The Dos & Don’ts of Changing Your Baby on an Airplane

Dos and Don'ts of Changing Your Baby on a Plane

Where do we even start with plane washrooms? They are small, confined little spaces that you can barely maneuver in solo.  Now add your child to this mix and you are just asking to have a meltdown–and not by your child!  We are writing this post since we had a lot of people ask: how do you change a baby or toddler in a plane bathroom?! We figured out how to do this simply with trial and error.  Every plane ride was a new adventure, a new fail, a new laugh and a new story.  

Not every aircraft is created equally. This we learned over times and countless flights over this past year…21 to be exact. We have been on planes with handicapped washrooms that were huge, so much space that you wouldn’t even believe it was an airplane washroom——the only problem? They didn’t put the actual change tables in those bathrooms.  Thanks Air Canada. 

Then we have been on another plane where the washroom was so small that I could barely fit in it alone.  Let’s just say that we changed Felipa on our seats during that flight. Whatever flight you are taking and wherever you are going, we’re here to give you the dos and don’ts of changing your baby on a plane!

THE DON’TS:

Let’s start with the don’ts.  There are a lot of things that we have seen and tried ourselves and we’re going to let you know what exactly NOT to do.

1. DON’T bring your entire diaper bag to the bathroom with you.

I know moms and dads, your diaper bag is your friend, you have everything you need in it.  But what you don’t need is absolutely everything in the diaper bag. Just bring the essentials with you in the washroom. There is barely enough counter space for a toothbrush let alone an entire bag, and you definitely don’t want that bag on the floor. So, do yourself a favour and leave the bag at your chair and just bring what you need!

It may look like alot of space, but trust us…it isnt’!

2.  DON’T assume that it is sanitary.

As much as I want to believe that the cleaning crew does an amazing job wiping down the bathrooms, I just wont chance it with my child’s well being.  Before changing your baby, make sure to give the surfaces in the washroom a quick wipe down with sanitizing wipes. This includes the sink area, countertop and change table.  Even if you are using a change pad, your baby will move and touch everything and the space is so small it’s just better to wipe it all down!

3.   DON’T think your baby will always fit on the change table.

No two airlines are the same and no two washrooms are the same.  You can be on one flight where the change tables are a standard size and then boom you’re on a flight where your newborn is even too long for the change table.  How do you deal with this? Since our child has been abnormally long since birth, we have struggled with plane change tables.  The only way to deal with the short tables is to position her on an angle and let her feet dangle off the edge.  There are no restraints on these change tables, so please make sure to always have a secure hold on your little one in case of sudden movement or turbulence.

Now onto the DO’s of changing your baby in a plane washroom!

THE DOS:

1. DO ask for help.

If you are travelling with a partner, family member or friend then make sure to ask for help.  Have them hold your baby and changing accessories while you sanitize the bathroom and set up your items.  If you are traveling solo with baby, then simply ask a flight attendant!  They are there to help with whatever you need and as a solo traveller, don’t be afraid to ask for help numerous times.

Phil always gets the easy job of holding Felipa while I wipe down and prep the space.

2.  DO bring the following to the bathroom:

As we mentioned above, don’t bring the whole diaper bag.  So what you should bring in the bathroom is:

  • 2 diapers (in case one fails or you need to use one to catch extra poop—-it’s happened)
  • wipes 
  • diaper cream
  • change pad

That’s all you need for quick bathroom changes.  If you have to have your diaper bag with you then you will most likely be setting it on the floor which will be difficult to get in and out of with your baby up high with no restraints. Take it from us, less is more.

3. DO laugh.

You are bound to have something go wrong while changing your child.  We were about to take off when our daughter decided to have a massive poo explosion.  It went through her clothes, my clothes and the plane blanket.  There was nothing we could do until that seat belt sign turned off.  So we laughed. Hard.  When it was time to change her it was a mess, the space was tiny and there was poo everywhere.  But we kept laughing and we got through it.  Just like you will when you have your first plane washroom disaster.

Our Favourite Airlines to Fly With (from best flights to least favourite flights):

  1. Emirates
  2. Cathay Pacific Airways
  3. Eva Airways
  4. Vietnam Airlines
  5. Air Canada
  6. Air Canada Rouge
  7. West Jet

Plane rides do not need to be stressful and can actually be a lot of fun with your kids.  Just be prepared, read our blogs and have fun!

If there is anything that we didn’t cover that you want more information on, then please leave us a comment!

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