Everything You Need to Travel with a Baby (and More)

I should note that I am a notorious over-packer and over-planner. I’m the type of person who tends to travel with anything I might possibly need, just in case. So this is a VERY thorough list. I first put it together when we were going on a week-long vacation by car with our 5-month-old, so I figured I might as well just bring everything (yes, the car was so full that it looked like we were moving). If we had been traveling by plane or going for a shorter amount of time, or even just traveling with a slightly older baby, there are definitely items I could have gotten by without. So pick and choose what you want or think you *really* need, based on where you’re going, how long you’re going for, and how you’re getting there. (And if I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comments so I can make sure this is an exhaustive list!)

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First, a few quick  tips I’ve learned from other moms if you’re traveling by plane or just trying to pack light:

  • Send what you can ahead to your destination or purchase locally – especially bulky items like diapers and wipes – and only bring a few of those items to get you through the trip and the first 1-2 days.

  • Rent or borrow any large items, like a travel crib (some hotels or Airbnbs even have cribs or pack and plays that you can use), high chair, jumperoo, etc.

  • If you’re traveling by plane and checking either a car seat or travel crib, it’s often considered a free piece of luggage and you can stuff a few extra items into it. It’s especially helpful to stuff all the sleep stuff you need into the travel crib, so you aren’t searching around for the sheets, pajamas, etc. – especially if you arrive late at your destination and need to set up the crib quickly and get the baby to bed.

  • Look for things that can serve double duty – such as a muslin blanket that could also be a burp cloth, or a toy that’s also a teether. And mentally prepare yourself to read the same board book over and over and over again (you will care more about the lack of variety than your baby will).

Ok, here we go: my monster packing list! Items that have a specific product recommendation tied to them are marked with an asterisk (scroll to the very bottom to find them).

Sleep

  • Travel crib + sheets (I love the Guava Lotus)

  • Pajamas

  • Swaddles or sleep sack

  • Books for nap / bedtime (we made The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boynton part of our bedtime routine and used the adorable Forever by Emma Dodd for naps)

  • Lovey or stuffed animal – be sure to ask your pediatrician at what age they can sleep with one (we introduced this Angel Dear lovey as a sleep association when we started a nap and bedtime routine, but didn’t let her keep it in the crib until 9-12 months; and when our daughter got a little older, this Jellycat Puppy became the favorite.)

  • White noise machine (the Marpac Hushh is a great travel noise machine for baby, and LectroFan is our preferred one when we’re sharing a room since it goes louder and has different white noise settings)

  • Baby monitor, including camera, handset + charger (HelloBaby makes one that’s a good size for travel)

  • Portable nightlight

Transportation

  • Car seat

  • Car seat canopy (Aden and Anais makes a good one)

  • Car seat toys (this SkipHop toy is great and be used on the stroller too)

  • Car seat backpack (this padded J.L. Childress one is good)

  • Portable noise machine (Marpac Hushh hooks onto the stroller or car seat)

  • Shades for car windows (we have the Brica White Hot Sun Safety Car Shade – they’re fine, but I’d probably invest in a better one if we drove more)

  • Backseat car mirror (this Shynerk mirror gets great reviews)

  • Stroller (love my Colugo for travel)

  • Stroller blanket

  • Stroller toys (I loved this Infantino Spiral Activity Toy for the stroller, but to save space, you could just use the SkipHop car seat toy posted above)

  • Diaper bag or backpack (love my JuJuBe B.F.F. – it’s great for both everyday or travel, and the large strap hooks comfortably over the stroller handle)

  • Baby carrier (I loved the Beco Gemini mesh for travel because it’s lightweight and packs up small – and for me was much more comfortable than the Ergo)

Feeding

  • Breastfeeding

    • Nursing pillow (I found the Boppy easier for travel than the Brest Friend because it can double as a baby prop) 

    • Nursing cover (loved this one)

    • Vitamin D drops if exclusively breastfeeding or pediatrician recommends

    • Breast pump + all parts (flanges, valves, backflow, tubes, power cord) and/or hand pump (I prefer the Lansinoh hand pump over the Medela one)

    • Pump storage bottles

    • Milk storage bags

    • Small cooler + ice packs (the PackIt is great)

  • Formula

    • Anything you need for formula feeding

    • Ready-made formula bottles for travel

  • Solids

    • Feeding bibs (love these Bumpkins bibs for travel because they’re very lightweight and pack up small; and they also make some with more coverage for newer eaters)

    • Purée pouches and snacks

    • Snack containers (this OXO set is great)

    • Baby bowls + spoons (this Munchkin set is lightweight and good for travel)

    • “Sippy” or straw cup (the ZoLi BOT is a great starter straw cup, and the Munchkin Miracle 360 is a favorite too)

    • Cup tether (this one is pretty good for preventing cups from ending up on the ground)

    • Silicone or mesh feeder (love this Boon one)

  • Burp cloths (these Burt's Bees ones are good for travel because they pack up small)

  • Bottle(s) for feeding

  • Portable dry rack + sponge / bottle brush (probably not the most necessary product in the world, but this Boon Travel Drying Rack is certainly convenient)

  • Unscented dish soap for baby

Changing

  • Portable changing mat (I bring this SkipHop one on every trip)

  • Disposable changing pads (these small Chux pads are great to keep everything clean on the go in case of mid-change accidents or poop blowouts)

  • Diapers

  • Baby wipes

  • Aquaphor and/or butt paste (my favorites are Aquaphor Baby 3-in-1 and Boudreaux’s)

Bathing

Clothing

  • Onesies

  • Outfits

  • Leggings / shorts

  • Jacket / sweatshirt

  • Socks

  • Shoes

  • Drool bibs (these Matimati ones are my fave)

  • Seasonal accessories

Play

  • Portable play mat or blanket (the Monkey Mat packs up small and can double as an outdoor mat)

  • Portable chair or bouncer (we brought our Babybjorn Bouncer, which folds for travel, and it was great to have a place to park her when we needed to)

  • A few toys

  • A few teethers

  • A few books

  • Disinfectant toy wipes

  • Toy clips (these Baby Buddy Secure-a-Toy Straps are great for minimizing lost toys)

Seasonal – Summer or Warm Destination

  • Sun hat (the iPlay hats are good for both sun and water)

  • Bathing suit

  • Swim diapers (these reusable swim diapers adjust with age so you get more mileage out of them)

  • Rash guard

  • Sunglasses (love the Babiators – more as a photo prop at first, unless you have a unicorn baby who will actually keep them on)

  • SPF blanket (the Coolibar one is good for extra sun protection, especially before you can start using sunblock at 6 months)

  • Baby sunscreen (I like Blue Lizard, Thinkbaby or Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby – but check with your pediatrician if you’re going on a sunny vacation before 6 months)

  • Bug repellant (I like these Cutter All Family Mosquito Wipes because there’s no worries about getting bug spray in baby’s eyes, and you can wipe it over their clothing too if you’re somewhere really buggy)

  • Stroller fan (this one works great, is easy to charge, and stays on my stroller)

  • Beach tent (we have the Pacific Breeze Easy Setup Beach Tent, which is a great large tent if you’re trying to fit multiple kids/people; but if I were doing it again, I’d get the bbluv Nido Mini for babies or the bbluv Sunkito for toddlers – they’re very lightweight and pack up small, so they’d be perfect for travel)

  • Waterproof blanket for beach or park (love this SkipHop one for both grass and beach)

  • Stroller bug cover

  • Stroller rain cover

  • Car seat rain cover

  • Carrier rain cover

Seasonal – Winter or Cold Destination

  • Bunting for stroller or car seat

  • Winter jacket

  • Snowsuit

  • Hat

  • Mittens

  • Winter booties (Zutano are the best)

  • Warm carrier cover

Health & First Aid

  • Hand sanitizer (love the Babyganics travel size and I buy a bunch at a time so I can keep them in every possible diaper bag and stroller)

  • Hydrocortisone cream (1%)

  • Clotrimazole

  • Infants’ Tylenol

  • Children’s Benadryl

  • Pedialyte (probably not necessary to travel with it if you can buy it at your destination if you need it)

  • Saline nasal drops (the Little Remedies ones were recommended by our pediatrician)

  • NoseFrida (occasional use only – i.e., nose-breathing emergencies)

  • Rectal thermometer + water-based lube

  • Baby Band-Aids

  • Baby-safe surface wipes

  • Nail Clippers (this electric nail file is awesome for the first year, and then I switched to these baby nail scissors once the electric one started to look like a toy)

  • Baby toothbrush & toothpaste

Other

  • Pacifiers and clips

  • Muslin blankets or other baby blanket

  • Unscented laundry detergent

  • iPad with preloaded baby entertainment for emergency plane or car situations

  • Passport or copy of baby’s birth certificate

  • Extra ziplock bags

—> Download printable Baby Packing Checklist


These products are personal recommendations based on experience. You should do your own research and check with your doctor on any medical items. The links in this blog may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you click through and make a purchase, Mom Crew LLC will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.