Planning a getaway with the family in tow can be hectic but if planned right, and well in advance, can make all the difference between a well executed trip and one that could leave you needing another!!
If this is your first holiday with your baby, you might not be too sure about what you need (or you’re possibly too sleep-deprived to think about it!) to pack and how to best prepare.
Whether you’re traveling by car or plane, we’ve got you covered. This baby travel checklist should help you remember all the important stuff when travelling with your baby, so print it out and relax knowing you hopefully won’t forget a thing!
☐ Travel cot. If your accommodation doesn’t supply one, you might have to bring your own. It doubles up as a playpen as well.
☐ Dummies and any other comfort items. Pack a couple for the journey, and some spare for the holiday.
☐ Toys and books. Take a few of your little one’s favourites, so that they have something familiar from home. It’s a good idea to take ones in your carry-on luggage or the backseat of the car that are easily wipeable because they’ll inevitably end up on the floor more than twice!
☐ First-aid kit. Pack your baby’s first-aid essentials including the thermometer, baby paracetamol, colic drops, teething medication, plus any emergency contact numbers and health insurance details.
☐ Sunscreen. If your baby is under 6 months, you’ll need to keep your baby out of the sun completely. If they’re over 6 months, pack a baby sunscreen that is at least SPF30+ and is effective against UVA and UVB.
☐ Swim nappies. You might be able to buy them at your destination, but they could be hard to find, so it’s good to have your own supply if you plan to be in the pool or at the beach.
Baby travel essentials
☐ Car seat. A securely fitted seat is essential in the car, but can be useful when you travel by plane. If you’re flying and then hiring a car at your destination, you may need to take your own infant car seat.
☐ Travel Pram or stroller. Depending on the terrain, and how much walking you plan to do, take a lightweight pram or travel stroller.
☐ Blanket. Even if it’s warm where you’re going, a blanket that smells like home might be comforting. You might also end up going for strolls early in the morning or late evenings when it’s cooler (to get your baby to sleep!).
☐ Baby carrier. This is an invaluable item to pack, and is especially useful waiting in queues in the airport, or going for walks where it’s difficult to get a pram through.
☐ Travel blackout blinds. If your baby is especially sensitive to light at bedtime, you will not want to forget these!
☐ Disinfectant wipes. A good way to prevent getting ill on the plane is to first wipe down the tray table, remote, screen, and any surfaces you or your baby will touch.
☐ Travel highchair/portable booster seat. Some clamp onto tables or strap onto chairs, but they are fantastic for keeping your baby upright and safely restrained at the table at mealtimes.
Clothing and nappies
☐ Plenty of outfits. Find out if there are laundry facilities, and if not, bring at least two changes (layers are always good) of clothes per day. You might like to bring a small bottle of laundry detergent and/or laundry soaker to make sure their clothes don’t stain.
☐ Nappies and nappy supplies. Pack more nappies than you think you’ll need for the journey. You may want to pack enough for the whole holiday if you’re not confident you can get your preferred brand at your destination. Remember to pack extra wipes, a portable change mat, nappy bags, hand sanitiser (who goes anywhere without that now!), and nappy rash cream.
☐ Sun hats. Pack more than one in case it gets lost.
Food and drink supplies
☐ Breastfeeding accessories. Take your nursing comfort balm, a wrap if you would like privacy for you and bub (especially if they get distracted easily), particularly in busy places like airports on flights.
☐ Bottled milk. Pack your bottles, teats, a small bottle of dishwashing detergent, bottle brush, bottle warmer if you use one, and any sterilising equipment. Take enough expressed milk or formula for the journey, plus extra for delays or emergencies.
☐ Meals. If your baby has started solids, it’s a good idea to bring your own food for the journey. If you don’t usually offer your baby commercial baby food, you might like to make an exception for travel, or bring your own meals in an insulated cool bag.
☐ Snacks. Bring plenty of snacks for delays, such as fruit, breadsticks, rice cakes.
☐ Feeding equipment. Don’t forget spoons, bibs, feeding smocks, wipes, cups, bowls, and a bag for the rubbish and dirty feeding equipment.
Bed and bath supplies
☐ Sleepsuit or pyjamas. Pack several pairs of varying warmth. Even if nights are warm where you’re going, sometimes the air-conditioning can be cool (and you don’t always have control over it).
☐ Sleeping bags or swaddles. Take a few if possible, particularly if you don’t have access to a laundry.
☐ White noise machine. If you usually use white noise or lullabies, you won’t want to forget this. Even if you don’t, it’s a great way to block out any sounds that will be new and strange to your baby.
☐ Night light. This can be useful for night feeds and nappy changes, so that you don’t have to use bright overhead lighting.
☐ Toiletries. Pack your usual bath wash, creams, bath toys, sponge, shampoo, toothbrush, and hairbrush.
☐ Universal plug. These are great as they can turn any sink or basin into a baby bath. Put socks or foam tap covers over the taps so your baby doesn’t touch them or bump themselves on them.
☐ Baby monitor. If your baby will be sleeping in their own bedroom, or you plan to have dinner on your balcony while your baby sleeps indoors, this can come in handy.