Packing List for Traveling with Baby

When Harper was 2.5-months-old, I made the (crazy?) decision to fly home...to Alabama...on three different planes each way...BY MYSELF...to visit family. I kind of freaked out a few days before the trip, and I thought that the sleep deprivation had truly gotten to me since I'd clearly made such a bad decision. But you know what? It was easy. She was a dream. People loved her. And airlines are nice to you when you have a baby in tow. Did you know that you go straight to the head of the security line with a kid? And you get to board the plane FIRST? And that people sitting around you actually WANT to hold your kid for you? Yes, all those things happened. I promise. You can do it.

So, here's the packing list that I used (Note that this trip was during the summer, and we were planning to go to the beach - so some of the items would be applicable only in such a situation.):

On-Mommy on Travel Day

  • Stroller
  • Travel pillow
  • Blanket
  • Purse - lotion, hand sanitizer, chapstick, iphone
  • Harper’s birth certificate (just in case there are any questions about age, etc. - check with your airlines for any other requirements)
  • boarding passes
  • Kelty Kangaroo/Baby Bjorn/carrier thingy - This wasn't really necessary. The airlines let you take the stroller right up to the gate (mine even checked it for free - most do), and getting in and out of the carrier thingy was a royal pain in the butt in a plane seat. The one time it did come in handy was when I had to use the restroom on the airplane. I was able to put her in it while I went. But then, the lady sitting next to me told me she'd hold Harper if I had to go again. YEAH why didn't I think of that? I seriously stood in that bathroom contemplating hanging Harper's carrier on the coat hook, WITH HER IN IT, for a minute before I worked out my system. If you're wondering, the system was as follows:  Change baby on fold-down changing seat. Pull my pants down. Pick up baby, and close changing table. Use the bathroom. Put changing table back down. Put baby on it. Pull up pants. Wash one hand at a time while holding baby on changing table during turbulence. Take a deep breath. Return to seat.

Carry-On

  • 12 disposable diapers - I only ended up needing about 6, but 12 was a safe number.
  • Wet Wipes - these are great both for diaper changes AND cleaning up after eating, puking, etc.
  • Changing pad - Do I really need to explain? Airport bathrooms are kind of gross, and you never know where you'll need to change your baby.
  • Lap waterproof pad to put on changing pad
  • Two pacifiers - I attached one to Harper so she wouldn't drop it on the dirty floor or on the plane. The other one, I kept hidden away for an emergency.
  • Two burp cloths
  • Extra outfit for Harper
  • Extra shirt for me
  • Wet sack
  • Extra waterproof lap pad to put on changing pad
  • Toys - The kind that velcro or hook onto things are great so you won't drop them all over the plane.
  • Breast pads
  • Nursing cover - I never use these things, and traveling was no exception. You can use a blanket to cover up if you so desire. I don't really mind whipping it out though.

Checked Bag

  • Disposables for return trip
  • Glasses
  • Wet Wipes for return trip
  • Third pacifier
  • Five onesies
  • Three pants/shorts
  • Five dresses/rompers
  • Socks
  • Baby sunblock
  • Adult sunblock
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Butt powder
  • Butt spray*
  • 24 cloth diapers*
  • Four diaper covers*
  • 24 cloth wipes*
  • Extra Snappi
  • doublers*
  • Baby soap/shampoo - We use California Baby
  • Baby nail clippers
  • Baby  hairbrush
  • iphone charger
  • swimsuit for me
  • swimsuit for baby
  • breast pads
  • manual breast pump
  • bottles
  • baby tent (for the beach)
  • shirts for mommy
  • skirts/pants for mommy
  • shoes for mommy
  • panties for mommy
  • bras for mommy
  • pajamas for mommy
  • makeup bag
  • hair straightener (I know, so vain!)
  • deodorant
  • toothbrush
  • razor
  • face wash, etc.
  • contacts case
  • extra contacts
  • hat for mommy
  • hat for baby

*We actually used cloth diapers on this trip once we arrived at our destination. We were staying with my mom, so it was easy to throw them in the wash while we were there. They did, however, take quite a bit of space in my luggage, and on future trips, we might just use disposables. If you do use disposables, just take enough for your travels, and pick up a pack when you arrive at your destination.

Yes, the list above is pretty exhaustive. It was tough for me to switch from traveling carry-on-only to checking a gigantic bag. I'm sure the list could be whittled down, but this is what worked for me on this particular trip. We'll see if Daddy allows us to take this much when he is along for the ride... (eek!)

The best tip I can give someone traveling with an infant is to stay calm. It really was a lot easier than I expected. When we would take off in the planes, I would nurse her. Inevitably, she would fall asleep. I would use the travel pillow to prop my arm on the armrest of the seat. If she woke up, I simply played with her in the seat or walked the aisles with her. I'm sure that every travel experience won't be quite as easy (especially as she gets older - I've heard traveling with two-year-olds is miserable), but I'm hopeful. :)

What tips do you have for moms (or dads!) traveling with infants?