After seven years of traveling with little ones, I’ve learned to pack smart. It didn’t come easy, but here are my tried and true tips for packing baby for a trip.
Get Ready for Takeoff
No matter what you pack, don’t forget that camera! (And charger, of course.)
#1: Pack Layers
Though the forecast may be tropical heaven, airports, planes, and hotel lobbies can be cold. Be sure to bring along some warmth. (Or visa versa.)
#2: Pack Outfits Together
If you know you’ll be gone for 5 days, pack 7 or 8 gallon-sized zipper bags (keep one in the diaper bag) with Baby’s favorite clothes. In each include a main outfit, socks, any hair accessories, etc., so you can grab and go, rather than dig and dig. You can press the air out and “vacuum seal” the bag to save space, then use the bags to keep soiled clothes separate. Store the plastic bags in your suitcase to reuse them for your next trip!
#3: Gear Up
If you’re going to visit a family member you’ll see often, you might ask them to keep an extra sippy cup, bottle brush, etc. on hand. If not, pack one plastic bag with kitchen essentials (cups, spoons, bowls, etc), one with bathroom essentials (clippers, brush, etc). And if a hotel bathroom will be your “kitchen”, pack a bit of dish soap and a dishtowel.
#4: Make it Cozy Like Home
If you can, pack a crib sheet from home so Baby will be comforted by the scent and feel. A nightlight will help you find Baby in an unfamiliar space without turning on lights. And don’t forget loveys, pacifiers, blankets…whatever Baby has to have to sleep.
#5: Diapers and All That Jazz
Don’t forget to bring your favorite diaper cream, wipes, a changing mat (or disposables), nighttime diapers (I put these in zipper bags with pjs), and daytime diapers. If you’re going to someone’s home, you can ship diapers there ahead of time. If you’ll be at a hotel, you can call ahead to ask if there’s a store nearby.
#6: Liquid Packs
I don’t think I’ve been on a single trip where something hasn’t leaked. Keep liquids (pain medicine, shampoo, lotion, diaper cream, etc.) in an individual snack-sized zipper bag. Then put the snack bags in one gallon-sized zipper bag, so you can easily pull it out at security.
#7: Play With Food
My husband was recently on a flight where the baby cried for four hours straight. The mom handed the baby a baggie of cereal, and it magically stopped. Food — especially a new, tasty treat — and baggies are great distractions. Or, use a plastic bowl instead, and bring an extra. Task Baby with moving the pieces from one container to the other.
#8: Get Creative
Pack things to keep Baby entertained — on the plane, in the car, at restaurants — wherever your travels take you. Crayons (made magically more user friendly and non-rolly with a tab of tape), paper, stickers, and even magnetic drawing boards are great to have on hand.