This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.

Get $15 Off + Free U.S. Shipping Sign up for our Newsletter Today!

Cart 0

Congratulations! Your order qualifies for free shipping You are $40 away from free shipping.
No more products available for purchase

Is this a gift?
Pair with
Subtotal Free
Shipping, taxes, and discount codes are calculated at checkout

Minimalist Packing: How to Travel Light With a Baby on a Plane

Mom traveling with a baby on a plane

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of your little one’s panic-inducing cries on an airplane–and what feels like the eyes of every other person imploring you to take care of it–then you’re well aware of the benefit of having exactly what you need at your fingertips when you’re traveling with your little one.

Let's face it, there’s so much to remember when you’re getting out the door with a baby. And getting ready to cross state lines or the ocean is another beast entirely.

The truth is, traveling with a baby is not for the faint of heart.

But if you can be prepared with your baby’s essentials while flying, they'll feel more comforted and happy. (And you'll have better peace of mind.)

To that end, we’ve rounded up the best packing lists for packing light so you feel prepared for your flight with your baby.



Why Packing Light With a Baby is Possible

Packing light isn't about having everything you could need for every potential scenario. This same logic applies to traveling with your baby, too.

Sure, it may sound scary at first. Your mind can run crazy with, "But what If I need [insert baby item]?"

But packing light with a baby is possible. And the good news is that you get more confident the more you do it.

It's about having quick access to the things you need on the plane when your baby is tired, hungry, or needs changed. You can intentionally say "no" to more stuff so your arms can stay full holding your little one. It starts with discovering a packing system that works for you.

A Packing System For Different Bags

When traveling with a baby on a plane, you may have a series of bags you plan to pack and bring with you on your trip. It could include a smaller luggage item (or bag you'll have within reach), a personal item like your Kibou, a carry-on bag stored in the overhead compartment, or perhaps a checked bag.

You could end up taking all of these bags or a few. But remember, your goal is to travel light, right? Less is really more!

Here are some packing list ideas depending on which bags you take.

Baby on Kibou changing mat while traveling on plane

Your Bag Within Reach - What to Pack

Your most important essentials when traveling with a newborn or infant revolve around diapering and feeding.

You should have these things within reach in your bag nearest you (quantities depend on whether it's a long trip or a quick flight). For example, these could be in a larger diaper bag or diaper bag tote.

Smaller Luggage Item Packing list:

  • 2 bottles (pumped breastmilk, sterilized water with travel-size formula package or ready-to-use formula)
  • Swaddle blanket (for warmth, burping, or to use as a breastfeeding coverup)
  • 4-6 diapers
  • Diaper wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • 1 extra onesie/pajama
  • Pacifier plus another backup
  • 1 favorite, engaging toy
  • Room for baby carrier (that preferably folds up well)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Ziploc bag for soiled items
  • Sunglasses: yours and theirs
  • Wireless headphones for yourself so you can listen to a podcast hands-free

Favorite baby toys for airplane travel: Crinkle toy, Pill box, Butterfly Fidget Popper

This is a bag not as big as your carry-on bag but larger than your Kibou. Depending on exactly what you need and how long your trip is, you may only need this and your Kibou (assuming you have checked luggage containing your travel wardrobe.)

Kibou what to pack while traveling on plane

Your Kibou - What to Pack

Your Kibou can be worn as a crossbody bag or fanny pack. What's great about this minimalist diaper bag is that it doubles as a travel purse and keeps you hands-free to attend to your baby's needs when flying.

The best part is that your Kibou doesn’t count as a carry-on, AND it’s the perfect size to travel down the aisle and into the minuscule airplane bathroom (a travel parenting game changer for sure!)

Keep the most essential items by your side hands-free, whether on the move or sitting in your seat on the plane.

Kibou Packing List:

  • Wipes (Up to 20 can fit in our waterproof pocket!)
  • 2-3 diapers
  • Pacifier
  • Small tube of diaper cream (if needed)
  • On-the-go changing mat (no need to pack; it's already included in the Kibou!)
  • Phone
  • Credit cards and/or cash
  • Driver’s license or passport
  • Keys
  • First aid kit 
  • Wireless headphones
  • Kindle

Your Kibou is easily a bag you can continue carrying around once you've landed and go on day trips with your little one. You'll have your everyday purse items and the diapering and feeding baby essentials right with you while you're exploring together.

Carry On - What to Pack

If you want to avoid excess baggage fees, consider getting everything in just a carry-on. Carry-on bags help you save money because airlines don't charge you extra (like with checked baggage), and it helps you stick to taking less stuff.

However, if it only stresses you out to have one more bag to keep track of while flying, then opt for checking your carry-on-sized bag at the gate. If you don't have to, there's no reason to add to your travel stress with your baby.

Say you do take a carry-on suitcase, though. The benefit is you can store extra emergency items for your baby in your carry-on, along with your own clothing and personal items. Below are items to think about.

Carry-On Packing List:

  • Extra changes of clothes for baby
  • Extra bottles or liners
  • Extra diapers and wipes (enough for 2-3 days in case you have travel hiccups)
  • Extra blanket (in case the first one gets spit up or dirt on it from traveling)
  • Extra toy
  • Puffs or other baby food
  • Tylenol/Motrin or other medications (just remember to adhere to the airline liquids allowance)
  • Extra bag for soiled clothes/other messy things 

Dad with son and checked bag at airport

Checked-Baggage- What to Pack

The need to check bags will vary depending on where you're traveling and for how long. For example, you may want to check bags for extended trips lasting two weeks or longer. Depending on the season (winter trips), you may have heavier clothes items and hiking boots that need to be packed in a bigger bag.

But regardless of the season, one thing to consider is that if you’re heading somewhere with washing machines, you could consider less because you'll have the opportunity to do laundry on your trip, which helps to lessen your packing weight with various bags.

And remember, unless you’re going somewhere very remote, you can also buy most items at your destination. This sometimes lessens the anxiety around feeling like you need to remember everything.

In addition to your travel wardrobe in your checked bag, here are other items to consider potentially packing.

Checked Bag Packing List:

  • Enough onesies, pajamas & cute baby outfits for the duration of your stay
  • Dirty clothes bag (if you’re unable to wash)
  • Travel-size toiletries (i.e. shampoo, shower gel, and lotion)
  • Sunscreen
  • Nail clippers
  • More diapers
  • Extra baby food
  • Breast pumps, milk bags, or other storage
  • Baby monitor
  • Seasonal necessities (like swim diapers, baby sun hat, or swim vest)
  • Tylenol/Motrin or other medications for you and your baby

Your entire trip may not require you to take a checked bag. But paying the checked baggage fees might make the most sense if you're going to multiple destinations or have a larger family.

Pack Light and Enjoy Your Flight

There are a number of other things you can pack for your baby when prepping for your family vacation, but the most essential gear is included in the above tips for packing.

If you’re ready to travel with the family soon, taking a minimalist approach to packing could definitely help reduce your travel stress with less unnecessary clutter.

Ultimately, you must do what works for your family's needs. Happy Travels!

Mom with baby traveling on plane

FAQs - Flying With a Baby

How do you hold a baby during takeoff and landing?

During takeoff or landing, you want to make sure your baby is held tightly in your lap or fastened correctly in a TSA-approved infant car seat during your flight. It's also a good idea to have them sucking on a pacifier or drinking from a bottle to help neutralize the air pressure in their ears. Following these tips should help keep them safe and more comfortable while flying.

What documents do I need to fly with a baby?

In the United States, you are not required to show any form of ID for your baby on domestic flights. However, having a copy of your baby's birth certificate on hand doesn't hurt to show proof of age. For some babies, you may need a note from your doctor confirming that the baby is cleared to fly. Before your flight, it's best to check with your airline on any specific requirements.



Purchase your Kibou fanny pack diaper bag today.

Savings Tip: For a limited time, you can join our Kibou newsletter and save $10 on your first purchase plus free shipping over $50. What are you waiting for? Join today!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published