Keep the tantrums at bay with these in-flight essentials

After two years of postponed plans, this summer is the chance to explore the world and go on your next adventure as a family. We know it can be overwhelming, so we’ve put together our top tips and must-have products to help ensure your journey avoids any unnecessary turbulence (fingers crossed!).

What to expect

So, you’ve planned your perfect family holiday, but it’s your first time flying with a little one – don’t panic. Nobody can predict what your flight will be like, but it’s important to cover all bases so you’re well prepared.

Plan ahead

Before you consider booking your flight, check that baby is old enough to fly. Under NHS advice, it’s best to wait until your baby is over two weeks old. However, babies aged between two and seven days old can be given permission to fly with a letter from your GP. It’s best to check the age restrictions with your chosen airline too, as they may have different policies.

Travel health advice

As with any holiday, it’s always good to get covered with travel insurance before you fly in case the unexpected happens. Likewise, you should consider the travel health advice from your chosen destination so you can dictate whether any vaccines or antimalarial medicine is required prior to your trip. If you are travelling with a baby, it’s advised to avoid malarious areas but seek advice from your GP or pharmacist before travelling.

Infant and child tickets

There are a couple of ticket options available which have different baggage allowances. Generally, if the child is under the age of two, you can buy an infant ticket where they’ll be expected to sit on your lap. With an infant ticket, you may be entitled to a smaller luggage allowance, but this will vary with each airline, so it’s best to check.

If you want them to have their own seat, you can buy a child ticket. They may need their own car seat if this is the case. As they’ll have their own seat, they can get the standard hand luggage allowance too. But again, check this with your airline.

Packing and hand luggage

Although you might feel you need to pack up the entire contents of your house, it’s better not to overpack. Most things can go in your checked-in luggage and the things you do need can be organised into your hand luggage.

If you’re unsure on what to expect, we recommend keeping up to date with the latest Government guidance on travel, as well as your specific airline before you jet off.

Some airlines will allow you to bring an extra carry-on bag for your little one, as long as you stick to the 100ml liquid restrictions. It’s worth noting that there are some exceptions for these liquids so you can bring milk and food pouches onboard but make sure to check with your airline for full details.

What to pack

Your flight bag is your one-way ticket to a smooth journey, so it’s essential you pack everything you need to keep your little one comfortable and entertained. Right from leaving your house to landing in your chosen destination, we’ve covered everything you need to ensure your experience is as calm as possible.

The serious stuff

Before you can even think about how many changes of clothes you’ll need to bring, you won’t get very far without the serious documents.

If this is your first time flying with a baby, they’ll need their own passport. It’s worth sorting this a couple of months before you fly to allow plenty of time for it to arrive. Some airlines may request a birth certificate to confirm the age of your little one, so check if your airline requires this. Keep these documents in a safe and easily accessible place in your hand luggage so you can fly through airport security.

Alternatively, download as much as possible to your phone so you’re not having to faff around with paperwork when your hands will already be full.

Newborns and infants (0-12 months)

Going on holiday with a newborn is such a new and exciting experience and it’s only natural to worry about the flight. But there are plenty of things you can do to prepare so you can enjoy your holiday in no time. Don’t forget to check the hand luggage size requirements for your specific airline so you can prepare your packing essentials.

Stroller and carrier

Babyzen YOYO² 6+ Stroller

Okay, so this won’t fit in your in-flight bag, but it’s an essential for your little one to get from A to B in the airport and at your chosen destination. It’s easily foldable to make the airport check-in as smooth as possible.

Joie Savvy Baby Carrier

Keep your hands free around the airport to handle the important documents and get on-board fuss-free with this baby carrier. Keep your little one comfortable on your flight and help them get some Z’s.

Aptamil 2 Follow On Baby Milk Formula Tabs 6-12 Months (120 Tabs)*

Suitable for infants between six and 12 months, feed your baby with this quick and easy follow-on formula – what’s not to like?

*Important notice: Breastfeeding is best for babies. Follow On Milk is only for babies over six months, as part of a mixed diet. It should not be used as a breastmilk substitute before six months.

Nuby UV Steriliser Bag (Portable)

Make your life so much easier onboard with this game-changing portable steriliser bag. Using ultraviolet light, sterilise bottles in just three minutes! No water, chemical or drying time needed. Mind = blown.

Mam Anti-Colic Bottles 160ml x 3

So, you have the milk and the steriliser, all you need now are the bottles!

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Portable Travel Baby Bottle & Food Warmer

A hangry baby is something you don’t want on a flight, so if they’re due a feed when you’re in the air, pack this bottle and food warmer so you can prepare and feed your baby without leaving your seat.

Hipp Organic Baby Food Jar Sweet Squash & Chicken 125g  6 Months+

If your little one is six months or over, why not take a small jar of food onboard with you and keep within their weaning routine? Don’t forget the spoon to go with it!

Boots Baby 4 Weaning Bibs – Pink

If your baby is weaning, then chances are you’ll need a bib for them (can you imagine the mess?). These are great for catching spills and runaway food.

It’s advisable to continue breastfeeding whilst travelling as it benefits both baby and maternal wellbeing. It’s also more practical than bottle feeding as it avoids having to sterilise equipment and water.

If you choose to bottle feed, it’s advised you bring your own bottle and steriliser as these may be unobtainable in your chosen destination. It’s also important to consider buying bottled water as the water safety can vary from country to country. Using bottled water is a safe and convenient way to feed your baby abroad.


My Little Coco Sleepy Head Calming Baby Oil 100ml

Whether you’re flying for a couple of hours or you’re braving long-haul, getting your little one to have a nap is the dream for all parents onboard. This calming baby oil can help to soothe and relax your baby.

Mothercare Sleepy Safari Muslins 3 Pack

Muslins are an essential for every parent – you can’t convince us otherwise. Perfect as a nursing cover, wiping up spills and dribbles, or even creating a comforter for your baby, you can’t get onboard without these.

Mothercare Fairy-Tale Unicorn Blankie Comforter

Give your baby something to snuggle up to onboard with this super-soft, super-cute comforter. Just think how adorable they’ll look sleeping with this cuddly unicorn.

MAM Original Colours Of Nature Soother Set 6 Months+

Soothers can be a lifesaver for calming your baby, helping them drift off to sleep during the flight. 


Boots Baby Anti-Bacterial Wipes with biodegradable fibres 30 pack

These anti-bacterial wipes give you peace of mind and are great for wiping down any surfaces such as airplane trays.

Boots Baby Fragrance Free Biodegradable soft baby wipes, single pack = 64 wipes

Depending on the length of your flight, chances are you’ll need to change at least one nappy, so these wipes are an essential and are delicate on your baby’s sensitive skin. Oh, and they’re biodegradable too – even better!

Boots Little Stories Bamboo Nappy Size 5 22 pack

Ahhh, the nappies. You won’t get far without them! Not only do these nappies quickly absorb moisture to keep your baby dry and comfortable, but they’re also made from 40% plant-based materials!

Boots Little Stories Plastic Free Nappy Bags 50pk

Not to be missed off your list are nappy bags, especially these plastic-free ones. Handy and convenient, dispose of nappies and contain the smell.

Little Bear All In Ones - 3 Pack

One of the smartest decisions you can make is bringing a spare change of clothes for your baby – and yourself - in case of any accidents. A simple sleepsuit for a flight will do just fine until you arrive at your destination.


Nuby Penguin Spiral Travel Toy

One sure way to keep your baby happy onboard is with a distraction. This interactive toy will keep their minds occupied whilst stimulating their senses.

Mothercare Into The Wild Soft Book

The perfect book for your newborn, let their hands explore the sounds, colours and textures with this wild story book and help pass the time until you land.

Toddlers (1-3 years old)

Flying with a toddler is a whole new ballgame. They’re more curious, wriggly, and have such a strong desire to climb and touch everything possible. So, with this in mind, here’s your list of essentials to keep your toddler calm, happy and occupied.

Travel and carrier

LittleLife Toddler Daysack - Dinosaur

The perfect companion for your toddler is this dinosaur backpack. Give them the freedom to pack their favourite toys and activities for the flight, giving you some extra space in your own bag, too!

My Little Coco My Little Everything Chair

Your must-have for on-the-go is this everything chair. As it says on the tin, it’s for everything from playing to eating so it’s great to use at the airport and will be a lifesaver on holiday.


Heinz 1+ Years By Nature Spaghetti Bolognese 230g

Taking food onboard is an absolute essential, whether it’s a snack or a mini meal. With Heinz’s great selection, you’ll be able to keep them happy whatever their food mood.

Organix Banana & Date Organic Fruit Snack Bar Multipack 12 Months+

A real treat for your toddler, let them munch away and enjoy the taste of banana and date with these delicious snack bars.

Ella's Kitchen Organic Rice Pudding with Mangoes and Apples Pouch 7+ Mths 80g

The best thing about these fruity pouches? No crumbs, no cutlery – we can’t promise no mess but they’re convenient, nutritious, practical and extra tasty.

Ella's Kitchen Organic Bolognese Bake Packed with Peppers Pot, 1-3 Yrs 200g

If you’re flying during your toddler’s feeding time, don’t compromise your routine, stick with these everyday faves and opt for a savoury pot full of goodness.

My Little Coco Mini Mealtime

The perfect mealtime set to bring onboard, this includes a trio divider plate, a curved bowl and a flat plate so whatever the meal, you’ll be prepared.

Tommee Tippee Smushee First Self-Feeding 4M+ Weaning Spoons - Pack of 2

Mealtimes can be messy but they’re even messier without spoons. These weaning spoons even have an extra-long handle to scoop out food without the added mess. Here comes the airplane…

Tommee Tippee Easi-Flow 360 Handled Cup

Let your toddler quench their thirst with the easiest 360° cup. Say bye-bye to spillages and hello to mess-free drinking (the air hostesses will be happy).


Trunki Yondi Neck Pillow

If you do get your toddler to drift off to the land of nod, firstly – well done! Secondly, make sure their neck is supported with a comfortable pillow so they feel safe and comfy.

Matchstick Monkey Gigi Giraffe Teething Starter Set

Teething is the worst, right? So let your toddler get their teeth (or gums) round this teething starter set and help soothe their pain – and yours.

Mothercare Grey Stars Chenille Knitted Blanket

We all love to snuggle up underneath a blanket, especially as some planes can be quite chilly. Keep your little one comfortable with this oh-so soft blanket and wrap them up until they doze off.


Pampers Baby-Dry Nappy Pants, Essential Pack

It goes without saying that you’ll still need to carry the essential nappies, wipes and bags depending on the age of your toddler. But for those who are potty training – or just extra wriggly during changing time – these pull-on nappy pants will be your saviour onboard.


LeapFrog Learning Friends 100 Words Book

Toys are the key to a happy child and although they can get bored easily, give them a couple of options to keep them happy. This interactive book features different words and languages – who knows, your toddler could utter some foreign lingo during your trip!

Wherever you choose to go on your next holiday, make it as fuss-free as possible for the whole family. Don’t forget, you can pre-order toiletries, food pouches and other essentials through Boots Click & Collect.* Simply choose your airport store and stock up once you get past security. This way you’ll save on valuable packing space and relieve the stress of liquid limitations – it’s a win-win! Now, time to relax…

*Selected airports. Charges may apply.