Post 3 of 6 on Traveling with Your Baby/Toddler
Here is our pack list for HB @ 18 mo. for a 14-day trip.
Travel formula (8 packs) – enough for the flight up and back.
Bottles (2) (one in diaper bag)
Sippy cups (2) (one in diaper bag)
Pajamas + onesies (3)
Night diapers (14)
Nice dress + tights + shoes
Outfits (socks, shirts, pants, shoes, and sweaters) (7)
Toys, books, DVDs
Sit n stroll
Hat and Gloves
Monitors + chargers
Annies mac n cheese single serving packets (2)
Peach or Pear fruit cups (4)
Mixed snacks in small tupperware (2-3)
All of this fits comfortably into a 20” wheelie suitcase (carry-on size). When traveling with me and the baby, everything fits into a 24” wheelie. When traveling with three of us, we fit into one 24” and one 20” wheelie. (Maybe another post is needed about packing light for Mom and Dad?)
Notice, we don’t pack food, formula, wipes, or diapers (besides a 1-day supply). We give a shopping list to someone at the destination, send them ahead, or buy them when we arrive. For certain things that might be tough to find at the destination, we bring them along or ship them ahead. These include night diapers, and our specific brand of formula. Whatever you do, don't carry a large can of formula. Bring one-shot packs, make your own one-shot packs, and/or buy a small can at your destination.
If you are staying somewhere for a long time, it’s worthwhile to bring an extra changing mat. You can have one set up in the hotel and not have to remember to re-load it into the diaper bag every time you go out.
Novelty is key for toys and books. Buy ones that compact easily (stacking cups/bowls, nesting boxes, etc). I love to raid the Target $$ bins for new/cheap toys. Then, I don’t mind losing them or intentionally leaving them behind if you need the extra room.
For little babies that still put everything in their mouths, attach toys to their car seat or stroller so that they can not easily drop them. The same goes for soothers. If you can’t attach them, have toys that can easily be wiped off. Like I said before, airplanes are very germy places. So, plastic or wooden toys are preferable to plush ones.
Don’t over-do the number of toys you bring. You can find a lot of things on-site to make into toys: hotel ice bucket, hotel plastic cups, hotel notepad and pen, magazines, etc. You need less than you think. Besides the toys we carry on (see carry on pack list above), we usually bring:
* 1 board puzzle (they pack well because they are flat)
* 1 book
* 1 other multi-purpose toy, like stacking cups, or nesting boxes
* 2 DVD’s - one favorite from home and one new one. Take them out of the packaging and just pack the discs themselves.
While novelty is key for toys, familiarity is key for stuffed animal and blankets. When traveling, we bring the sheet right off her bed at home without washing it. While I don’t have scientific proof, I think she sleeps better with familiar smelling sheets and her regular stuffed animals. In her normal bedtime routine, we used to play music from a mobile above her crib. Then, I realized that I couldn’t pack the mobile when we traveled. So, we switched to using a little plush bunny that winds up and plays Fur Elise. Now, when we travel, we can take the bunny along and she has her familiar music.
Sending supplies ahead:
If you are staying with friends/family, send them a shopping list (formula, diapers, wipes, cream, food, etc). Make sure to be specific about brands and amounts.
If you are staying in a hotel, you can order supplies ahead and have them delivered to the hotel. http://babiestravellite.com/ is a service that does this. They have an amazing selection of food, supplies, and toys. Their prices are fairly competitive. But, the shipping charges can get exorbitant if you don’t order several weeks in advance. I've also used drugstore.com. There is less selection, but cheaper prices, especially on shipping.