My “What’s in my diaper bag” is probably one of my most popular posts on this blog. Apparently people Google “what’s in my diaper bag” a lot, and it sends said people here. (If you found my little corner of the internet from that post, welcome! I hope you stuck around.)
Seeing as it’s still such a popular post, I thought I would do it again with what I packed in my travel diaper bag on our flights. Packing a well stocked diaper bag for air travel is extremely important, as there really is no way you can “restock” in a terminal. If you run out of something…you are kind of screwed. On the same token, you don’t want to pack so much you feel like a sherpa, because running through an airport with a baby is already exhausting enough. There’s a happy medium where you feel well prepared but not over packed. That happy medium kind of depends on your baby, but here is what worked for me and my eight/nine month old.
First things first, here is the bag I used on both flights:
It’s the Shi Shu Style Everything Tote, and It. Is. Awesome. The bag itself is huge and has six generously sized pockets on the inside, so it’s easy to keep organized. It has a wide opening so you can shove a lot into it without it feeling overstuffed, and it still fits underneath the airplane seat in front of you. The straps are long enough so it’s a comfortable bag to carry over your shoulder for extended periods of time.
(A word about price: Apparently, this bag retails for almost $100. Suffice to say, I did not spend this much money on it. I got it from babysteals.com for $30. I’m sure you could find something similar for much less than what this retails for, but if you can find this bag on sale like I did, it’s a great bag. Baby Steals still has some available in one color scheme!)
Secondly, I kept things organized inside the bag with clear zippered bags. I got these from Amazon, but anything similar will work. I packed diapers/wipes, toys, and snacks in separate bags so I could easily grab what I needed. Everything else got packed in the pockets.
And now, for the contents:
1. Aden & Anais blanket: Always have one in my bag, traveling was no exception. A pretty much passes out on planes, so it was helpful to have to drape over her. ETA: This was also handy to spread on the ground at the airport so A could play during layovers.
2. Various wipes: I brought wet wipes to clean off pretty much anything I knew A would be touching since planes are notoriously germy. Boogie Wipes are a product I would probably cease to function without (I may or may not use them myself when I have a cold), and they were super necessary on this last flight since A had a little cold. And of course, regular baby wipes (which I actually used in a travel case, but the regular container was closer for photography purposes).
3. Diapers: I packed 5-6 Target brand diapers (I have better luck with these than most name brand diapers with leak control) for these flights. I figured 1 for before take off in New Orleans, 2-3 for layovers, and 1 for after landing in destination city. This formula worked pretty well for A. I either used all the diapers or had a couple left over, but never ran out before I reached where we were headed.
4. Toys!: I didn’t pack all of these for both flights, but a combo of them were used for each flight. My thought process was to pack a variety of toys, some she loved, some she hadn’t played with in a while, and one new toy, on each trip. The two things these toys had in common: Compact and quiet.
5. Things to keep/stay clean with: I never leave home without a few burp clothes, a couple bibs, and a change of clothes (for me and A). Traveling is no exception.
6. A’s lovey: Pretty self explanatory. If your kid has a lovey, make sure you have it. I don’t think she would have napped on the plane without her Aden & Anais security blanket.
7. iPad/charger: I brought the iPad for two reasons: 1) I have a few apps for A on there which keep her occupied when nothing else will, and 2) I use it as my e-reader now, so when A napped on the plane I could read. I am in constant fear of my phone dying while being stranded in an airport, so I always pack a charger in my carry on.
8. Stuff to eat: I packed Plum Organics Super Puffs, Cheerios, and Baby Mum Mums for A to snack on. Not pictured: Baby food pouches; she can suck the food right out of them so it’s not messy. I also packed myself a few snacks, like granola bars and trail mix. I packed A’s formula in the Avent formula dispenser. Not pictured: Bottles.
*Now, a word about bottle feeding and flying.
Bottle feeding on plane kind of sucks. First you have to actually pack bottles, which take up beaucoup room in your bag, then you have to worry about fixing the bottles in the airport. Then you either have to rinse bottles in the airport bathroom (gross) or carry around dirty bottles in your bag (less gross, but have you smelled formula recently? It doesn’t smell better the longer it sits there). The TSA says you can go through security with a “reasonable” amount of prepared formula, but I never could find out from anyone how much a “reasonable” amount is. On the Boston trip, I actually bought really cheap bottles from Wal Mart (3 for $2.87, you really can’t beat that), and threw them away after A used them. I would have done this for Indy too but I didn’t get a chance to go to Wal Mart before we left. I really liked this “disposable” bottle method over using our regular bottles on the Indy trip.*
Not pictured: I packed a baggie of liquids with hand sanitizer, lotion, and Infant Tylenol. I am by no means a proponent of drugging your kid, but I did give A some infant Tylenol before our flights. I was not only worried about ear pain, but I knew she was cutting her teeth on both flights.
That’s our travel diaper bag in a nutshell. It seems like a lot of stuff, but it actually all fit well in the bag and didn’t feel too crazy. And it all got used, which is how I really know I didn’t overpack. Next week A and I are road trippin’ to Florida to spend a few days at the beach with my two older nephews, so I’m excited to see how my new travel experiences translate to a different method of transportation.