When you’re packing for a vacation, it’s easy to forget one of the basics and not realize it until you’re halfway to your destination – and if you’re traveling with a baby, this can get especially bad. Imagine being stuck on a plane and finding out you forgot a now-necessary change of clothes! This handy checklist can help you make sure you have everything ready to go before you head out the door.
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- Diapers: Bring more than you think you’ll need. A lot more. You never know when you might be up against a flight delay.
- Wipes: You won’t just need them at the changing table. The right travel packs can also be used to wipe down your little one’s face and hands in a pinch, or even to blot a spill.
- Plastic bags: If baby has an accident, you’ll need to put their dirty clothes somewhere. Resealable plastic bags will keep the mess out of the rest of your luggage, and can also be used to get rid of dirty diapers.
- Hand sanitizer: If your little one needs a diaper change away from a bathroom, you’ll be glad you have this to clean yourself up afterward.
- Changing pad: You can’t count on finding a changing table every time you need one. With a changing pad, you’ll be ready to clean up your baby’s accidents anywhere.
- Rash cream: Pack a travel-size tube, just in case. Diaper rashes can ruin your little one’s vacation experience.
- Food and drinks: Make sure you pack enough to prepare against unexpected delays. You never know when baby will get hungry or thirsty!
- Bibs: You might find disposable bibs better for traveling. It’s one less piece of dirty laundry to lug to your destination. Consider packing extras in your checked luggage as well as in your carry-on bag.
- Baby carrier/sling: These are a great way to keep your child close and your hands free while you’re walking around the airport or out sightseeing. Simple slings like the SUPPORi stow easily when you’re not using them, and won’t take up much room in your already crowded luggage.
- Portable baby seat: You’ll find this necessary if you plan on eating out a lot – there’s no guarantee restaurants will have the right high chair or booster seat! The Yochi Yochi is a great solution to this problem that can also be used as a walking harness when you’re out on the town.
- Burp cloths: They’re not just good for cleaning up spit-up! Burp cloths can also be used to clean up other spills.
- Bottles/sippy cups: Whichever you’re using, bring three (one for milk or formula, one for water or juice, and one backup).
- Camera: This is going to be a big experience for you and your child! Make sure you can document it.
- Car seat pillow: If you’re in for a long trip, baby’s head may need some extra support.
- Entertainment: Your little one’s likely to get bored or fussy sooner or later. You’ll want to be sure you have books, soft toys, their favorite blankie, or some soothing music available.
- Extra clothes: Accidents happen, and that mess can cover you as well as your child. You’ll both be grateful to have clean clothes to put on afterward! Don’t forget a sweater or jacket for sitting in cold areas or air conditioning.
- Sunscreen: No one wants a sunburn, and baby’s skin is especially sensitive. Consider packing a wide-brimmed hat for additional protection.
- Outerwear: Research the weather where you’re headed and pack accordingly. If you’re headed into a wintry climate, you’ll need coats, hats, scarves, and gloves; if you’re traveling during the summer, a lighter sweater can still be good for cool evenings.
- Blankets: You never know when you might need an extra blanket to bundle up or cover the carrier/stroller while you’re out and about.
- Day clothes: Pack a few more outfits than you think you’ll need to get through your vacation. You never know when you might need a change of clothes.
- Pajamas: Again, pack a few more sets than you think you’ll need, in case of nighttime accidents.
- Baby’s toiletries: Don’t forget shampoo, soap, and other bathroom supplies for your little one.
- Dish soap: A travel-size container of dish detergent will come in handy for cleaning out your child’s bottles and cups in a hotel.
- Safety items: If your little one’s up and walking (or running), don’t forget to pack outlet and doorknob covers to keep them safe in the hotel room.
- Crib sheet: Hotels provide sheets, but you may prefer to bring one from home.
- Monitor: Baby can sleep in peace and you can spend time catching up with the family, assured nothing’s wrong.
- Bath toys: If your child’s a fussy washer, something to keep them occupied in the bath is a must.
- Swim diapers: Going to the beach or a pool? You’ll be glad you packed some of these!
- Extra diapers and wipes: No, really, you never know when you’re going to need them. Make sure you have plenty for during your vacation as well as while you’re on the road.
- Nightlight: Even if your child’s not afraid of the dark, a nightlight can be indispensable during a midnight (or 3 AM) feeding.
- Prescription medicines: If your baby has any of these, pack them and the appropriate dispensers in your carry-on luggage. You don’t want them lost forever if your checked luggage goes missing!
- Emergency info: Just in case something happens, make sure you have your pediatrician’s phone number and any immunization or allergy information about your child handy.
- Thermometer: Hopefully you won’t need it, but it’s better to have one in case baby gets sick.
- Tweezers: Splinters are everywhere, even on vacation. A good pair of tweezers makes removing them a snap.
- Bandages: Scrapes and cuts can also happen anywhere, and you never know how big or small they’ll be. Pack an assortment of bandage sizes.
- Calamine lotion: You’ll want this, or a similar product, to calm itchy bug bites and rashes.
- Benadryl: Be prepared for possible allergic reactions!
- Nasal aspirator: If your little one has trouble breathing, one of these might help.
- Collapsible stroller: You’ll be glad for the help toting your child around the airport, and other places once you reach your destination. Something lightweight that folds easily is the key. If you don’t check it with your luggage, check it at the gate and pick it up after your flight lands.
- Portable playpen/crib: Some hotels provide cribs, but it’s possible you and baby would both rather have a familiar crib with you.
- Pack bottles for security: The TSA doesn’t hold formula to the three-ounce rule, but they do scan it separately. To save time, consider packing the dry powder only, and ask the flight attendants for warm water when you’re ready to feed.
- Breastfeeding cover: Bring safety pins, or a snap-on cover like the Kurumi Ket, to assuage any nervousness about breastfeeding while sitting next to perfect strangers.
- Car seat: If your child’s under two years old, they don’t need a separate ticket – but that also means they’re stuck in your lap for the entire flight! Consider buying a separate ticket, boarding with your car seat, and using the car seat as you would in a car, especially if you’ll be doing a lot of driving at your destination.
- Check your gear!
- Prepare for takeoff: Make sure you have a pacifier, bottle, sippy cup, or something else to suck or chew on ready to go during takeoff and landing. The sucking and chewing motions help relieve the pressure on baby’s ears.
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