I am one of those people who likes (needs) to be prepared for any and everything. Especially when travelling with a baby.
Having travelled a ton with our sweet baby Z, both domestically and internationally, solo and as a team with my husband, I’ve learned a lot along the way. While I’m no stranger to the fact that we’ll always be learning and improving how we go about setting ourselves up for success, preparedness based on baby’s stage in life key.
Prior to our first trip, we were a bit nervous…
What do we bring?
What will airport security be like?
How do we survive the flight with an infant?
**Blog posts coming soon**
But with practice and patience I think we’ve been doing pretty well.
*Keep in mind that s a passenger, regardless of the airline’s carry-on/baggage policy, you’ll be allowed a personal item, same goes for baby, so when it comes to packing, you’re already at two bags…I’ll dive into how we pack/how many bags we take when we travel in another post…
When it comes to packing baby’s diaper bag (especially for airplane travel), there’s a really fine line between being perfectly prepared and packing way too much, so here are some tips that I highly recommend as they really helped set us up for success…
First and foremost, always opt for a backpack style diaper bag with lots of pockets. A cute over the shoulder/weekender/satchel might look really nice, but future you will thank you.
What to include:
Sanitizing wipes: In this day and age, you’ll want to wipe down surfaces whenever possible. Restaurant tables, airplane seats/armrests/tray tables etc.
Snacks: Lots of snacks! Puffs and squeeze pouches are not only handy, but depending on the age of your baby, they help with ear popping and their a great distraction need be. Other handy snacks to bring include individually-wrapped items such as granola bars, crackers etc.
Bottles/formula: Obviously this will depend on your journey. If you’re nursing, you may opt to bring your pump or a cover…but a muslin always works well for coverage if you’re looking to minimize what you’re bringing. If baby is bottle feeding, be sure to bring sanitized bottles and individually packed formula. I opted for these pouches to avoid having miscellaneous powder in a formula dispenser that I might have to explain going through airport security. I also always fill the bottles with boiling water (either at home before we depart, or from an airport restaurant once through security) so that bottle making was quick and easy once on board. Never, ever, drink boiled airplane water.
Tumbler for hot water: This is handy if you’re worried about not having enough water once you’re out and about.
Bib: An easy-to-wipe bib will help save mess and dirty outfits.
Quiet Toys/Entertainment: Travel is really (over) stimulating. Baby will be entertained by anything and everything around them…think airplane safety guides/waste paper bags etc. But a few toy are always helpful too. Opt for quiet toys because there’s nothing worse than listening/seeing a loud flashy toy for the entire duration of your trip. Also, while we’re not an iPad family, travel is an exception to the rule but only a last resort if we’re having a melt down/need a bigger distraction. This bluetooth headset is a life saver so that babe can hear their show/game without bothering our neighbours. Plus it’s a doubles as an eye mask if they doze off.
Muslin blankets: I like to bring at least two as they’re so versatile. A blanket, a pillow, a nursing cover…you’ll be surprised at just how useful these are.
Baby wearing wrap: These are lightweight, easy to pack and don’t take up much room. I love to travel with a ring sling for front babywearing, (even to this day with our now almost 2 year old), because sometimes containment and a fee set of hands makes all the difference. Airport lines, boarding and deplaning can be much easier when you’re one unit.
Diapers/Diaper disposal bags/changing pad/wipes: Self explanatory. I should mention though that while we were a cloth diaper family for 12 months, we always opt to travel with disposable diapers for obvious reasons. Admittedly, I always overpack the amount of diapers that I think we’ll need because there is literally nothing worse than not having enough. I account for travel time to the airport, being in the airport and the potential for delays along with flight duration and travel time to our destination. I pack about 6-10 in the diaper bag for easy access and then the rest in my carry-on.
Clothes: For the longest time, baby traveled in onesie, pyjamas with two way zippers. Cute and comfortable, it was way more convenient than having multi-piece outfits to fuss with. 5 seems to be the magic number for us since blowouts, spills and other messes are always part of the experience. We always pack a wet bag to keep laundered items separate.
Now, here comes the real art…how to actually pack your diaper bag.
As I mentioned, you’ll want a backpack bag with lots of pockets and compartments. Decide what goes where and always be consistent about putting things back in the ‘right’ place because digging/searching for things when you really need them is beyond frustrating. And always keep what you think you’ll need most often near the top or in outside pockets
This may be the tip I’m most proud of…Super simple, but super handy. Within your diaper bag, pack at least four large ziplock bags containing the following. Two diapers, wipes (enough for two changes), and an outfit. That way when it’s time to change baby you just grab one of these instead of lugging the whole bag to the bathroom (especially a teeny tiny airplane lavatory). If baby needs a change of clothes, it’s right there, easy to access, and if they don’t you can use this bag again for a second change with the second diaper.
And there you have it! How to pack for easy travel! I definitely want to know what you think of this list and these tips, so be sure to chime in if you have a sec. If you have any other expert tips definitely let me know because we’re all in this together!