If your tiny little human is accompanying you on a weekend getaway or vacation, be prepared ahead of time. Keep this baby travel essentials checklist handy to ensure all the baby travel needs are accommodated without overpacking.
Baby Travel Needs: The Ultimate Checklist For Traveling With Your Little Munchkin
If you are a parent now, gone are the days when your travel checklist only included your phone, essential clothing, some snacks, wallet, keys and reservations. Now that you are hitting the road (or air) with your precious bundle of joy, things are going to be a lot more different.
Traveling with babies can be a challenge, especially if they are infants. After all, babies can get fussy if their routines are disturbed and most importantly, their sleep space is changed. But with the right travel tips and the ultimate list of packing, you can have a cosy vacation ahead.
Even if you consider yourself a packing genius, there will be a few things you wouldn’t know you need if you are traveling with a baby for the first time. This comprehensive list of baby travel essentials has been carefully curated to help you pack all the necessary items before you leave with your tiny tot.
As much as we’ve emphasized noting down all the baby travel needs you need to consider, we’ve equally focused on helping you figure out what you DON’T need. After all, no matter how tempted you might feel to carry everything you might require just in case, traveling light without any regrets is equally important.
Things To Consider While Packing Travel Items For Baby
From clothing to feeding and diapering, babies seem to require a lot of stuff all the time. But practically, you cannot carry everything to have a smooth trip with your bub. So, to help you understand things that you can consider essentials for traveling with your baby, we have listed some important pointers to remember while packing for your next trip.
Since every trip, parents’ preferences and lifestyles are different, understanding these major factors will help you curate your customized baby travel essentials checklist as per your specific needs.
1. Travel Plan and Length
Traveling with your baby is not as simple as finalizing a destination and booking your tickets and hotels. Hence, it is important to determine the travel length and plan your itinerary to understand what baby items you necessarily need along with the number of sets/items needed – and what you can possibly skip for a day or two.
2. Baby’s Age
Your bub’s age plays a crucial role in carrying the right items you’d need for them along the way. Toddlers and older kids might not need the same things as infants. Hence, depending upon your baby’s age, plan the baby travel accessories accordingly.
However, it is recommended to avoid traveling with your baby until the first 40 days of their life. This little confinement period safeguards them from infections by strengthening their delicate immune system. Generally, it is considered completely safe to travel with babies aged 3 months but if traveling before that is unavoidable, you should plan the itinerary very carefully.
3. Baby’s Essentials
Your baby travel essentials are majorly dependent on their age group and the length of your trip. A baby carrier might just be enough if you are traveling for a fun day out with your infant. But with older babies and toddlers, you might need a stroller for longer trips or even a day out to rocky terrains and adventurous weekend getaways.
11+ Must-Have Baby Travel Essentials You Need To Pack Inside The Suitcase
Your little traveler might need a lot of baggage but you may still pack efficiently if you prioritize the items they need desperately. Here’s our comprehensive list of important baby travel needs that you need to carry without dragging too much. Depending upon your needs and preferences, you may personalize this checklist and curate your perfect travel packing list.
First and foremost, you need to get your baby’s outfits sorted to get done with most of the packing. Ideally, for a three-day trip, here are the clothing items you may require. You may increase or decrease the number of items as per the duration of your travel. If your travel excursion is really long – for about a month, it is a good idea to pack clothes for a week and seek laundry service at your accommodation.
- Tees & pyjamas – 4 each
- Onesie – 1 warm & 1 cold
- Jacket – 1
- A pair of breathable night clothes
- Socks – 3 pairs
- Shoes – 1 pair
- Slippers – 1 pair
- Swimwear – if the destination is water-based
- Ziplock bags for soiled clothes – if you don’t intend to do laundry
Since toiletries are the next unmissable items you need for your trip, find mini-packs to travel light.
- Diapers – At least 4 per day
- Diaper changing pad – 1
- Baby wipes – A pack of 72 or 80 units is better
- Diaper rash cream
- Swim diapers – 3 (if required)
- Ziplock bags for dirty diapers
- Baby potty seat – if your tot is toilet trained
- Baby wash
- Body lotion
- Baby safe talc
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Nail clippers – if you’ll be traveling for more than a week
Next up, you must get the baby’s feeding items ready in your suitcase. Here are a few things you should be needing on the go:
- Breast pump for extra storage of milk at times it might not be the easiest to breastfeed
- Formula feed – even if you don’t prefer it, it is better to travel with it
- Feeding bottle – 2
- Pre-sterilised nipples – 2
- Insulated flask filled with boiled water
- Burp clothes – 3
- Handkerchief – 3
- Nursing cover – only if you think you need it
- Waterproof bibs or aprons – 2
4. Safety from the Sun
Since your little one is going to be more exposed to sunshine, here are some items you might need:
- Travel-size baby-safe sunscreen – SPF 50
- A pair of sunglasses
- Hat – 1 or 2
- Car windshield sunshade – if you are going to drive
Baby’s let their parents enjoy their vacations to the fullest if they can sleep comfortably. Hence, you might need the following things to let them sleep without any discomfort.
- Blankets – 1 fleece, 1 warm
- Swaddle blankets – 2
- Sleeping cover – 1
Under the supervision of your doctor, here are some medicines you should travel with:
- Medicine for colic, constipation and body pain
- ORS for dehydration
- Baby Tylenol to soothe teething gums, sore throat, colds, and flu
- Nasal aspirator and saline solution
- Antiseptic ointment
- Heat and ice pack
- First aid kit
7. Toys & Comforting Items
You don’t need to pack too much extra stuff to make your baby comfortable while traveling but you definitely need a thing or two to calm them down whenever they are fussy.
- Pacifier – 1 or 2
- Teething ring
- Rattles for infants
- Lovey or snuggle toy they are most habitual of
- An inflatable floatie – if you intend floating around the pool or taking your baby near the beach
8. Bassinet or Travel Bed
If your hotel can arrange for your baby’s bed, that’s great. But in case you want your bub to sleep in their own bed or have multiple travel destinations planned for your vacation, all hotels might not be able to offer you a bassinet or crib. In that case, it is better to travel with a portable bassinet, crib or playard.
If you want a portable bassinet for your infant, you must consider the Dream On Me Karley Bassinet – an all-time bestseller available in nine stylish finishes to choose from. You can also consider the Dream On Me Day Dreamer 2-in-1 Portable Bassinet that provides a firm, flat sleep surface so that your baby can sleep soundly on the go. The Bassinet comes with a removable mattress pad and its own durable travel bag for easy transportation and storage.
For toddlers, you can either look for a mini-crib or a pack n play – whatever your travel guidelines and budget allow. The Dream On Me Travel Light Playard is a safe, secure and smart bedding choice for parents on the move whose baby hasn’t yet transitioned to a crib. For parents who prefer a standard-style wooden crib, the Dream On Me Jett Non-Full Size Folding Crib is a perfect choice.
9. Baby Carrier or Stroller
Depending on what you have, what you prefer and how long your trip is going to be, choose the right baby carrier wisely. You can also pick a baby sling that you can wrap around your waist without any worries.
If you are traveling with a stroller, never take a full-sized stroller with you as it is going to be very bulky and problematic. Opt for a lightweight, portable stroller instead. The Dream On Me Coast Rider Stroller is the best travel-friendly stroller you’ll see recommended time and time again.
10. Baby Car Seat
If it is a road trip and you are traveling with an infant, it is better to take a convertible baby car seat along with you so that your baby’s safety and comfort are uncompromised.
11. Portable Swing
If your vacation is going to be long enough, bring along a travel-friendly baby swing or bouncer depending upon your preference. The Dream On Me Zazu Cradling Swing is a top pick amongst parents wanting to put their babies down in a safe and fun space on their vacations.
12. Miscellaneous But Useful
Here are some other items that don’t specifically fit in certain categories but might aid your overall travel experience.
- A small torch or nightlight
- Portable mosquito net
- Hand sanitizer
- A pack of safety pins
- Clear tape
- Hotel reservations
- Rental reservations
- Baby’s documents
- Insurance documents
Baby Travel Accessories for the Handbag
Since you need some extremely important baby items as handy as possible for the rush minute, here is a list of things you must pack for the carry-on bag,
- One pair of changing clothes
- A pair of socks
- Diapers – 3
- Feeding bottle or sipper – 1
- Baby wipes – travel edition
- Semi-solid food or snacks
- Baby blanket – 1
- Medication as prescribed by your baby’s doctor depending on their age (Infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen + colic medicines are a must)
- Waterproof bib or apron – 1
- Pacifier – if your baby uses one
- Rattle or lovey to soothe them
Over-Hyped Baby Travel Accessories You Can Ditch
Apart from exploring new things and building life experiences, one of the main purposes of traveling is to get out of your comfort zone, learn to compromise in unexpected situations and improve your adaptability skills. The same is true for babies. If they are accompanying you for your trips at a young age, treat this as an opportunity to teach them to adjust in life.
Although we, as parents, work hard to give regular schedules, predictability and consistent expectations to our kids to make their lives more comfortable and stable, it doesn’t always have to be the same. Sometimes, ups and downs are okay – and changes in routines are life-enhancing.
The understandable temptation to bring everything “needy” until you reach your final destination can make you pack unnecessary stuff. This can make traveling with your little one trickier than it is. So, here’s a complete cheat sheet of items you don’t need when traveling with your baby to make your vacay hassle-free.
1. White Noise Machine
Although many baby travel checklists suggest traveling with a white noise machine, we don’t think it is necessary. If you think your baby is getting disturbed by the loud street noise while traveling, you can simply play some white noise music on your smartphone to block extra noise – but we don’t think you’d mostly need that too.
2. Travel Baby Monitor
We firmly think there is no point in traveling with so much stuff, especially when your baby is going to be with you. Baby monitors might come in very handy for parents who put their babies to sleep in their nursery but while traveling, your bub is going to share the room with you. What’s the need of carrying an extra device and making things more hectic?
3. Travel High Chair
If traveling didn’t have space or carrying restrictions, all the parents in this world would pack their entire homes to offer the same comfort to their babies. But it is not feasible for parents to travel with too much gear. So, check with your stay if they can provide a high chair for the baby’s comfortable and safe eating experience.
However, if you can’t find it, try looking for some local baby gear rentals that offer a fully-sanitized baby essentials at low prices. Not to mention, if you are traveling by your own car, have enough space, and most importantly, prefer carrying a travel high chair for your tiny tot, there’s no harm!
4. Blackout Curtains
Another item we’ve found almost everywhere but we don’t think is essential. We know blackout curtains can help a lot but you don’t need to pack them for a day or two. You could rather ask your hotel to arrange for something if your baby is uncomfortable or DIY it using the sheets provided in your room.
5. Baby Bath Tub
No matter how travel-friendly everything claims to be, if you take them all, you’ll be loaded with a lot of stuff. You can ditch a baby bathtub for a day or two and give your baby a travel bath using a warm yet wet washcloth or shower – while following complete safety guidelines. Most high-grade hotels also provide baby bathtubs if you ask them in advance.
Genius Tips To Ease Your Baby Travel Experience
Traveling for the first time with your baby might seem intimidating but can be smooth and enjoyable with proper planning and following some pro tips. Here are some useful travel guidelines and tips to make your vacation with your bub very smooth and hassle-free.
- Note down or print our baby travel checklist to get sorted with all the things you need to carry.
- Start packing two days ago to ensure you don’t miss out on anything. Sometimes, even when your travel list is ready, packing or finding some stuff you may not have at home might take a day or two. Hence, it is wiser to start packing early.
- A small baby travel bag might be all you need for a short trip but you might require a large infant travel bag or suitcase for longer vacations. Regardless of the duration of your trip, keep an outfit, some diapers, and other things you use with your baby frequently handy in a carry-on bag.
- Always choose a waterproof infant travel bag to accommodate all your baby travel stuff.
- Once you’ve determined the medicines, liquids, and baby foods you need to travel with, pack them in plastic pouches in a separate compartment.
- For large baby gear and crib, check with your hotel to know if they can provide you with the items you need.
- If there is something you can’t find but cannot even miss, try to find its lighter, travel-friendly alternative.
- Just in case you don’t travel frequently and purchasing new travel-friendly gear seems expensive for a short trip, try looking for baby gear on rent.
- If you are traveling with your own baby gear, try assembling or disassembling them to check their fittings and safety before you leave.
Avail Benefits Of Rental Baby Gears: Save Money & Promote Sustainability
Great traveling products can ease your vacay experience as new parents – but figuring out what’s worth your hard-earned money can be tricky. After all, you don’t need travel versions of all baby products and gear – and it is practically impossible too. Moreover, buying multiple travel gear for just a few days is also not a wise choice when there are countless renting options available out there.
Consider renting baby gear to save money in the long run, avoid the hassles of traveling with too much stuff, and be stress-free on your vacation. Renting baby gear also promotes sustainability and gives you the freedom of saving space in your home once you are back.
Moreover, travel versions of baby gear might not be able to offer you all the perks as their full-sized versions. So, when you rent these gears, you get uncompromised facilities without lugging a lot of stuff.
- Choose the best baby equipment rental service near you or look for the top-ranked service providers on the internet.
- Read as many reviews as possible.
- Make bookings and share your concerns and requirements before sealing the deal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Travel Needs
Have some questions popping up on your mind before you start packing your baby travel stuff? Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about choosing the right travel items for baby.
What do I need to take my baby on a flight?
To fly with your baby, first of all, it is better to check your airline’s travel regulations to know what items you are allowed to carry and what facilities you will be given on board. While most airlines allow carrying a separate diaper for the baby, the food supplies regulations might be different. Keep your carry on diaper bag ready with the following items if you are going to take your baby on a flight:
- An extra outfit
- Some diapers
- Baby wipes
- Baby pain killer
- Fleece blanket
What do you need when traveling with a toddler?
When traveling with a toddler, you might need the following items:
- Weather-appropriate outfits – 3 sets at least
- Diapers or a potty seat depending upon your toddler’s toilet training
- Alcohol-free baby wipes
- Blankets – 1 warm and 1 fleece
- Shoes – 2 pairs (in case one goes missing or the sole comes off)
- An engaging toy or book
- Some snacks
- Sippy cup
Can I wear my baby through airport security?
Yes. You can wrap your baby around your waist in a carrier and still go through the metal detector at the airport if your baby has fallen asleep or you prefer doing so. Although, sometimes, you might be required to undergo additional screening in that case. The airport security rules and regulations also vary from country to country.
What is the best age to travel with a baby?
The best age to start traveling with your baby is once they are 3 months old. However, if you need to travel before that, you can travel with them following all the necessary safety guidelines. Ideally, babies under 40 days of age should not be traveled with as their immune system is more prone to the risks of getting infections.
Is a diaper bag considered a carry-on?
Yes. Your baby’s diaper bag is considered a carry-on bag by most airlines. However, the ideal baby travel bag for flights should not exceed dimensions of 18 x 14 x 8 inches.
The Bottom Line
With unpredictable situations and new schedules, traveling with babies can be overwhelming. However, it is also a fun, eye-opening experience for them regardless of what age group they are in. Hence, a few challenges you may face on the go should not stop you from creating lifelong memories and keeping your little one away from exploring the beauty of this world.
If you pack baby travel essentials well and follow some tried and tested baby travel tips shared above, you can make traveling with your little one a breeze. Remember to keep your baby engaged along the way and understand that it’s okay to encounter a few challenges and adjust even if you tried accommodating all the baby travel needs at your best. That’s what traveling is all about!
Don’t forget to take adequate rest before heading out for your journey. This will ensure you are energetic enough and remain calm in any situation. Most importantly, keep yourself and your baby hydrated on the go.