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While the thought of packing everything they might need for a holiday might seem overwhelming, a little bit of planning and preparation will make for a stress-free experience. As a parent, you want to ensure that your little one is comfortable, safe and well-cared for both during the journey and throughout your trip.
To help you pack efficiently, we've put together a checklist of what to pack for your baby when travelling overseas. From essential documents to baby gear and entertainment, follow this checklist to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip for the entire family.
Passport and visa:
Ensure your baby has a valid passport with at least six months' validity, as well as any necessary travel visas for your destination.
ID tags and contact information
: Attach ID tags with your contact information to your baby's bags and gear, just in case luggage goes missing. You may also want to consider investing in GPS luggage trackers for your bags and equipment so you know exactly where everything is at all times.
: Consider taking out travel insurance which includes medical coverage for your trip, and ensure your baby is covered by your policy.
Some destinations may require proof of vaccination, so it’s important to have your baby’s medical records handy when travelling. If your little one has any specific medical needs, carry any relevant information and medication with you.
Nappies and wipes
: Carry enough nappies and wipes for the duration of the flight plus some extras just in case there are delays.
Change of clothes
: Pack a few sets of comfortable and weather-appropriate clothes in case of spills or accidents.
Blanket or swaddle
: A soft, lightweight blanket or swaddle will keep your baby cosy during the flight.
Dummies and comforters
: Bring along your baby's dummy and their most loved comforting items to help soothe them during the journey.
Snacks and baby food
: Pack your little one’s favourite snacks to keep them nourished and happy during the flight.
Bottles and formula
: If your baby is formula-fed, pack pre-measured formula and bottles or sippy cups with water for mixing.
: Have a bottle of baby-safe hand sanitizer on hand for use before and after meals and nappy changes.
Baby carrier or sling
: Consider bringing a baby carrier for hands-free convenience during airport transfers and sightseeing.
: Opt for a compact, lightweight and foldable pram that's easy to carry and store during your travels. Look for one that folds up small enough to fit in a plane’s overhead locker (bonus points if it’s got a carry strap or bag!).
: If your accommodation doesn't provide a cot, pack a portable travel cot to ensure your baby has somewhere comfortable to sleep.
: If your baby is going to be sleeping in a separate room to you, a portable baby monitor will allow you to keep a close eye on them while they nap.
Portable white noise machine
: For babies who find it easier to sleep with white noise playing, a portable white noise machine may help them to sleep more soundly in transit or in unfamiliar places.
: Different countries have different rules and safety standards when it comes to children and cars. If you’re planning to travel by car on your holiday, it might be helpful for you to bring your own travel-friendly car seat to keep your little one safe on the road.
Portable blackout blinds
: If your baby sleeps best in a pitch-black space, consider packing blackout blinds or a blackout cover for your pram. There are some great travel products on the market that are easy to put up and down and pack down well for travel.
Growsuits and onesies
: Perfect for daytime and for sleeping,growsuits
can be easily layered - add abodysuit
underneath and a jumper or jacket over the top for cold climates, or wear alone in warm weather.
: Pack your little one’s favouritepyjamas
to help create a familiar sleep environment on the go. Include sleeping bags of varying weights so you can select the right one based on the weather and the temperature of the room, and always pack a spare in case of accidents!
Sun hat and sunglasses
: If you’re heading somewhere sunny and warm, protect your baby from the sun’s rays with a wide-brimmed hat and baby-friendly sunglasses.
: Babies lose a lot of heat from their heads, so it’s a good idea to pack abeanie
even if you’re heading somewhere warm - it’s bound to come in handy on the plane and if the weather cools down at night.
Socks and shoes
: Keep those little toes cosy with socks and pack a pair of comfortable, slip-on shoes if they’re walking around.
It’s also worth considering the destination when packing your baby’s clothes for your holiday. For warm destinations, pack short sleeve bodysuits, rompers, swimwear and swim nappies. For cold destinations, pack cosy clothing that can be easily layered, like jumpers and cardigans, leggings and coats.
Bottles and sippy cups
: Bring a supply of bottles or sippy cups for feeding on the go.
Formula and baby food:
Pack enough formula or baby food for the duration of your trip, along with some extra in case of delays.
Bibs and burp cloths:
To help make mealtimes a little less messy!
Bottle brush and detergent
: Consider packing a bottle brush and baby-safe detergent for cleaning bottles and sippy cups on the road.
Nappies and wipes
: Nappies and wipes are bulky and will take up lots of precious space in your bag, but it’s important to have a small supply for when you arrive at your destination in case you can’t get to a supermarket straight away. Pack enough to get you through one to two days, in addition to what you take with you in your carry-on bag.
Nappy rash cream
: Heat, water, sun and sand can make your baby more susceptible to nappy rash, so pack a small tube of nappy rash cream to soothe any irritation.
: Pack a lightweight, foldable changing mat for easy nappy changes.
Toys and books
: Bring a few of your baby's favourite toys and books to keep them entertained during the journey and downtime.
Tablet or portable entertainment
: Download a few baby-friendly apps, videos or cartoons for longer flights or waits.
: You’ll no doubt be out and about a lot when travelling with your little one, so sunscreen is a must! Pack a good quality baby sunscreen and don’t forget to pop on a hat, sunglasses and long clothing and seek shade whenever you can for even stronger sun protection.
: If travelling to a mosquito-prone area, pack a baby-friendly insect repellent to protect your little one from bites.
First aid kit
: Carry a basic first aid kit with items like bandaids, antiseptic wipes and baby paracetamol.
: Pack travel-sized bottles of your baby’s body wash, bubble bath and moisturiser.
Consider the flight times and try to plan your trip around your baby’s schedule if you can. Often earlier flights can be better as airports are less crowded and there are less likely to be delays earlier in the day.
Different airlines have different rules when it comes to what you can and can’t bring onboard. Check with your airline ahead of time, and feel free to ask airline staff for help and information when you arrive at the airport.
When timing permits, break up the journey when travelling with a little one. If taking flights with connections, allow for a couple of hours between flights where possible to avoid any stressful dashes through the airport. If you’re taking a long-haul flight, consider an overnight layover to allow everyone to get some rest before continuing on to your destination. And try to avoid red-eye flights where you can!
The change in cabin pressure during takeoff and landing can be distressing for little babies, as they don’t know how to relieve the discomfort in their ears. Giving them a bottle or breastfeed (or encouraging them to suck on their dummy or sippy cup) can help to relieve popped ears.
When staying in hotels, try and book a room with a separate living area (or two bedrooms) so that you can put your little one to bed in a different space to the one you’ll be in.
When you arrive at your accommodation, take some time to make it baby-friendly. This might mean shifting furniture around, moving things out of the way of little hands or covering sharp furniture corners. It’s also a good idea to set up a makeshift change area with everything you need within arms reach to make middle-of-the-night or jet-lagged changes a breeze!
The key to a successful overseas trip with your baby is to be organised and ensure you’ve got all the essentials with you. Tailor this packing list to suit your specific needs and destination, and you'll be well-prepared for an unforgettable adventure with your little travel companion. Bon voyage!
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