Everyone knows that babies do not travel light. The irony behind these tiny little beings needing more stuff than Mommy, Daddy, and big sister combined is unbelievable. But please do not let this little known fact intimidate you if you’re traveling with baby in tow. Despite the baby supplies taking up half of our suitcases, our favorite vacations by far have been those that our little girl has joined us on. We went on plenty of day trips during our toddler’s early days but the big kahuna was our Disney vacation when she turned 9 months. It was one of our favorite trips ─ eventful and tiring, yes ─ but the memories we made were amazing and we haven’t stopped traveling since. Now we’re on our final countdown to her little sister’s first Disney vacation before she turns one, and our first as a family of four.
For every adventure, I pack for all of us. And after all of our travels, I’ve become somewhat of a pro at it, so I’m excited to share some baby essentials that you absolutely can’t forget for vacation.
Ever realize just how many diapers you go through in a week? I hardly keep track, but when you plan for vacation and count them up, you’ll probably be surprised at what 60 diapers looks like. Generally, we plan the number of packed diapers using this rule of thumb: we take the max number of diapers we go through daily and multiply that by the number of days of the trip, plus one. Adding in that extra day gives you a nice buffer for blow outs and leaks. These will eat up tons of room going, but remember you’re leaving most of them there, giving you plenty of space for souvenirs. Note: If you’re going somewhere where you can just buy diapers, you can always go that route. Some places like Disney even offer to purchase and deliver your diapers to your room before your arrival.
Two options: 1) Bring a bunch of your own bottles, bottle brush, soap, drying rack, and soaking bowl or 2) Buy sterile, disposable bottles that are perfect for travel. We love the disposable option! Just figure out just how many you need (number of bottles per day times number of days of your trip). Note: These bottles aren’t meant to be reused, but we would take her breakfast bottle, pry it open, rinse well, and use just for water to beat the Disney heat. Also, have a few extra to try out ahead of time to make sure baby will use them. Some babies are very particular and may not take kindly to a bottle swap, so a trial run is a good idea.
Just like diapers, most people never actually add up how much formula they go through in a week, but now is a good time to do just that. You’ll definitely need to know how much you need and always give a little extra. A big container might do the trick for use at the hotel, but also throw in one of those travel containers that divides the formula for a couple bottles throughout the day.
4. Antibacterial Hand Wipes and Surface Wipes
Exposing my tiny baby to germs is a must, yes, but the idea of tiny baby hands touching unwashed rides and tables and then putting her fingers right into her mouth is a no. So, antibacterial hand wipes and surface wipes are perfect and they’re so easy to toss in your suitcase.
5. Disposable Placemats
Yes, we wipe the tables with antibacterial surface wipes, but since our baby is eating tiny finger foods, doing so on a sticky placemat is a definite. They come in tons of different characters and are sticky on all sides, making them non-slip and perfect for restaurant tables. Even better, you can get a pack of 18 at any baby store or Target that will easily slip into the side pocket of your diaper bag.
6. Reclining Stroller
Ditch the heavy-duty strollers and opt for a deluxe umbrella stroller, one with a nice cover, a comfy and reclining seat, a cup holder up top, and a nice basket beneath. They are light, fold up easily, and are perfect for just about any vacation. Don’t forget a stroller bag for the plane, too, for safe storage and easy identification.
7. Comforts from Home
Being totally out of the norm for babies who eat, sleep, and poop on a strict schedule can sometimes be problematic on vacation, so bringing along some comforts from home is always a help. A soft friend, a few favorite toys, snacks that they’re used to, a noisemaker for nighttime, or even some familiar bedding ─ it’s amazing what a few reminders can do. Personally, we always bring our big, plush stuffed giraffe for nighttime, along with a bunch of travel toys that fit perfectly in a carry-on for planes.
8. The List
Most important, and your best friend for baby’s first vacation, is a list. Think of anything and everything, write it down, and check your bags twice before you leave. There’s nothing like realizing your first day of vacation you forgot some must-haves at home.
*This post is sponsored by vitaMedMD, a division of TherapeuticsMD. I received compensation in exchange for writing this article. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own and I do not have any relationship to the companies or brands I suggest.