run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Sunday 21 June 2015

The Ultimate Baby Holiday Packing Check-list

We’re just back from our first holiday with our tiny man; a week in a sunny family flat on the south coast. Our destination was on the third floor, with no lift, and on previous trips we’d schlep what I thought was loads of belongings up and down the stairs – dozens of outfits, shoes, huge amounts of food, a heap of books, board games, laptops... 

Well, this time us two grown ups had two tiny rucksacks each. Two outfits, one pair of shoes, toothbrush - that was about it. Why? Because baby-phernalia took up every other pocket of space.

We crowd-sourced what to take first, and ended up with a check-list of baby holiday must-haves that we’ll be referring back to on any future breaks. So here it is – because if I leave it on my scrap of paper I’ll lose it, and here it will only go AWOL if Google decides to vaporise it, which is slightly less likely. And it might be useful for you.


Buggy. Ours takes up our entire boot. Whoops..
NB a lightweight buggy like a Maclaren is useful if your baby is big enough. Otherwise, if you’re flying you might want to buy (often available second-hand) a buggy bag to protect your pricey travel system from being hurled around at the airport.
A sling - super-useful for airports, travel, sleeping, etc.
A mosquito net and sunshade or rain cover for the buggy- depending on where you're going
Car seat if needed / not provided in hire car (if one is, check with the firm to ensure it’s the right one for your baby’s age.)


Three baby sleeping bags – so if two are heavily vommed on, there’s a spare. Go for 0.5 tog in hot countries but beware of air conditioning – you might need a thicker one
Baby monitor if you think you’ll need it
Travel cot - if one isn't available – or buy/borrow a portable one like this if not 
Travel blackout blind, and one for the buggy too so the baby sleeps better whilst you’re out in the evening
Plug in night-light if useful
Cot sheet if wanted


A blanket for legs-kicking-air time
Couple of toys/ books/cuddly toys
Swim float for babies if wanted
Bouncer - this is a big luxury and only if you're on a UK / driving break - but it can be really useful, especially at meal-times
Baby CD for hire car


14 outfits or babygrows (2 changes per day)
10 short-sleeved body-suit vests (useful for bedtime if warm) and 2 long-sleeved ones just-in-case
Sun hat(s)
Two cardigans/coat/all-in-one for cool evenings if you’re going somewhere hot; more if somewhere cold
10 muslins
Swim nappies if needed - two reusable or 10 disposable
Baby sunscreen
Sun hat
Baby sunglasses
Baby towel
UV protective all-in-one swimsuit(s)


One pack of nappies and buy the rest when you get there - or, if impossible, 60 nappies (allows for 8 changes a day plus a decent number of spares) 
3 packs of wipes
1 packs of nappy sack
Portable changing mat (or 5 disposables)

First aid kit

Baby Calpol
Baby Nurofen
Teething gel
Bug repellent for the room (not recommended to use direct on babies)
Antiseptic cream
Nappy barrier cream


If you’re breastfeeding: two nursing bras and enough breast pads, plus expressing equipment if using. (And if so, sterilising stuff as below). A scarf / nursing shawl.

For formula-fed babies: check if your hotel/Airbnb/rental/etc has a kettle (take a travel one if not) to boil up water - if you’re going abroad, health visitors recommend only using bottled mineral water to avoid bad tummies. Buy the one with the lowest mineral content and salt (Na on the label) content.
For sterilising - you can use a big Tupperware box with a lid (or buy steriliser liners) and cold water sterilising tablets rather than packing a steriliser. Or opt for pricier pre-sterilised bottles. Easier still but also expensive (and hefty) is buying enough ready-made cartons of formula. For all of these options, quantities will depend on how much your baby takes – but as a guide, two containers of powder will usually be plenty for a week’s break. Or find out if your favoured brand is available near where you’re staying.
Bottle brush
At least five bottles and teats
Bottle warmer if used

For weaning babies, also take enough follow-on formula or formula, pre-packed food like Ella’s Kitchen pouches if not available at your destination, and baby porridge.
Travel steamer and blender, if making your own food
A portable highchair – this one that clips to chairs is great - 
A couple of spoons, beaker and bowl

In your hand luggage

(As well as that book for you that you probably won't have time to open..)
Enough pre-made or cartons of formula and sterile bottles for the journey plus any delays (You can take liquid containers larger than 100ml through security at airports if they contain baby food or baby milk)
Baby food and snacks if weaning
Changing mat (same one as above) with enough nappies, wipes, bags and cream for your journey
A change of baby clothes
Calpol (especially in case of ear pain – dummies can also be useful)
Teething gel
Toy(s) – depending on age and length of journey
Baby blanket
Two muslins

and off you go....


1 comment

  1. If you are holidaying with your small new-born baby in your hand, it could be really daunting. Believe me the holiday package will simply turn into wastage. I am saying this because I’ve experienced it. I was nearly in a horrible stage when I left my small baby in a restaurant unintentionally. Then I searched for her almost everywhere, But finally I remembered and a lady has kept her safely. I took a long breathe and thanked God. So never forget to take the minimum baby requirement while traveling some unknown places.
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