Few months ago, we took our very first family vacation to the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa in Grand Cayman with Shaan! We chose a destination with a short flight so incase things didn’t go so smooth- we weren’t stuck for 6+ hours with a cranky baby. I know it’s not rocket science to take a baby on vacay, but it definitely takes planning. A LOT of planning. Today I’m sharing tips on how and what to pack when you’re traveling with a baby, and also some of my favorite travel items!
Tips on Packing:
1. Stay Organized. These packing cubes from amazon are absolutely key when packing for a family and especially a baby. Easy to grab handles, a sturdy zipper and space for a small label on the bottom side to write down what’s inside. When you’re ready to head home after vacay, use the emptied out cubes to sort your dirty clothes in so laundry when you get home can get done without too much sorting.
2. Start Early. Set a reminder 4-6 weeks prior to your departure to start packing your bags, even if that means your hapharzadly throwing stuff in a suitcase. Starting early gives you enough time to order items you may not have and knocks one thing off of your to do list.
3. Make a list and check it twice. I created this MASTER PACKING LIST FOR BABY and use it religiously everytime we travel. It breaks everything down to categories and I tackle one at a time. It’s also great to be able to share this list with a caregiver or spouse so they can step in and help too!
Here's what you'll find in my packing cubes:
If you check out My Master Packing List for Baby, you’ll notice that the list is broken down by category. This is also how I designate what goes in each of the packing cubes. Below I’m sharing what you’ll find inside each of my packing cubes. This post is not sponsored in any way and because the items below are some of my favorite brands, I earn a small commission when you purchase items using these links. These affiliate links allow me to keep bringing you meaningful content and is a HUGE way you can support me should you decide to make any purchases 🙂
Bed & Bath Cube:
- Pajamas (I like Lark Adventurewear) *use code “chutney” for a discount
- Body Wash & Shampoo (We use Bubbsi) *Use code CHUTNEY10 for a discount*
- This Zip-a-Dee sleep sack ( I pack two incase)
- Huggies Overnight Diapers & Honest Baby Wipes
- I purchased this travel bath tub and although I didn’t find it necessary I can see how it would be helpful and may use it in the future.
- A comb, this Aveeno night time balm, & Destin diaper rash cream
- This portable white noise machine (don’t forget the charging wire)
- My favorite super soft bath towel from Amazon
- This Baby monitor we used when Shaan was a newborn and can be easily moved from room to room.
Diaper & Clothing Cube:
- Pack soft and comfortable rompers, shorts and tees, and remember to have options for layers should there be excessive AC indoors (relevant if you’re traveling to a warm wether destination) Otherwise pack warmer weather appropriate clothes
- Diapers, Diaper Cream, Wipes
- My FAVE amazon socks & shoes
- Blanket (s)- I always take this Chenille Blanket from Pottery Barn & a light muslin swaddle blanket
For the Flight:
Formula, medicine, or any specific items that are not easily accessible in other destinations (or on the flight) should be always be packed in your carry on luggage should your checked in bags be delayed or lost. This has happened to us even during direct flights, so we are extra cautious.
I also suggest ditching your usual small diaper bag for flight travel and going with something larger like a big tote or duffel bag that’s easy to keep under your seat. I use my Tumi Travel Duffel and absolutely love it for its size, durability and functionality (tons of zippers and compartments) and big enough to dump in a ton of toys. It’s also helpful to have your partner carry a smaller back pack that can be simply for diaper change items or just toys. Not only does this help keep things organized but it keeps any one bag from getting too heavy.
Here is a list of the items I travel with in my bag for the baby:
- Burt’s Bees Burp Cloths (Super soft- and what I’ve used since Shaan was a newborn)
- Air pressure during take off and landing can really upset babies so have a pacifier on hand – the sucking motion will keep them from crying! You can also bottle-feed or nurse.
- A small packing cube with the changing essentials so I don’t have to carry a huge bag with me into an airport or tiny airplane bathroom. In the cube: 2 pairs of comfy clothes ( Love these sets from Carters), small bottle of hand sanitizer, Huggies Overnight Diapers, Honest Wipes, and a few Disposable Changing Pads).
- I use this Munchkin Formula Dispenser Container for his formula and carry 2-3 Dr. Brown’s Bottles in a ziplock bag
- Flight attendants will provide you with water but I always carry 2-3 bottles of water in my bag. If you need warm water and don’t want to wait for a flight attendant to grab it for you, travel with this Tommee Tippee Thermos & Bottle Warmer
- Few sheets of paper towels/napkins
- An extra top for myself incase he spits up on me (happens when you least expect it)
- My favorite Chenille Baby Blanket from Pottery Barn plus a lighter/muslin blanket or swaddle you can use as a cover on a stroller or during nursing
- A small tube of Aquaphor ointment & little bottle of Little Remedies Nasal Spray (planes can be incredibly drying + keeping their airways moist can help prevent sickness)
- A LOT OF TOYS: Small Baby Ganesh, this Activity Wheel that sticks to the window and tray table (with the help of water), these Baby Maracas, this Spinny Toy that Shaan loves to bite on, and this Elmo Potty Book that keeps him entertained with all of its little flaps!
Other Things to Consider:
One thing I do not risk on vacation is messing with baby’s sleep. If the baby is well rested, has familiar sleep conditions, then WE ARE ALL HAPPIER. Shaan needs a super dark room, his white noise machine and a crib to sleep in which are things I can recreate no matter where we are. Call the hotel ahead of time to see what kind of cribs or pack n plays they offer and then decide if you might want to bring your own.
Here are two items we’ve invested in for sleep and for our sanity!! We absolutely love both:
Guava Lotus Travel Crib. It packs up easy and you can throw it in with your checked in luggage! Don’t forget to grab a crib sheet for the mattress too.