I’ve traveled now with both kids when they were the ages of 6 weeks old, 8 weeks old, 10 weeks old, 12 weeks old, 4 months, 5 months, and 6-18 months. And along the way, I have picked up a few tips & hacks that can help make travel smoother and easier… for all of us.
We’ve talked before about traveling with a toddler here, so this post is more specifically about the baby stage— the first year-ish of life when they’re sleeping a lot, mostly drinking milk and not too mobile yet. Here are my best tips to keep in mind and make baby travel so much easier (and more fun for everyone.)
Travel tips with a baby:
What to keep in mind on the travel day itself:
- Pack an extra outfit for baby (in case of blowouts, if bags get lost, etc.)
- Pack 1.5x the amount of diapers and wipes you think you need!
- Bring natural hand sanitizer & wipes (for the seat & all surfaces when you sit down in your row). This is my favorite smelling spray. And for wipes, these guys (or the smaller travel packs)
- When you get to the airport and after you check in, put the baby in a front carrier pack or baby wrap carrier. You can walk all the way through security this way without disturbing them— but if you keep them in the stroller/carseat, you’ll have to get them out so they can scan the stroller. We still take the stroller/carseat to the gate to get gate checked (it’s like a rolling luggage cart so you can put the rest of your things/other kids on). (I have a code for my favorite newborn & baby wrap above, just use code Simply10 at checkout to save)
- Bring a nursing cover (both for nursing on the plane if you’re breastfeeding, AND as a sleep shade to keep extra stimuli out. Triples as a germ shield, too.) My favorite one is from here.
- Layer their clothes (depending where you’re going & leaving from). Planes can be extra hot or extra cold and it’s one factor that’s easy to control. Same for mama— your hormones can make you extra hot/cold so make sure you’ve got a strategic outfit on. I like to wear high waisted jeans/leggings with a bodysuit or tank and a cropped sweater. And a jacket of some kind. Easy (but covered) boob access and easy layers to peel off if needed. I also use the jacket to prop my elbow or baby up while nursing so my arm doesn’t fall asleep.
- Bring a travel sound machine. We like this one.
- Pack extra pacifiers (or wubbanubs)— if they’re a thing you use. Bring at least 3-4, plus pacifier clips can help them from dropping on the gross floor. We like these.
- Always always buy or re-fill your water before you board the plane. You never know with turbulence, flight delays, etc and a nursing mama NEEDS lots of water. I can count at least 6 flights where water wasn’t possible to get in flight and I was sooo grateful to have it already.
- Pack snacks & an actual meal, or pre-order one. I like to have both– snacks come in handy on the trip, too. If your baby is older & eating solids, make sure to bring something they can have (bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, etc). I love our freezer snack bag for the fresh stuff (and to use on the trip).
- If you’re traveling to a place that has a store with essentials, consider buying them there (diapers, wipes, etc.) so you can save the room in your suitcase for other things.
- If you’re pumping, make sure you bring milk storage bags, your travel pump and a freezer carrier for the return flights.
Now, let’s get to even more specifics.
PACKING! I get this question all the time…so I’m just gonna share my own iphone notes to myself here, in hopes it helps!
Packing list for traveling with babies:
- Pack n ‘play and crib sheet (if needed)
- Fan (if needed)
- Charging cords for mini sound machine
- Bigger sound machine (if needed)
- Hat (beanie or sunhat, depending) (fav girls hat, fav boys hat)
- SPF swimsuits (fav boy suits: here and here, fav girl here)
- Baby sunscreen (favorite here)
- Extra blanket (extra warmth or place to lay baby on)
- Swim diapers or re-usable swim diapers (we use these)
- 2 muslin swaddles (cover carseat/stroller while sleeping, double as a nursing cover, or place to lay baby down)
- Sweater or warm layers for baby
- Baby socks/footies
- Clothes + pajamas for the length of your stay (less if you’ll have access to a washer & dryer)
- Diapers/wipes if you won’t be able to buy them at your destination
- Baby toiletries (lotion, bath soap, diaper cream, etc.— we use this brand for baby toiletries, and you can get 10% off using code ‘simplyrealhealth’ at checkout)
- Baby monitor (if needed)
- A few small toys/teethers (if needed)
- Place for baby to sleep (dockatot, snuggle me organic, travel bassinet, travel crib/pack n play (if you’re staying at a hotel or airbnb check if they can provide one for you– one less bag!). And yes we have been known to travel with our snoo– you can get a snoo shipping box sent to you by the company for $35 and check that baby into the oversize luggage. You’ll need a big car most likely, but this was so worth it to me in the beginning months and one of the reasons I felt comfortable with traveling with my babies so young.
- Slumberpod (if you’re sharing a room and you don’t at home— it keeps their crib area pitch dark)
- Bib, teething feeders, baby spoon (if 6+ months)
Traveling with a baby is alllll about being prepared— and adjusting your expectations to know that there may be setbacks, slow-downs, messes, mistakes & beyond. But know that all of the work and preparation is SO incredibly worth it to explore the world with your loved ones and experience new places together. I hope this helps you on your next journey together! Save this post as a bookmark or print it out the next time you’re packing for a trip!