Packing a suitcase for an infant can be the most stressful part about planning a trip. Many parents worry about stuffing in every item in preparation for worst case scenarios. However, the way to have a less stressful trip is to eliminate some of the extras and bring more money instead.
Start with the bag. The bad should be soft and light, because there will plenty more to carry, including the baby. The bag should have an extra waterproof zippered pocket or two for stowing spontaneous messes and wet items that must be dealt with later. Of course, you can also stow a few zippered plastic bags for this purpose. Also, remember that, if you have not bought the baby her own seat, you do not have a dedicated carry-on baggage allowance for the baby. However, a sizable diaper bag stuffed with essentials can pass as your extra purse.
Remember all the essentials. Some people bring loads of diapers and wipes but, if you are traveling to any domestic destination or a developed international destination, there will be ample diaper supplies available. Give yourself enough supplies to get through three days and plan to shop for the rest. Bring extra wipes for quick hand-washings and other impromptu clean-ups. If your baby uses a bottle, bring extra sterilized bottles and nipples in case you can’t properly clean equipment while in transit. Baby slings, backpacks and front packs are great for traveling. If you want to bring a stroller, you can check it at the gate. You can also stow a few last-minute, not valuable items in the stroller’s basket.
Resolve to do some loads of laundry. This way, you need only pack a few outfits that can be layered for different weather conditions and activities. Bring some extra socks and pajamas, which have a way of getting dirty or lost while you are traveling. If you are off to visit family or friends, you can probably bet on receiving some clothing as gifts, so you can put the gifts to immediate use.
Leave out the items for which you can shop when you arrive at your destination. This items may include baby shampoo, baby toothpaste or infant ibuprofen. While you may be tempted to stuff a lot of toys and books in baby’s suitcase, keep the items down to four or five key toys, including baby’s favorite blanket or stuffed animal. That way, you can purchase some new souvenirs while on route or at your destination.
Remember the baby’s travel documentation. In the rush to pack for an infant, you might forget general things that are necessary or useful for traveling with a baby, such as passports, e-tickets, photo identification, prescriptions, birth certificates and toiletries.
- Some airlines are now charging for extra checked bags, although there may be an exception for checked car seats.