Even if you’re one of the best-traveled people in your family and friend group, you can still remember your first trip, which likely ranks as one of your favorites. You don’t need a packing list anymore and have all your essentials nailed down to travel with a carry-on bag. But now that you’re a parent, you’ve realized no journey compares to parenthood. You may find yourself planning your first trip with your baby and needing to make a list for the first time in ages. Keep reading to ensure you’ve got all the essentials to plan the best vacation with your baby.
White Noise Machine
While there are plenty of items we’ll cover that you’ll need en route, a white noise machine is one of the top items you need at your destination. Babies are notoriously light sleepers and need almost as much sleep as koalas. Be prepared to drown out the new city’s sounds, neighboring hotel rooms, and other disturbances with a portable white noise machine. It could be tempting to bring your machine from home, but outlets may be different where you’re traveling, and lightweight, battery-operated white noise machines are a better bet.
Diaper Bag Backpack
You’re likely used to carrying an oversized tote or backpack on your solo travels, but with a baby in tow, you need more compartments and space than on your own. A diaper bag backpack allows you to be hands-free and gives you the peace of mind of knowing you’ve got all your baby’s essentials with you, no matter what adventures your trip brings. Exploring new cities, hustling through the airport, or having a beach day are all made easier with their creature comforts stored safely in a backpack. Backpacks are also easier on your spine and shoulders, making your mood and posture perfect for enjoying the journey.
Safe Sleeping Arrangements
Co-sleeping is a common practice worldwide, but there are important steps to take to make it safe for parents and babies. A travel crib or tent is a must if you want to sleep separately from your baby. If you opt to co-sleep, a portable co-sleeping pad or pillow is key. This keeps your baby safe, and you can trust its breathability over a hotel mattress. While it may be a pain to lug around on your journey, the peace of mind is priceless.
Back home, you may use a stroller or a baby carrier, but both items are bulky, making traveling with them impossible. If you’re heading on a road trip, they may be feasible, but if your journey involves planes and far-off destinations, a baby wrap is essential. Keeping the baby close to you and comfortable in a way that allows you to use your hands makes immersing yourself in experiences easier. There may be a learning curve to using a baby wrap, but the persistence is worth the ease they bring.
Easy Feeding Options
Even if your baby is exclusively breastfed, traveling can sometimes create hiccups you don’t experience at home. Packing a formula you feel good about and several bottles is essential for all babies who aren’t eating solid foods yet. Even if your baby is eating solids, a formula option can get them plenty of nutrition and calories to keep their mood up – babies experience jet lag too! Plenty of food options for you as a parent is key to keeping your wits about you and your energy levels high, as traveling with kids is another ball game. Healthy travel snacks like jerky, dried fruit, and nuts are essential for mom and dad.
There will be other items on your list – important documents like ID, emergency contacts, and boarding passes. You’ll want creature comforts like their favorite blanket and extra pacifiers too. Please ensure you have device chargers for your (and their) devices and other baby entertainment items, like board books and small toys.
Getting there may be half the fun, but babies aren’t known for their patience, so ways to occupy them are key. While your child may not remember this trip, you will take plenty of pictures to show them one day. Make sure you’re prepared for anything by including the above essentials in your suitcase. Happy Trails!