When you think about traveling with a baby, your first thoughts are probably not about how fun and memorable it’ll be. Actually, you might have thought about how memorable it’d be but not in a good way! No matter how you spin it, traveling with an infant is tough, but it can be much easier (and even more enjoyable) with the right packing list!
Babies require a lot of stuff and you don’t want to forge anything, so we’ve created the ultimate baby travel packing list to help you prepare for everything. Here’s what you need if going on a trip with your little one:
The Ultimate Baby Travel Checklist
Luggage and Packing
Effective packing starts with the right luggage! However, what you have in your bag won’t really matter if you’re disorganized. It’ll be too hard to find what you need, and you might even wonder if you packed the item at all. To avoid this, keep everything organized using packing cubes, as well as storage bags, and multiple bags!
There are items you won’t need until you arrive, so those can be out of reach in a luggage bag. However, there is plenty you’ll need while traveling, and that should be in a diaper bag near you! If you’re going on a road trip, it’s a good idea to take some time to organize your car once in a while too. When it comes to travel, an organized mom equals a stress-free mom!
Your baby won’t just be on the move while traveling to your destination. Don’t forget you’ll need a way to transport the baby during every pit stop and vacation activity! It’ll be best for you to remain hands-free as often as possible, so bring an age-appropriate carrier and a stroller/travel system!
When packing clothes for the baby, you may have the urge to way overpack. You’re thinking of every blowout and spit-up your baby has ever had and want to prepare for the worst at least. Instead of bringing the whole closet, try to arrange a way to do laundry while at your destination even if that’s washing in the sink! That way, you can be more minimal and just wash as you go if necessary.
- 5-6 outfits
- 3 sleepers
- Pair of warm base layers
- 2-3 sweaters or jackets
- Swimsuit and swim diaper
- Hooded beach towel
- Baby booties
- Baby shoes
Depending on the length of your trip, diapers and wipes can take up a lot of space in general. Our recommendation is to only bring what you need for traveling to the destination, and then buy more supplies once you arrive. That’ll give you more room in the car for other essentials you can’t buy at the new location! Additionally, if you won’t have access to a store that carries baby supplies, you’ll have to bring enough for the trip.
Infant feeding requires a lot of supplies, whether you formula-feed or breastfeed! Bring whatever you need and back-ups, because this is the last thing you want to be without on vacation. If your baby is already eating solids, ensure you bring their favorite baby food and snacks, too.
Remember that we do not recommend feeding babies in their car seats. It’s just not safe! It’s best to stop every 2 hours when driving with an infant anyway. Plan your feeding for these stops. If flying, plan to feed your child during layovers or remove them from their car seat when eating. (Of course, they go right back into the car seat after!)
- 2-3 bottles
- 2 spill-proof sippy cups or straw cups
- Formula and formula dispenser
- Nursing cover
- Burp cloths
- Breast pump and supplies
- Manual breast pump
- Breast pump cleaning wipes
- Feeding utensils
- Travel high chair
- Anti-Choking Device
- Cooler and ice packs
While planning your stay, consider that most hotels and rentals aren’t going to have wash and shampoo appropriate for littles; moreover, many won’t have a bathing vessel either! Therefore, make sure you have everything you need to safely wash your baby, including an inflatable bathtub if you know there won’t be anything available.
If you’re going to overpack on baby gear in one category, make it the sleep category! Everyone wants to get good sleep on the trip, so don’t feel guilty about bringing everything you need to in order for your baby to sleep as soundly as possible. Make it feel as much like home as you can!
- Swaddle or sleep sack
- 1-2 baby blankets
- Sound machine
- Portable crib
- Portable baby monitor
Babies are fragile and sensitive. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a stocked first-aid kit that includes items to protect your baby from common injuries, illnesses, and irritations. Just read labels before you give your infant any medication or apply any cream. For example, it’s recommended that babies don’t wear sunscreen until 6 months!
- Basic first aid kit
- Pill container
- Children’s Tylenol
- Sunscreen applicator
- Sun hat
- Bug spray
- Nail care kit
- Hand sanitizer
Babies are pretty easy to entertain without a doubt. (The iPad years are coming, but they’re not here yet.) Prioritize bringing some of your child’s favorite travel-friendly comfort items, such as a baby blanket or lovey.
Beyond that, bring plenty of small toys that are exciting, age-appropriate, and safe. When we say “safe” we mean that the toys are soft-sided and pose no projectile risk in a crash. Also, we’d also like to note that you can’t clip pacifier clips to the car seat straps just your baby’s clothes!
Baby Travel Essentials for Road Trips
If you’re choosing to drive to your destination, you can find our full list of road trip essentials here in particular. As a matter of fact we all know that road trips have their own unique sets of challenges! However, it can get a little easier when you have the right tools to stay organized and keep your baby comfortable.
- Window shades
- Car seat safe mirror
- Car seat cooler (summer)
- Cooling towel (summer)
- Caddy or organizer
Baby Travel Essentials for Air Travel
Flying with a baby is an overwhelming thought for a lot of families, but it can totally be done! Having a lot of the tools above, plus the baby gear listed below will help you prepare for anything that might come your way while flying. Without delay, here are our tips for air travel with kids!
Surely, our biggest suggestion is to always bring your car seat on the plane! Not only is it the safest option, but your baby will also be way more comfortable. Therefore, don’t give it as a checked bag at the gate, and most importantly, definitely don’t consider renting one at your destination. To ensure safety during air travel, you need to bring your own car seat! Additionally, If you’re concerned about the weight and bulkiness, consider purchasing a lightweight and inexpensive airplane car seat.
Make traveling with a baby much easier by staying organized and packing the right stuff!
Trying to think of every little thing you need when traveling with babies and toddlers can be overwhelming. Luckily, we not only have packing lists on the Safe in the Seat blog, but we also have essential car seat safety information, tons of travel tips, a whole shop of recommended products, and more to help make your trip one to remember in the best way possible!
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