Beach Vacation: Baby Packing List
When packing for our two week trip to Hawaii for Nora, I tried very hard not to bring the entire house. You’ll want to take the bouncer, the dock-a-tot, the entire dresser, etc. But as it turns out, babies don’t need a whole hell of a lot. At least when they’re 3 months old I packed her in the medium Away suitcase, and it ended up being the perfect fit.
Disclaimer: Traveling with a baby may look different depending on how old said baby is. But…not that different. A tiny human is a tiny human! I had to say it to curb the mom shamers out there. Stay seated, y’all.
Before we get into the packing list, here were my biggest takeaways:
- If your baby is on formula, bring LOTS more than you think you’ll need! I had to get my sister to ship us more to Hawai’i.
- If you’re staying somewhere with a washer/dryer, then cut the clothes, burp cloths, and swaddles in half!
- Know that you can buy things you need (looking at you, diapers) once you get to where you’re going. This will lighten your load significantly and allow more space for other items.
I packed in 3 piles: Basics, elevated style, sleepers. The amount of clothes you bring for baby will depend on how long you’re gone and if you have access to a washer/dryer. During our trip, we stayed at a hotel the first 4 nights and then made our way to an Airbnb. By that time, we were so thankful to wash spit-up clothes and blow-out onesies.
This was both fun to pack and easy to overdo. Let’s be real. What’s cuter than a baby in a sunhat and sunnies? Nothing. I may have overdone it on the shopping…but can you blame me?!
For two weeks at the beach, I brought 3 swimsuits for Nora. I was worried this wouldn’t be enough, but it was plenty! It’s not like she was frolicking in the pool or ocean all day every day – and these things dry The water was a bit cold, after all. This tie-dye number for only $18 was a show stopper.
We used this all throughout the island, and I love how it grips on to just about anything. It comes with three speeds and was so useful, especially while attached to her stroller for long, warm walks.
I bought this two days before we left because I felt like we needed some kind of shade option for Nora. It doesn’t take up much room which is why I bought it. We never ended up using it because we were either inside a cabana or under the big umbrella that our Airbnb supplied, but I’m glad we had it as a backup if necessary!
Sun hats – Is there anything cuter than a baby in a sunhat?! Short answer: no. We bought all of these but packed two
Sunscreen – Nora can’t wear sunscreen just yet, so we didn’t have to worry about SPF. We kept her in the shade or covered when out and about. However, I’ve heard great things about this brand for babes!
This baby travel set has all of our home favorites packed into a TSA friendly pouch. Baby shampoo/soap combo, lotion, hand and face wipes, and a desitin travel pack. Pro tip – you can refill and reuse the little bottles for the next trip!
We brought one light, cotton blanket and used it to death. I may or may not have accidentally taken the United Polaris blanket from the plane as a back up, and we were so glad it made its way into a carry-on as a second option (especially while at the top of Haleakala crater!)
Packing cube for the following:
This is imperative to have for bottle cleaning or even breastfeeding parts. I brought along this brand to wash bottles in the sink, but after it’s gone I’ll probably invest in a smaller container that’s more travel friendly.
So many of y’all suggested bringing these along for easy sterilization – thank you! They worked so well, and I love how you can reuse a bag 20x. Note that you must have access to a microwave which we did at almost every stop thankfully (but when we didn’t we just used the bottle soap :))
These safe wipes were so clutch to have while on planes! If we needed to reuse a nipple in a pinch or if a bottle accidentally touched a surface, I’d quickly wipe it down with one of these wipes and felt better about feeding Nora with cleaner supplies.
My good friends added these to my care package before Nora was born…and to be perfectly honest I was so confused. It wasn’t until I threw them in her diaper bag last minute before we left for the airport that I understood. Nora had a massive up-the-back blowout right before we boarded which of course led to an outfit change. I threw the stained onesie into a diaper bag and we were on our way!
Due to the scenario above, once we got to our hotel, I immediately soaked the onesie in the sink with a good squirt of this plant-based, nontoxic laundry detergent. Throughout all of my travels, I’ve learned to take some travel friendly sized detergent along for emergencies – with or without a washing machine!
Don’t forget any medication while you’re away! We traveled with Nora’s reflux meds + travel-sized desitin and aquaphor.
Sound machine x3 – Three sound machines was probably overkill, but each one has a purpose lol. At least that’s what I thought at the time. We took the portable one, the shusher, and the one she sleeps with every night.
I’m glad I threw Nora’s backpack in last minute! I really liked having another bag to throw items in other than the diaper bag which is great for travel days, but there’s something about this super cute, lightweight backpack for beach days and beyond that made life a little easier.
Before leaving for the trip, I kept worrying where Nora was going to sleep at night while at the Airbnb and beyond. Hotels typically have cribs so that wasn’t an issue, but our Airbnb didn’t supply a crib/pack n’ play. I ended up buying this fold-up travel bassinet, and it was perfect for us! It won’t last forever (maybe just another month!) but if your baby is under the weight limit, I highly recommend this product. The cushion is a little stiff so we ended up taking off a large couch cushion and placing the bassinet on top of that while on the floor. I think it helped make it a bit cozier These fitted sheets helped too!
Nora doesn’t exactly take in books just yet, but I did pack one for the plane ride in hopes that it would give us something to do if we needed to pass the time (we did). This one has cloth pages (can cram it just about anywhere) and has flaps that open with crinkle paper that make noise.
There’s nothing out of the ordinary here.. except maybe the doggie bag hack (keep reading). If you travel often you know anything can happen from point A to point B so pack a few extra diapers, wipes, formula in that diaper bag, mama.
I LOVE this diaper bag for travel because it has a bunch of compartments, can fit a lot of items inside and out, and has a foldout changing pad. Here’s what we packed for the flight:
I packed about 12 diapers in the bag that day. Ya just never know
We were about 3/4 of the way through a whole pack, so I threw that in the bag. I love this brand because they are 99.9% water with a drop of fruit extract – amazing for sensitive skin and diaper rash prevention.
For our 12 hour travel day, we packed 8 bottles. Again, we didn’t know what was going to happen! I think we ended up using 5 out of the 8 on the flight(s).
They work wonders for blow-out clothing, wet bathing suits, dirty shoes, etc.
For the love of God, don’t leave these behind and stash one in every pocket because you can never find them when you need them.
Stash everywhere and bring plenty.
Even though our diaper bag has a foldout changing mat, I can’t tell you how many times we used this pad as well. It comes in handy if you don’t bring the diaper bag with you on certain occasions!
Formula – We packed the can instead of the on-the-go dispenser since it was a long travel day and we didn’t know how much Nora would be taking that day. I wanted to make sure we had plenty with us at all times! Travel brings a unique schedule and survival mode is immediately turned ON. Also – make sure you bring more formula than you think you need on your trip! My sister had to ship more to Hawaii for us. If your baby only enjoys warm milk, look at the Babys Brew portable bottle warmer for travel.
Water – I brought along a reusable water bottle once we were at our destination, but I bought room temperate bottled water after security at the airport for Nora’s formula. AND as it turns out, you *can* bring water through security if it’s for the baby! Same goes with breastmilk. It may get tested at TSA, but they’ll let it through.
Bottle/Paci wipes – Clutch move for a quick clean in a pinch!
Outfit change x2 – Planes are cold so I packed two more onesies – and thankfully so! She needed an outfit change before we even boarded our first flight.
Car seat/Stroller Combo
If there was ever a product I stand by day in and day out, it’s our beloved Doona. I always get asked about it (it’s a head turner around town/at the airport!), and I always sing its praises. Transforming from a carseat into stroller in mere seconds, this is a MUST HAVE when traveling with an infant! We could have checked this at the counter, but I loved having Nora ride in it throughout the airport. I’m glad we gate-checked it inside a travel bag, and it came back to us each time unscathed.