12 essentials you need to pack when travelling with baby
This article was produced in partnership with Singapore Motherhood
If you are travelling with baby for the first time, make sure you pack all the appropriate gear so that the holiday will be a breeze. In general, babies are easy travellers. They eat, sleep, and are easy to bring around because they don't take up much space. Furthermore, new sights, sounds, and experiences spark off connections in their limbic area, enhancing babies' brain development. But babies come with (lots of) baggage, so how do you travel with your little one without packing everything but the kitchen sink?
Experienced mums tell us to pack smart. If you're going to a city where baby necessities such as diapers, wipes, tissues are readily available, buy them there. Just take what you need for the flight in your carry-on diaper bag.
Items to pack in your diaper bag / carry-on bag
1. Water, milk powder, and snacks
A hungry baby is a grumpy baby, so make sure that your darling is always well-fed and hydrated. Put non-perishable snacks into small containers (make sure the container size adheres to airline regulations) and check the airline's liquid restrictions for infants. Most airlines allow you to bring baby's formula milk and water bottle onboard. Give baby sips during take-off and landing to help ease ear pressure woes. On baby's free first flight on Singapore Airlines, parents can choose one of the following food options for their little traveller:
- Baby meal - 3 jars of baby food
- Post-weaning meal - More substantial than the baby meal, these food items are easy to bite, chew, and digest
- Child meal - More substantial than the post-weaning meal, this consists of soft food items with lighter-based sauces
2. Extra clothing and bibs
Bring extra baby clothing and bibs in your carry-on (or diaper) bag. If your little one is prone to reflux, you'll probably have to change baby's OOTD at least once. Word of advice: bring an extra set of clothes for yourself too. Baby may decide to do a 'Merlion' at 30,000 feet in the air, and you don't want to be wearing pungent, vomit-stained clothing for the rest of the flight after your darling has been cleaned and changed.
3. Toys, a familiar sniffy or pillow
To entertain baby while on the road, bring along their favourite toys. Make sure these don't have sharp edges, so that they won't hurt baby during a bumpy ride. Also steer away from toys made from felt, or any material that's hard to wipe down. Moreover, if there's a particular pillow, blanket, or sniffy that baby needs in order to calm down and sleep with, bring it.
As a general rule of thumb, bring enough diapers to last the duration of your flight, then buy more at your destination. Pack one diaper for each hour you’ll be in transit (plus one or two extra, just in case). If you are going off the beaten track and not sure when you will be able to find a store which sells diapers, definitely carry (and pack) more.
5. Teethers and/or pacifiers
These will comfort and soothe baby, especially during take-offs and landings. Bring a couple, so that you’re not left in the lurch if one falls onto the ground. Pro-tip: if you haven’t already done so, get a ventilated pacifier. This allows air to pass through the pacifier while your baby is using it, decreasing the pressure inflicted on their developing teeth.
6. Eating utensils, sippy cups
If baby is already taking solids, pack their own utensils for them. They’ll feed better with familiar items. Also, babies are still building their immune systems, so you don’t want to expose them to any more dirt and germs than are necessary. Remember to pack a sippy cup or bottle as well – baby can sip from it to relieve ear pressure.
7. Baby sling, wrap, carrier, or stroller
Stroller or sling or both? Strollers are great when you’re out on day trips or sight-seeing, but some babies sleep better when tucked up close to mum’s heartbeat. You’d also want to keep baby close to you in crowded places such as airports. And if you’re going out for a short walk after dinner or popping out to the convenience store down the road, it’s certainly more convenient to pop baby into a sling.
Items that can go into your check-in luggage
8. Sunscreen, moisturisers, toiletries: Planning to spend time at the beach? Keep baby protected — put on a sunhat, slather on sunscreen, and take plenty of shade breaks. Use a baby sunscreen that’s made with natural ingredients and doesn’t contain artificial fragrances or preservatives. Hotel soaps smell amazing but are too drying for baby’s delicate skin, so pack baby’s own shampoo and body wash, and moisturiser.
9. Baby-safe dish soap: You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you have to clean your baby’s sippy cup / pacifier / eating utensils, and the toilet is out of soap. Simply bring along baby-safe dish soap so that you can wash your baby’s items as and when you need. Remember to bring the cleaning brush too!
10. Sterilising tablets: To clean baby’s utensils and bottles, of course.
11. A pair of food scissors: To cut up baby’s food. Or, just use your utensils to do this.
12. Thermos flask: So, you’ll always have a supply of hot water for making milk.
So, go forth and travel with baby
While many people will tell you that travelling with a baby is a highly stressful event, that’s only the case if you haven’t planned your trip properly. By being adequately prepared, and having all the necessary gear with you, you can cut down on a great deal of your stress and enjoy your first overseas trip with baby to the fullest. Time to start packing!