Does traveling with your baby or kids make you nervous? Don’t let it! Traveling can be easy and fun, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming. Being prepared and packing the right stuff can help tremendously when it comes to flying (or driving) with your baby.
We have traveled quite a bit with our 16 month old since she was born (30+ flights and lots of road trips) and have learned many things through trial and error. If there is one thing I have learned through all of our travels, it is be prepared. This doesn’t mean planning every little detail and making a strict schedule, it just means having a few tricks up your sleeve to help things go smoothly.
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Let’s start with the more obvious things. We all know you need clothes, but I always recommend packing an extra outfit per day plus one to two more. You just never know when you travel how messy kids are going to get. Another tip before you go is to make sure the outfits you choose fit. Nothing is worse than packing the clothes only to realize it doesn’t fit and it is now taking up space.
On travel days, I like to have my baby wear a comfier outfit that I don’t mind if it gets a little dirty/stained. Sometimes I will even have her wear just a white onesie and bottoms and if the onesie is too messy, I am ok if I need to throw it away.
2. Diapers and Ointments
Some people like to buy diapers when they arrive at their destination, which is totally fine. It is usually an additional stop that we don’t like to make. Wether you are buying them on the road, or not, you definitely need to pack some extra for the travel time. Bring 2-3 more than you actually think you need per day.
We also bring diaper rash cream. Sometimes when we travel, especially because we are sitting more than normal, our baby’s bum gets sore faster than usual and remembering cream is always a lifesaver. Don’t forget the Bum Spatula– this thing is wonderful and keeps your hands clean!
3. Formula/ Breastfeeding Supplies/ Food
Feeding a baby is of course essential, don’t forget the supplies that you may need to do so. When we stopped nursing, we had to formula feed so we always had to pack bottles, soap, formula and bottled water. During our nursing time, I would bring a hand pump. Bring what you need. We used this formula dispenser and it was perfect. I loved the size and how much it held.
When our baby started eating, we usually just fed her what we ate on the go, but I always like to pack a sandwich of some sort, and food I know she will eat.
Pro Tip* You can take bottled water through security for a baby. To get through quicker, make sure to remove the water from the diaper bag and send through on its own outside of the bag.
4. Lovies, Comfort Items, and New Toys
Does your baby have a special item at home they love to sleep with or that brings them comfort? Traveling can take your baby completely out of their comfort zone so having something from home can help them adjust and be more comfortable.
New toys- we have a few toys that are travel specific to our baby. We only pack these toys when we are traveling so that they are new and fun. Because she only gets them when we travel, they hold her attention for a while. These do not have to be expensive toys, they just should be different than the one they play with daily.
Books- we like to bring a few small books as well. She loves to read them and just turn the pages.
5. Medicines/ Ointments
We keep a bag packed of medicines and ointments with us always when we travel. This helps because you never know when you may need something. This bag usually has ibuprofen, Tylenol, saline, snot sucker (don’t forget the filters), tubby Todd ointment, wellements teething drops, and any other medicine we may need. This bag came in handy when we were in Asia and needed medicine for our baby. We were in a foreign country, it was late at night and we were already fighting jet lag. It helped so much that we had this packed in our carry on.
6. Grocery Bags
Grocery bags are the best. They are perfect for so many reasons and take up very little room. Need a place to throw a dirty diaper? Grocery Bag. Did your baby have a blow out and now her clothes are a mess and you have no where to put them? Grocery Bag. They of course are perfect for garbage on a plane and car. Our favorite are diaper waste bags from Linnie Lou Baby. We also will just use plain old grocery bags or ziplock bags.
7. Snot Sucker and Saline Drops
I mentioned this above, but it needs to be talked about again. A snot sucker and saline drops are an essential when traveling with a baby. Different climates, temperatures, and weather can cause your baby to stuff up. Nothing is worse than a miserable stuffed up baby. This also takes up little room in a carry one but will sure help when you travel.
If your baby is eating, snacks are soo important. When we travel, rules and schedule kind of go out the door on actual travel days and we have found the best way to keep our baby calm and happy is snacks. We try to choose healthier options, but goldfish really are the best. She will play with them, eat them one by one, and it is a great distraction and time passer. Our baby also gets a little hungrier on travel days so snacks keep her much happier. This is a great dispenser for snacks.
Traveling with a baby will be a little stressful, but it can be fun and easy and totally doable. Set yourself up for success and remember these 8 things you need when traveling with a baby. They are simple necessities, but they are so important.