Traveling with kids under 3yrs old 

Hello fellow mommies,

Ever since my son turned 18 months I’ve flown with kids.  There wasn’t a lot of traveling before that until we started school. More than half the time I’ve flown solo and overall it’s been pretty smooth sailing.  

I haven’t varied too much in my techniques though.  So far it’s been full proof with very few meltdowns. 

This vacation coming up I plan to bring the following; lily jade shaylee diaper bag, toddler bag, and food backpack.  

    Usually when I’m traveling alone whoever drops me off helps me check in. I’m able to check in my kids carseats and  our luggage so I don’t have to carry them.

    I take the stroller to the gate so I dont have to carry my other 3 bags till boarding the plane.

    Inside the diaper bag:

    • Solly wrap and swaddle blanket 
    • Vanilla envelopes  with itinerary  & birth certificates.
    • Books
    • Dolls
    • Activities
    • Diapers
    • Spare outfit, socks, and  gloves

    I try not to get inside the diaper bag too much before getting on the plane. If my daughter is awake I’ll keep the wrap on  top and only use it when we board and gate check the stroller.  

    The inside of my bag looks like this without the wrap. 

    The vanilla envelopes have our  tickets and their birth certificates.  Most airlines let you use your phone to check in but I’m paranoid and always have backup. I keep them next to her new books and sticker pad (dollar tree). They’re easy to get in and out and don’t get messed up. 

    On the sides of my diaper bag I keep her favorite dolls and a swaddle blanket.  The ballerina we bought for this trip specifically. She’s never really used a whabanub but her molars have been coming in so she likes to chew on it. 

    Her favorite activities are the magnetic squares and finger puppets but she also likes to draw. I keep both inside medium and small jujube set pieces in the main part of the bag. 

    In a large set piece I have 5 disposable  diapers and wipes. I usually dont take the change pad and just wipe down the changing station. I also dont pack diaper rash cream unless she needs it. Usually it  isnt a problem and they just test it with a strip.

    Lastly in the inside zipper pocket is my emergency items; Fruit snacks. Starburts if we need help getting our son through security (you can tell before a meltdown happens if he’s in a poor mood). Suckers for take off and landing.  

    That’s all for inside the bag!

    In the front pockets of my diaper bag I have 2 small jujube set pieces. One has  her favorite teether and a few figurines.  The other has basic first aide, lotion, chapstick, and a thermometer. I just take out the nail clippers when we fly. 

    In the back pocket I have my wallet and phone.  My phone has a setting called kids mode so I also have a ballon popping app and 3 fisher price apps to entertain her if she wants what brother has (ipad). You can  find all 4 for free in the play store. 

    Only other thing I have is the munchkin trash bags which I love  for flying. Great for dirty diapers in the public trash cans, dirty clothes, and trash on the plane.  

    That’s it for the diaper bag!

    My son’s bag is easy and he carries it himself:

    • Coloring book
    • Book
    • Magnetic set (zulily or amazon)
    • Sticker pad
    • Ipad
    • Spare outfit, socks and gloves in jujube be quick. 

    His favorite apps on the iPad are:

    1. Toca Band
    2. Lunch box
    3. Endless ABC
    4. Elmo ABCs
    5. Dot collector
    6. Fisher price monkey & where’s puppy
    7. Music sparkle
    8. Kids puzzle
    9. Peek a boo barn (only for apple)
    10. Counting 123

    1-4 are paid apps. 5-10 are free apps.

    You can pre-download  movies and shows on Netflix now but he also has about a dozen movies on his ipad already.  

    I will often pack an aden + anais swaddle blanket for him as well. They’re the perfect size and so lightweight.  He is always requesting a blanket if his sister has one 😉

    That’s it for his bag!

    The food bag I try to keep lightweight and only carry the following:

    • Empty waterbottles (fill after security)
    • Apples and oranges
    • Containers with blueberries and raspberries  
    • Cheese string
    • Either pancakes or sandwiches if we’re flying during mealtime. 
    • Front pocket has dried fruit, nuts, granola bars  and applesauce

    When I board the plane alone I simply gate check the stroller, wear  the backpack, have the diaper bag on messenger style, carry my daughter in the wrap, and my son takes his bag.  It’s not bad at all!

    Sidenote: I may or may not have splurged on more Moana dolls for this trip…

    My son really wanted Maui and the pig the other day but they only had the huge ones.  He was so good about putting them back when I asked so I’m going to surprise him with them on the plane 🙂

    That’s all for the plane though!

    When we travel by car, 12-20hrs, I only change up a few things. 

    Dollar tree car basket!

    • Few toys
    • Coloring book
    • Coloring pencils
    • Books
    • Snacks

    Spend about $10-15 on each kid and this way if they loose or ruin something it’s not a big deal.  It’s also all new and keeps them entertained. We sometimes get a ball as well for them to kick around.

    We try to stop at places with large areas of grass or stores like petco. But we only stop when we get gas and that’s been enough breaks.  

    We will also drive through the night so they’ll both sleep a good majority of the time. Helps a ton! 

    We have two things for food. 

    Cardboard box:

    • Nuts
    • Sunflower seeds
    • Dried fruit
    • Apples and oranges
    • Granola
    • Granola bars 
    • Hard candy
    • Goldfish
    • Bread for sandwiches
    • Plasticware 
    • Napkins

    Try not to pack too much junk since you already feel blah traveling. 

    Medium igloo:

    • Fruit 
    • Cheese
    • Luncheon meat
    • Lettuce
    • Portable olive oil mayo
    • Small salad
    • Yogurt
    • Frozen gogurt

    This is usually just the right amount of food for everyone.  We may stop once to eat somewhere but usually don’t. 

    Hope this helps you in your travels!

    Check out the video version here

    Happy traveling,


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