to bring a baby carrier. It doesn’t take up much space, as I usually leave mine wrapped around my waist when I’m not using it.

I’ve found that when my babies don’t have their own seat, they sleep best if they’re in a familiar baby carrier. 

We’ve tried many, and our favorite will always be the Ergo because of the versatility and weight range. We also use the Infantino (our son’s favorite, because he likes to face forward) and the Moby for more flexibility.

For Your Diaper Bag/Back-Pack

I’ve had several diaper bags, and the one that has worked the best for travel is this style. This is the best diaper bag for traveling. Its super popular for a reason! It has an insulated pocket in the front for bottles or baby food, and several compartments to organize everything.

-Diapers: Pack enough diapers to last the whole flight, plus a few extra.

-Baby wipes: Carry a pack of baby wipes for diaper changes and cleaning up hands/faces after snacks.

-Travel changing pad: These always come in handy during diaper changes in airport and plane bathrooms!

-Change of clothes: Pack a few extra sets in case of spills or accidents. And if you find your baby needs another layer.

-Bottles and formula/breast milk: These come in handy at take-off and landing, sucking on a bottle or breast helps with relieving air pressure by popping ears.

-Sippy cup with snacks (cheerios, in our case)

-Pacifiers: If you baby uses pacifiers, bring a few extra. Use a clip, so it doesn’t get lost easily.

-Plastic bags for dirty clothes or dirty diapers: I’m always relieved when I remember plastic bags, because they can be used for so many different things- from dirty diapers, to dirty clothes, to garbage bags.

-Medications: If your baby requires any medications, make sure you have them in your carry one.

-Water bottle: We bring these empty, and fill them up right after security.

-Small toys: We like to buy new toys that the kids have never seen before, to give them something new and different to play with.

-Activity books: “Busy books” are great for holding a little ones attention for at least a little bit (our youngest son enjoyed this one on our last flight.)

​-Favorite stuffed animals: If your kids are into stuffed animals like ours, these are always a great idea for comfort.

-Tablet with favorite shows downloaded: if your little kids will actually watch something, these are great- and bring headphones! We like the Kindle Fire tablets with the kid-proof case.

-Blanket: All of our kids have special blankets that we can’t ever be without. But, even if your baby isn’t into a specific blanket, these are great for added layers. That air conditioning is always cranked way, way up.

-Suckers- if your baby is breastfeeding or drinks a bottle, you may not need these. But sucking on a lollipop can help a lot with relieving air pressure by allowing their ears to pop.

-Extras- consider bringing extra items like a burp cloth, bib, and a small towel for cleaning up spills or messes. These can be stored in a separate ziplock bag for easy access.

-Snacks and entertainment for yourself: Will you actually get to use these? Possibly not. But on the off chance that your kiddo sleeps, you need something to keep yourself busy.

-Nursing cover: If you’re breastfeeding, these can be helpful for privacy when you’re elbow to elbow with a stranger. Depends on your level of comfort! I like this one that doubles as a carseat cover as well.

To Sum Up…

Packing for a trip can be overwhelming, even if its just you! Adding a baby into the mix feels like a lot.

Use our list, add your own items, and make it a fun and memorable experience.

Happy Traveling!

Download our Essential Baby Packing List here.

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