But with space at a premium, it’s difficult to know exactly what is essential (aside from a must-pack lovey) and what is a nice to have.
So in addition to our beach vacation packing list, we’ve created an essential checklist for traveling with a baby to any destination.
Baby carriers are super useful for vacations because they free up your hands for things like looking at a map, getting on or off public transport and climbing up and down stairs.
If you’re going to a warm destination, one specific tip is to watch out for your baby overheating, which can easily happen if they spend too long being carried by mom or dad in hot weather.
Lightweight, foldable strollers (such as a Yoyo) are excellent for traveling, because they fold up into a small space, can be taken inside an airplane cabin (although best to check with your airline first) and they even have a handy shoulder strap to make carrying easier.
Even if you’re staying in a hotel that can provide a crib, it can still be preferable to take your own as you won’t know how comfortable or hygienic the hotel’s crib is until you get there.
Travel cribs are a great because most are easy to assemble and take down, they’re small enough to fit in your suitcase, and if you’re baby has slept in the crib before then it’s a familiar setting which could help them sleep better.
Travel cribs are also useful for daytime baby naps at other people’s houses, such as when you’re visiting a friend or family all day during the weekend, so it’s well worth having one.
We all know how important sleep is to a baby.
But being in a new environment, in a bedroom with potentially too much light and too many distractions, could make it difficult for your little one to fall asleep.
This is why travel crib canopy covers, such as Snooze Shades, were invented, because they help ensure your baby has a consistently dark, distraction-free environment in which to sleep in.
Whether you use a portable machine or an iPad that plays soothing, ad-free sounds via Spotify or YouTube, white noise is an essential travel accessory for many parents.
If your baby is used to sleeping in their own room at home, but will be sharing with you on vacation, then playing white noise is highly recommended.
Several Sleepwear Options
Until you arrive and spend your first night in your accommodation, you never know how warm or cold your baby’s bedroom will be.
Food & Other Snacks
Babies and toddlers can be notoriously fussy eaters at the best of times, and this may be exaggerated when away from home.
It’s therefore a good idea to take plenty of your child’s favorite snacks, as well as some simple, easy to prepare food that doesn’t require refrigeration, such as jars and pouches of baby or toddler food.
Remember that you can also take plenty of baby formula, milk and food on a plane in your carry-on bags, and that for most airlines diaper bags do not count as a carry on.
If you don’t already own ultra-thin ice packs then these might be worth buying as they’ll provide a little but of extra space in the bag vs larger packs.
Portable High Chair
Depending on where you’re going, you may be surprised to lean that many restaurants don’t have high chairs.
So taking a portable high chair is an excellent way to ensure you can eat at any restaurant you want, rather than be limited to only baby-friendly venues.
If buying a portable high chair for the first time, look for one that is lightweight, easy to set up and folds nice and small.
Sanitizing Spray & Wipes
The tables on planes, trains, cafes and restaurants can often be a source of hidden germs for your little on, so be sure to take a good supply of sanitizing spray and wipes, especially if they might not be easy to find at your destination.
Microwaveable Sterilizer Bags
Fortunately not all sterilizers are bulky and electric.
Sterilizer bags that go in the microwave are a quick and easy way to steam sterilize baby bottles, pacifiers and breast pumps, and what’s even better is they’re reusable (sometimes up to 400 times) and take up next to no space in your suitcase.
Travel Play Mat
If your accommodation only has hard, wooden or stone floors, it will be tricky for young babies to safely move around.
So depending on how young your child is, it’s worth making space for a travel play mat so they have a clean and comfortable place to play.
Ask any parent that’s traveled with young kids and they will no doubt tell you just how important good baby entertainment is!
Some of the key times when your child will likely need entertainment will be during the journey, when traveling around your destination and sight-seeing, and during meals.
Many parents find that introducing a new book or toy at the airport or during the trip can be a great strategy, as the novelty factor of something new to play with might take a while to wear off if you’re lucky!
Inflatable Bath Tub
If you have space in your case then you should definitely consider taking an inflatable baby bath tub.
While you could always use a sink if space is limited, the great thing about an inflatable tub is that it’s safer for your baby given the soft padding and extra support they provide.
Birth Certificate or Passport
If you’re traveling overseas then your baby will always need to have a passport, just like for adults.
But even if you’re traveling within the USA, it’s worth noting that some airlines will want to see your baby’s birth certificate to prove they’re young enough to sit on your lap during the flight.
Printable Travel Checklist For Baby Vacation
- Baby Carrier
- Lightweight Foldable Stroller
- Travel Crib
- Snooze Shade
- White Noise
- Several Sleepwear Options
- Cooler Bag
- Portable High Chair
- Sanitizing Spray & Wipes
- Microwaveable Sterilizer Bags
- Travel Play Mat
- Inflatable Bath Tub
- Birth Certificate or Passport