We took our first airplane trip with Buddy a few weeks ago & we are off again for a 10-day, 3-destination adventure. And while we are far (very, very far) from being “traveling with baby pros” I wanted to share some of the ways we approached traveling the first time & how we’re thinking about things a bit differently the second time around. Overall, traveling with a baby is so much fun for two reasons specifically: 1.) People love babies, so they get a lot of love! And 2.) Babies love adventures and are easily entertained by many new places and faces.
Because I like to keep my DSLR camera with me, it made sense for me to keep it in my backpack & use a separate tote for most of Buddy’s things. Here’s what I kept on hand in my backpack.
Wallet & baby birth certificate. If baby is under 2 years of age you will need to provide their birth certificate for verification. We learned that you can bring a copy or a photo of the birth certificate as well, so that’s what we’ll be doing this time.
Water bottle. This is always a must for me, especially while I was pregnant & now nursing. Don’t go through security with it full though! My current fave is the S'well bottle just because it's so slim.
Book. On our last trip it was great to have a book on hand since my days of sleeping on the plane are likely behind me. This time I’ve got The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying.
iPad. We use this for white noise when traveling (since we don’t want to haul our Dohm white noise machine around) & I download books, magazines & podcasts for entertainment.
Swaddles. I wadded one up and used it as a pillow for Buddy when he was nursing. We laid one down on the floor for some “tummy time” during a layover. And since airplanes can go from hot to cold pretty quickly I even covered myself and Buddy up with a swaddle at one point.
DSLR Camera. I don’t go many places without my camera and I get a lot of questions about which camera I use, which is the Canon EOS 6D with a 50mm 1.4 prime lens. The best part is that it has its own wifi so I can instantly snag photos from the camera using my phone! I feel like this is worth noting- last summer I worked an extra contract job (on top of my full-time job and my illustration work) to be able to purchase this camera.
Baby Wrap. I am an avid user of the Solly Baby Wrap- it was the only way Buddy would nap for the first 4 months. It’s also a great way to be hands free, like when you’re hustling through a busy airport with bags, a stroller, a car seat & oh a baby! The Solly also takes up very little space in a carry-on.
Other Notable Items
iPhone & iPhone charger
lip balm (Glossier Coconut Balm Dotcom is my fave right now, you can get 20% off by shopping with this link too!)
lavender essential oil
& I keep a few baby toys in my backpack too
We received this personalized Lands’ End zip top canvas tote bag as a baby gift and it has been the perfect carry-on for all of Buddy’s things. Here’s what we have on hand for him.
Toys and books. We keep a plethora of suction toys (our faves are these, this & this), rattles, teething toys (this one & this one) & a few Indestructibles books (this one, this one & this one) on hand to keep Buddy entertained & his hands busy. We also brought this giraffe grasping toy because it’s one of Buddy’s favorite toys.
Change of clothes. Initially I packed two footed onesies, but I threw a third one in his bag just in case. I pack footed onesies so I don’t have to deal with separates or socks, etc. We ended up not needing to change him on our last trip but I’d rater be safe than sorry, especially since Buddy’s#2s have been a little off since we introduced solids. I also keep an extra Ziplock baggie with them for soiled clothing.
Germ fighting wipes. Airports & airplanes are dirty- so I kept an arsenal of germ fighting tools on hand for various purposes, like these toy and table wipes, these face wipes, and a handful of these individually wrapped hand sanitizer wipes.
Hat and sunglasses. I like to keep these in my bag at all times to be prepared for any situation where Buddy might get more sun exposure than ideal. These are our favorite sunglasses & I’ve found space saving bucket hats to be the easiest to stash in a bag.
Diapering. I read somewhere to pack one diaper for every hour of travel, so that’s what we did (including time to and from the airport.) We also packed a larger pack of wipes than we usually have when out & about. We typically use this diaper rash ointment but I could only find the original in travel size.
Baby toiletries. I pack regular toiletries (sunscreen soap, lotion, bug spray) in our checked luggable but I like to have this stick of mineral sunscreen for babies as well as this fragrance-free face & lip balm for dry patches or to protect his little drool-saturated chin.
Burp cloths. We need these less now but we kept about 3 or 4 in Buddy’s tote last time. We use these burp cloths.
Feeding. Now that Buddy is eating solids I’ve packed a bib & travel utensils since I know he will need to eat at least one of his solid meals while we are traveling.
Stroller. Last time we traveled with our beloved Baby Jogger Citi Mini GT and we gate checked it in this bag. That was a LOT to handle so this time we bought a cheap little umbrella stroller and will be using that instead.
Portable high chair. This thing is pure gold. Even before Buddy started eating solids it was handy. When we ate at restaurants in the airport (or at our destination) it gave him a comfy place to sit and play while at our level. I do wish it was a tad more “portable” but it’s good enough.
Bag for car seat and stroller. While perusing Amazon reviews I learned the Southwest Airlines car seat bags were pretty decent and reasonably priced. We used it for one flight and it had shreds in it but better the bag than the car seat. This stroller bag however is outstanding an we even stashed the highchair and a few other items in with the stroller.
Breast milk storage. For our last trip we were leaving Buddy overnight with his grandparents, so I had to haul baggies of frozen breast milk. TSA told me that freezing it was the best way to travel with it. We also had a long travel day so it was the best way to keep it good. This Kiinde cooler bag was nice and small and very effective at keeping milk cold for a 12+hour trip.
Vest with pockets. I've been doing this for years when traveling but I find it even more necessary when traveling with a baby to wear a vest with pockets. It's hard to reach in and out of a bag while lugging around a bunch of things plus a baby. Being able to have my phone, lip balm and even wallet within reach is very helpful.
I reached out to a lot of mamas and got great advice, so don’t be afraid to do the same if you are nervous about traveling with a baby. I mean, I even text one of my friends asking, “do wipes count as a ‘liquid’?” and “So I can have two carry-on bags PLUS our car seat and stroller bag at the gate?” I hope these tips and suggestions are helpful, holler if you have any questions.