Travelling Abroad With Baby | Packing Checklist

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Travelling Abroad with Baby- The Ultimate Packing Checklist

baby laying on rug
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Travelling abroad for the first time with your baby can feel stressful, you may feel like you’ve got so much to plan and prepare for and it can become overwhelming.

Whether you’re wondering how many nappies to take on the plane or which factor sunscreen to use on your baby abroad, this guide has got you covered.
I took my first child on a holiday abroad when she was just 4 months old and I had all the above concerns. I also remember feeling nervous about the flight and anxious about her having too much sun, but I soon learned that with some careful preparation, everything turns out fine.

So, grab yourself a cuppa because we’re going to be ticking off your checklist for everything you need when travelling abroad with your infant.

>>>Bonus Material: **CLICK HERE** to download this checklist as a free printable PDF<<<

Booking your holiday

mother and baby

If you’ve already booked your flights and hotel then just skip this part and head to the next section. If not, here are my top tips for booking a baby-friendly holiday:

Baby Friendly Hotels

·         Most hotels won’t charge for a baby, but some do have a surcharge for renting a travel cot so best to check this before booking (otherwise you could take your own travel bassinet). Always let the hotel know that you’re bringing a baby, even if they don’t have the option on the booking form, this is for insurance and safety purposes and they may even put you in a more family-friendly section of the hotel.
·         Check if the hotel has a kid’s pool. Baby swimming pools are usually quieter and will be safer and more enjoyable for you and baby.
·         Check if the hotel has a crèche. I’ve personally never used a crèche, but I know some people who have, and it all depends on whether you feel you’ll need some ‘time-out’ on your holiday.  Check the crèche reviews first so you feel confident and happy to drop baby off there.
·         Does the hotel have a lift? You don’t want to be carrying baby up 10 flights of stairs. If not, ask if you can get a room on the ground floor.

I almost always use to book accommodation, as you can search the most family-friendly hotels.

Baby- Friendly Destinations

·         Check if the destination you’re going to is ‘baby-friendly’. Are there lots of hills which you’ll struggle to push the buggy up? Or is it mostly flat terrain? Are there plenty of sandy beaches, parks, soft play areas and kid-friendly restaurants? Although this won’t matter as much if your baby is still sleeping for most of the day.
·         Check the annual weather temperature and choose a month which isn’t going to be too hot. Could you travel when it’s cooler, so it’s more comfortable for baby? If not, make sure you take enough sun-screen, hats, a parasol and light clothing.
·         Will you be hiring a car? Relying on public transport or walking everywhere? If you plan on walking or using public transport, check that there is a supermarket and a chemist close by for when you need to buy baby essentials. The last thing you want is to have to take 2 buses just to refill your baby wipes.


·    Flights are free for 2-year olds and under and they will need to be seated on your lap with an extra seat-belt.

For flying tips check out Travel and Parenting blogger Kristine’s post on the top 7 baby travel flying tips.

Things you’ll need to pack for the plane

luggage for the airport
I would recommend putting all your baby essentials in a separate bag to your hand luggage and then you can put that bag inside your hand luggage, therefore it will be easier to find things when on the plane.

>>>Bonus Material: **CLICK HERE** to download this checklist as a free printable PDF<<<

Be sure to pack the following in your hand luggage for the flight:

·         Baby milk- You’re allowed to take, through customs, enough baby milk for the journey. Whether it’s breast milk, (although not frozen)* cartons of milk or powdered milk and sterilised water. You may have to taste it before they let you through (to prove it’s not some sort of explosive liquid). If the airport has a Boots chemist (they usually do in UK) then I would recommend pre-ordering your baby milk to the Boots Chemist before your journey so that, when you get through customs, you can pick up your baby milk and ensure you’ve got enough to last you until you can buy more.
·         Baby food- As above, you can take enough for your journey. You can buy more once you’re through customs if needed. Glass jars aren’t allowed, I’d recommend Ellas Kitchen pouches to save space in your hand luggage.
·         Snacks- If you’re baby is past weaning age, take some of their favourite snacks on the plane. Dry, sealed foods are okay (crisps, crackers, biscuits, fruit bars etc.) For anything else, check with the airline you’re flying with.
·         Pacifiers (we call these dummy’s in the UK)-take extra with you, they will help relieve any discomfort in baby’s ears on the flight.
·         Nappies- just take enough for the journey, I wouldn’t stuff your hand luggage full of them as it’s a waste of space, you can buy more when you get there.
·         Baby wipes or cotton pads. I hate baby wipes, they’re no good for baby’s delicate skin (no matter how ‘gentle’ they promise to be) but sometimes you need them, I’ve used them in the past for everything from wiping sticky hands, to cleaning spilt food on my sofa. I’d recommend only using them if you really must, otherwise cotton wool and water is the best option (and cheaper too!)
·         Baby bottles
·         Nappy cream (less than 100ml) and make sure you seal in a plastic bag
·         Baby’s favourite blanket
·         Baby’s favourite toy, including a teething toy
·         A spare set of clothes for baby AND a spare set for you, just in case.
·         Nappy bags (these can be tricky to find abroad)
·         Bibs or muslin cloths
·         A sachet of calpol or ibuprofen (for emergencies). I’m against using calpol unless you really must, too many parents nowadays give it to their baby over the slightest whinge. Please only use it as a last resort, it’s not good for your baby. The best way to relieve a temperature is skin-on-skin contact.
·         A baby carrier- I’d highly recommend taking a baby carrier or sling for getting off the plane. It can take a while to walk through the airport and wait for your luggage and it’ll make it much more easier on your arms if you don’t have to carry baby the whole time. I used this sling for the first couple of years with all my children and highly recommend it for it’s ease of use and comfort.

Learn how to pack light with fellow travel-blogger (Spice Goddess) Verushka’s  Hand Luggage Packing Tips.

What to pack in your suitcase for baby

·         Suitable clothing- if the weather will be hot, pack light clothing and a sarong which you can use as a baby shade over the buggy. Pack some cardigans for the evenings
·         UV swimsuit and swim nappies
·         Sunhats
·         Socks and shoes
·         Baby sun cream, I’d recommend using an organic, high-factor sun screen as they’re much better for babies skin. ‘Regular’ or ‘non-organic’ sun screen has a never-ending ingredient list full of bad chemicals which your babies skin will be absorbing**. You can carry over 100ml of sunscreen in your suitcase or take up to 100ml in your hand luggage in a sealed, zip lock bag. Here’s the one I use for my children, it’s vegan, organic and very fairly priced compared to other organic sun creams.
·         Sterilising tablets
·         Bottles
·         Bottle brush
·         A few extra nappies and cotton pads, don’t go crazy here though, like I said before you can get them once you’re there.
·         Snacks- you could pack some extra snacks in to your suitcase, make sure they’re dry and sealed.

Tips for the airport

·         Take your buggy right up to the plane (don’t forget the parasol) and then leave it with the crew once you board. When you check in they’ll give you a tag for it but if they don’t then they’ll tag it when you drop it off near the plane and then it will come out at the other end, along with your suitcases.
·         If you’re hiring a car abroad, I’d recommend taking your own car seat. You will check-in the car seat in ‘oversized luggage’ and  get it back at the other side on the ‘over-sized luggage’ carousel.
·         If you can, I’d suggest boarding the plane last. The less time you have to sit in a compressed space with your baby, the better.
·         Have all your liquids, cosmetics, baby food and milk in your hand luggage (less than 100ml) in sealed, zip-locked bags ready for scanning at customs. I once forgot to do this and it was an absolute nightmare having to go through my suitcase looking for all my toiletries at the customs desk!

And that’s all there is to it!

You don’t need to feel stressed or overwhelmed, some simple preparation will ensure you have a relaxed and stress-free journey.
Oh, and one more thing, do you have a routine for baby? Well FORGET any routine once you’re abroad, you can’t expect baby to eat, sleep and poop at the same times he or she did back home. It’s a totally different environment, the noises, the smells, the beds, the heat….everything is different so just go with the flow, throw the routine out of the window whilst you’re away and enjoy your family holiday!

>>>Bonus Material: **CLICK HERE** to download this checklist as a free printable PDF<<<

Do you have any tips for travelling abroad with a baby which aren’t listed here?
Let us know in the comments box below.

packing checklist for baby


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