Are you trying to figure out how to handle a potty-trained toddler's toilet needs on the plane? Or the best ways for changing a baby diaper on a plane?
Don't worry, we've got you covered! Read on to learn all you need to know about changing diapers and using the potty while traveling!
Use the airport restroom
Before we begin, I just want to state the obvious:
If you have a choice between using the airport restroom and the airplane lavatory, I strongly recommend picking the airport restroom.
Diaper changes and going to the potty are considerably easier on land than in the air because nothing is wobbly. Airplane lavatories are also really tiny, which make moving around really difficult.
So before boarding the plane, make your child use the potty and change your kid’s diapers at the airport restroom/nursing room.
Changing baby diaper on plane
What to expect
Not every lavatory on the plane is equipped with a diaper changing table, so look for the diaper changing icon on the lavatory door or ask a flight attendant.
The changing table at the airplane lavatory is similar to a regular public restroom’s, except it is much narrower and you won’t have as much space to maneuver.
Still, I’d highly recommend that you change your child’s diaper in the lavatory, as opposed to changing it in your seat, simply for hygiene’s sake.
Why you should use a changing pad
Diaper changing pads are pads that you lay on the changing table to provide a sanitary layer between your child and the table.
Since changing tables are usually part of a public lavatory and are not cleaned very often, I’d highly recommend using one if you have to change your child’s diapers in a public restroom.
Types of changing pads
Out of these two, I prefer the incontinence underpad.
- Less bulky
The incontinence underpad was less bulky and I found it much easier to keep it folded in a gallon Ziploc bag, along with a pack of wipes, diaper cream and diapers.
- It’s disposable
The incontinence underpad is disposable so if things get messy, I can simply dispose of it.
- Easy to unfold with one hand
Unfolding the underpad was easy and I could do it with one hand while holding my child in the other.
- Costs less
The underpad is also much cheaper than the all-in-one changing pads.
How to change baby diapers in a plane lavatory
- Before getting up from your seat with your child, make sure it’s ok to move about the cabin (i.e. the seat belt on sign is not on).
- Look to see if the lavatory is occupied. Airplanes often have signs that indicate whether the lavatories are in use. Make sure that the lavatory equipped with a diaper changing table is not occupied.
- Grab your child and diaper changing supplies. I recommend storing diapers, wipes and an incontinence underpad in a gallon Ziploc bag.
- Once you are inside the lavatory, close the toilet lid. This will prevent any accidental loss of diapers, wipes, etc.
- Take the incontinence underpad out with one hand and lay it on the diaper changing table as a sanitary layer between your child and the changing table.
- Change your child’s diaper and dispose the diaper and wipes in the lavatory’s trash bin.
- Wash your hands, pick up your child, collect your stuff, and put away the changing table.
- Pat yourself on the back! You’ve just survived changing your child's diaper in a moving aircraft!
Tip: before you leave for your trip, practice unfolding the underpad with one hand.
For the potty trained child
If your child is potty trained, I’d recommend using a travel potty that uses plastic bags to contain the mess.
Going in the airplane lavatory might be an intimidating experience for your child, so another option is to let them go number 2 in the airport restroom and use a pull-up diaper on the plane.
How to use a travel potty on the plane
To use a travel potty on the plane:
- Take your child to the lavatory and close the toilet lid.
- Place the travel potty on the lid, and let your child pee or poop.
- Tie up the plastic bag and dispose of it in the lavatory trash.
- Wash everybody’s hands.
How to use the loo if you are traveling alone with your child
You are probably wondering what to do if you have to use the airplane lavatory yourself. Here are a few options:
- Wear your infant in a baby carrier and go to the lavatory as usual.
- Wait till your child is asleep in their seat, then ask a flight attendant to keep an eye on them for a few minutes while you zip off to the loo. Alternatively, let your child watch something absorbing on the screen and ask the flight attendant to watch over for a few minutes.
- Explain to your child that you have to use the loo and give them the option of waiting for you outside the lavatory. If they choose that option, ask a flight attendant to keep an eye on them while your child waits for you to finish up in the lavatory.
- Take your child into the lavatory and ask them to wait while you pee. Airplane lavatories can be very cramped so YMMV.
If you need medical assistance
If you or your child becomes ill at any time during the trip, know that most airports have medical facilities that can help. So don’t hesitate to approach airport staff for medical assistance.
The same goes for medical emergencies during flights. If you or your child becomes ill during a flight, approach a flight attendant and let them know. They are trained to deal with medical emergencies.