The first time I became a mother, the very thought of even leaving the house petrified me. My sleep-deprived paranoid brain kept up a constant barrage of scenarios from having to breastfeed in public to the germs floating around in open spaces to having to lug around all our baby paraphernalia. Any sort of traveling with baby was out of the question. And then, as the first weeks of my “baby moon” phase waned and I slowly began to long for a glimpse of the world beyond our bedroom door, it dawned on me that both baby and I could use the fresh air and the stimulation of the outside world. Let me say the first time seemed like it was a disaster, but in hindsight it has become a funny anecdote in my parenting journey. And as I slowly gained my confidence in my mothering ability, I learned my lessons as I went along and can now confidently say that I look forward to adventures out with the little one. With a few tricks up my sleeve, allow me to share my list on essential items to take when traveling with babies.

It's crazy the amount of items a baby needs

It’s crazy the amount of items a baby needs

The essentials

No matter where it is your going, to the grocery or the mall or to the other side of the world, I strongly suggest the first thing you think about is how to carry baby around. Number one essential in my book is a stroller. This contraption serves multiple purposes from the obvious one of having somewhere to put baby in, to doubling as a mobile carrier for all other essentials, to having something to lean on when your back needs a moment of relief. If you’re the type who gets intimidated by contraptions then you may opt for ring slings or baby wraps or a pouch.

The point I’m driving at is have something with you that allows you moments of being hands-free. Once you’ve got this covered, then the obvious list follows: your baby bag and everything in it – diapers and extra clothes (enough to cover your trip), baby wipes, hand sanitizers, diaper cream, bug spray, enough formula and bottles (if you choose the formula route) baby food and water (if baby is already eating). If your trip involves sleeping away from the familiarity of home, take along a travel crib or your baby’s favorite sleeping mat or blanket to help give baby a sense of comfort in a strange environment.

Stuff that could help

Once you’ve got the basics covered, think of things that could come in handy for your trip. Any gadget or accessory that makes baby more comfortable and potentially help keep your stress levels to a minimum counts. I once brought along a portable fan to a picnic; I highly recommend that if you’re going for an outdoor excursion. Depending on your itinerary, plan ahead, I’m pretty sure there’s a gadget or gizmo that would come in handy.

In case of emergency

A basic first aid kit, baby’s medication if there are any, and your health care provider’s number on hand ensures you’re ready for every possible complication.

Any trip with baby is an adventure. With a little planning and wise preparation, yes, it is possible to enjoy time with your bundle of joy away from the comforts of home.