We are about to embark on a one month adventure in Central Europe and I’ve been scouring the internet for advice on how to travel with an infant (we have a 7 month old). The more I work on creating a packing list, the more I realize the space my husband and I will be taking in our suitcase is a fraction of what my son’s stuff will take up. So, that’s why I’ve created a list of what to pack for international travel with a baby. My hope is to save you time when you embark on your own overseas adventure with baby in tow!
There is no getting around it, babies come with a lot of STUFF. My husband and I are minimalist travelers and always try to get by with just a carry on. We’ve become experts at traveling as a duo. However, this trip is going to throw us a curve ball as we’ve added a member to our family.
Our son will be going on his first of many overseas adventures at the age of 7 months. He’s already done a domestic flight and passed with flying colors (forgive the pun). However, a 10+ hour travel day to Prague is going to really prove if my husband and I are up for this traveling with baby thing. I plan on documenting our experience with the little man in each city. This will enable you to learn from our mistakes and (hopefully) triumphs as traveling parents.
First things first though, for any international journey you need a solid packing list, not least for traveling with a baby. I have done a lot of research online and these are the items I purchased in preparation for this trip. We’ve done test runs with everything listed below and found each item to be both durable and reliable. All items also are lightweight and compact to allow for smarter packing.
A Beginner’s Guide on What to Pack for International Travel with a Baby
- Inflatable Bath Tub
We are staying in AirBNB’s for the majority of our trip and most only have showers. As you parents know, showering a baby is not fun: enter the inflatable bath tub! This bath tub packs flat and light, but allows safe and easy bath times for the entire trip no matter your accommodations.
- Umbrella Stroller
I searched high and low for an ultra light, yet non flimsy umbrella stroller and this one does the job. It is by far the cheapest travel stroller with good reviews that I’ve found. This is due to it’s lightweight and how easily it folds. I have tested this stroller on cobblestones, sidewalks decimated by tree roots and grass. It has performed admirably on all terrains. I love that you can adjust the stroller to lean back so your baby can comfortably nap on the go. Only two complaints: The sun visor is not large enough. Remedy this by attaching a swaddle with binder clips to the front of the visor. Secondly the stroller vibrates a lot due to lack of shocks, but we expected this with an umbrella stroller. Overall, we are pleased with this purchase and the price!
Money saving tip: Check the prices on Amazon for all the colors. Some colors are significantly cheaper than others.
- Gate Check Bag
We made the mistake of not getting one of these for our last flight and ended up with a sopping wet, dinged up stroller. These bags may seem unnecessary, but you will be glad you got one. They also have a space to write your name in sharpie so you don’t get yours confused with all the other strollers.
- Battery Operated Clip-on Fan
This clip-on fan is great for summer travel. We use it all the time to keep our little man cool and it really does prevent him from getting super sweaty in his stroller. Europe in summer is hot, so this is a must have for sightseeing
- Baby Carrier
You cannot go to Europe without some form of a baby carrier. When navigating public transportation, crowded tourist areas, and cobblestone streets, baby carrying is undeniably the way to go. This carrier has served us well from newborn to present. It’s easy to adjust and put on by yourself. In addition, there is a newborn insert, stirrups for older children and multiple ways to adjust as your child grows. It can also be worn on the front or the back and is cheaper than a lot of other well known brands.
My husband and I didn’t get the whole lovey thing until friends of ours bought an Angel Dear Blankie for our son and he immediately attached to it. We use it now to distract him from diaper changes, soothe himself to sleep for naps and play with when he’s bored. We take this on all trips as something familiar and consoling when the environment is new and scary for him. Without a doubt these things really do work to calm a cranky baby in ever changing travel environments.
While this may seem like an odd thing to buy, links are great for attaching toys to airplane seats, the stroller, carrier, etc. So no matter how many times your baby drops their toys, they’ll never end up on the dirty floor or lost.
- Painter’s Tape
- Manual Breast Pump
If you breastfeed, this item is a must for longer trips. I have no desire to lug around my electric pump and this provides a lightweight and cord free alternative. We’ll be in Europe for a month and I want to have the option of my husband feeding the baby sometimes or just be able to feed him a bottle when we’re out and about. Moreover, I’m not sure yet how these countries feel about breastfeeding in public, so this gives me peace of mind if I can’t find somewhere private to feed the little guy.
- Travel Clothesline
Undeniably babies produce A LOT of laundry. That said, if you’re traveling for anymore than a week at a time, I would recommend first off booking hotels or AirBNBs with washing machines and secondly, bringing along this travel clothesline . If you’ve ever tried to get something dry in those European combo washer/dryers, you’ll know why I’m recommending this. The dryers hold your laundry hostage for hours on end, yet when you finally are able to open the dryer, your clothes have somehow remained sopping wet. Enter the travel clothesline that you can hang anywhere (including those beautiful little European patios that so many AirBNBs include). Your baby’s clothing will dry in a matter of hours and you’re not stuck carrying around vomit or poo soaked onesies for weeks. You’re welcome.
- Pack-N-Play Crib sheets and waterproof mattress pad
Do yourself a favor and book only hotels and AirBNBs that include Pack-n-Plays so you don’t have to bring one with you. Instead bring this and this to give yourself peace of mind that your baby is sleeping on a clean surface and protect the mattress from pee or drool stains.
In conclusion for your reference, my full packing list for our baby:
Pack-n-play crib sheets and mattress pad
Bibs (waterproof ones too)
White noise machine
Bottles and accessories
Bottle sanitizer bag
Baby monitor & camera
Whew, that’s a lot! Fingers crossed it all fits and please comment below with your experience traveling with your infant. What did you wish you packed? What do you wish you left at home?
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