09 July 2018

How to Pack for Baby's First Vacation

Step 1: Think to yourself, of course I can do this. I moved across the world with nothing but a husband, two suitcases, and two carry-ons. I've traveled more times than I can count. I spent a week in Japan with just a backpack, and not even a backpacker's backpack, either. I'm a minimalist. Surely, packing for a three-night vacation with a four-month old will be a piece of cake.

Step 2: Calculate how many clothes + burpcloths the infant will need for the 4 days of the trip. A reasonable average is probably 3 outfits per 24 hours. Realize that you don't actually own that many outfits in his current size. Pack all of the clothes that you do own that fit him and hope for minimal baby outfit disasters, but plan on washing baby clothes and burp rags in the hotel bathroom sink and hanging them up to dry overnight (Spoiler alert: Yes, we did that).

Step 3: Pack extra toys in the diaper bag for the long road trip. Pack extra formula powder because sometimes there's no safe place to stop on the long winding roads heading into the mountains to feed a hungry baby. Pack another extra toy. Just in case.

Step 4: Baby gets a little cold before the trip. Pediatrician recommends packing his nebulizer along, especially since he isn't used to the cool mountain air, and it might aggravate his congestion. You enter crazy-protective-mom mode and throw baby tylenol, saline nose drops, nose-sucking-thing, baby nail clippers, and diaper rash cream into the suitcase, because you realize once more that you must be prepared for anything and everything. Husband tells you that your brain is thinking about too many things at the same time.

Step 5: Go to sleep, the night before the trip. You're done. Everything will be fine. A roadtrip with an infant, to a remote area of Malaysia, is no big deal.

Step 6: Wake up, get ready to go, and suddenly remember that you neglected to pack any toiletries for the baby. No soap or lotion either. Whew. That was a close one. Pack the car. Baby's stuff takes up more room than anyone else's stuff, but that's understandable, because baby needed his own bed. Everyone else is capable of sleeping in hotel beds.


Reflecting back on our first vacation with Cyrus, I'd have to say that the absolute most useful things we brought along, other than, perhaps, diapers, were a playlist of his favorite songs, which we used during moments on the car ride when he was beginning to protest his carseat, and a bunch of aunts and two grandparents. Fantastic. Highly recommend. 

More tales to come from our summer vacation, now that I've finished all of the laundry created by the trip.


  1. Vacationing with a baby is a WHOOOOLE other ballgame, isn't it!!!? It gets easier, but not much, lol.

  2. Reading this in perfect timing since we’re taking our little one to the mountains this weekend. A playlist of their favorite songs is a great idea!

  3. Babies just need so much! Or you worry they will! I love that he has a playlist of favorite songs, and that it helped. :)


  4. Man vacationing with babies always sounds so fun yet exhausting. You guys look like you handled it like champs though!

  5. I did a week and a half in California with Gracie when she was 5 months old. I still get stressed when I think about it!

  6. I'm excited to hear more about the vacation! And yes, travelling with babies is fun but the preparation can be crazy when you go through all of the "what if" scenarios and want to be prepared for everything. And I'm sure it's especially tricky if you're going someplace remote, so it's not exactly like you can pop over to a nearby store to buy extra supplies!

  7. It is so crazy how much stuff we pack for the kids to drive 3 hours to Texas to my parents' house overnight! We have slightly streamlined it over the years, but not really. You aren't alone. Also little Cyrus is so adorable!

  8. Ha, this is hilarious.

    I also feel better about recommending 3 outfits per day to a friend of mine about to vacation for the first time with her baby. It seemed like a solid number based on the abundance of bodily fluids produced by babies.