Flying with a newborn + (nursing friendly) style

nursing breastfeeding friendly airport travel outfit

Last month we made it through our first cross-country trip with a 2-month-old! Everyone tells us this younger, sleepier stage is the easiest for flying, which was true as Nori mostly ate and snoozed (minus pooping on Nick in the tiny airplane bathroom and needing an outfit change). I’m certainly no expert at this yet, but got lots of requests to do this blog post on what worked for us, specific to traveling with a young infant.

Our pediatrician said it was fine for Nori to fly after her 2 month shots, so we scheduled those a week before the trip in case she didn’t feel well afterwards. We also took a road trip earlier in the month, which worked well as a trial run for Nick and I packing-wise (we only left the house 3 hours later than planned…).

Our Travel Gear
  • Checked bag: Delsey spinner suitcase. Luggage that glides smoothly is more important than ever when juggling extra cargo! We use the 25″ size as our checked bag, and there’s a 29″ size option as well. These are expandable, lightweight, and durable.
  • Carry on: Bric’s 21″ spinner suitcase.
  • Carry on: Skiphop weekender diaper bag. Available at Nordstrom, Target or Amazon. This is the same bag from my hospital packing post, and it’s come in quite handy during recent trips. It’s very spacious with lots of organizers so we use it to pack everything baby-related, plus items I’d typically bring in a purse like a small makeup bag. There’s a sleeve on the back of the bag that slides over a suitcase handle, and it also comes with detachable stroller clips.
  • Carry on: Vinta camera backpack with our laptops + photography gear.
  • Gate Check: Yo-Yo stroller (also at PB Kids; this can be carried on if desired) + Nuna Pipa carseat with adapter – see my stroller & carseat blog post for more info. For a purely travel stroller, the Pockit is SUPER compact and < $200, however it’s only for kids 6 months and up and can’t hold a carseat.
Nursing-friendly outfit

For nursing mamas, a layered outfit w/ quick boob access is key for minimal meltdowns on the road!

  • Base: Nursing bra or camisole. H&M nursing tanks are one of my must haves!
  • Layer: Cardigan or wrap sweater. I wore this soft and cozy Ann Taylor wrap tunic sweater that’s very easy to pull down at the chest. Another option I love is the Bobeau wrap fleece – this is one of my longtime favorites for regular wear that works well for nursing.
  • Outer (if needed): An open jacket with minimal zippers or buttons down the center that could irritate your child. I wore this draped trench from Express (blogged here; note it’s a longer midi length).
breastfeeding nursing friendly travel outfit for airport
TSA & airline policies regarding babies
  • Baggage allowance: Call or check your airline’s website, but most airlines allow you to check 1 stroller and 1 car seat per child free of charge, either at the ticket counter or at the gate before boarding (only foldable strollers under a certain size at the gate). Most airlines also allow you to carry on 1 diaper bag per child and a breast pump bag free of charge. Pack n Plays and portable cribs are not free to check, and count as part of your regular checked bag allowance.
  • TSA security screening: Carseats and strollers not checked at the ticket counter must go on the TSA x-ray belt for screening, and babies must come out of carriers and go through screening in your arms according to the TSA website. However, we’ve carried Nori through TSA screening in our baby carriers (just make sure there isn’t a metal piece) multiple times without having to take her out.
  • Liquids: Formula, milk, or juice for babies or toddlers are allowed to be carried on in excess of the 3oz liquids limit.

Based on these policies, the most efficient option for us would’ve been to check our carseat and stroller at the ticket counter, then wear baby in a fabric wrap through security. However, we’ve had checked bags lost one too many times, so we kept her in the carseat and stroller all the way to the gate. You can get tags for your gate check items at the boarding desk and drop them off there in advance of boarding.

traveling with baby carseat stroller protector bags
skiphop pronto portable diaper change pad
Carseat in protector bag ready for gate check (left); Portable changing station (right)

Other items we found useful
  • Carseat and stroller protector bags. We got an un-padded carseat protector bag (all of these carseat bags are huge btw) so it could fold up as small as possible. We saw other families using this padded carseat bag, which I’m sure is a more durable choice but also bulkier when not in use.
  • Baby Carrier. Nick and I showed up to the airport armed for battle, each wearing our own carriers (Baby Bjorn Mini and the Solly baby wrap) with clipped pacifiers dangling. Nori prefers the Baby Bjorn Mini for regular wear, but the fabric wrap came in handy on the plane, tied loosely to help cradle her during feeding and sleeping.
  • Portable diaper changing pad. The Skiphop Pronto changing clutch (at Target or Amazon) is a must-have. I can fit diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, a backup onesie, plus odor-eliminating plastic bags for dirtied clothes into this. We also have a version from another brand, but Skiphop’s is notably better quality. I also keep a puppy pee pad in my diaper bag as a disposable liner, if the public changing table is just too dirty!
  • Pacifiers with clips. Clips are crucial so you’re not chasing dropped pacifiers off a dirty floor! We tried a few different brands and actually like the freebie ones that came with this foldable caddy the best.
  • Multi-purpose cover. These carseat / nursing / high chair / shopping cart covers can also be used as an infinity-style scarf if you get cold or as a light blanket for baby.
    solly baby wrap infant carrier for petite women
    traveling with a baby infant on the airplane
    Solly baby wrap as a carrier (left) and worn loosely as a naptime cradle (right)
Other tips
  • Feed or use a pacifier during takeoff and landing since sucking can help alleviate pressure changes in your little one’s ears. Some doctors say young infants’ ears are not affected by the pressure change, but I don’t think it hurts to do this!
  • Straddle boarding: If you’re traveling with others and baby is fussy at the time of boarding, have someone board first with your bigger bags before overhead bin space fills up. This way you can walk around to soothe your child and board later on.
  • Buy diapers and wipes at your destination to save packing space. Amazon Prime or Target 2-day are also lifesavers and can ship to a hotel!
  • Proof of age: Bring this just in case if you’re traveling with a lap infant under 2. Especially on Southwest Airlines who are known for asking for this!
  • Ask for help if you need it. I was pleasantly surprised this trip by just how many strangers offered to help. People offered to assist with our gate check items, to watch baby in the bathroom if I needed to pee, and also with lifting our bags on the plane. I also saw strangers helping other mamas with getting in and out of their baby carriers or with baggage. So don’t be afraid to ask for a hand while on the road, since most people will likely understand and be very kind!

We’d love to hear your tips and favorite products for traveling with babies, especially on longer trips or international flights!

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Leave a Comment


  1. J wrote:

    I know this is an older post but that sweater is sold out in the color you are wearing, do you have another suggestion for a sweater that looks similar

    Posted 2.12.19 Reply
  2. Vida wrote:

    Hi, Jean! This is one of my all-time favorite of your posts because it has so much handy baby-gear information! I hope that you continue to provide updates on what you’re finding helpful (and chic) for life with your sweet baby. Thanks!

    Posted 1.23.19 Reply
  3. Mariko wrote:

    I would love for some more nursing friendly/mom friendly outfits on your blog!

    Posted 11.23.18 Reply
  4. Karen wrote:

    Hi Jean, your tips are very useful. Thank you.

    The Ann Taylor sweater is very nice and “easy to pull down” for nursing like you said. However, it is a bit itchy for me. Do you have any tips on how to make sweaters less itchy, maybe a blog post if you have any recommendations. Thank you.

    Posted 11.19.18 Reply
  5. SCui wrote:

    We were a nervous wreck traveling with our 3-month-old abroad a few weeks ago. I was convinced she was going to get fussy during the 15 hour flight and everyone would hate me. But she slept for almost the whole duration!! Something about that turbulence really puts them to sleep.

    For international flights, make sure to book a bulkhead seat and get to the gate early to reserve a bassinet for the baby to sleep in. We also packed a swaddle for her to sleep in to keep conditions as close to home as possible. Everything else you mentioned was spot on.

    You and Nick are sure making parenthood look easy! Love that you aren’t afraid to venture out with Nori while simultaneously being smart about your planning.

    Posted 11.17.18 Reply
  6. Anonymous wrote:

    Does the ann Taylor sweater wash up well? Have you noticed lots of pilling?

    Posted 11.16.18 Reply
  7. Susanna wrote:

    Love your outfit. This is very helpful as I’ll be traveling with my baby soon. The anxiety is too real. Didn’t think to wear a button up for breastfeeding.

    Posted 11.14.18 Reply
  8. Aida wrote:

    Hi Jean,

    I just recently found your blog. It is so resourceful ! You have a great style. Nori is so adorable! I wish I have known your blog earlier. As much as I enjoy your selection of clothing and accessories, I also want you know that your hair looks fabulous. The hair style you select every time matches with your outfit well. I wonder if you can write sth about how you do your hair. Thanks !!

    Posted 11.13.18 Reply
  9. JAV wrote:

    Nice Post. Thanks!

    Posted 11.13.18 Reply
  10. Maureen wrote:

    That’s awesome Jean that you guys were able to take the little one on a trip. The first time is always nerve wrecking but you and Nick seem to have it down! The list you have is pretty similar to what we had packed when we traveled with our son when he was younger. Now that he is a bit more independent and older we can carry less like no more strollers and we just rent our car seat at our destination. I hope you guys had a great weekend and happy Monday!

    Maureen |

    Posted 11.12.18 Reply
  11. Lina wrote:

    You’re making and mothers and motherhood look so elegant, well done

    Posted 11.12.18 Reply
  12. Nimesh Ganatra wrote:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

    Posted 11.12.18 Reply
  13. Kristine wrote:

    Hi Jean,
    Been following your blog for quite a while now and I lovehow accurate all of your descriptions are. I live internationally so I have to fully rely on your recommendations and fit because we seem to have the same body type. I’ve been eyeing the J crew thinsulate petite coat for a while now and wanted to pull the trigger but I have noticed mixed reviews on the quality of it from their website and your review have been from years ago. I tried to search other blogs but no recent reviews have been posted. Maybe you can do another review based on the recent material for your international followers who are not able to return these coats? I usually buy clothes there and have it shipped to a shipping company in the u.s. before having it shipped here in order to avail of u.s. promos. So the possibility of returns are impossible. Hope you can do a new one. Thanks and love your blog and instagram posts!

    Posted 11.11.18 Reply
  14. Diane wrote:

    When my son was an infant, we used to check his car seat at the counter in a padded car seat bag, and fill all the extra space in the bag with diapers and wipes and any other bulky baby items. It’s basically a free checked bag! It’s really convenient, especially if you’re traveling abroad and it’s harder to get the diapers, wipes, etc. that you want.

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply
  15. Anika May wrote:

    Cute photos! I love your shoes, they look so comfy!

    Anika |

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply
  16. Such a cozy outfit <3 🙂 I love how you styled it with a trench and added a touch of classiness to it!

    XO, Elizabeth T.

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply
  17. Lorena wrote:

    You may want to take a look into the WAYB pico car seat as an option for air travel once baby outgrows the Nuna.

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply
  18. Lorena wrote:

    You may want to look in the Pico car seat from WaYb, for future air travel, once Nori grows out the infant car seat.

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply
  19. Misha wrote:

    Love this post! We have always carried our daughters thru security in carriers (Ergo, Tula, Solly, Sakura Bloom) and have never had any issues with the type of carrier being used. The only thing I think you have to worry about is any metal (like a ring for a sling or the buckle in the Sakura Bloom).

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply
  20. Lysabu wrote:

    -Put your baby bottles in a zip lock bag. So if TSA looks in your stuff, their dirty gloves won’t touch the bottles.
    – We once gave Benadryl to our 13 month old on a 14-hour flight. Totally backfired because it had the opposite effect and kept him awake. That was the first and last time we gave him Benadryl. He’s a teenager now.

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply
  21. You still look so chic with all the equipment, Jean! Great guide! I hope it helps many mothers out there 🙂

    Posted 11.10.18 Reply

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