Traveling with a baby is a workout on its own! Add to that the stress of luggage, bags and strollers and you have yourself a marathon.
I’ve compiled a list of 10 items that you should never forget when traveling with a baby. If I left out any crucial items, you can leave your feedback in the comments section below.
1. Extra Diapers and Wipes
The last thing you want to do when traveling is to run out of diapers! I can’t imagine the horror of digging deep into your diaper bag, only to find out that you used your last diaper 2 hours ago. This is any parent’s worst nightmare, especially if your baby has done a number 2.
The rule of thumb is to pack 1 diaper for each hour that you’ll be out or traveling. I don’t always follow this rule but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Always pack an extra pack of wipes for unexpected situations, spills and spit ups.
Furthermore, traveling anywhere with a baby, especially if doing it by yourself, should alert you that you need to pull out all the stops.
If you pack 1 diaper for each hour, it’s unlikely that you’ll run out, unless your baby has diarrhea.
2. Ziploc Bags
These are handy for so many reasons.
For dirty or wet clothes
- This is a convenient way to store dirty clothes and keep them separated from the clean ones. This works great if you have wet clothes or bibs that you don’t want dripping on the other stuff in your bag.
Diaper changes made easy
*TIP* – pack everything for a single diaper change in one Ziploc so you can just pick it up and go. Pack a few of these if you have the time.
- Include diaper, wipes, oil/diaper cream, and anything else you use during a diaper change.
- If on the go, you can always stash a dirty diaper in a Ziploc bag, if you don’t’ have those single disposable diaper garbage bags with you.
- Pack different snacks in each bag for easy access.
3. Entertainment for Baby
It goes without saying that babies get bored very easily. Their attention span is so limited, it’s no wonder they need to be constantly entertained.
Here is a list of possible items you can bring along to keep your baby’s attention, if even for a little bit.
– this works well for toddlers. Don’t forget their earphones!
Favorite toy or stuffed animal
Brand new toy
– run to the dollar store or other toy store and just pick about 1 or 2 new toys that your baby/child has never used before. They will be so engaged and excited that this will keep their attention for just a little while longer.
– this a good change of pace. You can also bring cloth books if your baby is a little bit younger.
– while this might not be the best for everyone else on the flight, this will sure keep your baby idle whether in flight, or during transit.
Random “non-baby” toy
– something like a comb or phone that your baby loves to play with, even if they’re not “baby approved”. Always supervise your child while using these items.
4. Change of Clothes for Yourself!
This is probably the last thing on your mind when thinking about packing for travel. But keep in mind that accidents do happen, and they are likely to happen more so when your baby is in an unfamiliar environment.
It’s natural that you will pack extra clothes for baby but packing for yourself is not something that we often think about.
Pack an extra shirt or 2 and maybe an extra bottom in your carry on for yourself. Nobody wants to walk around for a whole day and sit on a flight with puke all over their shirt.
Not only will this be unattractive, but the smell of stale puke or spit up is not what you want your “perfume” to be.
5. Lots of Snacks/Food
You might think that packing snacks and food for your baby is a no brainer. But packing snacks and water for yourself is also crucial.
Not only will you get hungry on the journey, but you will need that extra energy to take care of both yourself and your baby.
Here are some quick, light snacks that your can to bring with you or pick up at the airport.
- Granola bars
- Fruits and veggies – this might be tricky if there is also juice from the fruit/veggie in the bag or container.
- Nuts – peanuts, cashews, etc.
- Fruit snacks
- Cheese sticks/cubes
- Travel size pouch snacks
And if all else fails, bring enough baby food/pouches so you can snack on one if the need arises.
6. Baby Carrier
If you’re not the baby wearing type, then this one might not sit well with you. But trust me, using my baby carrier while traveling was a life saver!
If you have never used one with your baby before, try using it for a few weeks before traveling, so your child doesn’t just start screaming their head off when placed in this “foreign enclosure”.
Get your baby used to different positions (if big enough) and get them used to the feeling of the carrier. This way, when you use it during travel, they will be more comfortable.
*TIP* You can always use a small stroller to get you through the airport and then gate check your stroller.
Using the carrier to bring baby on and off the plane is so much easier; plus it leaves your hands free to bring other luggage.
7. Extra bibs and a Change Pad
This is the same reason why you bring extra clothes.
If your baby falls ill or starts throwing up more than usual, you will need lots and lots of bibs. You don’t want your baby to stay in a wet bib as this could also make them get sick.
I would bring a bib for every hour at the very least, and more if you have the space.
Bibs and diapers – I always bring extras of, because I don’t want to be in a sticky situation.
The change pad doesn’t necessarily have to be an actual change pad that you buy in the store. It can also be a blanket that you lay your little on to change them. Don’t bring something too big as the airplane bathrooms are super tiny.
8. Pacifier or Bottles
Your baby’s sensitive little ears can pop during take off and landing.
If you’ve ever had your ears pop during a flight, you know how painful it can be. Imagine that level of pain for your little one.
Now it’s not always possible to prevent popping of the ears all together, but there are things that can be done to minimize that risk.
- Feed baby during take off and landing – Whether it’s a bottle or by breastfeeding.
- Give baby a pacifier or other sucking device that’s safe during take off and landing.
The sucking motion will help to minimize popping of the ears and make your baby more comfortable.
9. Blanket to Play On
You little one is bound to get bored, especially if you have a connecting flight. If they’re already crawling and moving around then this might be a bit tricky.
Bring an extra blanket that you can lay on the floor, put some toys on it, and have your little one play their little heart out.
The last thing your baby wants is to be scooped up in your arms or a stroller the whole trip.
Give them some breathing room and space to be free. Keep in mind that the airport floors are not the cleanest, so always monitor your baby during play.
10. Extra Feed/Formula if not Breastfeeding
I always travel with extra formula even when just running to the store.
Reason…. Spills and accidents do happen, unfortunately.
Imagine bringing only one set of feed for your baby, only to have them spill it over because they’re angry or fussy. Furthermore, you could also spill it because you’ll be doing a million and one things at once.
So to ensure that your baby has enough food to eat, bring extra formula with you along on the trip.
*If you’re a breastfeeding mama, just ignore the above mentioned tip 🙂
BONUS TIP! If Traveling with your Partner
I will give you one last tip that I know most of you have not thought about…. I heard it from someone else and it makes so much sense.
Have one partner go on the plane first during pre-boarding.
- Have them bring in the bags and all the extra stuff, as well as wipes. Let them wipe down all the areas that your baby will potentially touch, and get the seats ready by packing snacks in easy to reach locations. Pretty much, have the 1st person do all the “grunt work”.
The 2nd parent then boards much later during final boarding call or towards the end of boarding.
- This way, your baby will spend less time on a cramped airplane and get some last minute freedom before boarding. The 2nd parent also has less work to do and pretty much just plays with the baby and entertains the baby until it’s time to board.
Hope you found these tips helpful and good luck on your future travels!
What are some tips that I didn’t mention here? Anything else you can think of? Questions regarding anything mentioned above? Leave your feedback in the comments below.
Thanks for reading 🙂