Trip Planning

Baby and Toddler Travel Shopping List

Quite a few of Ciao Bambino’s readers are out of the UK. This post is for you as it links back to Tesco, a UK-based comprehensive resource for family travel supplies.

Have baby will travel.

Why does this statement sound controversial? Most of the new parents I meet put their more adventurous travel plans on hold as soon as they start a family. I don’t get it.

Okay, I wouldn’t take my kids in to a Malaria zone or somewhere that required them to have extra immunizations, but I want my little people to see the world and learn from it as early as possible. Jet lag and a long-haul flight, train ride or car journey has never put me off. The means of getting there, however enduring, has always justified the getting to the end of the world you want to get to, in my experience.

Jam in as many holidays as you can before your babies hit two, at which point you have to go to the extra expense of buying them their own seat on a plane. My eldest child had set foot in three continents – Asia, Europe and America – before we blew out two candles on her birthday cake.

Just thinking about the additional packing doesn’t deter me either. You know what, you don’t need to take as much as you think you do.

Baby and Toddler Packing List

Feeding and Changing

A changing bag with a roomy changing mat and some spare nappies or diapers and wipes can double up as your carry-on luggage. If you’re breast-feeding it means you can really cut down on the feeding paraphanalia. If not, you just need a couple of bottles and enough formula to cover the duration of your holiday, you might not be able to find your chosen brand whereever you are going.

If you can’t guarantee enough boiling water to sterilise your bottles on arrival, a travel steriliser will come in handy too. If baby is on solids a couple of ready-made jars and a bag of easily mashable fruit such as bananas should tie you over until you arrive and then you know what? Babies can be found all over the globe, as can stuff they can eat. Likewise, disposable nappies are now available pretty much worldwide, no need to take too many with you either.


You will often found that a travel cot and car seat is available at your destination, but it could be cheaper to take these with you. And, you can’t do without a comfy, but lightweight pushchair and I’ve always found a baby carrier invaluable too.

Getting Around

A good one-stop shop for low cost and good value pushchairs, carriers and other travel accessories is

One of my favourite lightweight from birth pushchairs is the funky Cosatto Swift Lite Supa pushchair which manages to be cosy and supportive for a new born and yet still weigh in at a nippy 6 kg.  And once you’ve surpassed the sixth-month mark then the Quicksmart backpack stroller is a must for anyone with the motto, have baby will continue to travel. This snazzy three-wheeler weighs just 4.5kg and folds up into a backpack.

If you’re going on a beach holiday, I find that even a sturdy three-wheeler is not easy to navigate on the sand. This is where a baby carrier is invaluable. And the original BABYBJÖRN® Baby Carrier still ticks all the boxes, it’s comfy for baby and for you.

Other Essentials

If you  are off somewhere hot, a high factor sunsceen, sun protective clothing, a hat, a pushchair shade and a natural insect repellant are also must haves.

I also normally take a mini-first aid kit, as well as a couple of baby toys and books.

Babies will happily play with a spoon or  a bunch of keys though, so toys are no way essentials. As long as you have those few bits to keep them clean and fed and they have you, they will be happy.

Editorial Note: We were paid to write this post reviewing travel products that families can buy from Tesco. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Relevant Links:

Great iPhone and iPad apps for kids of all ages

The latest and greatest travel gear for kids and families

Tips and ideas for entertaining kids on planes

Start a Discussion

  • I agree 100%. I have 4 months before my son is two and I plan to make the most of it. He is so used to planes, he falls right asleep as soon as we board. I wrote a similar post with tips for international travel with a kid–it isn’t rocket science just a little extra preparation and Go!

  • How do you handle time changes? I am thinking of traveling from east coast USA to Sweden with my baby who will be 5 months old at time of trip but can’t wrap my mind around how to handle the time changes. I had read it can throw off your milk supply which freaked me out…

  • Allyson- 5 months old will be pretty easy as far as time changes go. I just went from Seattle to Switzerland with my 5 month old. The first night was rough. I’m not going to lie. But he still nursed just as much and by the next day was settling into the local time nicely. If you need to get up at 3am to play with him/her just go with it. Babies switch over so much faster than adults, at least both of my kids have. Here are a few tips I wrote about it if you want more tips.

  • Allyson- in all honesty, a baby may be the easiest child to travel with! They are incredibly portable, can fall asleep practically anywhere and will be the least affected by time changes. As for your body (and nursing), be sure to drink plenty of water before and during your flight. When the majority of people travel, they don’t hydrate enough, which will definitely affect your milk supply. Your baby- and your body- should stay “synched”, though the 6 pm feeding will now be a 2 am feeding, but it should all straighten out in about 48 hours.

  • I have some tips on Time Zone changes here:
    With respect to your milk supply, my experience has been that it is very important to stay well hydrated during and before the flight. Baby will be nursing more since flying is dehydrating, and you need to protect yourself from becoming dehydrated. Your milk supply rights itself with baby’s nursing schedule, but if you are worried, talk with a lactation consultant about supplements like fenugreek that could help.

  • It might seem daunting to take your baby who has only just worked out night from day in your time zone into another one, but babies actually adapt very quickly. By five months you’re little one should have started to work that dark means night time sleep time and once you put them in that environment they should adapt quite quickly. You might have a few late nights or early mornings, but it will be worth it!

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