Does A Diaper Bag Count As a Carry On? (With Packing Checklist)

Packing for yourself is never easy, but once you become a parent the task becomes a whole lot more complicated!

If the time has come to pack for a trip or vacation with your baby, you’ll definitely want to know the rules about flying with a diaper bag.

Most airlines do not count diaper bags as part of your personal allowance, but beware that some airlines like Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and Delta do.

Does a Diaper Bag Count As a Carry On?

The answer as to whether a diaper bag counts as a carry on depends on your airline and can change, so it’s best to also check with them before flying.

Airlines That Do NOT Count Diaper Bags As Carry On

  • American Airlines
  • Frontier
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • United

Airlines That DO Count Diaper Bags As Carry On

  • Alaska Airlines
  • Air Canada
  • Delta

What Can I Take On A Plane For My Baby?

Most of us are aware of the 3-1-1 rule which is set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

This rule states that passengers can only take liquids in their carry-on that are a maximum of 100ml or 3.4oz, the liquids should fit in a quart-sized bag, and each passenger is only allowed one plastic bag.

However, the great news for parents is that this rule does not apply to baby food, formula, milk, juice, water or other liquids which are essential for a baby or toddler.

So as long as what you take is genuinely for your child and the quantity is regarded as “reasonable” by the TSA officer, you don’t need to worry about keeping liquids under 100ml or ensuring they all fit in a quart-sized bag.

Airplane Diaper Bag Checklist

If you’re not sure what to take in your diaper bag, here’s an essential checklist that you may find useful to help pack what you’ll need for both baby and parents alike.

It’s similar to our regular diaper bag checklist, but with a few modifications that should hopefully make traveling that little bit easier with your child.

Top 20 Diaper Bag Essentials For Baby When Traveling

  1. Antibacterial Spray & Wipes (for wiping tables, window shutters and arm rests)
  2. Bibs (take a few extras just in case there are more feeds than you think)
  3. Blanket (airplanes can often be very cold)
  4. Change Of Clothes (leakages seem to happen at the worst times)
  5. Changing Pad
  6. Diapers or Pull Ups
  7. Diaper Cream
  8. Dirty Diaper Bags
  9. Food & Snacks (better to take too many than too few)
  10. Formula (offer this when taking off and landing to ease ear pain)
  11. Hat (either for warmth and / or sun protection at your destination)
  12. Ibuprofen (useful for managing ear pain)
  13. Muslin
  14. Pacifier (these may also help ease your baby’s ear pain)
  15. Sterilized Bottles (take more than you think you’ll need in case of delays)
  16. SunglassesSunscreen 
  17. Toys, Books & Other Entertainment (essential to help prevent your baby crying onboard)
  18. Utensils
  19. Wet Bag
  20. Wet Wipes

Top 10 Diaper Bag Essentials For Mom Or Dad

  1. Band Aids
  2. Breast Pump
  3. Chewing Gum Or Hard Candy
  4. Nipple Cream
  5. Nursing Cover
  6. Sanitizer
  7. Snacks
  8. Spare Clothes
  9. Water Bottle
  10. Whatever Is Usually In Your Purse

See Also:

Nick is a passionate dad who co-founded Rockinbaby to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He has a BSc and MBA, and works as a senior marketing professional. In his spare time Nick loves watching sports, staying fit and traveling. Learn more about Nick here.

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