Baby’s first trip can seem daunting. There’s so much to consider— how much should you pack? How can you properly prepare? When it comes to infant care, we know it needs to be done right. We’re here with a handy, quick-reference guide to all you need to know when traveling with your baby.
Infant Care While Traveling
Traveling with a baby isn’t easy, and if this is your first vacation with them, you may be wondering where to start. You need the essentials, like baby food and diapers, but you don’t want to bring too much. There’s a fine line between being well-prepared and being over-prepared, and the last thing you’d want is to carry around supplies you won’t end up using.
So, whether you’re traveling close by or going on a far-flung adventure of a lifetime, we’re here to help you make those important packing decisions.
The Packing List
The packing list is your starting point. At the end of the day, your baby is going to have their own needs and preferences, so don’t treat this list as unchangeable!
Cabin baggage (or easily accessible baggage, if you’re not flying) contains the items you need during a flight, car, or rail journey. These are the necessities you and your baby will need for comfort, so it’s better to keep them within easy reach.
- Diapers, Wipes, and Changing Blanket: We recommend putting all diaper supplies in their own bag, so they’re easy to grab if you need to run to a changing room. Pack enough for the journey but add a few extra just in case you’re held up by delays. You should also pack a few Ziplock or trash bags, so any clothes or diapers can be stored hygienically until later.
- Snacks: Meals and snacks for the journey are essential and having them on hand can reduce mealtime stress.
- Blanket: Warmth and comfort are super important, especially if you’re flying. Planes can get pretty cold!
- Extra Clothes: Accidents happen. Bring a spare set of clothes for both you and your baby, and you’ll be able to change on short notice, even if you don’t have access to your larger suitcases.
- Spare Pacifier: Dropped or fallen pacifier? Always make sure to pack a spare with a pacifier clip so you’re prepared for any accidents.
- Toys: Depending on how long your trip is, you may want to pack a toy into your carry-on luggage.
Checked baggage (or larger suitcases, if you’re not flying) contains the items that you won’t need immediately, and you can wait until you get to your destination to unpack.
- Baby clothes: Pack all you need for your trip, with a few extra items just in case! Before you start your vacation, you can get a feel for how much you use on a daily basis and make a list of the clothing essentials.
- First aid pack: Band-Aids, painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and a nose aspirator can all go a long way. While you may go a full vacation without using them, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Bottles: Pack bottles for storing and serving milk, along with a breast pump if needed.
- Diaper Supplies: You’ll want to bring enough wipes and diapers to last you your full trip if you’re going somewhere remote. If you’re hopping across the state to visit friends or family, you might not need to carry so many if there are stores nearby where you can stock up.
- Sleep Supplies: Extra blankets, a portable bed, and a sleep sack or swaddler can all come in handy. If you’re headed to a hotel, make sure to call in advance and ask what cribs or arrangements are available for your stay.
- Food: Pack enough jars of baby food and snacks for the trip, but don’t be afraid to buy fresh at your holiday destination if you’re making the change to solid food.
- Bathing Supplies: Body wash and lotion are better brought with you rather than bought where you’re going, especially if you’re using a specific brand.
Baby Travel Tips
Preparation brings peace of mind. Always call ahead to hotels and airlines and make arrangements as soon as you can. For example, traveling with a stroller can be difficult! Many resorts and holiday destinations will have a stroller rental service, allowing you to travel without the extra baggage. Baby slings also work wonders for traveling, especially on trains or planes where space is limited. If you’re away for more than a week, see what laundry services are available. The less you have to pack, the better— and you can make sure that clothes get cleaned soon after any accidents.
Even though you’re on vacation, you can still foster infant cognitive development. In fact, a new environment provides a fantastic opportunity to teach your baby about more of the world. Most importantly, have fun! No trip is without hiccups, but you’ll find your travel rhythm soon enough. Safe travels!