Snacks, Toys, and Teethers: 5 Things You Need When Flying with a 6-12 Month Old Baby
At this age, your baby isn’t a teeny tiny baby anymore: she can sit up, entertain herself for at least a few minutes at a time, and is probably not longer content to sleep on your chest in a baby carrier for the entire flight. But, she’s still not old enough to watch movies for hours or whatever, so you’ll need to provide lots of toys and distractions to keep your baby (and really everyone on the plane) happy.
In addition to my 10 Travel Essentials for Flying with a Newborn, a 6-12 month-old baby will also need: (1) a mini cooler of snacks and milk; (2) musical/light up toys; (3) small board books; (4) lightweight, compact toys; and (5) teethers and pacifiers. And yes, I know “toys” are on there twice. That’s because babies this age need a lot of toys to keep their attention in between (hopefully long, fingers crossed!) naps.
1. Healthy Snacks and Milk/Formula
Pack a mini cooler with whatever food your baby will need for the flight, plus extra in case your flight doesn't leave on time or you have a longer-than-expected layover. Check the TSA website for more details on what’s allowed and what’s prohibited, but we have never had to throw out any liquid or baby food packet type of thing that we’ve brought onboard. Starter food would keep Jules occupied for longer periods, so we brought a lot of puffs and Cheerio-type food onboard. Jules’ favorites at this age were HappyBABY superfood puffs and organic yogis.
Also amazing for travel: I try to make my own baby food when I'm at home, but I think organic baby food pouches are a godsend. Once Upon a Farm pouches are organic, cold-pressed, and have no added sugar (yay!) but they do have to be refrigerated so bring an ice pack in your cooler. Other good choices: Happy Baby (we are huge fans of the Clearly Crafted line) and Plum Organics. Also a staple in our travel cooler bag: Stonyfield Whole Milk Yogurt pouches. You can freeze them, and Jules loves them. Available at Whole Foods.
3. Small Board Books
At this age, Jules’ absolute favorites books were these Roger Priddy board books full of photographs of real-life objects and babies. She also loved lift-the-flap books and anything without too many words per page.
4. Compact and Lightweight Toys
Anything that is compact, easy to clean, and cheap (in case you lose it) makes the ideal travel toy.
Our favorite travel toys are these simple stacking cups from The First Years. My daughter enjoys nesting the cups, pulling them out one-by-one, banging two of them together, and knocking them down after stacking them up. The little holes in the cups make them fun bath toys too, so they are a great travel item.
When Juliette was teething we would bring both Sophie Giraffe and this Bambeado Giraffe with us on the plane, just in case. (Note that for Sophie, Amazon has had some issues with counterfeit Sophies, so I'd suggest buying directly from her manufacturer or from a reputable store like Nordstrom or Pottery Barn Kids just to be safe).
It’s also a good idea to have pacifier wipes like these from Muchkin/Arm & Hammer to clean teethers and other toys that fall (that will later end up back in their mouths…). And lavatory sink water is dirty, so don’t rinse it off in there either unless you have a bottled water with you.
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