The Ultimate Packing List for Traveling with a Baby


Jan 19, 2015


It is one of the most anxiety-producing milestones of a baby’s first year… It keeps parents up at night… It provokes feelings of stress that someone without a baby cannot fathom… It is the much-anticipated, but often-dreaded… Baby’s First Trip! Whether it’s to see out-of-town family, or your first attempt at a holiday since giving birth, packing for a baby feels akin to prepping to climb Everest first few times you do it. To help you conquer that mountain, we’ve compiled the ultimate baby products checklist. You may not need everything below, but you sure won’t forget anything! Print this list, check off each item, and packing for a baby will be a breeze.

The ultimate packing list for traveling with a baby

Baby stuff checklist for your carry-on…

  • Formula or baby food
    Always pack something for your baby to eat/drink on the flight.  And include a little bit extra in case of any travel delays.
  • Bottles, nipples and caps
  • Spoons
  • Bibs and burp cloths
  • Diapers
    We recommend one for every hour of the trip. If you’re traveling for five or more hours, round it off at 10.
  • Extra set of clothes
  • Sweater or blanket
    Flights, trains and buses can be chilly.
  • Small toy bag
    This should fit some compact, but colourful and fun toys that your baby doesn’t usually play with. That way, every item will be novel and keep him entertained.
  • Diaper bag
  • Rash cream
    In a mini, travel-sized tube.
  • Wet wipes
    Also travel-sized.
  • Changing mat
    The best ones fold up neatly into a small diaper bag.
  • Pacifier with clip
    The clip is important because this paci has to last! If your baby drops it on the floor of an airplane, you’ll probably not want to use it again.
  • Hand sanitizer
    The easiest way to get clean while traveling, though nothing can replace a good, soapy wash as soon as you arrive.

Baby stuff checklist for your checked luggage…

For Wearing
  • Pyjamas
    Bring one set per night away, plus a few extras if your baby is young enough for accidents.
  • Day clothes
    It sounds crazy, but we recommend packing everything that fits your baby at that time. Babies outgrow their clothes so quickly, you only have a few precious weeks with any given set of clothing. You may as well be prepared and have plenty of options to change if he/she has accidents or stains.
  • Diapers
    If your baby is under six months, we recommend packing at least 10 per day. If your baby is older than six months, 6-7 per day should be enough. Watch your diaper usage a few days beforehand, and see how many he or she averages in a day. Use that number to calculate total diaper needs for the trip.

(If it’s warm and sunny …)

  • Sunglasses
    We know most babies won’t keep them on, but it’s a great idea to start protecting your baby’s corneas early. (Plus, they look super cute in photos!)
  • Hats
    Throw in one or two light ones to keep the sun out of your baby’s eyes. The best ones tie under the chin so he or she can’t turn the hat into a flying toy.
  • Swim suit
    Pack one if you’re going anywhere with a pool or beach. Even if you don’t plan to swim, your spouse or a relative might want to take your little one for a dip.
  • Swim diapers
    It’s always courteous – and usually required – to use these at a shared pool.  Pack one for however many swims you think are likely, then add a few more.

(If it’s cold and crisp …)

  • Hats
  • Socks and booties
  • Mittens
For Bathing
  • Shampoo and soap
    We suggest mini, travel-sized bottles, because you can throw them out when finished and don’t have to worry about hauling them back home. Also, they are less likely to make a mess in your luggage.
  • Face cream and lotion
    Again, look for the mini, travel-sized containers.
  • Sponge
  • Bath toys
  • Toothbrush
  • Hair brush and/or comb
  • Nail scissors or clippers
For Sleeping
  • Sleep sack
    If you use one, pack one for every three nights.
  • Travel crib
  • Crib sheet
    One sheet will last for five days, unless your baby is very young and spitting up, in which case, bring 2-3 for every five days you’ll be away.
  • Sound machine
    If your baby is accustomed to it, make sure you not only have the machine, but also batteries or a plug adapter if traveling abroad.
  • Night-light
  • Any well-loved stuffed animal, blanket, or other object that your baby sleeps with
For Feeding
  • Formula or baby food
  • Bibs
    If you’re still using cloth bibs, you’ll need a big stack of these.  If you’re using easy-to-rinse plastic ones, 1-2 should be enough.
  • Spoons, cups, plates
  • Bottles
    Pack at least 3-4 full sets, so you won’t have to wash bottles multiple times a day.
  • Sterilizing bag
    You’ll need this only if your baby is younger than three months.

(If you’re breastfeeding …)

  • A breast pump
  • Freezer or storage bags
  • Pumping bra
  • Light shawl
    In case you need to feed while traveling.
For Toileting
  • Wet wipes
    For babies under six months, you’ll likely use a 60-wipe package per two days; for babies older than six months, the 60-wipe packages will last about 4 days.
  • Changing pad
  • Small trash bags
    If you won’t have a separate diaper pail.
For Play
  • Play mat
    If you expect your baby will be spending time outside, definitely don’t forget the play mat.
  • Toys
    Pack things that are compact and engaging—your baby’s favorite small toys.
  • Gentle clothing detergent
  • Towels/Washcloths
  • Extra pacifiers
  • Hair clips
  • Sunscreen
    Most docs advise packing SPF 50+ for a baby.
  • Flotation device
    If you’re using one in order to get your baby comfortable in the water.
  • A mini-pharmacy
    You never know how readily you’ll be able to find these medications at your destination. Plus, you’ll sleep in comfort knowing you’re prepared if your child develops a fever at 3 a.m. We suggest packing: ibuprofen, acetaminophen, cough suppressant, a nasal aspirator, and teething gel.

Happy travels, from the Swaddle Team! With this checklist for packing for a baby, you’ll be of to a good start.


Written By The Swaddle Team


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