Traveling with a baby may seem like a STRESSFUL business, but you can have fun with the entire family as long as you know what to bring!
This list contains all the portable baby travel gear items you might need to bring when you’re planning a local or international trip.
Best Baby Travel Gear Essentials: Travel Items Packing List
Don’t just pack all the baby travel items you think you might need—plan accordingly to where you’ll be staying so you can have the optimal experience when traveling with a baby!
1. Baby Travel Car Seat
Babies can be fussy when sitting down, so you want something that will strap them in safely.
This item is one of the best baby travel essentials parents can purchase when they hit the road.
Travel car seats will be your best friend on the road and plane ride if you don’t want to carry your baby on your lap all the time and end up with a NUMB LAP.
While you might already own a car seat for daily life, a car seat for travel will be different.
Ideally, you’ll want one that’s easy to lug around during your trip and one that’s as compact as can be.
If you decide to bring this seat type to a plane, make sure it’s ALSO appropriate for use on an airplane.
If it is, you’ll be able to find a label that says “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” on it.
You can find a list of non-toxic car seats here to bring to your next travel destination.
NOTE: If you have a newborn baby, avoid using a forward-facing seat. It’s much safer for newborns to sit on a rear seat that’s facing the BACK of the car!
2. Baby Carrier
Imagine walking through the streets of Rome and catching all the beautiful sites before you.
Except you can’t because you’re too TIRED from carrying your baby around to enjoy your trip.
That’s why you’ll most likely need an organic baby carrier with you when you travel with a baby. We have a few organic baby carrier options, so you don’t have to scour the internet.
Aside from that, a baby carrier will be helpful if you ever need to do something else with your hands, like preparing your baby’s formula or handling another one of your kids if you have one.
Baby carriers are also perfect for places that aren’t stroller-friendly, so that’s something to keep in mind when planning for your next trip!
3. Lightweight Travel Stroller
Don’t just bring any everyday stroller to your trip — especially not a bulky stroller! Be sure to bring a baby stroller that’s lightweight and compact.
You’re not going out for a day trip to a park. You’ll need something to easily transport around sightseeing spots, hotels, and other travel destinations.
It’ll be a real hassle if you find yourself tiring over having to carry a heavy stroller around.
You’ll preferably need foldable strollers that fit a small rental car or the overhead compartment of an airplane.
If you’re boarding an airplane, make sure to check the dimensions and weight requirements of strollers with the airlines you’ll be using.
Aside from passing travel requirements, get a non-toxic stroller. You can find a comprehensive list of non-toxic strollers over here.
If you bring your baby out in a stroller during the day, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll need to cover the front with something so that your baby doesn’t get sunburn.
While you could attach a blanket to your stroller to use as a shade, your baby might feel too hot from it, especially during the summer.
Stroller clips help keep blankets in place.
No longer are the days where you have to chase after a blanket during a windy day or fix the blanket after your baby kicks it up in their stroller.
4. Portable Baby Bassinet
If you have a newborn infant with you when you travel, take a portable bassinet with you.
That way, you can allow your baby to sleep in comfort and feel safe even if you go out to eat or walk through the beach.
Be sure to bring a cover for the bassinet to block out the sun when out on a sunny day.
5. Baby Travel Crib or Travel Tent (a.k.a Pack ‘N Play)
If your baby is older than six months, bring something more sturdy like a portable travel crib or tent so they can sleep well even in your hotel.
While hotels offer cribs to rent, you might want to bring your crib sheets, especially for babies with more sensitive skin.
If you want to get rid of the uncertainty that comes with renting cribs, buy your own travel crib and let your baby sleep or play in it so they can get used to it.
However, if you have a toddler with you, bring a portable toddler bed or travel tent for them to sleep in instead.
6. Baby Swaddle and Sleep Sack
Infants can be fuzzy before sleeping, and that holds especially true when you’re in an UNFAMILIAR place.
Giving them a swaddle can give them more comfort, meaning they can sleep wherever they want to.
Be that an airplane, a hotel room, or even just grandma’s house.
If your newborn is old enough, then consider using sleeping sacks for babies instead.
7. Portable Diaper Changing Pad
This one is an essential item, especially if you plan on hiking or walking around.
Your baby will need to change their diapers whenever they need to. If you let your baby keep their dirty diaper on for too long, they could get a diaper rash.
A portable diaper changing pad lets you change your baby’s diaper on the go. These include filthy places without a diaper changing station.
8. Diaper Bag
This isn’t even a debate.
A handy diaper bag is going to be full of equipment you’ll need when changing your baby.
You’ll need to fill your diaper bag or diaper backpacks with items like:
- Diapers (preferably disposable)
- Extra Clothes
- Diaper cream
- Bottles and Formula
- Baby food and snacks
You might want to find one that has more space to avoid worrying about not being able to bring baby gear like these during your trip.
9. Wet-Dry Bag
Parents who don’t want to use disposable diapers don’t need to give up their ideals for a trip.
All you need to do is bring a wet-dry bag for your baby’s used cloth diapers.
Aside from dirty diapers, you can use wet-dry bags for soiled clothes or dirty bibs.
Be sure to bring two for dirty clothes and stained bibs so the mess doesn’t mix.
10. Baby Toiletries
Parents absolutely cannot leave the house without these baby travel items:
While the sunscreen might depend on where you’re going, it’s never a bad idea to bring the other baby travel products on the list.
You want to keep your baby feeling fresh and clean all the time when you travel, that’s for sure.
Not keen on having to breastfeed your baby in PUBLIC?
Bring this piece of baby gear, use it, and put the milk away for later.
Even if you don’t breastfeed your baby, bring one just in case.
You might want to go out to have time for yourself and leave a bottle or two for your baby while you’re gone, or maybe your partner will take the baby out while you relax in bed.
If possible, bring a manual pump in case you get stuck in a place with no electricity or experience a power outage (fingers crossed this doesn’t happen, of course).
12. Nursing Cover
While it’s perfectly okay for mama bears to breastfeed in public without a cover, this depends on your comfort and safety.
Bringing one is one way to ensure that the woman breastfeeding your infant will feel safe or keep the locals comfortable.
13. White Noise Machine
Picture yourself getting ready for bed in a hotel room.
You’ve put away all your things, got changed, and have your baby in a crib.
You’re settling down in your own bed, but then your neighbors start acting up next door.
Next thing you know, your baby can’t sleep due to all the noise.
Bring a white noise machine as part of your baby gear to help your babies and infants settle in for their sleep routine.
If you don’t want to purchase one, you can get a white noise app on your cell phone for the same purpose.
Just make sure you don’t need to use it in the evening when your baby needs to use the white noise app to sleep.
You’ll be surprised to know that this is exactly what your baby will need to sleep soundly when you’re away from home!
14. Portable Travel High Chair
Sometimes restaurants don’t have high chairs for your baby when you need to dine in.
You can obviously just let your baby sit on your lap while you have your meal, but it might not be as comfortable, especially if your baby kicks up a fuss.
Bringing a portable/foldable high chair might save you a lot of strength and give you the rest you might need, so make sure to get the most convenient travel high chairs possible.
15. Baby Bibs
It’s no secret that babies and toddlers alike can make a mess when they eat.
Pack a baby bib.
It might not stop your baby from getting a stain on their clothes, but it DEFINITELY helps.
16. Table Mat
Aside from the mess a baby or toddler makes on their clothes, they’ll also leave their mark on the table.
Bring these particular baby travel accessories to make cleaning a breeze for you and the people around you.
17. Bottles, Sippy Cup, and Spill Proof Snack Cup
Baby travel essentials like these are one of the best baby travel essentials for families when traveling with a baby.
You’ll need to feed your baby using reliable nursing bottle when they’re hungry, so be sure to bring one whenever you go out of the house, even if it’s just a short day trip.
Don’t Forget Dish Soap!
We also recommend bringing your own baby bottle dish soap for longer trips so you can clean your bottles without worrying about bacteria and the like.
If you have a toddler, then they’ve most likely graduated from drinking from baby bottles and have begun to drink from sippy cups.
You can start to give your toddlers something to drink aside from milk, so you can give them more options to choose from (water, 100% juice, etc.).
Just be sure not to make it a habit to drink sugary beverages since it can lead them to grow UNHEALTHY habits.
Spill-Proof Snack Cups
As your child begins to grow up, they’ll start developing a taste for solid food as well.
Sometimes your transportation can go through bumps which could cause a mess when it comes to snacks. To prevent that from happening, get feeding supplies like a spill-proof snack cup.
All your toddler needs to do is reach through the flaps or silicone covering of the snack cup and get their baby food and snacks from the inside.
Bring more than one spill-proof snack cup so you can give them more than one kind of snack while you’re on a journey.
18. Inflatable Travel Bathtub
If bathing in a bathtub is part of your baby’s or toddler’s bedtime routine, try not to skip on it just because of your trips to a different place.
An inflatable bathtub is one way to help your baby or toddler to ease into their new environment faster and, in turn, get them to sleep with ease.
If you can’t get one, you can use a sink if they still fit or wipe them down with a warm cloth.
19. Baby Travel Toys
You don’t need to bring your baby’s whole box of toys wherever you’re going to go.
Just bring two or three toys for your baby or toddler. It’ll be a lifesaver so they won’t get bored and cause a ruckus.
If your baby gets bored with their toys, play a game with them instead.
That way, you can also bond with them!
BONUS TIP: You can even consider buying toy steering wheel attachments for car seats!
20. First Aid Kit
While it’s a parent’s worst nightmare for their baby or toddler to get sick, you’ll need to be prepared anyways.
Bring these essential baby travel items to save yourself the headache:
- Baby Tylenol
- Teething relief
- Gas relief
- Baby vitamins
You can find a drugstore to buy all those items, BUT it’s not worth the risk of running around not knowing where to go while your baby or toddler doesn’t feel well.
Packing for Baby: How Much to Bring on a Trip
The first thing to note down:
Do. Not. Over. Pack.
Remember, your baby is not the only person going on this trip. You will end up hauling WAY MORE things than you want to if you overpack your suitcase with things you might not even need.
Leave the baby stuff you won’t need at all during your travels. At worst, you’ll have to go out and buy something you didn’t bring.
Where Are You Going?
Now that you’re packing under that first principle, remember where you’re going to go.
We mentioned bringing sunscreen, but you won’t need that item if you’re planning to go to a place like Tokyo during the winter season.
Or are you going for a day trip to a nearby beach? Are you really going to need that stroller when you can’t even push it through the sand?
Better bring a bassinet with a cover or an umbrella instead.
How Long Will You Be Gone?
If you’re not staying overnight to whatever place you’re going, skip the crib.
Your baby can always sleep in their stroller while you push them through a park.
There’s a crib waiting for them at home anyways.
That said, there’s no need to worry about overnight items if you’re going home at the end of the day.
Don’t Have Space?
If you lack the space to bring all the essentials with you, you can find a reputable baby equipment rental company at your destination.
You won’t have to worry about somehow getting all your baby’s items in your already overstuffed bag.
Baby Travel Tips: How to Travel With a Baby Safely
How to Travel With a Baby in a Car
Before you hit the road with your baby or toddler, be sure to check that you have everything you need; all your baby travel essentials and other products you might need while you’re stuck in a car.
How Soon After Birth Can a Baby Travel By Car?
Most families bring their newborn infant home with a car, so there aren’t any real restrictions for going on a road trip.
However, you’re going to need to be prepared for a road trip to keep your baby safe and comfortable throughout the car ride.
We recommend you take short practice trips with your baby to get a feel of what they’ll need during the car ride.
This is one way for you to know what particular baby products you’ll need, and how long your baby will last without kicking up a fuss.
Most importantly, everything else you’ll need to keep your entire family happy.
If you’re looking for a specific range on how soon your newborn can travel long distances by car, around 3 months old is a good range to keep your baby safe.
How Do I Keep My Baby Cool in Car Seat?
While we do have a comprehensive article on how to keep your baby cool in a car, we’ll go through all the most important things you’ll need to know.
- Choose light-colored car seats instead of dark ones. Dark colors absorb heat more and will cause your baby discomfort.
- Use a car seat cover to keep the car seat cool when your baby uses it. You can also buy a car seat cooler which is the same thing but is meant to be frozen overnight.
- Dress your child appropriately for the heat. Don’t overdress them, and don’t use clothes with materials like fleece, wool, or flannel.
The last thing you’ll want is your baby getting sunburnt or overheated while you travel.
How Long Can I Travel With My Baby?
According to The Lullaby Trust, your baby should NOT be in a car seat for more than 2 hours at a time and should be taken out frequently.
Make sure that you let your baby rest by taking frequent stops during the drive. During your breaks, stretch your legs and let your baby take a breather.
If possible, keep one adult in the back seat as well to keep an eye on the baby. If your baby changes its position, be sure to adjust them to the correct position.
If you’re traveling alone, stop the car as soon as possible and adjust their position yourself.
How to Travel With a Baby on a Plane
Before you leave for your flight, be sure you have all your baby travel essentials and everything else you need, like your passports, gadgets, and snacks if you need them.
Can a 2-Month-Old Baby Travel By Plane?
While there are no actual restrictions to newborns flying on airplanes, it may not be safe, especially for long-haul flights.
To really play it safe, ask your doctor for more information.
Make sure to check the country or place you’re visiting for information about the weather and if any diseases are spreading there.
How to Travel With Baby Formula on the Plane?
You’re probably aware of the 100 ml liquid rule strictly imposed in airports when you travel to a different destination in your country or to another one.
However, according to the TSA, baby formula or milk is exempted from the rule. You can bring it in carry-on luggage but should keep them separated from other liquids.
When Can You Travel With a Baby?
Many parents want to travel to different places with their children, which is perfectly understandable.
Before your infant reaches the 3-month mark, their immune system won’t be fully developed yet, making them prone to catching colds and other infections.
That doesn’t make it impossible to travel with your newborn, though. The CDC recommends that you ensure that the water you give them is clean and the hotel you stay in passes the safety standards.
Can a Baby Travel Without a Passport?
Even if your kid is a baby, you will need to get them a passport to go abroad.
They’ll need it to leave your home country and re-enter it. However, there are exceptions to the rule, like when traveling from the U.S.A. to Canada and vice-versa.
REMEMBER: Your children will eventually grow up, meaning they will have plenty more required documents to obtain.
Getting them a passport at a young age will give both you and the child an easier time handling such requirements.
Can a Baby Travel With a Birth Certificate?
Families traveling with a baby from the U.S. to Canada won’t need a passport for their child. That’s GOOD NEWS if you find it difficult to head to your nearest embassy.
Minors below the age of 16 only need a birth certificate to leave and re-enter.
Check the passport and visa information of the place you’re going to travel to be sure.
Can a Baby Travel Without a Plane Ticket?
Luckily, there’s no need to worry about getting kicked out of the boarding gate because some airlines don’t require you to buy a plane ticket for your baby.
Some will give charge you a fee for a “lap child” especially for international flights. You might want to take advantage of this perk while your children are still young.
While most of them charge 10% of an adult’s ticket, some taxes could rack up a lot of money so stay cautious.
In the end, you can buy another ticket for your baby to keep them comfortable when you travel.
Can I Go Camping With My Baby?
YES! You can go camping with your baby!
However, you’ll need to make extra preparations like getting mosquito-repellant, checking the weather and temperature, boiling clean water, and other things.
However, if it’ll be your first time camping as well, don’t go and wait until your kid is a bit older.
Indeed, you won’t have to worry about breastfeeding and keeping everything incredibly clean.
Leaving the Nest Together
The thing about babies is that it doesn’t have to be stressful when you bring them to travel.
In fact, there are MANY families out there who get to have more fun when they bring their kids.
So remember to pack your baby travel essentials ONLY.
Don’t go pack everything you see without a thought and make sure to plan things thoroughly.
But most importantly…
Have a great time while you travel with your baby! After all, enjoying life is the secret to HAPPINESS!
September 12, 2022 – minor content edits