Travelling with a baby can be stressful so we’ve compiled some travel tips from an experienced travel mama!
It’s always a little (a lot) stressful travelling with little ones, especially when you are by yourself. However, with a little prep, it’s more than doable. In fact, it can turn into a very special and memorable experience for mom and baby! So where to begin? The packing list! Oh… the art of packing! We all hope to be able to pack that sweet spot where you have exactly what you need and not an item more. My most recent solo travel trip was with my 7 month old to London. After many other solo trips I finally felt that I’ve nailed down a pretty good packing system.
One thing I’ve learned is that baby and mama are a package deal when it comes to packing. I need to bring not only what my baby needs but also what I will need to battle the baby drool, breastfeed in public and just overall mobility. Gone are all the precious outfits I traveled with before kids, but I still manage to dress Instagram worthy while on-the-go. As a caveat, this list is for the travel minimalist (well as minimalist as you can be with a baby), personally I would much rather risk forgetting something or not having that perfect outfit to avoid lugging around more items on my trip. Besides, who doesn’t want an excuse to buy something? So with that in mind, let’s jump in:
The Packing List
- 1 T-shirt a day
- 2 Elevated shirts
- 2 Dresses
- 3 Pants / Shorts
- 1 Scarf
- 1 Cardigan
- 1 Jacket
- 3 Paris of shoes: 1 sandal, 1 pair of flats and a walking shoe
- Infant car seat that converts to a stroller
- 1 Carrier
- 1 Outfit a day + 2 spares
- 1 Sleeper a day +1 spare
- 2 Sleep sack
- 3 Blankets
- 2 Toys
- 2 Books
- Feeding essentials
- 10 Bibs
- 3 Burping cloths
- 1 Sleeve of diapers
- 1 Travel Size Diaper Cream
- Medicine: Baby Tylenol, Small First Aid Kit, Thermometer
- 3 Teether / Pacifier
- 1 Pack of wipes
The Honest Company Backpack Diaper Bag
Especially for plane travel, one large bag is the only way to go. Just physically one can only handle pushing the stroller and one bag. Once I make it the airport I beeline it to check-in my large bag and lighten the load. From there I’ll wear my carefully packed backpack style diaper bag.
This little guy can't wait :)
When I pack I think in outfits. From experience there were way too many times, when I packed a combination of favorite shirts and pants only to find that they didn’t necessarily go well together. Now I just go through everyday of my trip, think about what I will be doing and plan from there.
Once I had thought through my outfits, these were the items I ended up with:
Moms need a lot of t-shirts, luckily they don’t take up too much space. I like to plan for one t-shirt a day. Check out this post for our recommended perfect mom shirt.
In addition to t-shirts, I’ll also plan for at least 2 nicer shirts. Since I am nursing, a pretty nursing top is stylish and functional. On this past trip I lived in our Maia Moda maternity / nursing top.
I love dresses; they elevate an outfit and are so comfortable. I think it’s best to plan to bring 2 and make sure they can both can go both from day-to-night. For the breastfeeding mamas a low cut V-neck design tends to work best for easy access. Our Gaia breastfeeding dress is also a great fit.
Cardigans / Light Jacket
A versatile cardigans and a light jacket should be staples in any travel wardrobe. However, you don’t always need to go black - I love a beautiful beige color. It’s just as versatile as black and great for the warmer climates.
Pants / Shorts
I’ll plan for 3 pants / shorts depending on the weather. Unless I’m specifically planning on some sporting activities I’ll leave the athletic gear at home. On the flights I’ll sport a comfortable, versatile black legging like this one from athleta - it is just so chic! I’ll also pack my favorite pair of jeans and one spare pant / short.
Athleta Tribeca Crop Pant
As a breastfeeding mama I tend to use a blanket / scarf to breastfeed in public. Instead of using a baby design swaddle, I love using a nice big scarf. It’s a little more stylish and works just as well.
Unless I’ve arranged a sitter for a night out, I’ll just forgo the heels. There are so many cute flats out there, why struggle? The exception being if I want a good excuse for my husband to do most of the childcare (sorry honey I can’t carry them, I am in heels! :)). Anyways, for travelling I’ll include a versatile set of Toms Shoes - they take up almost no space, a nice pair of sandals and a fancier set of flats. These sandals from Cole Haan are incredibly comfortable and can withstand a long day of walking and check out Repetto’s beautiful collection of flats.
My little one’s stuff takes up ¾ of my bag, so don’t be discouraged if you are the same. They may be small, but they make up for it in accessories!
Although I have the stroller, I love having the carrier option as well. You never know how stroller accessible a location will be. On my past trip, our place in London didn’t have an elevator, so for short quick trips out to grab a coffee, I would just load up my babe in the carrier and we were out. I love this carrier from Cybex, it’s super secure, comfortable and has so many beautiful design options.
I plan for an outfit a day plus 2 spares. If I have laundry available then I’ll pack a maximum of 7 outfits. The nice part is baby clothes are small, so it’s not a big deal to pack some extras.
I’ll plan for 1 sleeper for every night I am there and 1 spare. I love the romper from Primary, it’s OEKO-Tex Standard 100 certified and since my babies are on the taller side I love that they are footless.
I don’t go crazy on toys as I know I’ll buy a couple while on vacation. I’ll plan for 2 toys and 2 books and keep them on the smaller side so they can fit in my carry-on and/or be hooked onto the stroller or diaper bag.
I’ll bring 1 heavy blanket and 2 swaddle type blankets. I’ll avoid packing the heavy blanket by using it on travel day. These swaddle blankets from Aden and Anais are a must have. They can be used for warmth, as a breastfeeding cover, burping cloth or even a stroller cover.
Love the Halo brand. I'll pack 2.
Burping Cloths and Bibs
My little guy drools like crazy so he is always wearing one of these. On our recent overseas flight to London, he went through 5 of them! So I pack a lot and they tend to save me on outfit changes. Since I have so many bibs I won’t bring as many burping cloths and pack just 3. I also make sure to include 1 washable bib for feeding time.
Can't go anywhere without his bib even London high tea!
Can’t forget all the feeding gear! Here are some of the items I like to bring:
- Placemat : Easy to clean and rolls up to be very small
- Bottles: 2
- Formula: I just bring my own formula, you never know if they are going to have the brand you want
- Food: I’ll bring enough to last me 2 days and then just buy whatever I need when I get there
- Portable, Foldable High Chair: This one from Inglesina is great.
I like to have enough of everything to get me through the first couple of days so I’m not scrambling to find a place to buy something. However, generally baby essentials are easily accessible, so I’ll bring a minimum amount and then plan to buy what I need once I get there.
- Diapers (I’ll bring a sleeve and then buy from there)
- Travel Size Diaper Cream
- Baby Tylenol, First Aid Kit, Thermometer
- Teethers and / or pacifiers
- Wipes (bring 1 pack, buy from there)
Hope this list is helpful! If you can swing it, I encourage all parents to try and get a trip in before your baby turns 1. Before babies are one-years-old they can adapt quickly to time changes, are less mobile and still sleep a lot while out and about. In addition to that they fly for free until 2! Above all my number one tip is just to give yourself extra time to do everything and avoid a rigid schedule. A flexible schedule gives you the room to deal with an unpredictable baby, relax and enjoy the trip! Bon Voyage!
Would love to hear what are your essentials are while travelling. What must-haves make your life easier?