Let’s be honest: traveling with kids, especially babies, is not easy. It causes a lot of stress. When my baby was just 6 months old, I traveled on a plane several times with all five children, and let’s just say I’m still recovering. The worst is when other passengers sigh and give you those nasty looks — I hate that! Despite this, you might want to travel or you might need to venture off and visit family, so the question is, when it comes to my new baby, what do I need to hit the road?
Here’s my survival guide and packing list for traveling with children.
Pack a Separate Suitcase for Children
First I would suggest a separate suitcase for your child. It’s so much easier to keep things compartmentalized that way. I also happen to be particular about keeping my own things organized and I find it frustrating when my stuff is mixed with tiny socks and Pack ‘N Play sheets. Call me silly, but this one step really helps me when I get to my destination.
Pack Only the Essentials:
- Front-Snap Pajamas
- Burp Cloths
- Extra Sheet for Pack ‘N Play
- 1 Hooded Towel
- 1 Nice Outfit
You want to have fun and relax, not be worried about staining Sunday’s best. To that end it’s also a good idea to take a light laundry bag or even a big pillow case to keep dirty clothes in, if you won’t have a chance to do laundry.
Do Not Pack:
- Extra Diapers
- Extra Wipes
- Extra Formula
- Extra Towels
- Lots of Nice Outfits
Unless you’re going to Antarctica, most cities have pharmacies and other stores. Pack enough for your voyage, and when you get there, go to the pharmacy and buy your big staples. Bringing them with you is a total hassle and a waste of space.
I have a show that does a thorough walk through of what you need in the diaper bag for a day out with baby, but let me say that for travel purposes, in terms of clothes and feeding essentials, you won’t need that much more unless it’s a very long trip.
Diaper Bag/Carry-On Packing List:
- Age-appropriate Motrin, Acetaminophen, Benadryl
- 3+ changes of pajamas
- 3-4 onesies
- 4 burp cloths
- 8 diapers
- Small container of wipes
- Ready-to-go amounts of formula and bottles
- Bottled water if necessary
- Safe play toy
- 1 changing pad, 2-3 CHUX changing pads
- Cardigan or something warm even in summer, because air conditioning can make you baby cold
Depending on how old your baby is, I would pack a thermometer, some age appropriate Motrin and Tylenol, and Benadryl as well. Obviously read the labels carefully and always a must to check with your doctor about medications for your baby. But I have been caught with one of my kids coming down with a fever mid-travel and it’s just good to have these things handy just in case. I pack Benadryl, because at a young age you might not be aware of any allergies your baby might have and I just felt better having it with me in case I absolutely needed it in an emergency. Again, always check with your doctor first before administering any medication to your child.
The CHUX is great because you can put it underneath your changing pad and use it so that your normal changing pad doesn’t get dirty. You never know where you might need to change your baby so Chux pads are a great way to keep your own stuff clean if you’re in a not so clean public restroom.
Now, if you are headed to Australia, you might want to ramp up a bit here on the amounts, but the basic point is figure out exactly what you will need and then add a few things. I have noticed that a lot of airlines have “baby kits” but I wouldn’t bank on it, and you never want to be caught mid-flight without a diaper.
Good luck and have an amazing time!