By: Stephanie Duhon

The countdown to summer is on and that means vacation time for many families. If you have a young child, it might seem overwhelming to think about traveling, but don’t worry! We’ve put together a checklist and some tips to make your travel experience fun and memorable.

Checklist for Babies 0-12 months

GENERAL

*Diapers (one for each hour you’ll be traveling, plus some extras)

*Changing pad

*Wipes

*Toiletries (baby wash, baby shampoo, baby lotion, diaper rash cream)

*Plastic bags (to store dirty diapers or clothes)

*Ziploc bags (to store toiletries and other items)

*Blankets (can be used to cover, wrap or shade your baby as well as protect you from spit up)

*Extra pacifiers (if necessary)

*Some of your baby’s favorite toys

*Sling or front carrier (This makes it super easy to keep your baby close in a crowded place while also keeping your hands free. Not sure what kind to buy? The Motherhood Center has several options. Our baby planners can help you choose the best one for you and your baby.)

*Nightlight

*First Aid Kit (baby pain relief items, teething gel, thermometer, prescription medications, emergency contact list, etc.)

CLOTHING

*One to two outfits per day

*Hat and Sunscreen

FOOD

*Formula if bottle feeding (can use ready to feed or prepare bottles in advance and then keep cold in an ice chest – always bring more than you think you’ll need to allow for delays)

*If breastfeeding, you can store expressed breast milk for up to 24 hours in an ice chest (We carry breast milk storage bags in our retail store)

*If baby is eating solids, then be sure to pack enough food along with plastic feeding utensils

*Bibs/Burp cloths

*Bottles and nipples

ADDITIONAL ITEMS

* Portable baby bathtub (such as the Puj Tub)

*Portable crib or play yard

*Portable high chair (if necessary)

*Sippy cups (if necessary)

This checklist is just a guideline, please pack for your child according to his/her personal needs and your family’s needs.

Packing and Traveling Tips

*Prepare in Advance: Start getting everyone ready a few days early so that you have time to make a last minute trip to the store if necessary.

*All in One: Pack entire outfits into big Ziploc bags. This makes for super easy travel by eliminating the need to search for socks or matching items.

*Schedule Travel Time Wisely: Plan to drive when your baby usually takes a nap so it will have less of an interruption on his/her schedule.

*Take breaks: Look at your travel route and plan times to stop to allow your baby to have some time outside of the infant seat! Look for family friendly locations that will offer a clean place to change your baby. Drive while the baby is sleeping and then stop and take breaks when the baby is awake.

*Feed During Takeoff: If you are flying, have your baby either breastfeed or take a bottle during takeoff and landing. Many moms say this helps keep babies from suffering any ear pain due to changes in air pressure.

*Keep Baby Company: If you are traveling by car and have enough people, have someone sit in the back with the baby. This will help keep the baby entertained during the trip.

*Be Flexible: The extra stimulation of being in unfamiliar surroundings could be hard on your baby. Don’t over schedule and allow your baby time to unwind to avoid a meltdown.

*Childproof on the Go: Buy some masking tape or duct tape for quick child proofing … or bring some outlet covers and pipe cleaners to secure exposed cords or drapes.

*Consistency is Key: Bring some items with you that remind your baby of home, such as a favorite CD or book.

*Prioritize: If you will have access to wash clothing, then pack fewer outfits and wash. Think about what items you can do without and get creative.