Flying with a baby can be stressful enough, which is why before your next flight you should be aware of which airlines consider a diaper bag to count as a carry on and which airlines do not, so you don’t have to deal with any unexpected surprises.
What the Airlines Say
Delta state that a diaper bag will count as your 1+1 carry-on baggage allowance – i.e. a diaper bag will count as your personal item.
Southwest Airlines state that a diaper bag does not count towards your carry-on baggage.
On their website, American Airlines state that “diaper bags (1 per child)” are allowed and don’t count as your carry on.
Other infant-related items that don’t count as a carry on include “soft-sided cooler bags with breast milk, child safety seats, strollers.”
Spirit Airlines make it clear that you can bring one personal item and items such as infant diaper bag “for no additional charge.”
United Airlines are one of the most generous airlines with carry on bag allowances.
On their website, they state that you can bring a diaper bag in addition to your carry-on bag and personal item.
JetBlue are also generous with their allowances and state that “if you’re traveling with a lap infant, you can bring aboard a diaper bag in addition to a permitted carry-on and personal item.”
Alaska Airlines are one of the few airlines in which a diaper bag does count as a carry on.
“When traveling with a lap infant, a diaper bag will count toward the standard carry-on limit of the ticketed adult passenger.”
Frontier Airlines state that “an adult traveling with an infant in lap may carry a second personal item, such as a diaper bag, free.”
Air Canada permit “One (1) carry-on bag or suitcase AND One (1) personal article such as a briefcase, laptop computer, diaper bag, camera case or other similar item.”
Allegiant make it clear that if traveling with a child, you “may travel with a diaper bag at no charge. The diaper bag will not count as the passenger’s personal item or carry-on.”
In short, almost all the major airlines in the USA and Canada permit you to take a diaper bag and one carry-on bag.
In other words, a diaper bag will not count as a carry on. Be aware that depending on the airline, a diaper bag will sometimes count as your personal item, though.
When Flying Internationally
If you are flying with one of the above airlines when traveling internationally, then refer to the information listed.
If flying internationally with another airline, in most cases a diaper bag won’t count as a carry on.
However, as there are over 5,000 airlines in operation worldwide, it’s recommended to check with the airline.
Lindsay is a former travel agent and current travel enthusiast and writer.
After backpacking across Europe after college, she caught the travel bug and has since visited over 100 countries (with more planned!).
With her extensive travel experience and industry knowledge, Lindsay is well-versed in all things surrounding commercial air travel, from TSA regulations to finding the best flight deals.
Lindsay's love of travel has led to recognition by being mentioned or quoted in major publications, such as Insider and Trip Savvy.
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