I’ve come a long way since my first long-haul flight with my baby when he was 4 months old! He suffered from reflux – so I dressed top-to-toe in clothes that could be wiped clean, terrified he would vomit on me mid-flight (and yes he did!).
Thinking about how I looked definitely took a back-seat – but, you know what... it didn’t have to! Now after multiple flights under our belt, I’ve put together my go-to travel look that’s practical, comfy & cool!
So here are my top tips for what to wear when flying with a baby or toddler:
Regardless of which climate I’m flying to or from, I always work with layers in my outfit. Depending on the air-conditioning, planes can be hot or cold so it’s great to be able to add or take off layers to stay comfortable during the flight.
Now when putting my outfit together, I always start with a comfy t-shirt or cami and layer a wrinkle-free jacket or cardi on top of this. Then I really recommend investing in a cute pair of stretch jeans that don’t stretch out of shape after wearing them. Or find some comfy boyfriend cut jeans that are cosy and soft. The key is that these jeans should be so comfy you could sleep in them. Because after all, you will be trying to sleep in them!
To be extra safe, opt for dark colored jeans, especially if your little one tends to spill things. Otherwise make sure you keep the inflight blanket that the airline provides on your lap to protect you from spilt OJ during the flight!
Comfy shoes are a MUST! You’ll be taking them on and off during the flight, so chose sneakers or slip-ons that are easy to remove. Try and find some that can double as your go-to comfy walking shoes during your holiday. I LOVE TOMS! Not only are they super comfortable, but they come in a range of cool styles & colors that suit every season and outfit.
Keep jewelry to a minimum – you don’t want to be setting off alarms when you walk through Security! Long necklaces tend to get in the way when your digging through carry-on luggage at your feet during the flight, and chose earrings that won’t get lost and are comfy enough to sleep in.
I always bring a scarf, shawl, wrap or sarong with me during the flight. What I bring depends on which climate I’m flying to, but they all do the same job during the flight – protecting my neck and ears from the air-conditioning. I seem to be prone to getting a soar throat or catching a cold after long flights, and wearing something around my neck really seems to help reduce the odds of getting sick.
Finally, if you’re traveling during Summer, don’t forget to bring your hat on the plane! This saves it from getting crushed in your hold luggage, and you can easily store it in the over-head compartment during your flight.
I searched high and low for a carry-on bag that was large, light and could be used at my destination. And my hot tip is to substitute one of your carry-on bags for a beach-bag! They are the perfect size for storing under the seat in front, come in cool designs and are perfect for keeping everything you need close-at-hand during your flight.
I’m all for maxi-dresses & floor length skirts, but have learned that they’re not the best outfit choice when flying with kids. Anything that touches the floor is a no-go – and I’ve had to hitch-up long skirts to stop them dragging on lavatory floors while helping my toddlers use the bathroom. Yes, they're comfy, but keep them in your packed luggage.
Spills are inevitable during your flight. So keep the airplane blanket handy to protect yourself and have a back-up outfit in your carry-on. As I fly two long-hauls from Europe to Australia, I always pack a second outfit for the second flight and change if necessary, during transit.
I hope this helps fellow mama’s find a comfy & cool outfit for flying with their little ones. And be sure to check out Flyaway Kids Bed if you would love your child to sleep and play comfortably on the plane!
Author: Debra Pally is the Swiss/Australian CEO of Flyaway Designs and inventor of Flyaway Kids Bed – an award-winning travel bed that helps children sleep and play on planes. She has 2 young boys and lives in Zurich, Switzerland.