Packing For A Toddler On A Long-Haul Flight

Isaac has been lucky enough to go to Hong Kong 3 times already at the grand old age of 20 months old, and whilst the long-haul flight to Hong Kong is an eye watering 12-13 hours long (not to mention the hours spent travelling to and from the airports as well), being well prepared and organised with luggage makes a huge difference to anxiety and sanity levels in my experience.

I can't say that I am a seasoned traveller with a baby, but I have learned lots each time I've flown with Isaac and out of the 6 inbound/outbound flights, I did 4 of them on my own! 

My first lone-parent and baby flight to Hong Kong when Isaac was 4.5 months old was a hell of an experience which I never wish to repeat again. Luckily as he's gotten older, the flights have been easier to handle and there's been much less to pack, which has made transitioning through the airport more relaxing.

I've had lots of mummy friends asking how I pack for Isaac, so I'm sharing his packing list and hopefully it helps you guys who are looking to travel with a baby/toddler sometime soon. I usually have this list written on a Word doc which I dig out and amend to age-appropriate items when needed.

Packing for a 20 Month Old Toddler

We've been staying with my sister in law each time we go to Hong Kong, and she has amazingly bought and stored a few things for us so that I don't have to factor this in when packing, these items include a baby bath tub, a high chair for feeding, a changing mat for the bathroom (so I don't have to keep using my travel one from my baby bag), and foam play mats for the living room. Isaac and I also share a double bed when we are there, so there's no need for us to bring a travel cot.

For The Flight
All of Isaac's essentials for the flight are fitted into my large rucksack and stowed under the seat in front of me for take off. Non-essentials or spares goes in the small pulley case which is stowed in the overhead locker and may or may not be needed during the flight. Unless you are flying with someone, (I'm sure most of you will be!) accessing that bag is a hassle.

-x1 sleepsuit
-x1 muslin
-x2 bib
-x2 water bottle filled with cooled, boiled water
-Baby snacks/fruit pouch
-Feeding bib
-x2 spoons
-x1 pack wet wipes
-x1 pack Milton wipes
-x1 pack tissues
-Changing mat
-x3 nappies
-Nappy bags
-Calpol sachets
-Baby vapour rub
-Travel size baby Aveeno cream
-Toys/book/activity bag
-Plastic bag for rubbish

This little activity bag was so good for keeping all the small toys and play things in one place. Use sandwich bags to separate the medicines/feeding stuff which will make everything easier to find once inside the bag.

Small Pulley Case
-Ewan the sheep
-Amazon fire
-Blow up foot rest
-Sleeping bag
-Black pashmina + clip
-x2 spare bibs
-More fruits/snacks
-x3 nappies
-Teething gel + powder

Stroller/Baby Carrier
Bring both. I always, always bring the stroller right up to the gate with me because it is just so much easier than wearing the baby in a carrier along with a heavy rucksack plus a pulley case, whilst juggling through security check/passport checks. This is especially so if you are travelling by yourself with the baby.

However, there's been times when upon arrival at the destination, airline staff have checked in my stroller at the gate and I've had to collect it at baggage arrivals, so the baby carrier is a must for the flight. Plus, if baby if fussing onboard, the carrier will save your arms if you need to walk up and down the aisle to sooth baby.

For The Hold Luggage
All of Isaac's clothes for 5 weeks in Hong Kong plus his swimsuit, fitted into these small packing bags believe it or not! We have access to a washing machine whilst in Hong Kong, so I've just packed about 1 weeks worths of clothes (tops and bottoms), 8 body suits, 1 sleepsuit, socks, bibs, and a wedding outfit for our cousin's wedding in Hong Kong.

I usually bring new but cheaply bought or old worn out bodysuits/sleepsuits which I can give away to friends or bin afterwards. This helps with spare luggage space when coming back.

-Baby pillow
-Spare blankie
-x7 bibs
-x4 mini snack pots
-x1 spare straws for water bottle
-Baby snacks for the 5 weeks
-Aveeno baby bath
-Aveeno baby cream
-Baby toilet seat
-x2 towels
-Nail clippers
-Pack of nappies
-Toothbrush + toothpaste
-Face towel
-Swim suit
-Swim nappies

Packing for Myself

And of course, don't forget to pack for yourself! With all of the baby/toddler luggage to take onto the flight, I found it super handy to wear a small across-the-body-handbag and keep all the important stuff all in one place with easy access. Passports, travel tickets, boarding passes, money, phone, HK sim card, keys all get kept here.

Nowadays, I only bring a minimal amount of stuff for myself on the flight since I am usually too busy tending to Isaac's need or I am too tired to do anything else but sleep. My flight essentials are all in this yellow bag and fitted into my rucksack. 

-Hair band and clip
-Toothbrush and toothpaste
-Flight socks
-Menthol rub

I also packed a spare change of clothes for me (in case we had accidents), my laptop and phone charger inside the small pulley case. 

My clothes and shoes all fitted into these packing bags and includes a wedding dress, swimsuit, 2 beach dresses, gym gear, PJs, 10 tops and 3 pairs of bottoms. I always save all our old, worn out clothes/socks/underwear for holidays, so we can bin or donate after the holiday. This is so good for leaving some empty suitcase space to bring goodies back!

This large suitcase held of all mine and Isaac's stuff for 5 weeks in Hong Kong. We had another large suitcase which fitted in G's clothes and lots of food and toiletries for our families in Hong Kong.

Compared to when we went to Hong Kong when he was 4.5 months and at 10 months, there's definitely been a lot less things to pack.

At 4.5 months, we needed a million things like feeding bottles, formula powder and the ready to pour bottles which were h.e.a.v.y, the electric breast pumps, breast milk storage bottles, sterilisers, swaddle cloths and bags and even a travel play gym for daytime entertainment! And it didn't get that much easier at 10m, since we still needed most of that plus loads of baby food pouches and puree equipment like freezer pots and feeding equipment.

Top Tip For Keeping A Toddler Happy Inflight

This flight to Hong Kong as a toddler has been our easiest flight yet. Load them up on their favourite snacks, and let them watch TV! If they get to do all the things they don't usually get to do freely, you'll have a content toddler. In Isaac's case, he was so happy to eat an enormous amount of snacks, plus a second dinner all whilst watching TV. Eventually, he got so tired that he just nuzzled onto my lap and fell asleep without anything coaxing.

If any of you guys are going to Hong Kong, make sure you read 10 Baby Friendly Restaurants In Hong Kong For Foodie Parents and consider buying/borrowing a Lapbaby.

Are you flying with your baby/toddler anytime soon?

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