Yes, we haven’t posted here in a while and the reason is because we’ve been overseas traveling for most of the past month. Not to mention we got sick (yes, all three of us!) along the way and are still recovering from it.
Out of the four suitcases that we packed along with us, the baby’s stuff took up the greater part of three of them, so what are some things that we were immensely glad we’d brought and what did we wish we could have squeezed in? (Naturally, there are the typical things like clothes, bibs, diapers, wipes, etc. that are obvious, so we’re focusing on stuff that may not typically be considered essential.)
Things We’re Glad We Had
- Travel crib – This is the one we have, and we had her practice sleeping in it a week before our trip so she had a familiar place to sleep while we were away. It’s nice because it’s easy to fold down and fits in our checked luggage.
- Baby carrier – This was a lifesaver on the airplane. It allowed mom and baby to both sleep on those long flights. It also enabled the parent to have two hands free to grab stuff while going through the airport. We found that it was often way more convenient to use while out and about than a stroller.
- Booster seat – Most places we went had highchairs, but often because of her personal schedule she had to eat in our room. It also doubled as a place to keep her stationary that was easier to move about than the crib. We got this sturdy one on sale for $10, which fits in a carry-on suitcase.
- Video monitor – Being in a new environment, it was nice to be able to keep an eye on the baby in her crib while still being in a different room. Here’s the one we used.
- Moisture Barrier/Diaper rash cream – On those long hauls where diaper changes aren’t as frequent, lathering on simple Vaseline helped prevent rash from developing. We used diaper rash cream once a rash started developing. (Our airline also provided some in their baby pack.)
- Diaper cover – We slap one on over the disposable diaper when on the long plane/car rides to keep things from leaking. We’ve found that even name brand diapers develop a dampness on the outside even when they’re not full. The diaper cover keeps her clothes nice and dry.
- Straws – Since we didn’t always have a sippy cup handy, straws were handy to let the baby drink from regular cups or water bottles. (Note: be careful with water in the sippy cup in the plane, we found that the air pressure changes forced the water up the straw and multiple times we had to mop up wet diaper bags.)
- Extra clothes in carry-on luggage – As a great beginning to our epic trip, Baby randomly vomited all over herself just as we pulled up to the international terminal at the airport. Then she did it again just as the plane took off for our 14-hour transpacific flight. Yes, bring extra clothes.
- Nonskid silicone mat – For those foreign showers and bathtubs we brought a nonskid silicone mat for the baby to stand/sit on for her baths. Helped keep things more hygienic and also less slippery.
Things We Wished We Had
- Baby thermometer – So about halfway into our trip, the baby woke up screaming in the middle of the night. (We had just gotten over jetlag too!) She was burning up with a fever, but we didn’t have any idea how high it was. We definitely wished that we had our thermometer with us. Fortunately, there were some doctor friends attending the same conference where we were who were able to loan us a thermometer.
- Baby Tylenol – Those same doctor friends were also well-prepared with some medication to bring down the fever until we could run to a pharmacy nearby to get our own. But had we been in a different place that wasn’t so convenient, we would surely have wished that we brought some baby Tylenol along.
- Snotsucker – The baby developed a bad case of runny nose and nasal congestion. Not only was snot getting everywhere, it was hard for her to sleep because breathing was so difficult. Wish we had our NoseFrida! Fortunately, we were able to get a nasal bulb syringe from the local pharmacy.
- Extra clothes for ourselves in carry-on luggage – Remember how the baby vomited right as we were leaving? Well, besides catching cupfuls of it in her hands, that vomit got all over mom’s clothes too. Bring extra clothes for the parents.
So there are some of the things that we learned from our first experience traveling overseas with our 1-year-old baby. I’m sure if space wasn’t an issue, we’d just bring everything!
So all you experienced parents out there, please share with us, what else should be added to this list of things to bring when traveling with a baby?