How to Pack for Vacay with a Baby

Anyone else out there hate packing as much as I do? I don’t know why, but it always takes me forever. Adding another human to our packing was quite the challenge, but I had a lot of questions before we packed our family up for California so I wanted to share everything I learned. Thanks to all of the friends who answered my DM’s about what and how to pack everything!

How to Pack for a Vacay with Baby_0732P I N____________________save this for later

  1. Stroller or no stroller? I think this would depend on where you are going and what kind of terrain you are traveling in. For us, we were headed to Coronado where we walk to everything (with the exception of an Uber ride here and there). We have the UppaBaby Vista stroller and Mesa Carseat and so many friends told me that if you bought the UppaBaby travel carriers and registered them with the company, they will replace anything that is damaged during travel! So, this seemed like our best bet! So, we brought the carseat and the carseat carrier and we brought the stroller base and the basinet since Kaden wasn’t quite in control of his head yet and doesn’t love to sit in the carseat for long- it gets kind of hot). The stroller base and bassinet fit in the stroller travel bag together. We checked both of these items, which brings me to my next item.How to Pack for a Vacay with Baby_0731P I N____________________save this for later
  2. Baby Carrier. I personally think our vacation would not have been a success without this! We have the black mesh Omni Ergo 360 and it was amazing. We bought it right before this trip and it was a game changer. When we checked the stroller and carseat, we just put Kaden in the carrier, walked through security and had both hands free. Some people have told me that they check their strollers at the gate, but in order to get the stroller into the travel bag at the gate I would need to set the baby down, so when traveling by myself I need the baby carrier. The carrier was also helpful for the days that we knew we wouldn’t want to bring the stroller, like the beach. I did not want to get our stroller all sandy, so the carrier was awesome. Also, we walked to a lot of dinners and happy hours and one of us just carried Kaden in the carrier. Out there a lot of the restaurants are local and there really isn’t room to bring a stroller, so this worked well. And, Kaden loved the carrier because it kept him all snuggled up and he fell asleep most places we ate. People were walking by the windows and pointing and chuckling. Numerous people came up to talk to us and tell us how funny that he could sleep through everything. My biggest hurdle was trying not to spill fish tacos on his head.How to Pack for a Vacay with Baby_0729P I N____________________save this for later
  3. Pack N Play. We did not travel with our Pack N Play because we go back and forth to Coronado, so we purchased one to leave there, however, you will need to pack some sort of spot for your little one to sleep safely.
  4. Sleep Items. For us, we don’t have a normal bedtime routine yet, but Kaden does use his little Magic Sleep Suit and we do occasionally read some books. I packed a few board books that were small and easy to fit in a suitcase. If you still use a swaddle, you may want to pack that instead. For information on when It is time to transition out of a swaddle, click here.How to Pack for a Vacay with Baby_0733P I N____________________save this for later
  5. Monitor. We LOVE our monitor! It is Project Nursery and it is not wifi dependent which we really like, and it has lullabies and white noise options with it so you don’t have to also pack a sound machine.
  6. Clothes. I made sure to pack 2 pairs of PJs for the week, and an outfit and backup onesie for every day. I actually had a few too many clothing items but I didn’t regret it. You never know when one will be retired due to spit up or other bodily fluids.
  7. Toys. We packed a few toys that Kaden had begun to grab at before we left as well as a tiny play mat that rolls up and doesn’t take much space in the suitcase. This was very helpful so we could move him about the condo with us.
  8. Beach Items. Since Kaden is 3 months old, he still can’t wear sunscreen so we made sure to have SPF swim outfits, swim diapers and a hat. We also purchased a really cool beach blanket pool from buybuyBaby before the trip and it was great simply because it was so compact. We didn’t use it as a pool because that ocean water was too cold for Kaden’s liking, but I’m sure we’ll get a lot of use out of it once he gets older. And, we borrowed a little beach tent from some friends to make sure K had a shady spot to hang out. We also packed K two towels in case he got wet at the beach or we gave him a bath.How to Pack for a Vacay with Baby_0734P I N____________________save this for later
  9. Diapers. The best thing we did while we were there was go to TARGET and buy diapers and wipes! They take up so much room in your suitcase, so if you are traveling somewhere where there is a market easily accessible, I would recommend buying diapers and wipes once you get there.
  10. Food. I am breastfeeding so I did not have to pack formula but I still was able to fit my pump and a couple bottles in the stroller travel bag! We also carried on a bottle of breastmilk just in case we needed it on the plane and it went through security no problem. We just kept it right at 3oz just to avoid anything slowing us down. However, TSA actually allows breastmilk. I did make sure to pack a nursing cover in the diaper bag so we had privacy when we needed it. If you are breastfeeding and have questions about storage, some friends at Aeroflow sent over this table.How-to-Store-Milk-FacebookP I N____________________save this for later
  11. How to Pack for a Vacay with Baby_0730P I N____________________save this for later
  12. Blankets and Burp cloths. These are a must! Well, especially the burp cloths for a baby with reflux. So glad we brought so many (probably close to 10).
  13. Baby Toiletries and Medicine. We made sure to pack all of Kaden’s current medication, as well as the nose Frida, saline and Tylenol just in case. I also love the Babyganics body wash so we put that in Kaden’s bag for bath time.How to Pack for a Vacay with Baby_0735P I N____________________save this for later

It is crazy how one tiny human can need so many things, but it was so nice to have everything we needed. Flying with a baby was fun and totally stressful at the same time. You have no control over when or if they will cry, poop, scream, you name it. But, they are so much fun to share the adventure with. A few things to know about flying with a baby.

  1. You must call the airline ahead of time to put them on the reservation.
  2. Make sure to bring a copy of their birth certificate with you for check in and security.
  3. If you have TSA pre-check it is amazing! If you don’t, I would suggest getting it. Not having to take off your shoes and put everything in different bins made things so much simpler.
  4. And, finally, if you fly Southwest (which we love) it is good to pay the extra $15 for early check in. They do let you board after group A for family boarding, but for us boarding early in the A group was comforting knowing we would definitely sit together on the plane.

I hope this extremely long post was somewhat helpful for you! Happy travels to you and your baby!

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