Updated: Mar 21
A common question when it comes to travelling with babies or young children is: what do I need to pack for the flight?
Here is a lowdown of what I think are the 7 essentials:
The basic medications for a cough or cold, fever and stomach upsets are a must (e.g. Paracetamol, Nurofen, Zrytec, Prospan, Probiotics, Nasal Drop, Fever Patch, etc). A thermometer will be useful too. If the child has allergies, do remember to bring his medicines or antihistamines.
2) Extra Set of Clothes
Kids are kids. They are gonna mess up no matter how much you try and prevent it. Your best defence is to always, ALWAYS pack an extra set of clothes for everyone, including yourself. In the event the kid(s) throw up or dirty the clothes, an extra set of clothes will definitely come in handy. Also pack some spare bags for the soiled clothes, soiled diapers or for rubbish when a bin is not readily available.
Bring along age appropriate toys/activity books/iPad/tablet to keep the little one(s) entertained. It may be useful to bring along headphones (if your child already has one) which they can then plug into their mobile devices or in-flight entertainment. If all else fail, use whatever is available (e.g. in-flight magazine, bottled water, etc) to entertain or distract your brood.
4) Empty Thermal Flask
This is particularly useful for making milk, sterilizing pacifiers, milk bottles or cutlery on-board and topping up kids’ water bottles to keep the water warm. You can request for the crew to fill it up with hot/warm water once you board.
5) Copy of Birth Certificates and Immunization Records
There may be occasions when you are required to verify that you are the child’s parent (especially for parents who are travelling alone) or asked about your child’s immunization/medical history. These documents may be necessary and save you time when clearing immigration or security.
6) Comfort Item
If your child has a comfort item, like a pacifier or favorite stuff toy/blanket/mini bolster, you should definitely bring it along. It will help keep them calm and comfort them in an unfamiliar environment or during turbulence. Pacifiers, sweets or gummies will come in handy during take-off/landing to help ease any discomfort in their ears due to changes in air pressure.
Hunger can lead to a cranky child. Make sure to pack sufficient snacks for the duration of the flight and also some spares in case they spill. The food onboard may not suit the child’s taste, especially if you’ve got a picky eater. If your child can take pouch foods, it is useful to pack some in. This will at least ensure that they don’t go hungry onboard, and you can even let kids snack on their favourite treats to keep them on their seats during takeoff/landing.
Written by: Calvina Dawn Lee Calvina is a mother of two, well, three if you include her beagle, Louis. She has been travelling with her kids from when they were as young as 2-months-old, and believes that the gift of travel and exploration is one of the best experience parents could give to their children.