Summer is approaching and you know what that means….SUMMER VACATIONS!!!
For some of you, this may be your first time traveling with a baby. You are likely hyperventilating over the long list of baby items you need to pack. For the rest of you, this isn’t your first time, but you may feel like a hot mess when you travel (forgetting things or remaining unorganized).
Friend, you are not alone and I have been there!
We are no strangers to traveling with a baby. Since Rhett was born, we have been on the go. It seems like every other week we are packing up the car and heading to visit family and friends! During our travels I have had many trials and errors while packing. I overpacked, under packed, forgot important items (like breastmilk), ran out of wipes…the list goes on! Babies come with a lot of baggage (not the emotional type) and it can be overwhelming when trying to pack.
Because we travel so much, I have learned through trial and error how to properly pack when traveling with baby. I’m here to share my tips with you (mainly so you don’t panic).
Before we get started, take into consideration your two options for travel, flying or driving. Now, obviously there are some differences on what to pack when flying vs. driving. Since driving allows more flexibility for packing, there is less pressure to leave everything at home, so you are given some grace when it comes to overpacking. With flying, there is a limit to what you can bring through TSA and on a plane. Consider looking up what is allowed by the airline before take off!!!
Mama Bear Travel Tips and Tricks:
1. Have a Checklist
Sometimes, mental checklists aren’t enough because we all know that evil thing called “mom brain” can make us somewhat forgetful! Take a moment to create a list of items to pack and use it as a guide for the times that you travel. Your list may vary depending on your travels, but the essentials should be the same! Add on items to coordinate with seasons (gloves in winter, etc.) and duration of your stay. My checklist is taped to the fridge and always there for when I need the reminder!
Get your free printable checklist: Baby Travel Checklist
What’s on my checklist? Check out my must haves below!
Have you ever traveled somewhere and wondered where to put those baby bottles to dry? This drying rack is compact and convenient. It’s a must have for us.
The perfect mini-size travel soap for babies bottles! It’s 3 Fluid Ounces and TSA approved (SCORE)!!!
No washing machine needed!! Not only are these time savers and convenient, but they can be rolled up to be compact and secured with a rubber band. These easily wipe clean and can save you from having to bring home all those dirty bibs and doing an extra load of laundry!
Babyganics foaming hand spray is perfect for when you are on the go. Hands are car pools for germs, and little hands are not picky about who they attack! Enter The Germinator: suddenly hands are safe to hold, kiss and to high-five another lovely day. Alcohol free.
2. Use Your Phone as a Noise Machine
Ditch the bulky white noise machine and use your phone! Not only is it one less thing to pack, but it’s also convenient for playing music wherever you are (in the car, nap time, at home, etc.). Download some apps to have your own portable noise machine. I recommend downloading Lullaboo and Baby Sleep.
3. Pack Light & Be Strategic
Did you say pack light? With a baby?! Yes, you can do it. One thing I absolutely cringe at the thought of is over packing. Yes, being prepared and having extra clothes and diapers are required (one word: blowouts). But what I’m saying is pack the bare minimum! Don’t pack the Tylenol because you’re afraid they may get sick or the 5 coats because it may rain.
My biggest piece of advice: Count the amount of diapers, clothes, bibs, etc. you would use daily and add 1-2 extra at most while packing.
Things to consider
Trip Duration. Going for a short trip? 3 days away? Give your baby a bath beforehand and trim their nails.
Types of Activities: Think about what types of activities you will be doing. Will you be hiking and need a stroller or can you carry your baby in a carrier?
Weather: What you pack will be dependant on the weather. If it’s raining, chances are you don’t need 3 jackets for a baby, 1 will do. Are mosquitos out? do you need bug spray?
Babies Age: A babies age may determine how much you need. For example, a newborn will not need toys or things to be entertained with. But, a 7 month old is likely to get bored sitting there and won’t be napping as often. Every month it seems like my baby requires more items to pack, but that’s okay.
4. Be Organized
Designate a specific bag for baby. Sharing a bag gives you less space and makes it harder to find all of babies items. Having an organized bag for baby makes all of their items easy to locate!
Staying organized makes trips go smoother! Separate everything with zip lock bags or into separate compartments. For example, all of my feeding items are together in a tote inside the baby bag (bottles, formula, baby food, spoons, etc.).
5. Send Items to Your Destination
Have Amazon Prime? If you are visiting family or friends, try sending items ahead of time to give your baby more suitcase space. In one click you can send diapers, wipes, formula, baby food or more without having to lift a finger or figure out where to fit all it in your suitcase!
Hey you…did you download the free checklist? You can find it here- Baby Travel Checklist