This will come as no surprise, but like many things in life, traveling changes when you have a baby! Whether you are visiting family or flying with a baby for a much-needed getaway, being prepared can feel more daunting.
This Baby Checklist for Traveling will take the guesswork out of your planning and packing! There’s so much more to think about now, so with our essential packing checklist for traveling with a baby, we’ll take you through each of the steps to make sure you don’t forget about a thing.
Packing lists are a must for new parents to make sure we don’t leave anything baby travel essential behind. But this checklist for baby travel 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 we made sure our checklist when traveling with baby covers everything from getting your travel documents in order to getting your family pet to the kennel!
So let’s get started with our Baby Travel Checklist!
Scroll to the bottom for a printable Traveling with Baby – Checklist.
Checklist for Traveling with a Baby
- Planning and Booking Your Family Vacation
- Packing Checklist for Your Baby
- Enjoy Your Baby on Vacation
- Printable Baby Packing Checklist
- Checklist for Travel with Baby – FAQs
- Other Baby Travel Resources
- Pin It For Later!
This post contains compensated links.
Planning and Booking Your Family Vacation
Spontaneous getaways might be a thing of the past, at least until you’ve had a little more experience traveling with a baby! For your first trip with a baby, give yourself a little more time to get prepared! In won’t take long before you’re a family travel expert.
1. Prior To Booking Your Flights
If you are flying with a baby, remember that flights are often non-refundable, so you want to get some essential details out of the way before you commit and book.
Check Passport Expiration Dates
Check the expiration on existing passports, and leave several weeks (or months) to apply for a new one for your baby. If you are flying with an infant, you want to make sure you have enough time to get your baby’s passport. Even if flying domestically, you’ll need a birth certificate for your baby before you fly.
One key item for your checklist for traveling abroad with a baby, is to make sure your passport expiration dates extend over 6 months past your return date.
Confirm Visa Requirements
You should always confirm visa requirements for all international travel before committing to tickets, especially if you’re planning a long trip.
Research Safety and Travel Advisories
Some places are obviously dangerous, but there may be threats for babies that are different for adults. Your baby may be susceptible to diseases or must avoid certain substances, situations, and places. In addition, as a parent, you want to be well aware of potential risks.
Research Vaccination Requirements
Pay particular attention to routine vaccinations that are recommended for travelers. You may need to accelerate your baby’s vaccination schedule, so they’re ready to go. Bring a list of recommended shots to your baby’s pediatrician well in advance of traveling.
Confirm Availability at the Kennel for Pets
Don’t forget about your furry babies! Make sure they have somewhere safe to stay or ask friends to look after them for you. You may also want to ask the kennel what shots your pet needs and confirm they’re up to date with their vet.
Research Airplane Bassinet Options for Flights
You know how much harder it is for your baby and you when they don’t get a good night’s sleep. An airplane bassinet can be a game-changer, so find out which airlines provide them when flying long haul with a baby.
2. When Booking Your Flights and Hotel
There are a few critical details to remember during the booking process.
Purchase a Seat for Your Baby or Call the Airline for a Lap Baby Ticket
It may be frustrating to think about buying an additional plane ticket for a person so small, but think about what will be most comfortable for you. If you plan to travel with a car seat, the safest place for your baby and your seat is in the airplane.
Even if you plan to fly with your baby on your lap, you still need to call the airline to make sure you have a ticket for your baby. There’s often a cost associated with flying with a lap baby, which can vary but it typically 10% of the adult fare. You don’t want to leave this until they day you fly, since the cost can increase dramatically.
It’s also worth comparing the price of an extra seat at a child’s fare and what you’ll pay for flying with a lap baby. A third seat could make things much simpler and more comfortable.
Inquire With the Airline About Booking a Bassinet
An airplane bassinet is a fantastic tool on overnight or long haul flights. It can also be nice to have somewhere to set your baby down.
Inquire With Your Hotel About a Crib and a Quiet Room
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.
If you are going this route, now is the time to start doing your research on travel cribs and consider a Slumpberpod as well.
It’s one of our favorite travel items to help babies and toddlers sleep on vacation.
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.
3. After Flights Are Purchased and Hotel Is Booked
Some of the best parts of planning are the details after the major pieces are booked.
Purchase Travel Insurance
Trust us- travel insurance is a must with a baby; you simply never know what might happen at the last minute!
Book Kennel for Pets
Be sure to inquire about anything they need and add those things to your checklist.
Book a Rental Car and Check Driving Requirements
If you’re going to rent a car, be sure you understand driver identification requirements in your destination country. Also, if you are bringing a car seat, purchase locking clips if necessary (country dependent, but worth having if you are renting a car or traveling by taxi outside the US or Canada).
Confirm Availability of a Friend or Family Member To Keep an Eye on Your Home
You’ll feel better if someone keeps an eye on things in your absence. Or, make a plan for securing your home while away.
Create an Itinerary for Your Trip
Creating a comprehensive itinerary for your trip will help you organize your journey in your mind and feel more confident about your plans. It’s also a great way to identify downtime or potential problem times for your family.
Have a list of your must-see places and a list of secondary places to visit.
When traveling with a baby, we recommend planning one big outing each day. If you happen to have extra time, you can do some additional sightseeing. This allows you to incorporate plenty of downtime and travel at a slower pace.
Purchase Tickets Online for Attractions
Don’t start your day at the Louvre or other attractions by standing in a long line, which is even more miserable with a baby in tow. Buying tickets ahead of time also guarantees admission.
Rent a Stroller or Travel Crib as Needed
If you aren’t planning to fly with your stroller or if your hotel doesn’t have cribs, make arrangements to rent your baby equipment upon arrival (unless you are traveling with your own travel crib). Baby equipment rental companies are a great place to start for any baby travel essentials you don’t want to pack.
Start Using Any New Carriers or Wraps With Your Baby
A baby carrier is one of the number one items we recommend having on your traveling checklist for baby. 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.
Purchase Diaper Delivery (If Applicable)
If you’re taking a long trip especially, a diaper delivery service can assure that you have the brand and quantity you need, no matter where you are.
For Formula-fed Babies: Start Testing Ready-to-Feed Formulas and Bottles and Confirm Access to a Microwave or Kettle in Your Hotel
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.
These travel bottle warmers are perfect for travel with formula-fed babies or moms who pump.
4. Two Weeks Prior to Departure
As your trip gets closer, your planning will ramp up. Remember that all this preparation will be worth it when you get to relax on vacation!
Confirm Crib Availability With Your Hotel
Double check with the hotel that they will have a crib available for your when you arrive. You don’t want to show up and find out there’s nowhere for your baby to sleep.
Confirm Delivery Times for Stroller, Crib, Etc.
Especially if you’ll be on the go on your first day, you need to make sure that you’ll have the necessary gear. In addition, create a note on your phone with contact numbers for your rental companies. That way, if your arrival gets delayed, you can easily let them know.
Scan Copies of All Important Documents to Your Email
You should keep copies of all your documents in one place that you can access from anywhere. Since you can log in to your email from any browser, it’s the safest place. Include copies of your trip itinerary and emergency contact numbers for family and friends back home.
Buy a Baby Monitor App and Test It
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.
Buy a Power Converter, if Applicable
If you’re traveling internationally, the chances are good that you’ll need a converter to be able to use their outlets and charge your essentials.
Test Out New Shoes, Gear, and So On
Ensure everything you plan to wear on vacation is comfortable and works for you. Begin testing everything now and order new items as needed.
5. One Week Prior to Departure
Your trip is getting close! It’s time to get excited about enjoying time away with your baby.
Print Your Itinerary and Other Important Documents
You may have already begun compiling documents in a folder, but now is the time to print finalized itineraries, tickets, confirmation numbers, and more. Be sure to include phone numbers for where you’re staying and the companies you’re using.
Contact Your Cell Phone Company To Add Coverage for Your Trip
Most standard cell phone plans don’t include coverage for international travel. You can add it to avoid steep roaming fees or purchase a sim card for your destination country. If you’re traveling for business, your company should cover this expense.
Contact Your Credit Card Company and Banks to Alert Them to Your Plans
Overseas transactions are typically treated as suspect by financial institutions. So is a sudden spike in activity anywhere far from home. You can avoid having your card declined by making a quick phone call ahead of time. If applicable, ask about international transaction fees.
Pay All Your Bills for the Time You Will Be Away
Don’t come home to overdue notices! Either pay bills ahead of time or schedule payments for while you’re away.
Leave a Copy of Your Flight Numbers, Hotel Contact Information, and Other Essential Information With a Trusted Person
If you include all of this information on your itinerary, you can easily print a copy for your emergency contact person. Consider also giving them a key to your house, just in case.
Purchase Books, Magazines, and Other Entertainment Items
Don’t forget about yourself! Especially if you have a long-haul flight, you’ll need some entertainment. Having something fun to read or watch can make an otherwise miserable flight seem much more enjoyable. You might need it if you’re stressed about flying with your baby. You might even get lucky and have your baby sleep on the flight!
Set Aside Items To Pack In One Place
Putting items in your suitcase might be a little premature, but you should start collecting everything you want to pack in one place, both for you and your baby. Keep the baby checklist for travel below handy, and mark things off once they’re ready.
Do the Laundry for the Trip
For parents, laundry is always never-ending. That’s why you should start washing for the trip well in advance. Set aside clothes you plan to pack. It’s also an excellent time to think about how you’ll wash soiled clothes while away from home.
Buy Any Extra Baby Food, Formula, Diapers, Wipes, Etc.
Your travel checklist for baby includes all the essentials like diapers, wipes, formula and snacks. Move this to-do item up on your list if you order these items online.
In addition, your checklist for flying with an infant should include reading up on TSA rules about carrying liquids like baby formula and baby food through the security checkpoint, so you’ll be prepared on your day of travel.
Decide How To Get to the Airport on Departure Day
Whether you plan to drive and leave your car at the airport, take a taxi, shuttle, public transportation, or however else you plan to arrive, think through the details. Remember that you’ll be toting a lot more gear than you’re used to when you travel, including a tiny human.
If you aren’t traveling with a car seat, you’ll still need one to get to the airport. It might be easiest to park at the airport or have a friend drive you in your car. Make sure to make these arrangements before hand.
6. The Day Before Your Departure
It’s almost time to go! Get these last-minute items done, and you’re on your way.
Check-in for Flights
Even if you have a seat assignment, checking in ahead of time can allow you to pay for luggage, arrange gate checks, and more. That saves time and avoids additional stress at the airport.
Inquire With the Hotel About Crib and Quiet Room
We’ve included this tip several times, so if your plans are solid, no worries. If not, try again–these can be serious benefits for a baby.
Take care of all your baby grooming tasks. Doing it right before you leave means you won’t have to worry about it for at least a few days. Trim their little nails, give them a good bath, and so on.
Take Care of Household Chores
A few days before, start a checklist of these little chores you don’t want to forget. Include everything from watering your plants, taking out the garbage, and resetting the thermostat to turning off the coffee pot on the way out the door.
Charge Your Phone, Camera, Tablets, and Other Electronics
Before you go to bed the night before, plug everything in to give it a full charge. In the morning, throw those items and their cords in your suitcase.
Packing Checklist for Your Baby
Now that it’s almost time to depart, use this packing checklist for baby 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.
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 back 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 snacks. Here are all our tips on feeding a baby solids while traveling.
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.
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.
Baby Carrier or Wrap
This might be the last thing you want to forget since it’s one of the few ways to hold your baby and have your hands free simultaneously. If you have a favorite, you may even want to pack a spare just in case the original gets soiled.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 back 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
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.
Either a fabric travel high chair or a clip-on high chair, like the Inglesina Fast Table Chair, make good travel options.
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:
- Jackets and outerwear
- Sun hat
- Swimsuits and swim diapers
Toiletries and Medications
Keep a checklist of items you use daily and make sure they all get into your suitcase. 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
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.
On the Move
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.
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 also help for noisy hotels or even on the plane for some additional white noise (at a low level).
Blackout blinds for travel or a Slumberpod can work wonders at helping your baby sleep!
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
Pool & Beach – Baby Packing List
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
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
Enjoy Your Baby on Vacation
While this baby checklist for traveling abroad and flying with baby checklist might seem daunting or overwhelming, rest assured that preparation will lead to a more enjoyable vacation. You’ll be able to relax and focus on making unforgettable memories with your baby.
Printable Baby Packing Checklist
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
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
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.
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.