Lucia is only 5 months old but we have traveled quite a bit! We’ve traveled to Maryland to visit my in-laws several times and we’ve also traveled #DTS (down the shore aka to the beach) quite a bit to my family’s beach house! That being said, I have a few tricks up my sleeve for traveling with her that I want to share with you that will hopefully make your first or continued travels with a baby a little easier.
Also I should note that all of our travels so far have involved staying at someone else’s home so some of these tips are helpful when you are trying your darndest to not impose your baby life all.over.someone’s.house. I do my best to keep our baby belongings together and minimized so we are not vomiting baby supplies all over every room of their home.
Anyway, one of the overall tips I can share is to have duplicates or travel versions of as much as possible, especially if you take long weekends as often as we do. Because if you’re like me, you’ve set up your baby’s room for ultimate function – everything has a place and for anything that needs to be plugged in, the cords and wires are tucked away out of sight and out of the way, etc. There is nothing I hate more than undoing the way a room is set up because I need to take half of it with me. It also eases the coming home process. If your baby’s room is untouched, no matter what time of day you get home, his or her routine can go as it normally would.
So, here are a few items I have travel dups of:
- Baby Monitor: I have the full video and sound monitor perfectly set up and positioned at home so when we’re on the go, I have a durable sound-only monitor. While it can be annoying to not have the video, the sound only version does the job. I also find that when we’re traveling I’m closer to her when she’s napping and usually sleeping in the same bedroom as she is when we go to sleep for the night so I am not as inconvenienced by not having the screen.
- Bathtub: I have an inflatable tub that fits easily in my bag and is quickly blown up and deflated.
- Bottle Warmer & Sterilizer: At home I have a large sterilizer that I can sterilize all of her bottles at once; I also have a separate warmer. However these items are large and difficult to pack. To consolidate, this sterilizer and warmer are combined but only fit two bottles at a time. It makes for a little bit more work when we’re away but I’d much rather efficiently pack and lug less stuff around!
- Drying Rack, Bottle Soap, and Bottle Brush: I have a travel-size drying rack because it’s easier than stacking paper towels or borrowing a towel when drying bottles. I also bring a travel size bottle of Babyganics bottle soap and bottle brush. I can be flexible about some things but when it comes to the cleanliness of her bottles, I am a bit regimented. I make sure to use a brush I’ve only ever used for her bottles and soap that is specifically meant for babies. I know she would survive a few days with regular soap but why bother when Babyganics makes travel size!
- Sassy Diaper Sacks & Large Garbage Bags: When we’re away I set up a place where I change all of her diapers, usually in whatever room we are staying in. I bring a large garbage bag with me so that for the duration of the weekend I can dispose of the diapers in the large garbage bag without stinking up the homeowners trash bins. The Sassy Diaper Sacks are baby powder scented bags with ties that mask the smell of #2! This way when the diapers are in the garbage bag they don’t stink up the room. Or if you do dispose of the diapers in someone’s trash, you aren’t staaaanking up their kitchen, bathroom, etc. I even use these at home for the doooodie diapers before I throw them in the diaper pail.
- Sound machine: Lucia sleeps with a white noise machine every night and rather than pull ours out from home, which is perfectly placed and cords tied, etc I have another one that comes with us. It also means when we get home she can go to sleep without a hitch since her room was left untouched.
- Pack N Play: We have several Pack N Plays; one we keep at my in-law’s house, one at the beach house, and another that for right now just stays in my car. They pack so quickly and easily and tuck nicely into any room. Lucia sleeps just as easily in the Pack N Play as she does her crib! If you travel to a place often enough, for example an in-law’s house, keep one there! It makes set up and travel much easier!
And finally I have a few preparation type recommendations to make:
- Have a list! Mom brain is real and you are likely to forget one of the 8 million things you need to bring with you when going out of town without one!
- Keep anything travel related together and in one spot. Just about everything I’ve listed above is kept together in a bag in Lucia’s closet so when it’s time to pack, I know that everything is right where I need it. I don’t worry that I’ve forgotten something and I’m not scrambling around collecting items we’ll need from every room in the house.
- I use boiled water for Lucia’s bottles. When we’re about to travel, I pack enough bottles to get through the day in a cooler with the ready-made boiled water. This is helpful because I would hate to walk through the door and feel like I need to immediately use someone’s kitchen to boil water for her. She’s also usually ready to eat again the second we get anywhere so to have it ready is quick and easy.
- Lucia sleeps in, usually until 10am or so. She also sleeps anytime she is in the car. That being said, we’ve found it easiest to leave very early in the morning when she would otherwise still be sleeping so her long sleep in the car doesn’t throw off her schedule. It’s not a perfect science but it’s worked pretty well!
- I bring a cloth sack for dirty clothes, hers and ours. Babies can sometimes create dirty laundry every hour so having the separate bag for dirties makes it easy to keep track of what’s clean and what isn’t. But more importantly it makes laundry SO EASY when we get home. I just dump the contents of the bag right into the washer when we get home.
I hope you find some of these tips and products helpful! The bottom line for me with traveling with a baby is preparation, timing, and duplicates! What are some of your best baby travel tips?!