My husband and I have changed dozens of diapers aboard airplanes in our travels. Last week, I wrote a post on TravelingMom.com with 6 tips for changing diapers on a plane. Believe it or not, I have even more tips to make the airplane diaper changing process easier and less… well, messy!
Now that you’ve mastered the basics, here is a more advanced lesson, with 6 more tips for changing diapers on a plane:
1) Consider using overnight diapers on airplanes.
Since many airplanes don’t have changing tables, your goal should be to do as few diaper changes as is reasonable on board your flights. If your baby has a soiled diaper, you likely shouldn’t and can’t wait to do a change. But for only wet diapers, you can buy yourself a little more time between changes by using overnight diapers, which are more absorbent. Remember to add a little extra diaper cream pre-flight if your baby is prone to diaper rash.
2) Have a small “to go” diaper kit so you don’t need to bring your huge diaper bag into the lavatory.
Airplane lavatories are very small and there is simply not room for you, your baby, and a large diaper bag in there. Many travel diaper changing pros, including my friend Jennifer at Hint Mama, recommend bringing a small removable diaper kit with you. It doesn’t need to be fancy. A Ziploc bag with a few diapers, travel-size wipes, and perhaps some diaper cream will do.
3) Outfits that you don’t need to take off over your baby’s head are best.
My children always managed to have some of their worst diaper explosions at 30,000 feet. This meant we had to change their clothes in addition to diapers while in the air. If you’ve ever tried to remove a soiled onesie over your squirmy baby’s head, you probably know that it can get quite messy. Trying to do this in a cramped airplane bathroom is risky. The best way to avoid this potential mess is to use outfits that snap all the way up the front (like footed sleepers or front-snap creepers) and that do not require over the head removal.
4) Bring a small toy to keep baby’s hands busy during diaper changes.
Airplane bathrooms aren’t known to be the cleanest places in the world. In order to prevent your baby from touching every surface he or she comes into contact with, it is a good idea to have something to keep little hands busy (especially for older babies and toddlers). Make sure this toy or distraction is fully cleanable in case it gets dropped. Better yet – have something disposable.
5) Flight attendants can (almost always) provide you with a plastic bag for diaper disposal.
Disposing of a soiled diaper in the airplane lavatory trash can really stink up the place. It is good form to travel with diaper disposal bags (Ziplocs again work well, as do special diaper disposal sacks) to be courteous to your fellow passengers. If you forget or run out, ask the flight attendant. Flight attendants are usually happy to provide you with a plastic trash bag from their supply.
6) Take a moment for mirror playtime in the bathroom.
I usually like to get in and get out of the tiny lavatory with my baby as quickly as possible. But on some occasions, a bathroom trip for a diaper change can be extra entertainment. Why? Babies usually love to stare at themselves in the lavatory mirror! Let your baby take a look and play for a few minutes, especially if it helps him or her get accustomed to the tight space. But (obviously) don’t dawdle too long if there is a line.
Share your other airplane diaper changing tips in the comments. Have you had any airplane diaper changing horror stories or successes to report? Also, if you are planning to fly with a baby for the first time, be sure to check out my post Top 7 Tips for Baby’s First Flight.