Traveling with a Baby: Tips and Must-Have Gear

Traveling with a Baby: Tips and Must-Have Gear

We finally had our first flying experience with Elena recently, and we were definitely feeling nervous counting down to the day we were flying. Traveling with a baby can be a daunting prospect, but it doesn’t mean it has to be a stressful experience with the right preparation and the essential gear. At the end of day, you want to make your journey enjoyable for both you and your little one to the best of your ability. In this guide, we'll explore some invaluable tips and must-have gear for traveling with a baby from our recent experience. 

  1. Plan Ahead:

Before embarking on your journey, thorough planning is key. Consider your baby's age, schedule, and needs. Choose travel times that align with their nap times or bedtime. Research your destination, including nearby medical facilities and baby-friendly amenities such as nursing station, changing station, which hotel would provide complementary pack and play, a fridge to store baby’s milk? So so so many accommodations are needed just for a tiny human. 

  1. Packing Essentials: (link to our own packing checklist for detailed items)

Prior to having Elena, we would have two suitcases, a backpack, and we were good to go. We prioritized efficiency and never checked in bags at the airports to avoid the long waiting time.. However, traveling with Elena included our usual suitcases, in addition to a diaper bag, a stroller, a carseat, and a duffle bag for Elena’s essentials, last but not least, my pumping bag which included milk and her snacks. Just imagine two adults, a baby, dragging all those items around the airport.

Therefore, prioritizing essentials is vital when it comes to packing. Below are the categories you should consider when you are packing: 

- Feeding Supplies/Pumping Supplies: TSA allows breastmilk and water for formula if you are traveling with an infant/toddler, refer to TSA’s website for details.

- Travel System: Choose one that suits your travel style, and don’t forget to get carseat/stroller bags to protect your gears when checking in the items at the airport. 

- Sleep Products: We have recently got the Guava Family Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib. We have to admit, it’s definitely an investment piece, but we absolutely loved it and Elena slept through the night like she does at home.

- Clothing: Extra outfits and layers to accommodate changing weather. Always pack extra to anticipate any blowouts, or dirty clothes situations that may happen.

- Diapers and Diapering Supplies: Pack more than you think you'll need in your diaper bag. If you are traveling for more than a few days, just pack a day worth of

diapers and purchase the rest at your destination. 

- Toys and Entertainment: Purchase a few new toys, which JianiBaby carries a great variety of options for you to choose from. These are our favorites for the trip, Dino Crinkle Toy and Unicorn Rattle Toy. The toys kept Elena busy and we were able to have our water breaks. 


Don’t introduce these new toys to your little one until the day you are traveling. The new toy might not keep them occupied the entire time, but it will be a helpful distraction when you need it. 

-Birth Certificate:Have a photocopy of your little one’s birth certificate on hand, we had a photo of it on our phone and that’s all the TSA needed when we went through TSA Pre.


  1. Snack and Feeding Strategy:


If your baby is on formula or baby food, prepare for feeding during the journey. Have pre-measured formula in a dispenser or ready-to-feed bottles. For baby food, opt for squeeze pouches for convenience. Ensure you have a spill-proof snack cup and a bib on hand. The short sleeve bib is our favorite and we brought it everywhere with us. 


Our favorite on the go pouches are from Once Upon a Farm, which you could also pick it up at any Target. We also carried our 40oz Stanley Cup around when we were on the go. We asked for hot water at coffee shops or restaurants and used it to warm Elena's milk. It all worked out perfectly for us. 


  1. Timing Is Everything:


Coordinate your travel times with your baby's schedule. Traveling during nap times can help your little one sleep through a significant portion of the journey. For us, we picked the early afternoon flight, which is right after Elena wakes up from her first nap, because she doesn’t enjoy sleeping in her carseat at all. Trust your instinct, and choose what works best for your little one!


  1. On-the-Go Diaper Changes:


Changing diapers while traveling can be challenging. Look for family restrooms, use changing tables when available, and always carry a portable changing pad and extra diapers in your diaper bag.


Surprisingly, airports and shopping malls have a lot of family style restrooms available. We were able to go in as a family and change Elena’s diaper together at different locations.  


  1. Safety First:


Invest in a reliable car seat that meets safety standards. Make sure the car seat you have can fly and meets the plane safety guidelines. If traveling by air, check your airline's policies on car seats and strollers. Most airlines allows you to check them in for free. We highly suggest purchasing a stroller bag and a carseat bag when flying to protect your gears. Additionally, always ask the front desk to see if the flight is a full flight or not. They will allow you to bring your car seat on to the flight if there are empty seats, which could be a great help if your little one can get his/her own seat. 


  1. Prepare for the Unexpected:


It's wise to be ready for any unforeseen situations. Pack a spare set of clothes for yourself in case of spills or diaper mishaps. Have a designated 'baby essentials' bag within easy reach. 


We bring dog poop bags to hold any stinky diapers and extra reusable/zip lock bags to hold dirty clothes. 


  1. Stay Organized:


Consider using packing cubes or compartments in your traveling bags to keep items organized and easily accessible. This minimizes the stress of rummaging through your bag during travel.


  1. Baby Comfort:


Bring items that provide comfort to your baby, such as their favorite blanket or stuffed animal. Familiar items can help soothe them during the journey.


  1. Relax and Enjoy:


Remember, babies are incredibly adaptable. Your calm and relaxed demeanor will make the journey more enjoyable for both you and your baby. Take a deep breath, and savor the moments with your little one as you embark on your travel adventure. Take lots of photos and videos to capture the moments!


Traveling with a baby can be a rewarding experience. With careful planning and the right gear, you can create lasting memories and introduce your baby to the joys of exploration from an early age. Whether it's a road trip, a flight, or a train journey, the right preparation ensures that your travels are a time of bonding, adventure, and new discoveries.

With love,

The Jiani Baby Team

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