April 20, 2024
What to pack when travelling with a baby

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas

Knowing what to pack when travelling with a baby is a big deal because travelling with a baby is not business as usual. It is different from whatever experience you may have had travelling alone or with your partner. That is why in this article, I will outline a comprehensive checklist of items you need to pack when travelling with your little one. From essentials like food, diapers and clothing to must-have health and hygiene items, I got you covered. 

But before I go on to share what you need to pack when travelling with a baby, let’s discuss…

A couple of things to consider before travelling with a baby

1. Health

Babies have a high risk of falling sick because their immune system is still developing. If you are travelling by air, keep in mind that babies could experience difficulty breathing on the plane due to the change in oxygen level while on air, most especially babies with certain health conditions. 

It is strongly recommended that you consult with the baby’s paediatrician before embarking on long trips with the baby.

2. Baby’s schedule

Understanding your baby’s schedule is crucial for travelling with him/ her. I have noticed that newborns within 0- 3 months usually need to be fed and changed frequently and they sleep more. While older babies don’t eat or soil their diapers as much. However, they sleep less and are clingy. 

Consider your baby’s sleep schedule too. Some babies sleep more during the day, others at night. Aligning your trip with their sleep pattern can minimise inconvenience.

3. Safety

If you’ll be driving, it is advisable to travel with someone and have the baby properly strapped in a secure baby seat. If there’s no one to travel with you, consider using the train, coach or flight so you can take care of your baby during the trip appropriately. 

4. Mode of travel

If you are travelling by bus, train or flight, you want to travel as light as possible because carrying a child and dragging your luggage is no joke. But if you will be travelling in your vehicle, you could worry less about how much you pack.

You will find more pointers on things to consider when flying with a baby in this article by the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP).

Back to the question…

What should I pack for a travel with my baby?

The following are essential items to carry when travelling with a baby.

Feeding essentials

  1. Breast pump
  2. Feeding bottles
  3. Pacifier
  4. Bib
  5. Burp cloth
  6. Sippy cup
  7. Bottle brush
  8. Baby formula and snacks
  9. Insulated bag (for keeping the food warm)
  10. Food storage container

Documents

  1. Travel ID
  2. Birth certificate
  3. Health and travel insurance
  4. Medical records (if necessary)

Hygiene and health

  1. Nappy cream
  2. Baby bath tub
  3. Nail clippers
  4. Thermometer
  5. Insect repellent 
  6. Diapers and wipes
  7. Nasal saline drops
  8. Nasal suction device
  9. Baby laundry detergent
  10. Teether- if your baby is teething
  11. Infant Motrin or Tylenol 
  12. Baby medication and first aid kit
  13. Baby toiletries (body wash, lotion, shampoo, conditioner)

Clothes and footwear

  1. Onesies
  2. Pyjamas
  3. Blanket
  4. Outing wear
  5. Shoes, sandals
  6. Accessories like gloves, scarves, beanies, etc.

Consider the weather of the place you’d be travelling to and take the appropriate clothes. 

Others

  1. Foldable stroller
  2. Baby carrier
  3. Toys
  4. Changing mat
  5. Cot spread
  6. Baby car seat
  7. Baby monitor
  8. Travel cots and sheets

Read also: How to apply for Schengen visa from the UK.

How to pack less when travelling with a baby

As much as you want to pack everything the baby will need while you are away from home, you don’t want to pack more than necessary. Oftentimes, we pack more than necessary because we want our baby to be very comfortable. But even with less, you can still provide comfort for your baby. The following tips could help you pack light.

  1. Pack only what is absolutely necessary

2. Buy some things when you arrive at your destination. 

Things like diapers, wipes, baby milk, baby laundry detergent, etc are sold almost everywhere. If you will be spending more than a couple of days where you are going, packing the needed number of diapers could be burdensome. Consider taking just a few then buying when you get to your destination. 

If you are worried that you may not find a store that has what you need when you get there, before you set out on your trip, ask family or friends that live in that vicinity or check online.

3. Take some things in smaller sized containers

Consider transferring some cream, nappy cream, shampoo, conditioner, etc, into smaller containers if the containers they originally came in are big. Doing this will save you some space.

4. Be open to sharing

When travelling to visit your family or friend that has/ had a baby too, chances are high that there are a couple of things your baby could share with their baby (if the parents are fine with it). For example, play mat, toys, walker, stroller, etc. If this is the case, you don’t have to travel with those items.

What should I pack in my hand luggage when travelling with a baby?

  1. Medication 
  2. Diapers and wipes
  3. 2-3 baby change of clothes
  4. Change of cloth for yourself
  5. Baby headphone/ ear plugs
  6. Baby formula and feeding bottle
  7. Snacks and water (for you and the baby)
  8. Plastic bag/ zip lock bag for disposing of used diapers
  9. Travel documents (both yours and the baby’s)
  10. Phone, charger, power bank, credit card, cash
  11. Nappy cream
  12. Small blanket
  13. Pacifier
  14. Toy

Does a nappy bag count as hand luggage?

Yes, it does.

Questions people also ask

Is pram allowed in flight?

A number of airlines allow collapsible prams in flight. Kindly check with the airline you will be travelling with. 

Can I bring water for baby formula on a plane?

Yes, you can. 

How do I protect my baby’s ears when flying?

Changes in cabin pressure during take off and landing can be discomforting to the ears even for adults. Pacifiers, infant earmuffs and feeding the baby can help to protect your baby’s ears when flying.

Can I feed my baby inflight?

Yes, you can.

Now you know what to pack when travelling with a baby, I hope you enjoy your trip!

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