Babies may be small, but their packing lists are huge. They need so many things to keep them entertained, comfortable, and contained. Here is my guide to surviving a hotel stay and tips for traveling with baby.
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First things first – you have to figure out what items you will need on your trip. I have a comprehensive list of packing items below, but if you are travelling by plane, you may not be able to tote along all of these items. If you are in a predicament where you cannot pack some of the larger necessities, you might be able to rent the required baby gear at your destination.
I have included two reputable rental companies below where you can rent anything from a pack-n-play to a stroller.
Baby Rental gear:
Baby’s Away: https://babysaway.com/#locations
You can also call ahead to your hotel and find out what items they will have available. Some hotels will have basic amenities such as cribs, pack-n-plays, and high chairs while others are going the extra mile and might have strollers and child-proofing items for your use.
If you are going somewhere by car (and you have the space), here are the items that we brought with us on our last trip with baby.
- Pack n Play: You will need somewhere for baby to sleep while you are gone! You can call ahead to your hotel and find out if they provide cribs.
- Hard Carrier: Perfect for longer walks, adventures, or late night events so baby can fall asleep on you.
- Soft Carrier: I love my K’Tan because it’s small, compact, and easy to put on. This is perfect for carrying around with you at all times.
- Crib Sheet
- Stroller: We brought our Bob jogging stroller for going on the beach, trails, or anywhere that wasn’t nicely paved. We also brought a small umbrella stroller for going shopping, restaurants, etc.
- Activity Gym
- Diapers: enough for every day you are gone, plus a few extra.
- Wipes: I brought a 100-pack along with what stays in my diaper bag and it was plenty.
- Swaddle Blankets
- Baby disposable diaper bags (to tie up the smelly diapers before they stink up your entire room). I love the Munchkin brand because they are scented!
- First aid kit
- Nose frida/Nose Aspirator (bulb sucker)
- Baby Tylenol
- Bumbo/Booster Seat
- Baby Monitor – If you have a nice baby monitor at home that you don’t want to either A) risk losing or damaging or B) don’t want to set up wifi at your destination; you can check out these inexpensive VTech sound monitors. We use this in addition to our video monitor at home and it works perfectly!
- Sound Machine – If you want to really utilize your space, you can just bring a bluetooth speaker and play white noise or soft music through your phone or bring an ipod. Otherwise just pack the sound machine so you can drown out the other unfamiliar noises.
- Wash Cloths
- Hooded Towels
- Lil’scrubbies – If you’ve read my review on these earlier (read it HERE), you know how much I love these! It’s especially great for vacations because the baby ends up with sand or dirt in their hair from all the adventuring. This did a great job of getting him squeaky clean.
- Inflatable Tub – We purchased this inflatable tub on Amazon just 3 days before the trip. I realized I did not have room to bring his plastic tub, and I didn’t want to be stuck showering with the baby every time. It was nice to have an actual bathtub so my inlaws could help out and bathe him when needed.
- Baby toothbrush
- Baby food – I brought dry oatmeal so I didn’t have to worry about storage.
- Squeeze Pouch
- Munchkin Mesh Feeder – My review HERE. These are amazing while travelling because you can put just about anything in them to entertain your child. My favorite is blueberries! You don’t have to worry about choking and they LOVE the flavor!
- Car adaptor
- Freemie cups – These make up for the flanges, cover, bottles, and membranes that you would otherwise need. I wrote a whole review on them HERE so you can see exactly why I’m obsessed.
- Regular flanges
- 4 oz bottles
- 8 oz bottles – For storing all the pumped milk
- Cooler – to keep milk and pump parts cool during your travels.
- Bottle Brush
- Dish Soap
- Drying Rack – I learned the hard way that bottles do NOT like to stand up-side-down very well and it’s almost impossible for them to dry without one. I have this very inexpensive one by Munchkin that folds down flat, but any low profile one would work!
- Haakaa – If you know me, you know that I would never go anywhere without my Haakaa. It’s the perfect travel pump because it doesn’t need electricity and it fits in your purse! If you want to read more, or would like a breakdown of the different models, check out my review HERE.
- Ziplock Bags – For storing pump parts inside your cooler.
- Masking Tape & Sharpie- Great for labeling bottles with when the milk was pumped!
- Medicine (Birth control, prenatals, etc.)
- Breast pads & Nipple Cream* (*if you are breastfeeding)
- Diaper Bag (Check out my Diaper Bag Packing List for all the necessities!)
- Swimsuits* – if you are going somewhere with a beach or pool check out my post on Baby Beach Necessities!
- Swim Diaper* – I love the iPlay swim diapers! Review HERE.
- Footie PJ’s
- Sleep Sack/Swaddle
- Hat (Beenie/Ball Cap/sun hat)
- Outfits – Pack in ziplock bags so you can just grab and go!
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- Bring duct tape for covering outlets, blocking the lock on door knobs, and even securing the toilet seat.
- Some hotels will offer rooms with a fridge for people with a medical need, and a breastfeeding or formula fed baby will often qualify.
- Try to reserve apartment or condo-style hotels. These typically have larger rooms, a kitchen and fridge for storing and preparing baby food or washing bottles, and even dishwasher or a laundry station!
- Bring an inflatable bathtub. It really makes all the difference being able to put baby in their own tub instead of having to shower with them or try to wash them in the sink.
- Utilize extra space (by this I mean closets and bathrooms). While we were on vacation, we set up my son’s pack-n-play in the closet for some privacy. We were able to turn on lights and get ready for bed without waking him up. We brought along our baby monitor and sound machine and just set those up in the closet with him and it was like he was at home. We made sure to crack the door for air flow and if you have older kids just scoot any potential hazards out of arm’s reach.
- Ask for a room away from the elevators and towards the end of the hall. This will reduce the noise of people walking by and talking in the hallways. Bonus: If you get a room at the very end of the hall, you will only have to share a wall with one other person.
- You can use the coffee maker for hot water to make oatmeal, prepare formula, or even heat up a bottle of breastmilk.
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be hard. I am a chronic overpacker, but I ended up using pretty much everything on my list. We had a huge suitcase for my husband and I, and then another huge suitcase for just baby items. I would rather be over prepared than find out we are missing something and have to purchase extras.
I would love to hear what your baby travel and hotel necessities are!
Follow me on Twitter @growingrfamily so you can join in on the conversation!
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