What to Pack When Traveling with Baby

What to Pack When Traveling with Baby

The thought of traveling with baby might make you want to run and hide under the kitchen table. All those time zone changes, bulky suitcases and sketchy rest stops. If only your baby came with a personal assistant and team of interns, right?

When it comes to packing for your trip, though, all you really need are a few basics – the diaper bag essentials, plus some handy items that travel easy.

Here’s what we’d bring to keep things running smoothly:

  1. Blackout and sun shades

Call these your new best friend. Blackout shades block out light so getting zzz’s is a breeze and sun shades prevent overheating in the car. Tip: Black garbage bags over the windows will do the trick at a hotel or Grandma’s house.

  1. Extras of the essentials

Always be prepared with backups of the basics – from diapers, snacks and sunscreen to extra changes of clothes, pacifiers and wet wipes (you can never have too many wipes!). If you don’t want to lug everything, ship a few things to your vacation spot ahead of time.

  1. Baby monitor

Did you know Nanit’s monitor was specifically designed to travel like a dream? It pairs with a compact travel mount, and has a built-in nightlight that can be controlled from its app. So you can keep watch over baby and set the perfect sleep environment no matter where you go, with the optional travel case for added convenience.

  1. Toys and games

Keep your little one entertained and engaged with a few easy-to-tote toys. When in doubt, a good ole guessing game works too (“I Spy: Airport Edition,” anyone?).

  1. Bedtime books

Help your baby stick to a bedtime routine and unwind after a hectic day of taking in the sights with their favorite evening read.

  1. Portable crib

Take baby’s nursery to go with a crib that’s compact for use in even the smallest of hotel rooms.

  1. Favorite blankie

A well-loved lovey or security blanket can add instant comfort to a strange new environment. Tip: To ensure it smells like home, wash it after you return from vacation, not before.

  1. Safety kits

Just in case, it’s always a good idea to take along travel-sized first-aid and baby-proofing kits with handy items like a thermometer and outlet covers for the hotel room. Don’t forget your baby’s prescriptions and emergency contact numbers so you can hit the road with peace of mind.

  1. Travel gear

Depending on where you’re going, you’ll need gear that travels light – from a FAA-approved child safety restraint system for the plane to an easy-to-fold stroller. If toting a stroller through a busy train terminal sounds like your worst nightmare, a baby carrier or sling is also a good bet.


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Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.