I spend more time and effort packing Joy’s suitcase than I do my own. I lay everything out, create entire outfits, and neatly pack her bag 2-3 days in advance, whereas my bag usually gets thrown together the night before our departure. If you are embarking on your first trip with baby, I have compiled a few packing tips.
1. Pack more leisure outfits than you think you will need. I’m talking cotton rompers, easy dresses, and tees + shorts, onesies.
2. Pack at least 2 outfits a day + 1 back up (to keep in the diaper bag) per every 2 nights. Would hate to pack the perfect number and be unprepared for an accident.
3. Pack a couple baby towels and washcloths — Joy had an unfortunate allergic reaction the the detergent the hotel towels were washed with once. Since then, I don’t leave home without a couple of our own.
4. Allocate 8-10 diapers a day depending on how old your child is. The older, the fewer you might need. Sometimes traveling and eating different foods can mess with Joy’s tummy. I might expect a few more blowouts than usual. It would be terrible to be unprepared. Same with wipes. Pack one more pack than you think you need. Trust me.
5. Pack a crib sheet. The first couple trips, we lugged our pack n’ play around but then we got smart and realized most accommodations offer a crib. I just like to use our own sheet. (See #2)
6. Don’t pack a ton of toys. Maybe a book, stuffed animal, and sensory toy. We never spend a ton of time in the hotel room. We ended up just lugging them around.
7. Pack snacks and emergency dinner ideas. We bring a ton of snacks. Sometimes the gap between meals is a little longer than at home on our usual routine. I bring plain cheerios, puffs, applesauce, yogi melts, baby oatmeal bars, and if you can find some, plain oatmeal packets. Depending on how long our trip will last, sometimes we find it beneficial to make a stop at a local convenience store or grocery store where we pick up yogurt, cheese sticks, and fruit if available. make sure you have a fridge first!
8. Pack a jacket and blanket regardless of where you’re headed. The airplane or even your hotel room could be cold. We got to Hawaii and the mornings were a little cooler than anticipated. I was happy we had a light jacket to throw on her for breakfast.
9. Don’t forget PJs.
10. Final Tip: Do a little research before you go! Children change the travel game. You might need to call the hotel and arrange the crib ahead of time— they do run out. Depending the duration of your trip, you might need to also do some laundry. Call and ask if machines are available. It also wouldn’t hurt to determine the closest doctors office if an emergency were to occur, a store for those forgotten items, and make sure to check the weather. Of course if you are only going to be gone a day or two, these precautions might not be necessary but if you plan on leaving the Continental US be prepared! (ALL OF THOSE THINGS HAPPENED TO US ON ONE TRIP or ANOTHER)
BONUS TIP This is what I packed in my diaper bag/ carry on:
- 6 Diapers
- 1 pack of brand new wipes
- 1 Board Book
- 1 teething necklace
- 1 stuffed animal
- 1 extra outfit + 1 extra onsie for Joy
- 1 extra t-shirt and a pair of leggings for me
- 2 bottles
- 1 sips cup
- 1 travel water bottle
- emergency kit: bandaids, baby tylenol, baby motrin, diaper rash cream
- SNACKS including one oatmeal packet
Do your best to prepare and make sure to relax once you are on your flight. I’m sure you packed all the important stuff; )