BABY PACKING LIST: ALL OF THE BABY TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
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by Kristin Young | Updated On: August 10, 2019
Even for those who consider themselves travel pros, adding a baby into the mix can seem daunting. Packing can make or break a trip, but our baby packing list has all the baby travel essentials you’ll need, without leaving you feeling like a pack mule!
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BABY PACKING LIST CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS
Diapers and wipes should be at the top of your baby travel list. Use a packing cube as a changing “go bag” for the tiny airplane bathrooms or a quick trip to the bathroom on a layover. Always have 3 diapers, a small package of wipes, a changing pad, 1 spare baby outfit, and several disposable storage bags.
READ MORE: WHAT CAN BABY BRING ON A PLANE?
Keep 3 in the changing cube and take a total of 6-10 depending on the length of the flight.
Sometimes we will throw 5 more in a checked bag to give us a bit more time to locate some at our new destination.
The smaller packs or a small reusable container with around 20 wipes should be plenty for the flight, but be sure not to skimp.
You’ll be changing baby in a lot of places that may not be so clean, so a changing pad is an absolute must!
RESEALABLE STORAGE BAGS
Have several sizes on hand for sealing off smelly diapers, storing soiled or wet clothes, or for additional packing organization.
FORMULA, FOOD & DRINKS
One of the travel essentials for baby that seems to be the most confusing is food. Depending on whether you are breast or bottle feeding, and the age of your baby, some of these things will be useful and others obsolete. Just choose the relevant items for your baby. Also, make sure to check the Traveling with Children section of the TSA website before your trip for the most up to date allowances for babies and children.
We love these from Camelbak. Our kids could drink out of them at a young age, and they can be used as water storage for mixing with formula.
As a traveling breastfeeding mama, this is a MUST. I loved this one from Bamboobies. It’s cute enough to toss on and breastfeed baby anywhere.
If at all possible, leave the pump at home. I always exclusively breastfeed while traveling, purely for convenience. No gear, no mess, and you can do it anywhere discreetly with a wrap.
BABY FOOD POUCHES
Bring the pouch-style baby food, and don’t worry about utensils or messes.
CLOTHES & SUPPLIES
EXTRA OUTFIT FOR BABY
One complete extra outfit, or two for a long-haul flight, should be enough to get you through any blowouts or messes.
Every parent already knows that these muslin blankets are incredibly versatile and a general baby essential.
STUFFED ANIMAL OR LOVEY
A comfortable reminder of home can help baby relax and sleep better.
Great for clearing ears and comforting an upset baby, but they can get lost, dropped or thrown on a dirty floor, so always bring spares.
Pack 3 or 4 small non-noisy favorites. An airplane is not the time to test new toys. We love quiet rattles, board books, something squishy, and a few trains or cars.
Even if your family doesn’t allow screen time for baby, a long-haul flight is one time to make an exception and put some electronics on your baby travel packing list. Newborns aren’t likely to be interested, but at a very young age our guys loved looking through family pictures on our phones. Some babies do enjoy short videos or baby apps (Baby Shark anyone???).
If you decide to download any videos or apps with sound, get some kids’ headphones. We have these, but this headband style is on our list to try.
Legal documents are sometimes overlooked on a packing list for baby, but often are the most important thing to remember.
Although not always checked, airlines often require proof of age, such as a birth certificate or passport.
Everyone traveling internationally, including newborns, will be required to have a passport.
If baby is traveling without one or both parents, a notarized consent document, death certificate, or proof of sole custody will be required on international flights. Also, check that the countries you will travel to have no additional requirements.
BABY CARRIER, STROLLER, & CAR SEAT
Check the stroller and rely on the baby carrier to get through the airport. For each trip, we weigh the options of sturdy larger stroller and tiny umbrella stroller- but the light weight umbrella stroller usually wins. Car seats are usually more hassle than they are worth, unless you can’t rent one(staying with friends), or are renting a car for the entire trip(picking up and dropping off at the airport).
A baby carrier is often all you need, but some trips require a stroller. Evaluate your needs for each trip, and decide whether you need a sturdier stroller or lighter luggage. The Citi Mini GT is our go-to for hiking, long days of hot city wandering, or trips with a baby too small for an umbrella stroller. However, usually a cheap umbrella stroller is what we bring.
Use a yoga strap to create an easy carrying strap for your umbrella stroller.
CAR SEAT & COVER
If you do bring a car seat and plan to check it, make sure you have a bag for it. Look for a backpack style like this for easy carrying. Some airlines will give you garbage type bags, but often they will not.
OPTIONAL BABY CARRY ON ITEMS
EXTRA OUTFIT FOR MOM OR DAD
We don’t normally bring a change of clothes for us in our carry-on, however I have spent half a flight with remnants of a blowout on my shirt. So, your call.
Most places in the world, you will have easy access to medicines. We often leave any medicine at home unless the boys are actually using it when we leave.
Depending on baby’s skin and current situation, this may or may not be necessary.
The Nose Frieda is a game changer for a congested baby. If traveling during cold season, you might want to consider tossing one of these in the bag.
If possible, try to take teethers that will double as toys.
BABY TRAVEL BED
Check with your hotel or apartment first to see if they have baby cribs available, as many do. We still often bring our own because a familiar bed makes for an easier bedtime.
CHECKED BAG GEAR
Read More: Packing for a Family of 4 in 1 Suitcase
PACKING CUBES -These cubes from Eagle Creek are a must for staying organized.
TOT SEAT -Smashable attachment to turn any chair into a high chair.
PICNIC BLANKET -Ultra lightweight, and great for the beach, picnics and naps outside.
1 SET OF TRAVEL CUTLERY -We picnic a lot, so this really comes in handy.
10 DIAPERS -Buy a supply when you arrive, but make sure to have enough to get you started so you won’t feel rushed to find a store.
TOYS We bring a small Thomas track and a couple of trains. Seems silly, but we tried a trip without it and regretted it. We bring just enough track to make a small circle, and the boys will be entertained for hours – sounds crazy, but it’s wonderful! Others go in our carry-on.
BABY MONITOR -Not necessary in hotels, but we sometimes stay in houses with multiple levels. Don’t forget both parts and cords.
CLOTHING & TOILETRIES
CLOTHES -These will vary slightly depending on the season, but this list is for summer travel. Adjust shorts and short sleeves to accommodate for travel during colder season.
- 3 short-sleeve shirts
- 3 onesies (double as pjs)
- 1 swim shirt
- 1 long-sleeve shirt
- 1 sleep sack
- 4 pairs shorts
- 1 pair pants
- 1 pair swim shorts
- 1 reusable swim diaper (We love ours from the Honest Company, but it seems that they’re not on the website!)
- 3 pairs socks
BABY MOCCASINS –These from Freshly Picked have been our go-to for both boys.
- Baby wash
- Tooth Brush
- Tooth Paste
Are there any baby packing essentials you love that we need to check out?? Let us know in the comments!