Packing for Your Baby - FamilyEducation

Packing for Your Baby

Learn what you should pack and what you can rent when traveling with your baby.


If you normally use cloth diapers, consider going disposable for your trip. Disposables are much more convenient than cloth diapers while traveling. If you refuse to use disposables under any circumstances, then you'll need to bring along extra sealable plastic bags or other airtight containers for carrying used diapers. Otherwise, you risk seriously offending your fellow travelers.

For longer trips involving car, plane, or train travel, your baby probably doesn't need a separate suitcase. Nearly everything he needs is in the diaper bag. The only other things you'll need to pack for him are the following:

  • As many disposable diapers, plus 8 to 10 more, as you'll likely need en route. (The extras are for unforeseen events such as diarrhea and to give you a little time to settle in once you're there.) Unless you're heading for the wilderness, plan on buying diapers when you arrive at your destination.
  • Any medications he takes and a prescription for each one in case you lose it, spill it, or run out
  • Medical insurance information cards and your baby's medical records
  • A baby monitor to give yourself a little more freedom of movement when he's sleeping
  • A night light if he's used to sleeping with one in his room

In addition to what you pack, you will find it helpful to have a baby carrier or lightweight umbrella stroller if you need to get around an airport or train station. If you bring along a stroller, you can hang one or two of your bags on the handle. But test it carefully first to make sure that when you let go of the stroller, the weight of the bags doesn't cause it to tip over backward. If you are traveling by plane, you may need to check your stroller at the end of the gate, right before you get on the plane. Airline personnel (in a perfect world) will bring it to the door of the plane for you upon landing.

Finally, if you're not traveling by car, consider bringing your own car seat along with you. Otherwise, you'll need to rent a car seat at your destination. (If you're renting a car, the agency should be able to provide you with a car seat, too.) If you take your car seat, you can check it directly from your car to the luggage handlers before you park. Or you can bring it on the plane or train with you. If the seat next to you is empty, you can use it as a safety seat for your baby. (Unless you buy a seat for your baby, however, there's no guarantee that you'll get the opportunity to use the car seat.)

If you'll be staying with relatives at your final destination, look into buying or borrowing a portable crib/playpen on their end (it might be worth buying one to keep there if the relative is far away and someone you visit often).