The general rule about hand luggage in these days of heightened airline security is: take as little as possible.
But if you are flying with a baby, travelling light is not so easy.
Drinks, snacks, wipes, nappies are all essential. So what are the rules and how can you make sure you comply if you are planning a trip by plane?
Any liquid, for example baby milk or sterilised water, must be carried in small containers of no more than 100ml, inside a small, see-through plastic bag. See the Department for Transport website HERE for exact measurements.
You may be required to taste liquids in front of security staff at the airport. In order to do this, you could be asked to snip open any cardboard packet of pre-prepared baby milk or juice. You might therefore find it more convenient to carry formula milk as powder or put drinks in plastic bottles.
Creams, pastes and gels count as liquids in the eyes of airport security, so make sure nappy rash cream, nipple cream and so on is clearly visible in plastic bags too if you intend to carry it as hand luggage.
Foldable pushchairs and prams can be taken to the door of the aeroplane in most cases, but will have to be put through the X-ray machine before you are allowed into the departure lounge.
Check the rules before you leave home by contacting the relevant tour operator or airline.
As well as enforcing hand luggage restrictions, many airlines are also cutting the amount of baggage you can check into the hold.
Most airlines allocate a zero baggage allowance to infants (children aged under two) unless you pay for them to have their own seat.
Airlines used to allow you to take a travel cot without it counting towards your baggage allowance. That is no longer always the case. Make sure you check before you pack.
Some companies are even considering including pushchairs in with adult allowances.
This is in line with certain low-cost airlines, which have begun charging per bag that you want to put in the hold: from £4-£7 per item.
What’s the answer?
You have a number of options: give up holidays that involve flights until baby is over two years old and is entitled to his own baggage allowance; take a seriously tiny capsule wardrobe for yourself so you can fit in baby essentials such as nappies, milk, food, clothes and pushchair; or spend the first day of your trip away scouring the local supermarkets for the stuff you require.
There is another option that travel companies and travellers are beginning to favour: using a baby kit courier company.
It’s a way of ensuring that all your baby essentials are ready and waiting for you at your destination as soon as you arrive.
It’s a bit like online shopping. First you place an order for items such as brand-name nappies, formula milk, favourite foods, suncream, bathing products.
All the items are purchased and shipped by courier company to wherever you are going on holiday.
You save baggage allowance, avoid a shopping trip when you arrive, and are guaranteed products that baby and you are used to.
Worth a try? Check out www.tinytotsaway.com
For up to date information about airline security and hand luggage rules, visit the Department for Transport website HERE.