If you have read any of my other articles on what to pack in your cabin luggage then you will be familiar with the plastic shopping bag. You may be wondering why I recommend this. There is a simple reason - it’s a very versatile and useful thing to have at your disposal during a flight. Here are some of the situations when a trusty plastic bag comes in handy:
Firstly, you accumulate a surprising amount of rubbish during a flight, with nowhere to put it other than on the floor at your feet. It starts with the plastic packaging for the headphones, plus food packaging from the “keep baby quiet” snacks, then tissues, the packet of cards in the inflight entertainment pack (the one completely inappropriate for a baby but you took it to keep your baby quiet and all s/he did was empty the contents all over the floor), plastic cutlery, drinking fountain paper cups and so on. Before you know it, you are sitting amidst a small mound of garbage with nary a bin or cabin crew member in sight. So having your own personal rubbish bag comes in handy (and the cabin crew and cleaning crew will appreciate it too).
Secondly, should your child vomit during the flight (yes, this has happened to me - more on that later…) or wet themselves or spill a drink everywhere then you will have somewhere to put their wet or soiled clothing. Or , if you have enough warning , you can even use it as a spew bag.
Thirdly, it’s also a handy to be able to scoop up all the loose items and pop them in the bag at the last minute. You can then sort them out once you are off the plane.
I prefer to take at least two regular sized shopping bags (although the small scented nappy/diaper bags will suffice if you have nothing else). If you tie a knot in the middle of the bag it will take up less space and baby is less likely to be able to put it over their head.