Traveling with a baby can be a bit of work, but is possible! Grab these baby travel essentials to make life easier before hitting the road with baby in tow!
So many people think that traveling with a little one is more trouble than it’s worth. But I promise you it can be done!
I encourage you to travel with your whole family, no matter how young your kids are.
I know that one of the hardest parts of going on a trip is getting everything packed. There’s so much to remember, especially when you’re packing for a baby.
But don’t let the packing list scare you. I’ve compiled a list of baby travel must-haves to help get you on your way.
Here are my top baby travel essentials for setting out on an adventure with your little one!
Baby Travel Essentials for Sleep
One of the hardest parts about traveling with a baby is the possibility of lack of sleep.
I have to admit when my daughter was a newborn I was so nervous to travel, mostly because I didn’t want to mess with her sleep. I truly wish I had the tools that I have now and would have ventured out more.
My goal is to help everyone be as rested as possible while you’re traveling. If your baby has good sleeping habits and a good baby sleep schedule, traveling may not throw them off nearly as much as you think!
Here are some baby travel sleep essentials to consider while you’re packing your bags. Make sure to check out my baby travel sleep tips as well to ensure you get rest on your vacation!
When it comes to white noise machines, the Yogasleep Rohm sound machine is one of my personal favorites for traveling. It charges via USB port, so is great for camping or on-the-go stroller naps.
If you want your sound machine to pull double-duty as an okay-to-wake clock for your toddler, check out the Hatch Rest.
Sometimes it’s easier to just travel with your baby’s Pack and Play instead of relying on borrowing or renting one when you reach your travel destination.
If you’re looking for a portable bassinet, I like the Fisher Price Rock With Me bassinet. It’s a small-space bassinet and a great Rock N Play alternative, and eliminates all of the dangers the Rock N Play was recalled for.
I also love the Pack N Play for travel. It grows with your baby, and can also be used as a play yard when you’re away from home.
The SlumberPod is a portable privacy pod that fits around your travel crib. It’s a great way to keep light out while you’re traveling, since you never know what kind of blackout curtains the hotel will have.
If you’re sharing a room with your little one, and don’t room share at home, the Slumberpod or even a SlumberPod alternative is a baby travel essential! See my full comparison of the SlumberPod vs SnoozeShade here.
It keeps you out of sight and gives baby the privacy of being alone. If your baby can’t see you in the room, it’ll be easier for them to settle down to sleep.
You can use my code POSTPARTUMPARTY20 to save $20 off your SlumberPod.
Make sure to check out our tips for using your SlumberPod before your trip as well.
If you can’t get your hands on a Slumberpod, you can get blackout curtains that are portable and designed for travel.
These blackout curtains from Sleepout are 100% blackout and come with suction cups so you don’t have to use any tools or equipment to hang them up. These are so easy and convenient when you’re traveling!
Make sure to pack the proper sized sheets for your travel crib. It might need smaller crib sheets than you use for your standard crib at home.
Remember that for safe sleeping, there shouldn’t be any loose bedding in your baby’s crib until they’re at least 12 months old.
For your newborn, make sure to pack a few swaddles or sleep sacks that they’re familiar with from home. If your little one has grown out of swaddling, a sleep sack is a great alternative to the swaddle. See the best sleep sacks here, including summer sleep sacks and winter sleep sacks.
When you’re traveling, wrapping your baby for sleep in the same way that you do at home is so important. It’s a great way to signal when it’s time for bed, even in an unfamiliar setting.
If you incorporate books into your bedtime routine, then stick a couple in your suitcase so you can keep your routine similar, even when you’re in an unfamiliar environment. Doing the same 3 to 5 activities each night, and even when you travel, helps cue your baby’s brain that sleep is coming!
Baby Feeding Must Haves for Travel
You can’t always count on a restaurant to have an available high chair. This portable high chair makes it so easy to have baby sit in any available char at a restaurant and saves you the hassle of having to clean a high chair before and after baby’s meal.
Plus it’s so compact and won’t take up much space in your suitcase!
If your baby is eating solids, he probably gets pretty messy. Since you may not have access to laundry, or as many clothes as you do at home, bring several silicone bibs that you can easily wipe up and use at each meal.
If your baby prefers warmed milk, you’ll want a quick and easy way to safely warm it, even while you’re out and about. With this portable warmer, the water stays hot for 6 to 8 hours and it’s designed to hold all standard sized bottles, so you can warm the bottle so easily!
Essential Baby Travel Toiletries
Your baby probably doesn’t need nearly as many toiletries as you do. But there are a few essential toiletries that you’ll want to make sure you bring along on your trip.
Traveling can mean exposing your little one to more germs than usual.
Hand sanitizers are so prevalent now, but so many of them contain ingredients that shouldn’t be ingested. That’s a problem when you’re traveling with a baby who is constantly putting their hands in their mouth!
The AAP recommends against using hand sanitizer on children younger than 24 months.
Instead of using hand sanitizer, it’s often safer to sanitize surfaces that they’ll be touching. Be sure to pack some travel-sized sanitizing wipes.
It’s super unpleasant to have a spill in your luggage, so I like to mitigate that risk by packing as little liquid volume as possible. Still, you don’t always know if you’ll be able to find your favorite products while you’re traveling.
I recommend looking for travel-size options of your favorite tear-free baby wash, like the Aveeno Baby Wash & Shampoo.
For toddlers with longer hair that tangles easily, try So Cozy Kids 3-in-1 soap to save space in the toiletries bag. It shampoos, conditions, and washes their bodies all at once without using parabens, sulfates, or synthetic dyes.
Our little ones can get sick or hurt even while we’re traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. Pack some first-aid items so you’ll have them in a pinch.
Keep in mind that if you’re traveling abroad, pharmacies might carry unfamiliar products. There might also be a language barrier, so better to have some familiar medicine from home.
One added bonus of having Band-Aids on hand while you’re traveling is they can be used as makeshift outlet covers in a pinch!
It’s always nice to have a reliable thermometer on hand when traveling with your baby in case they get sick! The FridaBaby 3-in-1 thermometer is small enough to pack in your toiletry bag and gives you different options for checking baby’s temperature.
Travel Essentials for Baby Going Abroad
The things you pack for your baby will often remain the same regardless of where you’re going. However, if you’re traveling abroad, there are a few extra items you’ll need to bring with you.
Travel Identification and Documents for Your Baby
All you need on domestic flights is a birth certificate, but your baby will need a passport to travel abroad.
It might seem funny to have to go get a passport photo taken for your baby, but it’s required to travel out of the country!
Wait-times for passports have gone up in the past year. Make sure to start the application process with plenty of time to spare before your departure.
A wifi enabled baby monitor might work just fine at home, but access to wifi can be hit and miss when you’re traveling abroad.
If you’re traveling overseas, make sure you’ve got a way to monitor your little one that doesn’t necessarily involve strong wifi connection.
If you want to keep it simple, use an audio-only baby monitor. You’ll be able to hear baby but won’t have the hassle of setting up a camera monitor for a short trip.
When you’re traveling abroad, the outlets might look different from what you’re used to at home. To avoid frying your breast pump or baby monitor, make sure to pack an outlet adapter.
I like this outlet adapter because it comes with options for adapters you’d need to travel almost anywhere in the world!
Airplane Travel Essentials for Baby
I know there’s a stigma surrounding babies on airplanes, but I encourage you to take full advantage of flying in those first couple years when your baby flies in your lap for free.
I promise people are much more tolerant of babies on planes than the movies would have you believe. Even if things don’t go smoothly and your baby cries for most of the flight, chances are that you’ll never see those people again!
Here are a few essentials to pack that will make your time in the airport and on the airplane a little easier.
It always feels like I need at least three hands when I’m at the airport! Keeping track of tickets, phones, and luggage is already hard enough without having to look after a little one (or three!) at the same time.
If your baby will let you, wearing them through the airport is a great way to keep your hands free.
I like the Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier because you can use it with newborns all they way up until they weigh 45 pounds.
If your baby is easily worn in a carrier, you might be able to get by without a stroller. But if you like the option of having a stroller while you’re traveling, make sure it’s compact enough for air travel.
I like the Baby Jogger City Tour 2, because it only weighs 14 pounds, it’s easily foldable, and it fits in most airplanes’ overhead bins. It reclines to allow for naps, and there’s a spacious mesh basket at the bottom which is perfect for stashing extra travel essentials.
The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 also comes with a wearable carrying bag. This makes it a great choice for either strolling to the gate or checking with luggage to arrive at your destination.
To avoid getting puffs or crackers all over your seats and the plane’s floorboard, pack a snack cup with a lid. This collapsible silicone snack cup has flaps to keep the food in, but also allows your baby to reach in easily.
For a durable, spill-proof water bottle option, we love the Contigo water bottles. Just remember that the pressure from the plane will create a crazy spill if you don’t relive the pressure first. (We definitely learned this the hard way when we opened our Contigo mid-air and strawberry milk went shooting to the woman behind us!)
Yes, I know going on an airplane isn’t the same as going camping or rock climbing! But carabiners are the unsung heroes of traveling with a baby.
They help you keep track of things that might otherwise end up forgotten on the airplane floor.
Use a carabiner to attach your baby’s water bottle to your purse strap, or to connect their favorite toy to their car seat or the back of the seat in front of them.
Other Travel Equipment for Babies 0-12 Months Old
Traveling with a baby will look a little different than traveling with a toddler. While you might not need to pack as many toys, there are a few travel items that are very helpful when your baby is young.
If your little one is still under a year old, here are a few extra items you should consider to help your trip go more smoothly.
A lightweight muslin blanket is super versatile! It can be used as a swaddle for sleeping or a sunscreen in the stroller.
You can also use them as nursing covers, tummy time blankets, or for added warmth in a chilly airplane.
I am a big fan of the Aiden + Anais muslin swaddles for travel because they are large but breathable. They also fold down small enough for easy packing.
When you’re at home, you’ve pretty much got an endless supply of pacifiers that you can wash and re-use. But when you’re on the go, you don’t necessarily have that luxury!
A pacifier clip helps you keep track of the binky and keeps it from falling and collecting germs. These silicone bead paci clips are especially great because they can double as a teething toy when your baby is cutting a new tooth.
When you’re traveling with a baby, you need to be ready to change diapers on-the-go at a moment’s notice! One thing I learned quickly while traveling with an infant is that blowouts happen at the most inopportune times.
Packing a travel diaper changing pad can save you the time and stress of tracking down a changing table. I like this changing pad because it can attach to the stroller or a seat back for easy access.
You can’t always vouch for the cleanliness of the floors where you’re traveling. For peace of mind, pack a play mat to ensure a safe space for tummy time or getting wiggles out.
I like traveling with a compact outdoor blanket because you can use it indoors or outside. It also repels water and sand, so it can double as a picnic blanket!
I hope I’ve given you some helpful ideas for getting packed up to hit the road (or the skies!) with your little one. Bon voyage!