I thought I’d start off with a packing list of what to bring. Our first trip we went a bit overboard, but I think most new parents do with their first trip abroad with a little baby.
We also packed rather hastily as we were on our way to see my grandmother and her health took a turn for the worse so we moved our trip up a few days. Since that first trip where Little Man was just 5 weeks, we have streamlined our packing so we can fit everything into one suitcase and one stroller bag.
Clothes – Plan for around one and a half the times of days. If you’re going for a week, pack around 10-12 outfits for your little one. We found it very helpful to do a load of wash during the trip so you don’t have to pack as much for you or your little one.
PJs – I expect Little Man to pee/poo through a couple of them, so one set for every few days
Socks – as many as you use
Sleep suit – this is a sleeveless sleeping bag that lots of companies make now. A great alternative to blankets for Little Man at night. We use a great one from Marino Kids that seems to work for all temperatures. Hotels tend to be too cold…
Jacket/sweater – helpful for chilly nights or air conditioning. We usually bring a jacket and one thick sweater and then a lighter one too
Toys – we have brought our play mat with us with the little bar and a couple of the dangling toys. Also a handful of other little toys of a variety of shapes, textures and noises you can bring out and switch up every day or so. We have been bringing around five or six little toys and the mat and haven’t gotten bored yet. It helps if some of the toys can double up and dangle on the stroller and car seat
Diapers (nappies) and other changing needs – plan for at least the first few days. Most countries will have Pampers and Huggies in pharmacies so you can stock up when you’re there. If you don’t want to use Pampers or Huggies, plan for the typical number of nappies you typically use plus a handful for those extra dirty days. We’ve done a combination of both. In Istanbul and Moscow, we brought all we needed for the trip, everywhere else, we bought extras there.
Books – we bring one or two mettle board books to read and play with
Stroller – everyone has their own preference. We haven’t gone the route of a lightweight umbrella stroller (yet) and are collapsing our day-to-day one in its travel bag and checking it in. The travel bag is big, but it works for us. We can fit a lot of Little Man’s things in the bag and most major airlines allow a stroller to be checked without counting it towards baggage allowance. We use a carrier (currently Beco Gemini) to get from checking in to the gate and then on the other side through to when we get to the hotel. That allows us with two sets of hands on both ends of flying instead of wrestling with a stroller too. We have been known to open up the stroller once we pick it up and use it as a luggage cart to make things a bit easier too.
For the plane…
Dress little one in something warm. Footed PJs, long onesie and socks, track suit, etc.
Bring a muslin (to cover up baby, yourself, extra hand towel, mop up drips…) and if you like a heavier blanket (receiving blanket weight probably) although the plane blankets work too.
Two or three toys – these would be a part of the total number of toys you’re bringing on the trip
Baby wipes – need I explain why?
U-shaped neck pillow – I’ve used it as an arm rest for feeding and also extra cushioning for Little Man during the flight
Hat – just in case…
Feeding – I breastfeed, so I don’t have to worry about any bottles or formulas. Friends who bottle feed have found a few things help.
Some companies make already sterilised bottles you can bring along to use.
Some airports allow you to order the ready-made containers of formula and you can pick them up on the other side of security so you don’t have to deal with opening up the containers and drinking them for security
Use powdered formula so you can then mix up what you need on the other side with bottled water
Solid food – we haven’t gotten there yet…stay tuned
We also were given a flight log book for Little Man on our first flight. Some airlines have one to give to young travellers that the captain or first officer then will fill out each flight. You can probably make your own too…but we’ve kept up with Little Man’s one from British Airways and we keep it tucked in his passport so we don’t forget it.