Traveling with a baby can be a challenging experience for parents but with the right preparation, it will make for treasured memories. The most important thing is to plan what you will need to have on hand and easily accessible, in advance.  A sturdy backpack with a chest strap across the center with plenty of pockets will allow you to distribute the weight of your essentials, organize them, and allow quick access to all the items that your little one needs. Diapers, wipes, disposable bags, bottled milk or formula, pacifiers, and toys are key items that you will need to pack while traveling. 

So, what else should you not forget to pack when traveling with your baby?

  1. Baby-safe sunscreen 

Sun protection is important for infants, though they should only have sunscreen applied to their skin at 6 months of age, or older. To be safe, you can use a sunscreen specifically meant for babies to protect your little one from the sun. Check the ingredients label to make sure that you are buying the right sunscreen as chemical sunscreens are absorbed by the skin, whereas mineral sunscreens are not. To simplify the process, choose a baby sunscreen that is approved by dermatologists. 

When traveling, you might be tempted to save on space by sharing your sunscreen with your baby, but this is not a good idea. Babies have very delicate skin, so ingredients in an adult sunscreen could make your baby break out in a rash. According to the guidelines from the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), you should minimize sunscreen use on children younger than 6 months old and use other methods of sun protection instead, such as limiting direct sunlight by staying in shady areas and dressing them in sun-protective clothing.

  1. Diaper rash cream

Even if your baby doesn’t have diaper rash, it’s wise to carry a tube of diaper rash cream while traveling. This is because you will likely be juggling more tasks and unknowns than usual, and it’s likely that there will be longer intervals between diaper changes. The diaper rash cream will prevent your baby from getting a rash that would make them uncomfortable and cranky throughout the trip. 

  1. General-purpose medicines 

Babies are more sensitive to changes in their environment because they have delicate immune systems that are still developing, making them more vulnerable to issues such as diarrhea and vomiting when traveling. They are also more likely to catch a cold or cough from other people when traveling in a group. This is why it is important to include child-age-appropriate versions of general-purpose medicines for these ailments in a travel kit along with oral rehydration solution packs like Pedialyte or Infalyte.

  1. Moisturizer 

For decades, talcum powder was a part of daily care for babies, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents avoid using baby powders since they can irritate a baby’s sensitive and delicate skin.

Instead of using powder that can dry out your baby’s skin, it’s best to use a moisturizer. A study on moisturizers for babies found that an emulsion-type moisturizer applied daily in the first 7 to 12 months reduced the risk of baby eczema. When picking a moisturizer for your baby, check the ingredients for fragrances, dyes, phthalates, and parabens which are common skin irritants. 

  1. Suction bulb or nasal aspirator 

Changes in temperature while traveling by road or changes in pressure when flying can result in a runny nose for your little one. This can make it difficult for them to breathe and feed, which increases their risk of dehydration. Carry a suction bulb or nasal aspirator to clear excess mucus within your baby’s nasal passages.

In addition to creating your packing checklist in advance, make it a point to include some downtime in your travel plans to avoid feeling rushed and stressed. Opting for a slower pace in your itinerary will not only ease your stress but will also make the experience easier for your little one.