What to Wear When Traveling with a Baby, Toddler, or Young Child

What to Wear When Traveling with Babies and Toddlers

White Pantsuits Optional

There are a couple of travel stories about me as a toddler that were often repeated in my family. One is how when we were in Scotland, I dumped a chicken dinner on my mom’s lap when she was wearing her white pantsuit. Another is how on a plane one time I spilled a full glass of orange juice on her lap while she was wearing her white pantsuit.

Now that I’m a parent and a traveling one at that, I have a question, “What on Earth was she thinking wearing a white pantsuit?”

what to wear when traveling, flying with baby, flying with an infant, travel with baby
A Stain Waiting To Happen…

What to wear when traveling with a baby or toddler…

My uniform is typically black from head to toe. That can disguise a multitude of problems. However, when you’re with an infant, it only highlights various slobbers and the kind of goo that only a baby can create with a cracker.

After arriving at various destinations feeling less than fresh, I’ve learned enough to feel confident sharing my travel attire tips for every member of your family. Basically I learned what to wear when traveling with a baby or toddler the hard way…

Layers aren’t just for cakes…

On any given travel day, you could go through as many as three different climates. The plane offers its own temperature variations as well. If you start out with a few light layers, you can remove as needed. Bringing along a few changes means you can add or subtract as the thermometer dictates, and maybe even get away without a full outfit change should baby spit up or have a diaper failure.

Try to avoid cardigans or sweaters with zippers, you’ll have to remove them going through security.

Shoes blues…

Everyone in your family over the age of 12 needs to remove their shoes when going through airport security. And family members who wear shoes for fun instead of function tend to lose theirs. Have everyone over 12 in footwear that’s easy to get on and off.

And, if possible, have baby in outfits with built in feet. You’ll avoid lost cute baby shoes and/or socks and keep baby’s feet warm.

Think flight patterns…

Multi-coloured patterns can hide a multitude of messes (including the aforementioned cracker goo). So, even if you’re not really clean, you don’t look messy. Keep patterns in mind for babies and little kids as well.

In a pinch, diaper wipes work remarkably well at taking out stains.

Just say no to pyjamas…

Was it Paris Hilton who popularized wearing pyjamas on the plane? Does anyone know who that is anymore? I guess I’m old school, but I try to dress up a bit for air travel and the same goes for my kids.

For a really early start, I’ll put them to bed in the (comfortable but cute) outfit they’ll wear on the plane. My travel clothes are those that feel like stretch pants and sweats without actually being them.

Not convinced?

Everyone I know who works for an airline tells me you’ll never be upgraded on a flight if you’re wearing flip flops and sweatpants. A bit of effort CAN go a long way if you’re lucky.

Try before you ride…

I thought I’d found the unicorn of jeans. They felt great and I felt they looked great.

Here was me, thinking I was Ms. Totally Capable Mom flying solo with a baby and a preschooler. But the longer I had them on, the more they stretched out. By the time I was walking from the check in counter to the security line, my fabulous new jeans were falling down.

Of course I wasn’t wearing a belt because, hello? Flying solo with kids and going through airport security?

Don’t be like me. With my arms full of stroller and diaper bag and toddler, I didn’t have a spare hand to keep yanking up my jeans.

A lot of people saw my bum that day 🙁

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4 Responses to What to Wear When Traveling with a Baby, Toddler, or Young Child

  1. lizardmama at #

    I bring a sundress and flip flops for myself and my daughter, and as soon as we disembark at a sunny destination, we go to the washroom and change! Makes the long line-ups for customs, car rentals etc much more comfortable. Plus it doesn’t take up much room in the carry on bag. (The sundress is also back-up for the inevitable vomit/spill etc on the plane).

    • Corinne at #

      Great tip on the sundress! I always stash flip flops in the carry-on too!

  2. Sonja at #

    I just marvel at how my mom used to dress for travel when I was little. In fact I posted a photo of it today at http://www.toeuropewithkids.com/2011/05/photo-friday-happy-mothers-day.html. She would wear stilettos hiking in the Alps and linen suits on airplanes. Crazy.

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