Must Haves for Travelling With An Infant

As we were preparing to leave the country to meet our infant son, I wrote about what we were packing. And I received a lot of helpful suggestions and comments.

Now that we are going to be travelling again, I think it’s time to write about what we actually used and needed.

20160120 - Time To Get Packing_1Nearly all the clothing we packed for our little man were too big. Although he was born at full term he was a small little guy and required all preemie and new born outfits.

Our planned cute little shoe/feet picture never happened so the little shoes were pointless.

It also turns out I cannot wrap a swaddle for the life of me, so the swaddle blankets were pointless.

Oh, and the halo blankets we brought from home, in a Canadian winter were WAY to warm for the climate where he was born.

So ya, we pretty much brought an entire suitcase of things that we didn’t touch. (But we did get to drive that suitcase over 1000 miles around the USA and fly throughout the continent with it. Fun times).

I mistakenly assumed we’d do all our shopping online from, but it turns out we never knew how long we’d be in any particular hotel/city so we couldn’t have anything shipped to us. So, we became Walmart shoppers as there always seemed to be a Walmart within 2 minutes of each hotel.

So for anyone else out there who may spend the first few weeks of their child’s life in hotels and travelling, here’s what we really needed.  Almost almost all of which we bought while in the USA:

  • Car seat that is approved for the country you will be in. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Stroller
  • Baby carrier for airplanes. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Multiple bottles with multiple nipples to try until we found the right one. But not a lot of any specific brand in-case baby didn’t like the brand. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Microwave sterilizing bags (we use Medela bags).  These were a basic necessity as most of the time we did not have a kitchen so we did not have the ability to boil anything. (We still actually carry one of these in our diaper bag in-case we are out and about and need to clean something). AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Small drying rack for bottle stuff.
  • Bottle scrub brush and dish soap. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Less baby clothing, but more onesies of varying sizes. Our son still basically lives in onesies and halo swaddles. So, cute pants, shoes, shirts, etc. were all pointless and just took up space. Remember you may not have convenient laundry, so the more basics you can have the less frequently you will need to do laundry.
  • A few Halo swaddle blankets – these have been an essential part of our lives as I cannot wrap a baby the traditional way if my life depended on it. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Bibs. And don’t buy cheap ones, they are pointless. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Burp cloths.
  • Baby blankets, they just come in handy all the time.
  • Diapers, formula, wipes. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Baby laundry detergent. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Some sort of dirty clothing bag that is convenient for travel. Babies are messy and hotel laundry is never conveniently located. Make sure you have something to transport laundry from hotel room to hotel laundry room / nearby laundromat – we used Walmart shopping bags and the entire time I wished I had something just a little bit better.
  • Travel bassinet. Buy one before you leave or do your research and find the one you want in a store near where you will be. The first one we bought we didn’t even use for an entire night before we decided it wasn’t safe due to the angle of Baby MPB’s neck. So, that one went to goodwill and bought a new one on day 2. We liked it so much we brought it home with us and gave it to another family who will be adopting an infant internationally. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • Bring an extra compact bag so when you buy more stuff you have a bag to bring it home in. (We had to buy one, but we have many at home that I wish we thought about this ahead of time).
  • Diaper bag and change mat. Travelling with an infant means you get good at changing diapers in the car (while parked), restaurants and the airport. AN ABSOLUTE MUST HAVE
  • A few things to feel “normal” – baby books, cute age blocks, a special first outfit to leave the hospital in, etc. These were all very important to me and I’m really glad I brought them. Nothing about having a newborn in a different country and in a hotel is “normal” so I’m glad we did a few extra special things.

Really the biggest thing I regret not packing was actually for me. I did not bring my gym clothing – no sports bra, no running shoes, no shorts and no water bottle. This was a massive mistake. When I get stressed, physical activity always helps my mental health. And international adoption is unbelievably stressful. And since we were in hotels with not much to do but watch a sleeping baby, there was a lot of down time that I could have easily spent in the gym while Mr. MPB watched baby (and vice versa).  And, I suspect this would have been really good for my mental health during the chaos.

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20 Comments on “Must Haves for Travelling With An Infant

  1. This post will be so super helpful for others adopting internationally (or even non internationally, if they are going to a different part of the country). I’m so glad you shared it. I was like you, too–the only thing Lettie wore for months were onesies. When it got colder, I put baby leg warmers over her legs. Pants were a total pain in the butt. That said, I just bought a pair of newborn pants the other day…apparently I am a glutton for punishment? I don’t know what I was thinking. I also like the swaddle blankets for when she was really little and couldn’t bust out of them. But other than than, I’m in complete agreement on all of this. That’s such a bummer that you forgot your gym stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should try the leg warmer idea!! This weekend we tried real pants, but he’s so tiny and wiggly that they just fell off him and after about an hour we completely gave up. Until the next day, when I tried another pair of pants. They didn’t even last an hour. So, we are back to onesies full time now. 🙂
      And yes, I do hope this post helps others on their similar adventure. There was no road-map for us to follow, so I figure if someone stumbles up on this it should be helpful because it would have been helpful for us.


  2. Ah, yes… the first reality of parenting: you never have what need when you need it. It’s sorta fun to look back on those crazy days traveling with a new born and think about all the things we did/didn’t need. (Because I too traveled with a peanut because of unexpected mold growing in our kitchen.)

    It’s all improvisation, as far as I’m concerned!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ha, we used the older model of that travel bassinet at home! bought it after a desperate night where C didn’t stop crying until we placed her in a laundry basket between us 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good tips!! Last night we were talking, and B was suggesting that next year at this time we should try to take a trip. While I tried to tell him he was insane…I suppose it could happen. Nice to know there are things you think you might need, that you really won’t even touch!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is definitely a good post for someone adopting even domestically and needing flights. It’s crazy how much you actually need tho. I think you actually needed more then I did flying with the twins at 4 months. Enjoy your next travel adventures 😊 And Happy Easter 🐰

    Liked by 1 person

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