I know I’ve been a little MIA, but it’s for good reasons. A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I finally moved the little one from Manila (my hometown/where I delivered) to where we are both based as expats (in Indonesia). Add to that a second trip for work reasons (just a two-day “weekend” non-negotiable errand in Singapore), and we had our hands full with our 2.5 month old baby and all the adjustments flying an infant around comes with. Thankfully, the challenges posed by these experiences make for very good blogging fodder and so for the next three entries I can bring you 1) how we packed for our first 2-day trip abroad, 2) how to fly with an infant (the short haul edition; 6 hours of flight time or less), and 3) hotel room hacks for rooming with infants.
Traveling with babies is always tricky – there’s much to consider and plenty of paraphernalia that needs to get carted along (diapers, pumps [if you do that], bottles [if you use those], lots of clothes and spares in case of spillage/leakage/whathaveyou, toys to entertain, etc). So here’s how we packed for our 2-day trip this past week:
Baggage: In total we had 6 bags to carry, and a stroller. Though in the future, I think we can go as low as 4 or 5.
- Checked In: We used 2 hand carries – one for us to share, and another for our son and all his belongings (babies are high maintenance).
- Hand-carried: 1 laptop bag, 1 Pump In Style Medela Electric, 1 baby diaper bag
- Inside the laptop bag: both our work gear
- Inside the Pump In Style: Everything we needed for pumping (including my Medela manual hand-held pump) + it doubled as my handbag (although a learning is that the manual pump is good enough if it’s just a 48 hour trip)
- Inside the baby diaper bag: the usual day-out gear (1 extra change of clothes, 2 burp pads, 1 bib, 2 bottles, an insulated baggy with 1 serving of breast milk good for 1 feed, a box with 3 compartments with 3 servings of emergency formula, 1 nursing cover, 4 diapers, Gripe Water, baby dropper, cotton balls, tissue, changing pad, and mini First Aid Kit)
- Stroller: ours is an Aprica and it’s ultra lightweight (6kg tops), with one arm handling so it’s very easy to cart around/sling over your shoulder
For our next trip, I think we can forego bringing a laptop bag, as well as my Medela Pump In Style. Especially if it’s only a weekend getaway, and particularly if the trip is not work related. If work gear is absolutely necessary, in the future, I would stuff my laptop in one of the hand carries (and not check it in, of course), and then just bring a tote that’s easy to flatten and pack along as well that I can break out as needed.
Clothes: We brought 2 outfits per day, and 2 outfits per night = 8 outfits in total (for the baby). And for ourselves an outfit a day with a couple of extra tops, and pj’s was enough.
Diapers: 1 unopened 22-pack bag (so we didn’t need to bother with packing 20 free-standing diapers into a suitcase). We use Pampers Premium and their 22-packs are super compact and convenient. *I say 22 because most healthy babies are changed at least 8 times a day, usually more. So it’s good to have a little extra. Even with these super absorbent diapers, we change Lucas after every poo, which means that even if we’ve just changed him 30 minutes before, if he’s pooped, we change him again. We live in the tropics, where it’s warm and humid, and the last thing we want is a stinky, sweaty, sticky diaper chafing the little one’s bum.
Bottles: Due to Lucas’ colic, we have opted to use Dr. Brown’s bottles for him. However, I use Medela pumps. As such, we usually need to cart around double the number of bottles (incredibly inefficient, I know; really not ideal, but c’est la vie). So in this case, we brought 12: 6 of each, in case the sterilizer we had asked for from the hotel turned out to be a bust. I pump 3-4 times a day outside of all my direct feeds, and Lucas gets 2-3 bottles of pumped milk a day outside of his direct feeds.
Toys/Entertainment: We brought 2 of his favorite toys which also happen to be clip-able onto his stroller, as well as 2 of his favorite books, and his mobile. The mobile is incredibly useful because: 1) it’s small, lightweight, and pack-able with a Pack N’ Play adapter (which is usually the kind of crib hotels will have on hand), 2) I use it all the time when I need to get some work done or use the toilet and have to leave the baby in the crib for a few minutes to entertain himself.
In the end, we didn’t over-pack (except for the Medela Pump In Style), and we made good use of (almost) everything we brought (except the extra outfits for the baby, but I’d rather have more than less changes of clothes for him — we’ve had one too many poopie adventures for me to feel complacent about the uncanny ability of baby poop to get everywhere and on everyone). Overall, I think we did a great job. How do you guys pack for trips with infants?