Looking for a list of the top baby essentials for travel? Here’s my tried and tested list of what you need to take for baby when you travel abroad. I’ll be using it in the future too!
Knowing which travel essentials for baby to bring on holiday is quite the art. You don’t want to be weighed down by too much stuff, yet, at the same time, you don’t want to be in some remote town with no access to the baby travel essentials you forgot.
This list of baby travel essentials has been finely honed for my future use, and for you to make sure you have everything you need for baby abroad.
Number one rule is that as long as you have your feeding paraphernalia sorted, the rest of the stuff is a lot easier to pick up and find in supermarkets abroad. As parents we all know NOT to let your baby go hungry – that’s when the tears and the cries start.
Also, take your changing bag or ‘diaper bag’ and pack it as if that’s all you have. That way, if your main luggage is lost, then you can be safe in the knowledge that your baby will be ok with the contents of that at least for 24 hours. It also means you have a choice of clothes, toys and distractions for on the flight.
36 Travel Essentials with Baby
- 36 Travel Essentials with Baby
- Baby travel essentials for sleeping
- Baby travel essentials for transport
- Baby travel essentials for eating
- Baby travel essentials for cleanliness
- Baby travel essentials for fun
- Baby clothing travel essentials
- Other stuff to take
- Packing your baby's travel essentials
- Baby essentials for travel
Baby travel essentials for sleeping
We take Reggie’s bedsheets with us when we travel, ones that he’s already slept on a few nights. Used bedsheets carry the smell of home and are an absolute essential for babies in helping them to get to sleep in a different bed. Ours are just from Asda.
Blackout blinds are amazing for emulating the sleeping space of home. You might not need these if you’re travelling in Europe, as a lot of hotels will already have blackout curtains for siestas, but they’re definitely useful for travelling around England. You can just use the hooks and the velcro to stick it up. We use this Tommee Tippee blackout blind at home too.
White noise machine
This is the white noise machine we have. It’s small but mighty and is easy to use. It goes really loud so if you want to block out plane noise, and especially a noisy trolley service, it works well. Definitely one of the most important baby essentials for travel.
We’ve gone through quite a few different baby sleeping bags from different shops, but it’s this one from Amazon that we like best. It fits well under his arms and is easy to put on. He wears a 0.5 tog at home, and so we take the same one abroad. Obviously if you’re travelling to a cooler destination, or like to use the air con, then you might want to adjust the tog of the sleeping bag you use. I’d recommend taking at least two in case your baby is ill on one.
After the success of Reggie sleeping in Sardinia on his first adventure abroad, we bought a Red Kite travel cot to put up in our room. Travel cots are just so spacious!
We love this Red Kite travel cot – it’s so easy to put up and down. Remember you’re allowed to take this on most flights as one of your two free items. Do check with your hotel if they offer one though, and then make a decision as to whether you really need to lug your own about. They can be pretty heavy!
Reggie isn’t really that interested in dummies any more but over the last 5 months they’ve been great at buying a few minutes silence, or just for calming him down. I’d still travel with at least two, just as back up. He likes the Tommee Tippee ones best.
This Snooze Shade is an absolute essential for travelling with a baby. I use it almost every day in England so I’d definitely take it abroad, for the next few years. It’s light weight and breathable and protects that precious skin from the UV rays. It can also be an emergency blanket if you want to put your baby on the ground. This was absolutely essential for the recent mum and baby retreat I did.
Baby travel essentials for transport
You can take your car seat on the flight as one of the two items you’re allowed for free when babies are under two. Do make sure it’s wrapped up and covered though, as there are so many germs in the hold on a plane. You can buy special bags to cover them, or, do as I did and just use the covers for our suitcases wrapped in bin bags. This was fine. I think it depends how much you think you’re going to travel.
You can either check your car seat in when you drop your luggage off, or when you get to the gate. It’s up to you. When we went to Sardinia I dropped it into the oversize baggage where we checked the luggage in, and then picked it up at baggage reclaim in Italy.
You might want to take it on the flight with you if you’ve bought a seat for it, or you think you can blag one on a half full flight. I’ve never tried it!
I just wanted to get rid of it ASAP.
READ MORE: Top Tips for Travelling Solo With a Baby
Same with the pram – you can either drop it at the luggage drop or use it in the airport and pass it over at the gate, or just before you climb the stairs to the flight.
I like to use it in the airport and when queuing for the plane so I handed it over at the doors to the plane. Again, make sure you cover the bassinet or seat with a bag or it’ll pick up all kinds of germs on the flight.
Definitely one of the most important baby essentials for travel!
If you want to walk on beaches, go hiking or just have a bit more freedom with the terrain you walk on, it’s best to travel with a sling.
You might also find this useful on the flight as you can’t pick up your pram or car seat until luggage reclaim, which could be a long wait with a heavy, wriggly baby. I’ve got the Ergo newborn sling, although I need to update very soon!
Car sun visors
Car sun visors are an absolute baby travel essential. If you’re going to Europe in summer you need something to keep that sun off your little one in the car. You can buy car sun visors that fold up so they don’t take up much space – we got some free with our pram but they’re a good idea to travel with.
First aid kit
I just feel better knowing I’ve got a first aid kit with me!
Baby travel essentials for eating
Cartons of SMA milk
These SMA cartons are an absolute necessity when travelling with a baby. They offer so much freedom in getting out and about and are so easy to use. When you travel with these though, they will need to be scanned for… explosives(?!) which can massively delay you at the airport. A better approach can be to order some from the Boots airside to pick up as you travel through.
SMA milk powder back up
The cartons are an expensive way of feeding your baby though, you might prefer to use the milk powder if you have a kettle at your accommodation. Take a tin of this as back up.
This steriliser was brilliant in Sardinia for keeping Reggie’s bottles and toys sterile. You simply use the Milton sterilising tablets with 5 litres of water and leave them for 15 minutes. Then, everything you’ve submerged is sterile. The only problem with this is if you’re visiting a country where you can’t drink the water – you’d need to get a good amount of bottled water to suffice. In Italy you can drink the water, FYI!
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine
We took our Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine on holiday with us. I was hesitant at first, but it ended up being the best idea for all of us and just made things so much easier. I wouldn’t bother if it was just a few days, but with a week’s holiday it can really make things easier, and cheaper too.
Tommee Tippee bottles
And of course you need your bottles! We like these anti colic ones.
Muslins / bibs
Take plenty of muslins and bibs for your trip, I can guaranteed you’ll get through them!
Baby travel essentials for cleanliness
There are many baths for babies on the market, from inflatable ones to collapsible to buckets. One of the best ones we’ve found is this collapsible bath from Stokke. Stokke® Flexi Bath®is a foldable baby bath suitable from birth to four years. It’s great for road trips and camping as it’s easy to store and just folds down.
It has non-slip legs, double-action locks and orange safety heat indicators, so you can relax in the knowledge that baby is safe and secure while you focus on enjoying the moment. You can get an optional insert for babies too.
You’ll have to decide yourself how many packets of wipes to take. We took three for a week – one in each bag – just in case the bags got lost. We use these Water Wipes to protect the planet, and Reggie’s bum.
I’ve decided that baby towels are rubbish. They’re too small and not absorbent enough. I have an old lightweight beach towel from Matalan which is perfect for Reggie.
Nappies and nappy bags
Again, another difficult decision in how many nappies to take. Just remember the fact that if you’re going to somewhere with a town, or near a town, there’ll be somewhere to get more nappies from. People abroad have babies too!
Just make sure to pack enough for the plane, plus a few.
Before I had a baby I never imagined how difficult it would be to keep up with their nail growth! And if you’re going to a warm country, it’ll be even worse. Take a nail kit to keep up with their dangerous nail growth to avoid gauged faces and scratched bodies.
One of the most important baby essentials for travel you might not have thought of.
Ooo Reggie loves a massage before he goes to bed, and I like to keep up the routine while we’re away. This Child’s Farm massage cream is the only one I use, and I have the 2 in 1 shower gel and the bathtime bubbles too.
Child’s Farm sun cream
Sun cream for babies is very important, especially if you’re coming from England and going to a hot country in the summer months. Their precious skin just can’t cope with it. Make sure to lather on the sun cream before you leave in the morning, and keep them as shaded as possible. It’ll make the evening bath routine all the more enjoyable.
Calpol and Bonjela
Pack both Calpol and Bonjela, just in case!
Oh sanitising wipes are an absolute travel essential for babies. You can use them for surfaces in the airport, on the plane and as you travel. I like these Milton ones for Reggie, just because I’m so used to the brand.
Baby travel essentials for fun
Take some toys for your baby to play with on the plane, and in the destination. The Lamaze range is a winner for Reggie, especially the banana.
Here are his top 5 other toys that would be great for a flight:
- Banana teething toy
- Sophie giraffe teething toy
- Ruby Art star
- The fox
Baby clothing travel essentials
Onesies, shorts, tshirts, vests
Knowing how much to pack for your baby’s holiday can be quite the skill – it also depends on the weather. I’d recommend packing more than you think as with all the sun cream, the swimming and the general muckiness of being on holiday, you can get through the clothes. An alternative would be to see if there’s a washing machine and dryer where you are.
Make sure to pack sleepsuits for air conditioning, long clothes to protect from the sun, and some fun clothes too.
Sun safe swimsuits
Whatever swimsuit or swim onesie you get, make sure it has the sunsafe logo. The best one we found was from Asda. Get two so your baby doesn’t have to wear a damp suit the day after.
Definitely one of the most important baby essentials for travel!
Make sure to take some swim nappies with you but remember they only catch poo, not wee. I learned that the hard way with the car seat.
Already covered this but I’ll add it in here too.
Take a range of hats to protect from the sun, including one of those with sides and a back to protect the neck.
Other stuff to take
If, like me, you often forget to charge your phone, then some sort of a powerbank is essential. This way, if your phone runs out you have back up. We use our phone for so much these days it’s actually kinda dangerous to not have one, especially when you have a baby, so buy a powerbank to stay in control and in touch.
Make sure you take a plug adaptor with you when you travel with baby, and maybe even a four-bar plug too. You need so much stuff, and you want it all to be charged at once. Charging can also be problematic when you have those room keys that need to be plugged in for all the electricity to work. Take a four- bar plug to help with this.
We picked up a sun tent from Asda and it’s great as it pops up and down in seconds. This is really great when there’s no trees or posts to create a shady den from. Just pop this up and you have a windshield and sun shield in one. Definitely take a sun tent.
This pushchair fan is exactly what you need for a hot country and a little baby. You can simply attach it onto the handle of the pram and your baby can basque in the cool air. The bendy legs also go straight meaning you can have it blasting at you from the side too. So good you’ll want one for yourself, I guarantee.
These room thermometers are a great idea and one of the most important baby essentials for travel you need. Simply put them where your baby is sleeping and you’ll get to see the exact temperature they’re in. This will help you set the air con and decide on which tog sleeping bag to use too. They’re really useful.
It’s a good idea to have a baby cam when you’re travelling abroad, just so you don’t have to be by your baby’s side every single second of the day. This way you can sit on the balcony and watch the cam knowing your baby is ok. We have the Nanit camera at home so it’s good to have a cheaper one like this to take with the baby when travelling.
Packing your baby’s travel essentials
I recommend using packing cubes to organise all your baby travel essentials, it’ll just make things easier when you get there. I’ve got these packing cubes from Amazon and have used them for years.
Baby essentials for travel
There you have it, my top baby essentials for travel. I’ll be using this list again when I head off to Valencia in a week’s time. I hope you find it as useful as I do!
Monday 20th of February 2023
Hello, Please can you let me know if you packed your prep machine as hand luggage or in the suitcase? Thank you so much!
Monday 20th of February 2023
Hi Cliona, I packed it in the suitcase! Vicky
Tuesday 12th of July 2022
I've been reading your blog on and off for years after discovering a post about what to pack for Glasto just before I was due to head there for the first time (SEO clearly on point!). I've become a mum this year so I have rediscovered your blog and am loving your baby-related posts. Thanks for the great content and travel advice.
Wednesday 13th of July 2022
Oh fab, that's so lovely to hear Kate. I'm off to Spain with Reggie on Friday so there'll be a lot more baby content to come! Hope everything is going well with your little one.