What to Pack for Vacation With Your Baby

Checklist Makes It Easier

Family packing car for trip.
Jason Todd/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you're going on vacation with a baby, you're going to have to take all the daily necessities, and yes, that is a ton of stuff. Here's a checklist to help make that big planning job a little bit easier.

Diaper Bag/Carry-On

Diapers: Take enough for 24 hours (pack more in your luggage).

Wipes: A small package with a flip-top lid (pack more in your luggage).

Blankets: Carry two for the car seat, the stroller, or to cover baby while nursing. Be sure to pack your baby's favorite blankie because he will feel more secure and you'll enjoy the trip more.

Clothes: Pack two outfits separately in gallon-size storage bags. This way the dirty soiled clothes go in the bag and the clean ones are easy to grab on the go.  

Bibs: Pack two (pack more in your luggage).

Bottles and extra nipples: Carry two with you along with extra nipples.

Formula: Powdered formula is best for travel. Measure it out in full-bottle quantities and store each serving in an individual resealable ziplock bag. When it's time for your baby to eat, simply mix one bag of powdered formula with bottled water. It's best to carry with you enough formula for three to four extra bottles in case of delays.

Pacifiers: Pack at least four if your baby uses one regularly. The odds of your losing one or more while en route are great. A trip or vacation is not the time for your baby to go "cold turkey" with the pacifier.

Toys: Cloth books, stuffed animal, plastic keys are good ideas. If you are flying, remember to be mindful of your fellow passengers and leave the toys that make sounds at home.

Medicines: Pain reliever, fever reducer, ear drops, gas drops, thermometer, and first aid kit. Small children have an uncanny knack for getting sick while traveling.

Hand sanitizer

Gallon-size storage bags: Pack at least three. Use them for wet/dirty clothes or for used diapers when you don't have another way to dispose of them.

Luggage

Clothes: Pack one outfit for each day plus three extra. (If you'll have access to laundry facilities, you can skip the extra outfits.) 

Pajamas: Pack three sets of pajamas if you have the ability to do laundry at your destination. Pack one set for each night of your trip plus two extras if laundry is not an option.

Diapers: Pack enough diapers for the first 24 to 36 hours of your trip. You can buy additional diapers at your destination.

Wipes: Pack one small portable container plus one larger refill package. You can purchase additional wipes as necessary at your destination.

Formula: Pack enough formula for the first 48 hours of your trip. You can purchase additional formula at your destination.

Breast pump: Consider bringing a breast pump in case you're unable to nurse or plan to go out without your baby and need to relieve the pressure of full breasts while maintaining your milk supply.

Blankets: Pack two additional blankets.

Bibs:  Pack two to three additional bibs. Bibs are items that can be washed in the sink and hung to dry once you reach your destination.

Toiletries: Baby soap, baby shampoo, ear swabs, nail clippers, diaper rash ointment, and baby lotion. Pack in gallon-size resealable bags.

Extra bag: You may want to pack a small bag for day trips and not tote along a diaper bag during shopping sprees. 

 

Equipment

Car seat

Baby monitor

Stroller: A sturdy, collapsible stroller. Even though umbrella strollers are lightweight and portable, they may not withstand the wear and tear of a busy vacation, and they may not be as comfortable for your child as the regular stroller. Weigh the pros and cons when deciding which one to pack.

Baby carrier: You can keep your baby safe and secure while keeping both hands free for luggage, bags, or holding the hand of other children.

What Not to Take

Crib or Pack 'n' Play: Many hotels and resorts offer these at no additional cost as part of your room rental. If you are staying at someone's home, you may be able to either rent or borrow what you need.

Extra diapers, wipes, and formula: Once you arrive at your destination shop for your what you need and buy only what you will use.

 

Edited by Elizabeth McGrory