While I expected life to change significantly with a baby, one thing that surprised me was how long it took to get ready to go anywhere and how I always managed to forget something! Before having babies, I had a pretty good memory. I soon realized that “mom brain” is a thing!
My solution was to create lists. I’ve always been a list girl, but now I needed them just to remember the basics! Here I’ll share our FREE PRINTABLE baby packing list and baby travel checklist! Trust me when I say that you’ll need this for EVERY trip, even the quick ones. Inevitably we all forget something, we just have too much to think about!
We’ve traveled enough with our babies and have used this baby checklist and baby packing list enough to know that it works! This “Travel with Baby” Checklist and packing list will take the guesswork out of your planning and packing! There’s so much more to think about now, so with my essential packing checklist for traveling with a baby, I’ll take you through each of the steps to make sure you don’t forget about a thing.
Baby packing lists are a must for new traveling parents to make sure we don’t leave any baby travel essentials behind. But also included in the download is a checklist for baby travel that covers much more than just a packing list for your baby.
There are plenty of things to think about when traveling with a baby, so I made sure our checklist for traveling with a baby covers everything from getting your travel documents in order to your baby vacation packing list!
So let’s get started with our Baby Packing List and Baby Travel Checklist!
Scroll to the bottom for a printable Traveling with Baby – Checklist.
Checklist for Traveling with a Baby – Table of Contents
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Baby Packing List
What do you need to travel with a baby? Use this baby packing list to ensure you have everything you need for your trip. Look it over a few weeks ahead of time to see if there’s anything you should purchase now.
What to Pack for Baby in Carry-On Luggage
Here are the items that should be on your checklist for flying with baby. You need to have these things with you during your flight and should be in your carry-on luggage.
It seems obvious, but it’s still worth mentioning! You should pack one diaper for every hour of travel (from when you leave your home to when you arrive at your accommodations), along with several extras. You never know when a flight will be delayed.
We recommend having at least one full, unopened large package of wipes, or better yet pack them in a travel wipes container. As you know, they come in handy for far more than diaper changes.
Pack them somewhere very handy, like your backpack diaper bag. You may also want to bring some sanitizing wipes to clean your hands and tray tables.
3. Light Baby Blanket
Planes can be cold, and you don’t need additional discomfort on a flight with a baby. There are many options for lightweight, easy-to-pack travel blankets. Or, bring a large scarf or shawl that can do double-duty.
4. Travel Change Pad
You already know that you can change your baby anywhere with a portable changing pad. You never know where you might need to change a diaper when traveling. Antibacterial wipes come in handy to clean it between uses.
5. Extra Baby Outfits
This is even more critical for airline travel than usual. Flying can make your baby nauseous or more likely to spit up. The stress might also upset their little tummies and cause diarrhea, requiring even more frequent changes.
6. Bottles, Drop-in Liners, and Nipples
Pack these items in addition to any others you will need for feeding. Bring extras; you never know when you might drop one on the dirty ground. You may also want to throw a plastic bag in your carry-on for used bottles that need to be rinsed.
7. Ready-to-Feed Formula or Pre-made Bottles in a Cooler
As stated above, read up on TSA rules about carrying pre-made bottles and formula through the checkpoint. Plan how you’ll feed your baby, and then get them used to any new products or foods well before traveling.
8. Nursing Cover
You already know that nursing is about more than nourishment; it’s also a source of comfort for your baby. They might need that additional warmth and reassurance while traveling, so have everything you need for your convenience, as well.
9. Extra Resealable Bags
You never know when you might need to seal soiled clothes, bottles, or other items. Bring a selection of sizes. One of these wet-dry bags can also do the trick for soiled clothes.
10. Baby Snacks and Food
If your child eats solid food, bring extras, and don’t worry about feeding them too much. Eating can be a source of comfort, and they might want additional travel snacks. Here are all our tips on feeding a baby solids while traveling.
11. Baby Spoon, Cup, and Other Utensils
Pack everything you need to feed your baby. You can find handy baby travel sets that are great; just be sure to get your baby used to using them before you depart.
Silicone snack catchers and other snacks cups for travel are also lifesavers.
Feeding a baby is always messy, but it becomes even more so on an airplane or while traveling. Have extra bibs and pop them into sandwich bags when they’re dirty.
13. Travel Toys
Even the littlest babies can be comforted with some distraction. Pack a few baby travel toys that create minimal noise and disruption. They’ll come in handy throughout your vacation, whether you’re waiting in line or sitting at a cafe.
These travel play mats are excellent for having a clean place to put your baby down and for your baby to practice tummy time!
14. Baby Carrier or Wrap
A baby carrier is one of the number one items we recommend having on your baby packing list. We recommend having a baby carrier for travel for your flight (in case your baby gets fussy and needs to be walked) and for visiting any attractions that aren’t stroller friendly.
Make sure both you and your baby are used to the baby carrier or wrap well before travel.
15. Breast Pump and Accessories
Especially if mom’s body is used to pumping, don’t skip it on vacation. You could create serious health problems. It also might be much easier to give your baby a bottle, if you can manage any time away while on vacation. Pack a portable breast pump in your carry-on.
Don’t forget a compact travel bottle drying rack to make cleaning pump parts and bottles easier!
16. Breastfeeding Pillow
If you rely on a breastfeeding pillow at home, don’t expect to be able to do it on vacation without one. It might be a pain to tow, but it might also make a huge difference in your baby’s comfort. A breastfeeding pillow can also be used for getting your baby to sleep on the plane.
Worried about bulk? Try this inflatable breastfeeding pillow.
If you want your baby to sleep on the flight, following your at home bed time routine is an excellent way to signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep. Don’t forget those adorable pajamas for the flight!
18. Car Seat Bag for Gate Check
If you plan to gate check your car seat, keep it seat clean and safe while traveling. As you know, car seats aren’t supposed to experience a lot of impacts, or they may need to be replaced. A car seat bag can help protect them.
19. Stroller Bag for Gate Check
A gate check stroller bag can keep your stroller’s various parts and straps together and prevent it from getting damaged or dirty on the plane.
20. Extra Shirt for Parents/Caregivers
It’s almost inevitable that you or your baby will spill something on you. Bring an extra shirt (or even two if your baby is prone to spitting up).
Baby Packing List for Checked Luggage
You have a lot to tow on the plane, so don’t worry so much about these things. Adjust your quantities based on the length of your vacation.
1. Baby Travel Crib
Where will your baby sleep when you travel? Getting your baby to sleep on vacation can be helped by providing a familiar sleeping environment for your baby. If you plan to travel with your own baby travel crib, then use it at home before you travel.
Many hotels will provide a crib, typically a pack n’ play, for babies. Ensure that the hotel you are considering has cribs available. You can also inform the hotel now that you will require one.
Additionally, some hotels try to put young families in quieter rooms to avoid moving them later. It never hurts to ask for this as well.
2. Travel High Chair
While in many countries a travel high chair might not be necessary for restaurants, you can still get plenty of use out of it in a vacation rental or in your hotel room. A travel high chair is an excellent way to keep your baby contained if you hope to feed a few snacks or breakfast before heading out for the day.
3. Baby Clothes
You’ll need at least two outfits for each day. Find out if your hotel has a laundry room or services so you can cut back on how much you have to pack. Remember to include these items when you pack for baby:
- Jackets and outerwear
- Sun hat
- Swimsuits and swim diapers
4. Baby Food & Snacks
Spend some time researching the food options at your destination. If you’re traveling domestically, find out if you can have your essentials delivered from a local grocery chain. For international trips, look into what will be available. Remember that food systems differ between countries, and unfamiliar ingredients could wreak havoc with your baby’s little system.
You can always pack some baby cereal or baby food pouches for your destination. Even just to until you get your bearings in a new city.
- Washable bibs
- Formula dispenser
- Snack container
- Baby sippy cup
5. Toiletries and Medications
Keep a checklist of items you use daily and make sure they all get into your suitcase. We also recommend packing some travel size baby products in your carry-on. This is ideal when you are going on a short trip, or to make sure you have what you need on arrival (if your luggage goes missing you have what you need until you can purchase more).
You may also want to talk to your pediatrician about children’s motion sickness medication or natural solutions for dealing with nausea.
In addition, be sure to include on your essential baby packing list:
- Nail clippers
- Baby lotion, soap, and shampoo
- Baby sunscreen
- Rash cream
- Baby ibuprofen
- Saline drops
- Vitamin D
6. Portable Baby Bathtub
It’s not always necessary to pack a portable bath tub for your baby, but if your baby depends on it during their bedtime routine you might want to consider it.
There are other options, like giving a sponge bath or using a sink, but inflatable baby bath tubs can also be easy to pack.
7. Baby Monitor for Travel or Baby Monitor App
You likely won’t have access to the system you have at home. If you’re used to being able to see and hear your baby when they sleep, think about whether you’ll be anxious if that changes on vacation. You can get a baby monitor app or one of these baby monitors for travel.
8. Travel Stroller
A good travel stroller is easy to fly with and so convenient to have with you. Pack your infant travel stroller, stroller accessories for travel, and car seat (don’t forget the car seat travel bag). You should also bring an umbrella and rain cover.
If you are flying, I recommend having a good airplane travel stroller. These are lightweight and compact. Some of them will even fit in the overhead bin on the airplane.
9. Blackout Blinds
Blackout blinds for travel or a Slumberpod can work wonders at helping your baby sleep! If your baby is used to sleeping in the dark at home, this will help you keep a familiar sleeping environment for your baby when you travel.
It’s one of our favorite travel items to help babies and toddlers sleep on vacation.
10. Portable White Noise Machine
Maintain as much of your baby’s sleep routine and sleep environment as possible. Bring their sleep sack, pacifiers, crib sheet, travel crib (get them used to it ahead of time), noise machine, and baby monitor.
A portable noise machine can help for noisy hotels or even on the plane for some additional white noise (at a low level).
11. Miscellaneous Baby Items to Pack
There are many other things to think about. We strongly recommend keeping a running list in the week before traveling as you think of items. Consider including:
- Baby sunglasses
- Baby headphones for flying
- Additional airplane activities for baby
- Extra nursing covers
- Sterilizing tablets or microwave bags
- Travel kettle
- A container for heating bottles or for using sterilizing tablets
- Vacuum flask to keep water warm
12. Travel Bottle Warmer
As with any change in their diets, your baby needs time to adjust to a new formula or feeding method. You also want to ensure that your baby likes and will eat what you will have available during your trip. If your baby is used to a warm bottle, make sure you can provide that while traveling.
Pool & Beach – Baby Packing List Add-On
Here are a few additional baby beach essentials to add to your checklist for traveling with baby when your trip will include a pool or beach:
- Swim diapers
- Beach blanket
- Stroller sunshade
- Baby sunscreen
- Baby beach tent
- Baby sunglasses
- Baby sun hat
Camping & Hiking – Baby Packing List Add-On
Camping with a baby will require a different checklist for travel with a baby, but if you plan to do a little bit of hiking with your baby here are a few more items to add to your travel with baby list:
- Hiking backpack carrier
- Rain cover for hiking carrier
- Baby sun hat
- Baby sunglasses
- Warm outwear for baby
- Bug spray
- Snack container
Baby Travel Checklist
Like any trip, there’s much more to think about than just your packing list. This is even more true if you are planning your first trip with a baby. There’s more planning and making sure that everything is taken care of, in addition to making sure your baby’s needs are met.
We have a full baby travel checklist that we use to ensure that we have thought through everything before and during our trip. This includes getting your baby’s passport and the flights, so if your trip involves flying with a baby, please also use this as your “flying with baby checklist”.
In the baby travel checklist portion of our download, you’ll see a timeline for booking your flights and whether you should be inquiring about a airplane bassinet for your baby. This will also get you thinking about whether you need to travel with a car seat or not.
Depending on where you are traveling with a baby, you may also want to consider renting baby equipment at your destination. If aren’t interested in flying with a stroller, renting one is a great alternative! We’ve rented strollers in both Barcelona and NYC and were so glad we did!
Baby equipment rental companies are a great place to start for any baby travel essentials you don’t want to pack. Many of them can meet you at the airport or drop your items off at your hotel before you arrive!
Printable Baby Travel Checklist & Baby Packing List
Everything we’ve discussed above is included in our Baby Checklist for Travel. While this might seem like more of a checklist for flying with a baby, rest assured that it can also be used for road trips with a baby.
Checklist for Travel with Baby – FAQs
What do I need to bring when traveling with an infant or baby?
Unfortunately your baby needs pretty much the same items for a 3 day trip as for a longer trip. Here’s a short list of what to bring when traveling with an infant or baby:
– baby food pouches
– washable bibs
– formula dispenser
– snack container
– baby sippy cup
– travel high chair
– nursing cover
– portable breast pump
– bottles, nipples, drop-in liners
– bottle sterilizing bags
– jackets and outerwear
– sun hat
– swimsuits and swim diapers
Toiletries and Medications
– nail clippers
– baby lotion, soap, and shampoo
– baby sunscreen
– diaper cream
– baby ibuprofen
– saline drops
– vitamin D
On the Move
– travel stroller
– rain cover
– stroller sunshade
– baby carrier
– car seat
– sleep sack
– crib sheet
– travel crib
– noise machine
– baby monitor
– baby sunglasses
– baby sun hat
– baby headphones for flying
– nursing covers
– sterilizing tablets or microwave bags
– travel kettle
– bottle warmer for travel
– vacuum flask to keep water warm
Additional items for the pool or beach:
– swim diapers
– beach blanket
– baby beach tent
Additional items for hiking or camping:
– hiking backpack carrier
– rain cover for hiking carrier
– warm outwear for baby
– bug spray
How do you pack a baby bag for travel?
We recommend using a backpack diaper bag as your baby bag for travel. Your baby bag should include:
– Light Blanket
– Change Pad
– Extra Baby Outfits
– Extra Shirt for Parents/Caregivers
– Baby Snacks and Food
– Baby Feeding Essentials
– Bottles, Drop-in Liners, and Nipples
– Ready-to-Feed Formula or Pre-made Bottles in a Cooler
– Nursing Cover
– Breast Pump and Accessories
– Breastfeeding Pillow
– Extra Resealable Bags
– Baby Spoon, Cup, and Other Utensils
– Travel Toys
– Baby Carrier or Wrap
Don’t forget the car seat bag and stroller bag for gate check.
How do you prepare to travel with a newborn?
The key items to prepare for travel with a newborn are making sure your documentation is taken care of (birth certificate, passports, and visas), your baby has a ticket for the flight (either as a lap baby or own seat) and you have a good baby packing list.
You’ll need to consider where your baby will sleep and how you will get around. Will you need a travel crib? Will you travel with a car seat, stroller, baby carrier or all the above.
Other Baby Travel Resources
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This post was written & edited by:
Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.