What to Pack a Baby for a Vacation


We took our first family trip via plane last week to San Diego. Taking an almost four-month-old across the country was definitely scary, but we made it — and had a great time! To keep these posts manageable, I will split the trip into three parts. The first of which is packing. Here are some tips for what to pack a baby for a vacation.

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Taking Aiden and all of his stuff anywhere is usually a daunting task, add in several days far away from home, and the thought of packing for this trip seemed pretty overwhelming. In the end, I was happy to be leaving the house with two duffle bags, baby bag, large purse and car seat/stroller system.

For a five day/four night trip here is what to pack a baby for a vacation:

Carry on

Chicco Car seat/Stroller Travel System — I was worried that it would be cumbersome to bring the stroller and car seat. However, we absolutely needed a car seat to get anywhere and we planned on going to the zoo so the stroller made sense. It ended up being a good move. I did not bring the infant car seat base (this was actually a happy accident). We didn’t need it! The car seat is SUPER easy (and safe) to strap in without the base.

I brought Aiden through security in the stroller and gate checked.

Diaper Bag — I love this Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag. It is super roomy with enough pockets for organization, plus it has back pack straps. I made sure to bring extra swaddle blankets, diapers, a change of clothes, a bottle and two bags of pumped milk in case I couldn’t nurse him on the flight, Nuroo scarf in case I could nurse him on the flight, manual pump, and some toys to keep Aiden occupied during the 5.5 hour flight.

Aiden’s Duffle Bag

Ergobaby Carrier — We use the carrier a ton so we brought it with us. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in the Gaslamp District where everything was walkable, so if we didn’t plan on taking an Uber we strapped him in and walked. I wrote about our carrier here.

DockATot — I did not want to bring a huge heavy crib or pack and play, plus Aiden sleeps in the Dock in his crib so I thought it would remind him of home. The Dock does not get smaller so it has to be checked in a duffle bag, but it is totally worth it. The Dock can be placed on a bed, couch, floor, crib provided by hotel etc. I wrote about the Dock in a previous post here.

DOHM Sound machine — We recently started a bed time routine with Aiden and I wanted to simulate that as best as possible while we were away, especially with a three hour time difference. We run the sound machine in Aiden’s room every night and it is small so we brought it. He did not have a lot of trouble sleeping so I am going to go with it helped.

Bath Supplies — I brought his Burts Bees wash, two face cloths and Burts Bees lotion we use at home so I could give him a bath in the sink at the hotel.

Travel dish soap to wash the bottle and a sample package of baby laundry detergent in case I needed to wash clothes (the dish soap could have also helped serve this purpose).

Diapers and wipes — I packed a 40 pack of diapers and a package of Target wipes. This was plenty for the full time we were there. (Side note: you can often find slightly damaged boxes of diapers –and other baby products –at Target that are offered at a discount.)

Clothes — I packed one outfit per day, one additional onesie per day, one set of pajamas per night and a couple of extra leggings just in case. I also packed a sun hat and bathing suit for the beach.

There wasn’t really anything I didn’t use or wish I had. What are your tips for what to pack a baby for a vacation? Do you bring anything else?

If you liked this post, check out Baby on Vacation — Managing a Time Change and Baby on Vacation — Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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We took our first family trip across the country by plane to San Diego. Here are some tips for packing a baby for vacation.

Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to an energetic preschooler and newborn, a wife to my amazing husband Dan, and I work full-time as a meeting planner. I started this blog because, after having my first little guy, I quickly learned that exhaustion and baby brain causes you to forget some of the amazing (sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful) details related to the first several months of raising a baby. Realizing that we would probably have more kids in the future, I wanted to document everything, so we would remember what worked the first time around, and hopefully help other first time mamas along the way!

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