main banner


Flying with a Baby? Travel Bag Essentials

If there was ever a survey done among airlines for the heaviest passengers, luggage included, I would wager a bet that it’s a baby. 
For such little things, babies probably pack the most stuff. Never mind all the equipment they need, it’s all the spare clothes and nappies, the food and bottles, the toys to keep them occupied on the airplane, the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘we’d better bring that just in case…” items that parents convince themselves they need. And the thing is, you do need it all – everything! Because the thoughts of what would happen if there were flight delays or anything that could mess with “the routine” sends most parents to a dark place... Ironically, all this stuff is supposed to make life easier, somehow, and in a world where we weigh our bags 20 times before getting to the airport to make sure we’re not overweight, parents have two cheats up their sleeve in the shape of the baby bag and the lesser known big brother, the pram bag!

With most airlines, children under the age of 2 do not have a luggage allowance, but parents are allowed to take an additional bag on board (be it a laptop bag, a duty free shopping bag or a baby bag). So really, you’ve got to be smart about what you pack in the baby bag. There is a parental loop hole however – the Pram Bag! Most airlines prefer you to pack your pram into a protective cover, and from what we’ve witnessed, we’d recommend it too. The handy thing is, you can back a lot of additional “padding/protection” into that pram bag in the form of nappies, towels, dried formula and spare clothes.

You can either check it in or if you’re bringing your pram to the gate, bring it through security too. It will have to go through the scanning machines of course, and all the usual liquid restrictions etc apply but consider it an extra free bag!

So then, now that we’ve sorted the spare nappies and clothes into the pram bag, what does that leave for the baby bag? If like me, your handbag is choc full of who knows what and it takes ten minutes of routing in the abyss to find your keys, that’s just gonna add to your stress level at the airport. Trying to change a nappy in a cramped airplane toilet, while hanging on to the baby with one hand and searching through the baby bag with another is something I’d do, but would definitely not recommend! Keep it to the basics, for your own sanity.

I would argue that enough nappies and wipes for the flight, a spare baby grow in case of emergency, your baby blanket and food / drink are really the essential essentials. Of course if your baby is taking medications bring them too but basically keeping your baby hydrated, comfortable and well fed should make for a better flight. Everything else can go into checked luggage or the pram bag. For more expert travel advice, check out our travel experts, the Stork Exchange.
Do you have any comments? Please share below.

About the Author

I’m Olivia Mai, founder of The Stork Exchange and Mum to two small children. My third baby is the one I leave at home when I go on holidays, it’s called The Stork Exchange and it’s my little business. It is a children's equipment hire service that offers everything from child car seats, prams, buggies, cots and highchairs, to monitors, booster seats, buggy boards and pram bags. I started The Stork Exchange with my husband four years ago after a bad experience on holidays abroad with my kids. Fast forward four years and we now have two shops, one at Dublin Airport and one in Shannon. We work closely with a number of airlines and car rental companies and have spent three years developing our product range. That’s a lot of products to trail -- safety, durability and ease of use are top priorities. I constantly get asked questions by parents about travelling with kids -- what equipment to bring, what not to bring, what’s allowed by airlines, what’s not. Being at the airport day in day out means I am pretty close to it all and as a result have built up loads of knowledge, tips and nuggets of practical and useful info about the do’s and don’t of travelling with children. I also learn from the experience of other Mums and Dads. It’s great to be able to share this advice to help make the journey and holiday a bit smoother and easier for other parents. Want to get in touch? Email me at or call 087 255 8702 Check out my website and social channels at the icons above.


Please login to leave a comment.