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What to Pack for Vacation with Baby

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Family packing car fro trip.
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When it comes to travel, moms must think of more than just ourselves. The job of figuring out what to pack for vacation for everyone in the family often falls to you.

As a working mom, you're probably accustomed to using checklists at the office for managing everything from daily tasks to processes and procedures you do on a regular basis. Apply this same strategy to packing. Use the checklist below and you'll always know what to pack for vacation travel with your baby.

Diaper Bag/Carry-On - What to Pack

  • Diapers - enough for 24 hours (more will be packed in your luggage).
  • Wipes - a small, portable container (more will be packed in your luggage).
  • Blankets - carry at least two with you for use in the carseat, in the stroller, or to cover baby if you are nursing. If your baby has a blanket he or she is particularly attached to, be sure to bring it. Your baby will feel more secure in a different environment with a favorite item.
  • Clothes - two extra outfits. Put complete outfits in gallon-size storage bags to make it easy to find everything you need to change your baby while on the go.
  • Bibs - carry two with you (more will be packed in your luggage).
  • Bottles and Extra Nipples - carry at least two with you along with extra nipples.
  • Pacifiers - pack at least four if your baby uses one regularly. The odds of you dropping or losing one or more while en route are great. A trip or vacation is not the time for your baby to go "cold turkey" with the pacifier.
  • Formula - powdered formula is best for travel. Measure it out in full-bottle quantities and store each serving in an individual resealable snack-size or sandwich-size bag. When it's time for baby to eat, simply mix one bag of powdered formula with bottled water. It's best to carry with you enough formula for three to four extra bottles as you never know when you might encounter delays.
  • Toys - cloth books, stuffed animal, plastic keys, etc. If you are flying, remember to be mindful of your fellow passengers and leave the toys that make sounds at home.
  • Medicines - pain reliever, fever reducer, ear drops, gas drops, and thermometer. Small children have an uncanny knack for getting sick while travelling.
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Gallon-size storage bags - pack at least three. Use them for wet/dirty clothes or for used diapers when you don't have another way to dispose of them.

Luggage - What to Pack

  • Clothes - pack one outfit for each trip day plus three extra. (If you'll have access to laundry facilities, you can skip the extra outfits.) Pack complete outfits in resealable gallon-size bags.
  • Pajamas - pack three sets of pajamas if you have the ability to do laundry at your destination. Pack one set for each night of your trip plus two extras if laundry is not an option.
  • Diapers - pack enough diapers for the first 24-36 hours of your trip. You can purchase additional diapers at your destination.
  • Wipes - pack one small portable container plus one larger refill package. You can purchase additional wipes as necessary at your destination.
  • Formula - pack enough formula for the first 48 hours of your trip. You can purchase additional formula at your destination.
  • Breast pump - consider bringing a breast pump in case you're unable to nurse -- or plan to go out without your baby -- and need to relieve the pressure of full breasts while maintaining your milk supply.
  • Blankets - pack two additional blankets.
  • Bibs - pack two to three additional bibs. Bibs are items that can be washed in the sink and hung to dry once you reach your destination.
  • Toiletries - baby soap, baby shampoo, ear swabs, nail clippers, diaper rash ointment, and baby lotion. Pack in gallon-size resealable bags.

Equipment - What to Pack

  • Car Seat
  • Stroller - a sturdy, collapsable stroller. Even though umbrella strollers are lightweight and portable, they may not withstand the wear and tear of a busy vacation, and they may not be as comfortable for your child as the regular stroller. Weigh the pros and cons when deciding which one to pack.
  • Baby Monitor


Wait Until You Arrive - What Not to Pack

  • Crib or Pack N Play - many hotels and resorts offer these at no additional cost as part of your room rental. If you are staying at someone's home, you may be able to either rent or borrow.
  • Diapers - enough for the balance of your trip.
  • Wipes - enough for the balance of your trip.
  • Formula - enough for the balance of your trip.

It's the Little Things...

Pack a Baby Carrier. You can keep your baby safe and secure while keeping both hands free for luggage, bags or holding the hand of other children.

Relax and enjoy your trip now that you know what to pack.

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