So the family doctor said it was okay to travel with an infant! I mean, she did explain that traveling came with its risks; being confined in a plane for hours with hundreds of strangers who could (and will) sneeze, cough, touch, spit and God knows what else, technically exposes your infant to all kinds of viruses. But hey, this baby has already been to 8 countries in-utero; it was easier to take him along back then but one must find a way to make this work. So, to start, one little tiny short trip to Montreal can’t possibly be so hard on him! Right!?
At the end of the day, it’s really up to you, Mommy! If you are adventurous at heart and you have the courage to go through the logistics of travelling with your baby, here is a list of 8 indispensable items you absolutely MUST take with you!
#1 A Maman kangourou baby carrier. I love it, love it, love it! A true lifesaver. It is great for carrying newborns. I know, some babies don’t like these, but for all the other babies, this is a miracle item! Instead of pushing a crying baby in a stroller, then getting baby out at security checkpoints and holding her in an uncomfortable position while you try to send your items through the scan, this wrap-around baby carrier makes your baby super comfortable against your chest. She may not even realize you’re traveling.
#2 A clear case with all essential baby meds and vitamins. I usually carry Tylenol, Motrin, Enfamil D-Vi-Sol Vitamin, Ovo and at least 2 syringes as I may not be able to wash the syringe right away on a plane. Why do I specify clear? Well, because you will easily see if anything is missing from it before you leave home. Pick a spot to keep this pouch in the diaper bag and stick to it. Your neighbourhood Shoppers Drug Mart or Walmart will carry clear travel size toiletry bags.
#3 Proper travel documentation. I cannot stress how important it is to check the regulations in your country of destination to ensure you have everything. As a starting point, however, this is your basic checklist of documents to carry with you on every international trip: your baby’s passport, long-form birth certificate, if you are not travelling with baby’s father, a parental travel consent letter signed (ideally notarized). Place all these documents along with your own passport in one document holder. I found the federal government travel website helpful in formulating the parental consent letter.
#4 Enfamil A+ formula Single serve packets. Take at least 4 packs for a 2 hour flight. Why so many if baby feeds only every 2-3 hours? Well, remember you will be at the airport 2 hours prior to departure. Then it can take 1-2 hours to get your luggage at arrivals, get out of the airport and reach your hotel! In total, this can turn into a longer day than planned.
#5 Medela manual breast pump. By far the best if you ask me! I found it worked even better than the some electric ones. How did I get to try more than one brand? You may ask. Well, the airline lost my luggage on my way back home from my very first trip with baby – thanks Air Canada! So I had to buy another pump. To my surprise, the Medela manual pump does a much better job than the electric Philips Avent one. Plus, it’s super compact and lightweight. A great partner on my trips!
#6 Huggies’s Clutch N’ Clean carrying case. This item is absolutely amazing. So practical, easy to carry and even pretty! Adds a little fun to the daunting task of changing your baby on the go. It fits anywhere and the little cord fits around your wrist for easy carrying when your hands are full. This item is not only good for travelling, it’s also great for a day out in the city!
#7 A travel size dishwashing liquid detergent. I used the Palmolive one but you could pour any brand into a small travel size plastic bottle. I know, this item might sound strange but i’m so glad I had it in my bag during my North Carolina trip. Baby was 2 months old, and our flight back to Toronto was diverted to Washington Dulles due to bad weather conditions. We ended up having to spend the night in Baltimore. So how lucky was I to have dishwashing liquid and a brush to clean the 4 bottles that I carried in the diaper bag. Hotels often don’t use liquid detergent and I wouldn’t trust strangers to wash my baby’s bottles anyway.
#8 IKEA organizing boxes. They can be folded and packed flat in your luggage. 3 is the magic number for me as I would use #1 for feeding items, #2 for diapering and #3 for bathing & skin care. Makes staying organized in any environment really easy! Again, these boxes are very light and easy to move around with. They will also help ensure you have everything when it’s time to go home… You will easily see if anything is missing from each box.
Voilà! I hope this list helps mommy-baby travellers out there!