If you have ever wondered what is on an infant packing list, you are not alone. When my daughter was nearly twelve weeks old, my husband and I took a 14-hour road trip from Georgia to Texas to introduce her to our extended families. It took a lot of planning to pull off our “Texas tour”, because we thought we had a LOT to bring along in the car.
As a brand-new mom, I went overboard with my infant packing list and ended up only using a fraction of what we actually needed over those 10 days. In case you’re in the same boat as I once was, here are my top recommendations for what to pack for a long trip with your infant.
Photo Credit @haylsharks
Car Ready Infant Packing List
Assuming our daughter would fall asleep easily in the car, we were afraid driving all day would reverse her circadian rhythm. So, we decided to leave after her 7pm bedtime and drive overnight instead. I sat in the backseat with her while my husband drove, and was happy to have the following items close by:
- Cooler: We pre-made her bottles so we wouldn’t have to do it on the road and kept them in a small travel cooler on the floor. I also included water bottles, iced coffee and snacks for us, as well as food for our dog (she’s spoiled and eats Fresh Pet, which must be refrigerated).
- Hand towels and cleaning solution: In case of car seat blow out or massive spit up incident.
- Muslin blanket: When infants are learning to sleep overnight, even eye contact with mom or dad can be a stimulant and keep them awake. Making sure there was still plenty of airflow, I loosely draped the thin blanket over her car seat to block her line of sight to me and help her nod off to sleep.
- Entertainment: Headphones and downloaded Netflix shows on a device for me, so my husband could listen to whatever he wanted behind the steering wheel.
Photo Credit @annajoyzobrist
Sleeping at A Relative’s House
My number one priority on the trip was to stick to our schedule as much as possible. To avoid disrupting her sleep habits, I tried my best to recreate the environment at home in the guest room at my sister’s house.
- Pack n’ play and tight-fitting crib sheet
- Swaddle: We liked this one.
- Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine: To play her “night night” song on repeat.
- Portable White Noise Machine: While her music served as a sleep cue and comfort, white noise helped her remain in a state of deep sleep.
Infant Packing List for Feeding On-The-Go
We formula-fed, so we needed to be prepared with all of the essentials to feed on-the-go.
- 2 canisters of formula: We expected to use one, but wanted a backup just in case.
- A gallon of distilled water: When we ran out, we bought another at the grocery store in Texas.
- Burp cloths, bibs: Because feeding is messy business.
- 5 bottles: Since our baby drank five bottles per day, I wanted five on hand to make each bottle ahead of time and store them in the fridge.
- Bottle brush: To properly sanitize bottles between feedings.
Instead of bringing her infant bathtub, we brought along her bath sponge and bathed her in the kitchen sink. One bottle of Johnson and Johnson baby wash and a soft baby washcloth was all we needed to keep our girl clean during the visit. Instead of her regular cute puppy hoodie, we borrowed a regular towel to dry her off.
It was important for us to remember lotion, hair brush, nose saline and a suction bulb for runny noses, an electric nail file and Aquaphor for diaper rash and minor scratches.
In order to to determine how many diapers to bring for each day of our trip, we calculated the number she typically used per 24-hour period, and then added a few more. We packed a package of wipes for the diaper bag and one for the guest room. Also, we used a towel on the bed to change her and her portable changing pad for outings.
Lastly, we brought along her thermometer and Tylenol, just in case she spiked a fever.
Photo Credit @haylsharks
While it was tempting to bring along her play mat and 10 of her “favorite toys,” we actually didn’t need much more than the following items.
- Bunnies by the Bay rattle: A baby rattle that doubles as a lovey.
- Mirror: For tummy time!
- Boppy: For lounging during tummy time, or propped up on a relative’s lap
- Blanket for the floor
- Baby Bjorn seat and toy bar
- Baby paper
- Stroller: For long walks around the neighborhood and shopping
Clothing on your Infant Packing List
Let’s face it, babies can require multiple outfit changes per day. However, by bringing laundry detergent and using my sister’s washing machine, I got away with bringing the bare minimum:
- Five pairs of jammies
- Eight day time outfits
- Five pairs of socks and a handful of bows (because #fashion).
While this list is still pretty overwhelming, it’s a whole lot less daunting than it could have been. Our motto was to keep it simple. Remember: if you forget something, the solution is usually just a quick Amazon order away. Happy traveling!
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Katie McCall is a lifestyle portrait photographer, content strategist, and producer based in San Antonio, Texas. When she isn’t behind a camera or laptop, she's exploring the world with her husband, darling one-year-old daughter and tiny pup. If you’d like, please follow their adventures on Instagram (@hersideproject)!