The Parent's Packing Guide for Traveling with a Baby

by Kimberly Foerst

If you’re like most new parents, you’re probably wondering what you need to pack for your baby when you travel. Even if your child is still young and doesn’t have many items yet, it’s helpful to have a packing list so you don’t forget anything important. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive packing list for traveling with a baby.

Traveling with a baby or toddler

1. Why traveling with a baby is worth it

Traveling with a baby can seem daunting at first, but it can be a great experience for the whole family. Even if the child is too young to remember the sights and sounds, you will be making your own memories with them. Here are a few more reasons why traveling with your little one is worth it:

  1. You get to see the world through your child's eyes.
  2. They get to experience new cultures and people.
  3. It's a great way to create memories that will last a lifetime.
  4. You won't have to worry about your child's welfare back home while you're trying to enjoy your vacation.

So, pack your bags (we'll show you how below) and get ready for an adventure!

Baby in a boat in exotic place

2. What to pack in your carry-on

If you're traveling with a baby, you'll need to be prepared. And you'll want to have a lot of items on hand during your travels. If you're flying to your destination, here's a list of what you'll need to bring with you on the plane in your carry-on bag.

First, pack your baby's essentials: diapers, wipes, any medication, a changing pad, and snacks and formula or breast milk if applicable. You'll also want to pack a cozy baby blanket and a few toys to keep your little one comfortable and entertained. Add a few changes of clothes as well in case of accidents or spills.

And don't forget your own essentials: laptop, books, magazines, chargers for your devices, your own medications and change of clothes, and your headphones. Be sure to confirm everything you pack meets the guidelines for travel in the areas you're flying into and out of.

All travel documents will also need to be easily accessible, so be sure to keep those in your purse or your carry-on bag as well.

Baby in a wagon

3. What to pack in your checked luggage

You're going to want to pack as much as you can in your carry-on, but there are a few items you'll need to check. Obviously, you'll need enough clothes for you and your child to get you through your time away (you can pack less if they have an onsite laundry center). Your larger liquid toiletries will also need to be checked per TSA rules.

Diapers, wipes, additional toys, and other necessary baby supplies can take up a lot of space, so be careful with how much you pack. After all, if you're traveling domestically, you can probably find most of what you need once you reach your destination. If you're traveling internationally, you might need to bring more with you.

For safe travels out of the airport to your lodging, you'll need to check a car seat and a stroller -- in addition to the safety measures, they'll both also come in handy when exploring your new surroundings.

baby traveling to cold destination with mom

4. What to mail to your hotel

If you're traveling with a baby, you can save yourself some trouble by mailing some necessities ahead of time to your hotel to hold for you when you arrive. Always call first and make sure this is a service they offer.

Your hands are already going to be full with your child and your own luggage, so having less to travel with will be a major bonus. Plus, if you're traveling domestically, mailing a box of necessities will typically be cheaper than checking another large suitcase. It will also help ease your mind if the airline loses your luggage.

Pack a few outfits for your baby, some diapers and wipes, and a couple clothing items for yourself. You can also include some toys or books to keep them amused when in the room, as well as something that comforts them from home to make the new place feel more inviting.

At the end of your vacation, you can ask the concierge at the hotel to help you mail a package back to your home before you set out to the airport to head back home yourself.

Baby enjoying a beautiful view

5. Other considerations

When traveling with a baby, you may want to take additional safety precautions in the event you somehow get separated in the airport or while staying at your destination. First, don't go alone if you don't have to. Bring another adult you trust, whether it's your spouse or partner, a family member, or a close friend. Another set of eyes and another set of hands will be most helpful.

Create a bracelet, shirt, hat or something similar that your child can wear that has your contact information on it. It's best to choose something that they can wear everyday and won't be easy to take off by themselves.

Take photos on your phone of all travel documents and IDs in case you lose or misplace them, or if someone should steal your wallet or purse. This should help make the process of getting back home a lot easier and less stressful.

Baby held by mom in beautiful scenery

Conclusion

Traveling with a baby can be a challenge, but it's definitely worth it for the memories you'll make. With the right preparation, you can make your trip go smoothly and have lots of fun exploring new areas with your little one.


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