Traveling with a Newborn for the Over-Prepared Parent

When Patrick was 6 weeks old, we went on a 10 day trip.  The trip included an over 3 hour drive to Dayton with a one night stay there with family, a flight College Station, Texas with a layover in Dallas, 4 days in Texas for my sister’s wedding, return flight home reciprocal to our original flight, and then 5 more days in Dayton to visit my family before another 3 hour drive back to Cleveland.  Needless to say, completing all of this with a newborn had caused me a great deal of anxiety for the weeks leading up to it.

Whenever I travel, I tend to over-pack anyway.  With the large amount of items a newborn baby needs, I knew I would end up over-packing in the end, but wanted to make sure I had absolutely everything I needed for such a long trip. I also had to consider out of everything I was bringing for the 10 day excursion, what items would be necessary for the trip to Texas. Over-packing for a road trip is one thing, but over-packing for a flight where checked luggage is weighed and expensive is another.

In the end, we had a successful trip, and only slightly too many things made the trip with us. This is what I packed (for the whole trip as well as just the Texas portion), and some advice after making the trip for traveling with a newborn (particularly flying).  Each item is followed by parenthesis with 3 numbers.  The first number is how many of that item I packed total.  The second number is how many of the item out of what what packed I brought to Texas.  The third number is how many of that item that was brought to Texas that I put in my diaper bag/carry on for the flight.


  • Formula containers (2/2/2)
  • Bottles (5/5/5)
  • Formula (1/1/0) (At this point I was nearing the end of breastfeeding due to thrush and was doing a lot of formula feeding.  I only brought 1 container of formula and bought anything else I needed while I was out of town.)
  • Bottle brush (1/1/0)
  • Bottle drying rack (1/1/0)
  • Travel Boppy (1/1/1) (Amazing!!! I found it right before I left for the trip)
  • Boppy (1/0/0) (I brought both because the travel one is a little thin and I was going to be gone so long.  We use the Boppy a lot)
  • Burp cloths (10/5/1)
  • Bibs (7/4/1)
  • Nursing cover (1/1/1)
  • Breast pads (50/20/4)
  • Ready to use formula (8/8/2) (We always keep at least one in our diaper back for emergency feedings)
  • Breast pump (1/0/0) (I was going to bring the pump to Texas, but decided against it.  That reduced me having to bring several other items as well)
  • Drop-in bags (10/0/0)
  • Breastmilk storage bottles (2/0/0)
  • Travel cooler bag for bottles (1/0/0)
  • Reusable ice pack for travel cooler (2/0/0)
  • Bottle warmer (1/0/0)
  • Lanolin (2/2/1) (one is a small travel size)



  • Diapers (90/40/10) (I bought any additional diapers I needed while out of town)
  • Tub of wipes (1/0/0)
  • Travel wipes (3/3/1)
  • Changing pad (1/1/1)
  • Diaper cream (2/1/1) (one is a small travel size)
  • Baby powder (1/1/1) (travel size)

Medicine and Care

  • Vitamin D drops (1/1/0)
  • Gas Drops (2/2/1)
  • Nystatin (1/1/1) (medicine for his thrush)
  • Cotton Swabs (50/50/5) (I brought a travel container.  I brought this many because we used them to apply his thrush medicine)
  • Tylenol (1/1/0)
  • Baby Sunscreen (2/2/1) (One is a small travel size)
  • Baby lotion (2/2/1) (One is a small travel size)
  • Vaseline (1/1/0)
  • Thermometer (1/1/0)
  • Nail file (2/2/0)
  • Nasal aspirator (1/1/0)
  • Comb (1/1/0)

Getting Around

  • Car seat (1/1/0)
  • Car seat base (1/1/0)
  • Stroller (1/1/1)
  • Baby Bjorn (1/1/1)
  • Diaper Bag (1/1/1)



  • Books (5/3/3)
  • Toys (6/6/3)
  • Activity blanket (1/1/0)
  • Activity mat (1/1/0)


  • Blankets (4/3/1)
  • Pack n’ Play Sheet (1/1/0) (My mom a Pack n’ Play for us to use at her house, so we did not have to bring one)
  • Crib sheet (1/1/0) (I brought both sheets because I wasn’t sure which our hotel room had.  It ended up being a Pack n’ Play)
  • Baby monitor (1/1/0)
  • Swaddle Blankets (6/3/1)


  • Washcloths (6/3/0)
  • Hooded towels (3/3/0)
  • Baby wash (2/2/1) (one is travel size)
  • Head brush/sponge (1/1/1)



  • Sleepers (6/3/0)
  • Outfits (18/9/2)
  • Bathing suit (2/2/0)
  • Swim shirt (1/1/0)
  • Sun hat (1/1/0)
  • Socks (9/5/1)



  • Pacifier clip (1/1/1)
  • Pacifiers (4/3/2)
  • Stain remover spray (1/1/1) (travel size)
  • Plastic bags (2/2/2) (For dirty clothes and/or diapers while out)
  • Trash bag (1/1/0) (To cover the car seat and base when checking at the airport)
  • Hand sanitizer (3/2/1) (travel size)
  • Tissues (2/2/1) (travel size)
  • First Aid kit (1/1/1) (travel size)
  • Waterbottle (1/1/1)

Advice for Traveling with an Infant

  • Check the TSA’s site for the most up-to-date information about traveling with children (see the link below).  They were really great with us at both locations.
  • Make sure to add your in-lap infant to your ticket.  We booked our tickets before Patrick was born, and were able to call and add him to our tickets after her was officially here.
  • We checked his car seat and base. We put them in a large trash bag to protect them (they do sell travel bags, but trash bags are cheaper).  We gate checked the stroller.  Having it during our lay-over helped with diaper changes and naps.  If we didn’t have a lay-over I would also have checked the stroller.
  • We were able to wear Patrick in the Baby Bjorn the entire time, including through security and the entire flight.  I had read that some airlines don’t let allow that, but American Airlines did.
  • Do a fresh diaper change and begin a bottle as close to boarding as possible.  Most flights will let you board early if you have children.  Continue feeding through take-off or use a pacifier to prevent his ears from popping.  With a clean diaper and full belly he slept through both of our flights.
  • The ready to use bottles are great for feedings right before boarding, take-off and landing.  They don’t require fumbling around for formula and water.
  • A pacifier clip is a must!  You don’t want to be fumbling on the ground of the plane looking for one that fell.
  • Think about what consumable items you can buy at your destination (formula, diapers, etc).  That is less you have to pack in your bags.
  • If you are staying at a hotel, ask for a crib or Pack n’ Play for your room.  Most do, and it is free.  If you are staying at someone’s home, see if they have or know someone who has a Pack n’ Play you can use.  That is one less bulky item that you need to bring.
  • Don’t forget your camera!
  • Patrick gets hot really easily, so Texas was rather uncomfortable for him.  We have since bought a small personal fan (ours was in the $1 bin at Target) that I keep in the diaper bag for hot situations.
  • Don’t worry or stress over what others think or if they are bothered by your baby.  You have a newborn, and traveling with him is not an easy task. No matter what you are doing the best you can.  Take time to enjoy it!  It is an important milestone, and a fun one if you allow it to be.


It was all worth it!  We had a great time at my sister’s wedding!
Dave, me and Patrick at the wedding


My side of the family

I did a lot of research while compiling my packing list. I couldn’t find one site that met my particular needs (long term trip with 6 week old broken up into 2 destinations), so I used some of the best parts from several other lists. Below are sites that I used in my research while creating my packing list.

Delicious Baby
Hither and Thither
TSA: Traveling with Children
Out and About Mom

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    Jaya Pandey says:

    Waooww Kristen. Very nice and detailed tips for travelling with an infant. It is very helful for new moms. And I like da way you mentioned number of things you packed and carried arround in diaper bag. The first big trip I had after my daughter was born was when she was 6 months old and I also over packed
    Jaya Pandey recently posted…Interview with mom of an aspiring NinjaMy Profile

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