What to Pack: Travel Checklist for Parents

When you’re planning a trip, deciding what to bring can be a hassle. You want to be sure you have everything you need but don’t want to over pack. While it is best to be prepared for anything, especially with infants, there are some items that are simply not necessary for extended outings. Here’s a travel checklist for parents of babies and toddlers with the necessities you need and the things you can leave at home.

packing suitcase

What to Bring

In addition to the basics you know you’re going to need for the diaper bag (food/formula, diapers, wipes, etc), here are a few other essentials you should packs:

A travel crib – You will need a safe place for baby to sleep when you’re staying away from home. Co-sleeping is a big risk factor for SIDS and not worth taking a chance. Some hotels do offer cribs, however these may not be up to the latest safety standards. Unless you’re staying with friends/family who have a reliable crib or play pen you can borrow, pack one along.

Wet Bags or Plastic Bags for Laundry – when you’re traveling for a few days, one thing is certain – laundry will follow! This is especially true for infants who frequently spit up or have leaks. Be sure to pack along extra wet bags for soiled and dirty laundry as well as plenty of extra clothes for baby.

Microwaveable Steam Sterilizer Bags – Babies go through bottles very quickly (unless, of course, you’re breastfeeding). It’s highly unlikely you are going to be bringing enough bottles for the entire duration of your trip without having to wash them. Take along some microwaveable steam sterilizer bags to sterilize bottles, pacifiers, and pump parts if you’re pumping. Also pack dish soap for washing at the hotel.

First Aid Kit – Be prepared for the unexpected when you’re away from home with a travel first aid kit. Be sure to include a nasal aspirator and infant’s acetaminophen and Benadryl.

Travel tub– If you’re staying over at someone’s home you can leave this behind. However, if staying at a hotel then you may want to pack along a travel tub for your baby. Despite daily cleaning, hotel rooms are found to be some of the germiest places, often because the maids simply clean and do not disinfect. Don’t forget to pack the bathing essentials you’ll need (baby wash/shampoo, lotion, etc.) Just be mindful of the liquid restrictions if flying.

Additionally, be sure to bring a stroller, car seat, and any feeding and diapering necessities.

What to Leave at Home

These items are completely optional, but they aren’t necessary for trips.

High Chair – if your little one is on solid feeding, you don’t really need to bring along a high chair as most places you’ll be eating out usually have them available. At the hotel or even at someone’s house, you can make do with feeding baby in their stroller, car seat or if you plan on packing a portable seat like a bouncer.

Baby Monitor – This may be something you want to bring if you’re staying over at someone’s place and want to have an ear on your sleeping baby. If you’re in a hotel, however, it’s unnecessary since you’re in the same room.

There are also services available like Jet Set Babies that will deliver necessary items for your stay straight to your destination so you only have to pack what you need until you arrive. These are especially useful if you’ll be flying!

When you’re seeing about a little one, it can be easy to forget things. Use this travel checklist for parents as your guide on what you need to pack along on your next trip and what you don’t!

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