How to Change a Diaper on a Plane: A Step-by-Step Guide

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There are a lot of things that I had never thought about with regards to traveling before I had kids. How to change a diaper while traveling is one of them.

For some reason, I just had not considered how complicated it could be to change a dirty diaper when traveling on a plane.

You’re thousands of feet in the air, juggling a squirming infant and a dirty diaper, in a cramped airplane bathroom.

The thought alone is enough to put some people off traveling with their babies. But it’s really not as difficult as it may first seem.

In this post, I’m going to share with you the process that I use to change my kids diapers on the plane- and some tips you can use to make the whole process a lot easier.

Where can I change my baby on a plane?

First things first, you need to know where you can actually change your baby while on the plane.

Believe it or not, you actually have quote a few different options for where to change your baby on a plane.

The preferred and most straightforward option would be to change your baby on the changing table in the restroom.

However, this may not always be a plausible option. Not all airplane restrooms are equipped with a changing table. You may be on a flight that has multiple restrooms, but of all the restrooms, only 1 or 2 may have the changing table. If you’re not sitting right next to that particular restroom, it may be hard to locate it.

It may also not be available when you need to change your babies diaper.

The best thing to do is to check with the flight attendants as soon as you board your flight. They will be able to tell you which of the restrooms have a changing table. That way you can head straight to the appropriate one if/ when you need to.

If a changing table is not available to you, you have 2 other options.

  1. Use the back of the toilet seat as a changing table.
  2. Use your seat as a changing table.

The best option for you will depend on a number of factors including your baby’s size, whether your traveling alone with the baby or with a companion as well as of course whether you are changing a wet diaper or a poop diaper.

How to Change a Diaper on an Airplane

If your child’s diapers s badly soiled, you may choose to change it in the tiny restroom on the airplane.

You can make things easier for yourself by packing all your diaper changing necessities in a ziplock back so that it’s easy to grab and go as you head to the restroom.

It can also be helpful to undress your child down to the diaper while at your seat so that you don’t have to struggle to do that inside the tiny restroom.

Once inside the restroom, lay down paper towels or your changing pad on the changing table or toilet seat and quickly change your baby’s diaper. Place the dirty diaper inside a plastic bag and dispose of it right away in the garbage.

If you decide to change the baby’s diaper at your seat, you’ll need to use a blanket or changing pad to cover the seat before laying the child down to change them. Speed is essential- especially for the sake of those sitting around you. Once you take the diaper off, place it in a plastic disposable bag and dispose it in the garbage in the restroom.

Tips To Make Changing Diapers On A Plane Easier

1. Pack a Diaper Changing Kit

Before you head out on your trip with your little one, it’s important to pack everything you need for diaper changes in the diaper bag packing process.

This will ensure that you have all the necessary supplies at your fingertips, making diaper changes on the plane a bit easier. Here are some items to include in your kit:

  • Diapers: Carry enough diapers to last you throughout the flight. Estimate the number of diapers your baby typically uses during the duration of the trip and add a few extras, to account for delays.
  • Wipes: Pack a travel-sized pack of baby wipes or transfer some into a resealable plastic bag to save space. These will come in handy for keeping your baby clean and fresh during diaper changes.
  • Changing pad: Choose a compact and portable changing pad that can be easily stored in your diaper bag. This will provide a clean and comfortable surface for changing your baby, even in the tiny airplane restrooms.
  • Diaper disposal bags: Remember to include a few disposable bags in your kit for hygienically disposing of dirty diapers. These bags help contain any odour and prevent any messes from soiling the rest of your belongings.
  • Hand Sanitizer: Sanitize your hands thoroughly to minimize the risk of spreading germs. This simple step can help keep both you and your baby healthy during the journey.

I also recommend keeping all of these items together when packing your diaper bag. I like to use a large ziplock bag, so that I can grab and go much easier when I need it.

2. Choose the Right Diaper

When flying with your baby, it’s important to choose the right diaper that offers both comfort and reliability. Consider the following tips when selecting diapers for your journey:

  • Absorbency: Look for diapers with excellent absorbency to keep your baby dry and comfortable throughout the flight. This is especially crucial for longer trips or overnight flights.
  • Size: Make sure that you have the correct diaper size for your baby. Ill-fitting diapers can lead to leaks and discomfort, so check the weight range indicated on the packaging to find the appropriate size.
  • Allergies: If your baby has sensitive skin or allergies, opt for hypoallergenic diapers. These are designed to be gentle on the skin and reduce the risk of irritation.

3. Dress Your Baby in Comfortable Clothing

When it comes to dressing your baby for a flight, comfort should be your top priority. Here are a few clothing tips to keep your little one cozy during the journey:

  • Layering: Dress your baby in layers, as the temperature on the plane can vary. This allows you to adjust their clothing according to the cabin’s temperature and keep them comfortable throughout the flight.
  • Soft fabrics: Choose clothing made from soft, breathable fabrics like cotton. These materials are gentle on your baby’s skin and help regulate their body temperature.
  • Easy access: Opt for clothing with easy access for diaper changes. Look for onesies or outfits with snap closures or zippers, as these make it easier to change your baby without fully undressing them.

4. Plan Ahead for Diaper Changes

When it comes to changing diapers on a plane, planning ahead is crucial.

Babies have a knack for needing diaper changes at the most inconvenient times, but you can also be prepared for it.

Before you board your flight, make a stop in the airport restroom. Getting on the plane with a fresh diaper will buy you some time on the airplane. 

5. Wear Baby In A Carrier When Possible

It’s a good idea to wear your baby in a carrier while you try to figure out how to bring out the changing table. It’s easier if both of your hands are available to pull out. If you don’t have a carrier, you may have to ask a companion or a flight attendant for help.

This 4-in-1 carrier comes with an adjustable ergonomic seat, shoulder straps and waist belt to shift weight to the wearers hips for a more comfortable fit.

It’s really easy to put on and adjust. Perfect when traveling with a baby and you need your hands free.

6. Dispose of the Dirty Diaper Properly

One of the challenges of changing a diaper on a plane is dealing with the smells and knowing how to dispose of the dirty diaper properly. Nobody wants to be stuck in a confined space with the smell lingering.

Make sure to bring disposable plastic bags. These bags in particular are great because they not only lock in the smell, they are also lightly scented, so they give off a fresh smell when you bring out a bag.

You can double bag if your especially worried about the smell.

They are easy to pack and can be used either for disposing diapers, or for separating dirty clothes from clean ones inside the diaper bag.

Once you’re done with your diaper, always dispose of it in the bin in the restroom.

7. Ask for Help if Needed

Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if you find yourself in need of an extra pair of hands or some guidance.

Flight attendants are there and usually more than happy to help- especially when you’re flying alone with a baby. They are also experienced in assisting parents with diaper changes on planes.

8. Stay Calm and Patient

Changing a diaper on a plane can be a stressful experience, but it’s essential to remain calm and patient throughout the process. Your baby can sense your emotions, so maintaining a composed demeanour will help keep them calm too. Here are a few tips to help you stay collected:

  1. Take deep breaths: If you feel yourself getting flustered, take a moment to breathe deeply. Deep breaths can help reduce anxiety and bring a sense of calmness.
  2. Engage your baby: Keep your little one distracted by talking to them, singing a song, or giving them a small toy to hold. This will help divert their attention from the diaper change and make the process smoother.
  3. Expect the unexpected: Be prepared for any surprises that may come your way during the diaper change. Have extra wipes and diapers within easy reach in case of any accidents or unforeseen circumstances.

Remember, changing a diaper on a plane is just one of the many challenges parents face while traveling with young children. By staying organized, seeking assistance when needed, and maintaining a calm and patient attitude, you can make the diaper change process a breeze, ensuring a more enjoyable journey for you and your little one.

how to change your baby's diaper

Final Thoughts

Changing a diaper on a plane can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation and some handy tips, it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Remember to pack all the necessary supplies, like diapers, wipes, and a changing pad, in a convenient and easily accessible bag. Plan ahead and choose a time to change the diaper when the flight isn’t too crowded, and try to use the airplane’s changing table if available. Remember to keep calm and take your time, as babies can sense when we’re rushed or stressed. By following these steps, you’ll be able to change your baby’s diaper on a plane with ease, ensuring a more comfortable journey for both you and your little one. Safe travels!

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