Planning to travel with a baby? That first trip with a baby can be a little overwhelming with unknowns of what to pack and the logistics of figuring out how to get it all to your destination. To help make the process a little easier (and think about what baby registry items you need for those future vacations) we put together a list of baby travel essentials. While this list isn’t too much different from our toddler travel essentials, there are some smaller items that are important to make your trip as seamless as possible.
Keep reading for our baby travel must-haves and a packing list for babies at the end!
Travel Crib and/or Bassinet
Sleep is so important to babies whether at home or away, and having a good travel crib is one of the top travel essentials for baby. Not sure what to look for in a baby travel crib? The best baby travel cribs are usually lightweight and easy to set up. Our best recommendations for a travel crib for babies are listed below.
- A regular pack ‘n play with a bassinet is a less expensive option for a baby travel crib. They can sometimes be a little too heavy and cumbersome to travel with, but you can typically request a pack ‘n play at your hotel. There’s also a standard pack ‘n play without the bassinet or a deluxe pack ‘n play that includes a travel bassinet.
- For a lightweight travel crib that’s easy to set up and put way, this portable crib is awesome. It has a comfortable memory foam mattress and a zipper on the side to make it easier to get infants in and out.
- When flying with a baby to your destination, this lightweight works well. It can take a few more minutes to set up than other options, but it fits easily in a regular suitcase. (This option is also a less expensive alternative to the Phil and Ted’s travel crib.)
- This travel crib is another great option that we have used as well. It’s a little more expensive than the other options listed, but it’s a travel crib with a bassinet and a removeable changing table as well.
You can also rent a full size crib from BabyQuip here and have it delivered to your destination.
If you’re traveling with a newborn or younger baby, you may want to consider a baby travel bassinet that you can use both at home and when traveling. We’ve included some of the best options for a portable bassinet for travel below.
- This portable bassinet is great for both at home or travel. It’s also large enough for most babies to use up to 6 months or older. (We used it for both of our kiddos for the first four months and traveled often with it.)
- This super lightweight travel bassinet is great to take outside or anywhere you go.
- This baby travel bassinet with a sunshade that doubles as a small beach tent for babies as well. (It’s a great option for camping with babies too!)
- You can find another travel bassinet with a cover to use both at home and for travel here. (Full disclosure, this is the only one we haven’t personally used.)
Travel Stroller For Babies
A baby travel stroller is usually more lightweight and easy to fold up than a traditional travel system. Anything that minimizes the weight and amount of stuff you have will make your life easier, making this one of our top must have items for traveling with a baby. When searching for the best baby travel stroller, be sure to look for something with adequate sunshade that reclines easily for naps on the go. Some of the best baby travel strollers for infants through toddlers are listed below.
- YoYo Babyzen is lightweight at about 14 lbs, has a one handed fold and can be used from birth up to 40 lbs. One of the major downsides of the YoYo Babyzen is the high price point compared to other travel strollers.
- GB Pockit+ is a very lightweight travel stroller that folds up small to fit in an overhead bin on airplanes.
- Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller is another one of the best travel strollers compatible with an infant car seat, and it also has a lie flat option with a “cocoon” cushion. It weighs about 13 lbs and can be used for kids up to 44 lbs.
- Zoe Traveler stroller is only 11 lbs and can be used for babies 3+ months up to 45 lbs. It also folds up small and can be brought as a carry-on backpack on planes. Zoe also makes one of the lightest double strollers for travel as well. (For $20 off, use my Zoe stroller referral link here.)
- Summer Infant 3D Light is a more affordable (but still very functional) travel stroller that can be used from 6 months up to 50 lbs. The only downside is that it can’t be used for newborns and is not car seat compatible.
Additional Tips for Choosing a Travel Stroller
- Be sure to check minimum age recommendations and stroller compatibility with an infant car to ensure it meets your needs. Some travel strollers can be used from birth on, and others have a minimum age requirement of 6+ months.
- A jogging stroller is another option if you’re planning to bring it on the beach or hiking trails. (The downside is that it’s very heavy.) We’ve also used our Baby Jogger City Select Single to Double Stroller for travel, but the downside is that it’s heavy and the seats have to be taken out to fold it up.
- If you want a for a double travel stroller for twins or more than one child, side by side strollers are usually the easiest to navigate while traveling. (And they fold up in one piece.) The Zoe double stroller or Summer Infant double stroller are two great options.
- A car seat frame is an inexpensive alternative if you’re not planning to do a ton of walking. We’ve used this infant car seat stroller frame with both kids over the years. It was definitely one of the best baby registry items we received for everyday use and travel.
Travel High Chair
A travel high chair is another one of the best baby travel items to have. While it may not always be necessary if you’re just eating at restaurants, it’s especially useful if you’re staying at a vacation home, visiting family or spending time outdoors.
We use this portable high chair on a regular basis, and we keep it in our car for visiting friends or going to some of our favorite kid-friendly breweries. (We also use it at home when eating outside!) While it’s perfect for road trips, it’s a little too bulky to take on flights with a baby.
We also use this clip-on high chair at our home on a daily basis. It only weighs 3 pounds, making it a great baby travel high chair for flying to your destination. The only downside is that it doesn’t work with tables that have a “lip” on them, so you may want to check before arriving at your destination.
While this isn’t one of the pricier baby travel products mentioned above, disposable placements are one of the best baby travel essentials. Most restaurants only offer breakable plates or paper placemats that babies can easily throw. These adhesive placemats stick right on the table and you throw them away after your meal, making cleanup a breeze. (Both of our kids also had a weird habit of wanting to chew on tables when they were teething. So this also covers the end of the table up to prevent extra spreading of germs!)
A baby carrier is another one of our top travel must haves for baby. If you want a baby carrier for travel from infant to toddler ages, a soft structured baby carrier like this one is the most versatile we’ve used. Whether you want a carrier for hikes with a baby or something to use on terrain that a stroller can’t reach, it’s perfect for either. It has an infant insert, and we’ve used it as a backpack style toddler carrier as well.
A few options for baby carriers for travel (or everyday use) include:
- Solly Baby Wrap: Fabric baby wrap that’s especially great for baby wearing in the airport. The Moby baby carrier is a similar alternative.
- ErgoBaby 360: All position baby carrier that’s super versatile from newborns to toddlers.
- LILLEBaby: Another baby carrier with multiple positions from babies to toddlers.
Diaper Bag For Travel
Whether you’re navigating the airport or the amusement park, the best baby travel bag is typically a hands-free diaper backpack. (And fortunately backpack style diaper bags are super popular right now, so there are many options to choose from!) When searching for the best travel diaper bag, be sure to look for one that comes with a changing pad, a bottle cooler (or space for bottles) and several compartments for storing necessary items in a baby carry-on like snacks and toys.
We have a faux leather diaper backpack similar to this one and have also used our standard travel backpack before.
Travel Bottle Washing Set
You’re bound to be washing bottles or pump parts during your vacation with a baby. (Whether they’re breastfed or bottle fed!) This travel bottle washing set is one of the best baby travel items. It includes a drying rack, and bottle brush in a compact box that closes. It also makes a unique baby registry idea if you’re looking for items the mom to be may not have thought of.
Pro Tip: Be sure to also bring a small travel bottle of dish detergent with you. We just use reusable travel toiletry bottles and fill them up with our standard free and clear dish soap.
Aside from a good travel crib, a sound machine is another item on our list of travel essentials with baby that helps the whole family sleep. Sound machines help keep their routine consistent at home and away, and they drown out noises if you’re sharing a room with a baby on vacation. There are a variety of options for baby sound machines depending on how much room you have in your luggage.
- A standard baby sound machine that’s lightweight and still easy to pack without taking up too much space. (We use this portable sound machine at home and away.)
- A small travel sound machine for a stroller or on-the-go is another option. We have this one.
- There are also several sound machine apps available on your phone. We use the Guva free sound machine app for babies that also allows you to record a sound as well. (I even recorded myself shushing to help our second child fall asleep for naps.)
Baby Toys and Teethers
Babies are constantly chewing and dropping things. So we recommend a variety of baby travel toys and teethers for your trip with a baby. A few baby travel items we don’t leave home without include:
- A multi-sensory baby toy that can be clipped on a stroller or car seat.
- Several teethers and different pacifiers (if your baby uses one.)
- A lovey or stuffed animal that your baby uses for comfort.
- A simple, small toy like these stacking cups to use at your destination.
- An interactive book with flaps or different textures. (Shop my Usborne Books & More storefront for ideas!)
Pro tip: Bring a Ziploc bag for dirty toys that need to be cleaned at your destination. (Especially if you’re traveling with a baby on an airplane and they drop toys.)
Related Post: 10 Baby & Toddler Travel Toys Under $10
Baby Packing List For Vacation: More Must Haves for Traveling with a Baby
Traveling with babies usually requires so much stuff. Much of which you’re probably not used to bringing if you’re new to traveling with kids. We recommend having a standard baby packing list that you can use for each vacation with a baby. (In addition to your standard diaper bag of course!)
This packing list for baby includes several items we (usually) don’t leave home without.
- Outfit for each day along with extra onesies
- Pajamas/ sleepers (bring extra for younger babies)
- Socks and shoes
- Swimsuits/ swim diapers (for the pool or beach with a baby)
- Baby hat- beach hat, baseball hat or winter hat
*Clothing needs vary depending on weather and activities.
- Sleep Sack or Swaddles
- Light blankets (we love these muslin blankets)
- Crib sheets
- Baby towels/ washcloths
Baby Equipment for Travel**
- Travel Crib
- Portable High Chair
- Car Seat (with a car seat bag if you’re flying)
- Blowup baby bathtub (If a tub isn’t available at your destination)
**Some baby equipment may be available at your destination. Be sure to check first. You can also rent baby equipment from BabyQuip and have it dropped off at your destination.
- Baby Wipes (bring extra for messes)
- Sound Machine
- Disposable Placemats
- Pacifiers & Teethers
- Baby Toys & Books
- Bottles and/or sippy cups
- Bottle washing set +dish soap
- Breast pump + parts
- Baby monitor
- Ziploc bags
- Car window blackout curtains for road trips with baby
- Kindle or iPad with rubber case (if you do screen time)
Baby Toiletry Bag
- Baby shampoo
- Infant Tylenol/ Ibuprofen
- Diaper cream
- Baby lotion
- Small amount of soap for handwashing soiled clothing
Documents for Traveling With a Baby
- Insurance card
- Passport (for international travel with a baby)
- Copy of baby’s birth certificate (if you’re flying)
Pro Tip: If you’re flying to your destination, share a large suitcase with your baby using packing cubes. (This will save money on fees and also minimize the number of items you’re traveling with.) You can also ship diapers/ wipes to your destination or purchase them there.
- Packing Tips and Beach Essentials for Baby
- Flying With a Baby: Tips for Before, During and After Your Flight
- Road Trip With a Baby: How to Survive Long Drives with Baby
- 5 Must Have Travel Essentials for Toddlers
- Intro to Traveling With a Baby
Do you have any must-have baby travel items that aren’t on this list? Please share in the comments if you have any favorite baby travel products to add!