It went remarkably well when I recently traveled to Hawaii for five weeks with a baby who was between three and four months old; by the conclusion of the trip, he even started to sleep through the night (which is the best thing to happen to me since sliced bread, really). For the five weeks, we were there, we only needed two suitcases, which comprised travel bags for my husband and me and, of course, baby GYM. Here is my minimum packing list for a beach vacation with a baby; as newlyweds in Canada, we treated ourselves to this trip as a reward for finishing the financial to-do list.
I packed a few items that I regretted because I hardly used them. I became overwhelmed with my packing list and the thought of what to bring for five weeks. After all, packing for five weeks requires quite a bit!
Accessed May 2022
For instance, I took three pee-pee tee-pees and didn’t use them. We rarely utilized the four pairs of socks I brought along. For him, I brought altogether too many onesies and outfits.
When we travel-hacked to Honolulu, we slept in an Airbnb condo with one bedroom in Waikiki. We also had inexpensive meals in Waikiki. This list assumes you have access to a washer and dryer; if not, I’d suggest packing one additional set of clothes per day you plan to spend at the beach for a week or less.
He once grinned at me when I was feeding the baby in the backseat of the car at Kailua Beach in East Oahu. I then heard some pooping. The next thing you know, it’s all over the muslin blanket, and while I’m holding him up, he’s stomping on more of his excrement, which is now tracking all over my legs. We were lucky to have carried a spare set of clothes. If we hadn’t, it would have been a chaotic catastrophe!
FOR THE TRAVELING Luggage
If you use disposable diapers, you will need diapers. In the diaper bag, one diaper per hour of flight.
- Baby Wipes: Pack plenty of baby wipes for the flight!
- We had a onesie inside, a sweatshirt-style top, some fleece trousers for the plane, and another outfit in case this one became dirty due to a blowout. We prepared an extra onesie just in case.
- We only leased a car for a short period, but I prefer owning our car seat to renting one because you never know if the rental car seat has been in an accident or if it is the proper size for your child. When our child was supposed to be in a rear-facing car seat during a trip in a van, a forward-facing car seat was provided instead. We were fortunate to have our car seat! The Baby Trend Snap-N-Go EX Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier is something we have, and it is simple to fold. When your flight is over, you can pick this up immediately at the gate by rolling it up to the entrance. When you check in for your flight, they will attach baggage tags with your name and address.
- Baby Carrier: Because it promoted napping and sleep, this was ideal for our flight (our baby was used to falling asleep in a baby carrier). We employed an Ergo.
- If you are breastfeeding, a nursing cover is a must-have accessory! I employ this one. I want to spend less on them because I once misplaced my nursing cover on the airline.
- If your child uses a pacifier.
- We took a little dose of Tylenol around 30 minutes before takeoff to ease the discomfort brought on by the change in cabin pressure. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage.
- One blanket made of linen
- Small toy—undoubtedly to be used as a diversion.
- Portable changing station: This device saved my life because it had a portable changing “pad” and storage space for diapers, wipes, and other baby supplies. I utilize Skip Hop (see picture below). Of course, we also used this in Airbnb as a changing pad.
- If your kid is not exclusively breastfed/fed a formula, food, and snacks
RELATING TO THE CHECKED Luggage
One packet of baby wipes per week. Over our five weeks there, we consumed maybe two or three boxes. About two wipes are used for each diaper change (average one).
- Diapers: Pack enough diapers for one week or a few days in your checked luggage, depending on if you don’t mind using diapers from another brand wherever you go to the sun. Diapers can always be purchased at your location if you want to stay for a more extended period.
- Books: Every night, we read to our infant. We had five novels with us (small and lightweight). I had grown tired of reading Dr. Seuss’ ABC by the time the vacation was through, but what can you do, right?
- Baby bathtub: Instead of purchasing an inflated baby bathtub, we chose to buy a baby bathtub at Walmart for $16 and leave it in the condo after our trip. It had seen good use!
- In case you need to wash one, have two sleeping bags. You should pack an extra one in case you need access to laundry services. Ensure that they are warm enough. One that I brought was overly thick, taking up space in my suitcase and making the baby sweat.
- Breast pump and bottles – I don’t usually use the pump because my baby won’t drink from a bottle, but it was helpful because I had a blocked duct from the underwire of my swimsuit (sorry, TMI!!! ), which I got rid of in true minimalist fashion. However, if you use the pump frequently instead of nursing, you should pack this in your carry-on so you can pump on the plane.
- 3–4 onesies—to wear to bed.
- Baby outfits that aren’t onesies because they’re so adorable! Our boy looked very smart, wearing several collared shirts and shorts.
- We only took one UV swimsuit, but it was enough for us because we could rinse, wash, or put it in the laundry and use it the following day (it dried quickly). Even though it wasn’t cheap, we got a lot of usage out of it because once, our baby swam for six days in a row (and loved it!). It is made in Canada, and we used the No Zone brand. Although it’s not inexpensive, the quality could be better. Although ours did not have a hood, the hooded one shown here is for ages 0 to 6 months, and my baby was able to wear it until he was 14 months old.
- Swim diapers (disposable or washable): Although our infant was too tiny for the disposable swim diapers we carried, we put him in a pair of adorable washable swim diapers with a Koi design. It was fine even though we only took one set of washable swim diapers.
- If you use a non-scented brand, finding it in your destination could be challenging.
- Bottle wash: If you use a particular paraben-free baby bottle wash.
- We bought a little bottle of moisturizing baby oil in an “airplane safe” size, which lasted for a month of nightly newborn massages. It was a piece of the complimentary baby gear we received.
- We occasionally put lotion on our infant because he had a cradle cap.
- We didn’t bathe our infant every day, so the small container of baby wash and shampoo we had lasted for a month (only if we put sunscreen on or if he went into the ocean or pool).
- A sun hat
- Although zinc oxide-based sunscreen should be okay because it contains the same compound used to treat diaper rash, sunscreen isn’t advised for newborns 0–6 months old. However, you should see your doctor! We use Thinkbaby because our doctor suggested it (zinc oxide-based, organic components) and because it is easy to apply for a zinc oxide-based sunscreen, and my baby didn’t experience any skin reactions to it (he did, however, experience skin reactions/dermatitis to Coppertone mineral sunscreen). Although Thinkbaby is not inexpensive, it is excellent for your baby and toddler and won’t result in a frightening skin reaction.
You’ll see that I omitted a Pack N’ Play from the list. One of those things is not something you should care about! They weigh a much!
You’ll be glad you asked if your lodging could provide a Pack ‘N Play or a crib. Typically, there is no cost or a little charge.
Beach towels should also be available at your lodging.
Here is the ideal minimal packing list for a family beach holiday.
Here are some items to bring for your toddler’s simple beach trip if your baby has a toddler sibling:
A TODDLER-FRIENDLY BEACH VACATION MINIMALIST PACKING LIST FOR CARRY-ON BAGS:
- One box of baby wipes lasted us two weeks because we only went potty 1-2 times per day (as opposed to 4-5 times each day when we were a baby).
- Diapers: Enough for one day’s worth (5 diapers).
- Books: To survive for two weeks, we brought approximately five lightweight books (lots of reading the same book every night)
- iPad: Normally, we are a “no screen time” family, but when you have PTSD from traveling with a small child, you must take things a step further to calm your toddler down. For him to play with, I downloaded some kid-friendly films and apps that would keep him occupied for at least 10-15 minutes apiece.
- Toys: We provided him with some items we wouldn’t mind losing (they were hand-me-down toys). While traveling with a young child, it is important because many of these tiny toys were unfamiliar to him. Novelty! A novel concept! 5 minutes of silence for you!
- An Appu Baby umbrella stroller is what we use. It is simple to fold and depends on your airline; strollers can be gate-checked at no additional cost when flying with a baby.
- Car Seat: Rental car companies often charge $10 per day for a car seat. We packed ours because renting a car seat each time we rented a car was too much effort, and I wouldn’t trust the car seat if we rented one. Depending on your airline, checking in for a flight with a baby is free. We use this car seat because it is portable and lightweight.
- Baby carrier: This is a further necessity, particularly for airplane naps. We employed an Ergo.
- Another necessary thing if your child is nursing is a nursing cover.
- If your toddler uses a pacifier—ours never took to using one, so we didn’t bring one—
- Tylenol: We brought some Tylenol in case our kid started to experience discomfort from the cabin pressure, but we didn’t need it, and he was great.
- One Muslin Blanket: Useful for covering the airplane seat if your child is napping and you are fortunate enough to score an extra seat or shield your toddler from the sun.
- Portable changing station: This device saved my life because it had a portable changing “pad” and storage space for diapers, wipes, and other baby supplies. I make use of Skip Hops.
- Food and snacks are other essential item to bring. It was undoubtedly the ONE item that kept us alive while traveling with our young child. We had a variety of snacks, including puffs, freeze-dried yogurt drops, and Toddler and Baby Mum Mums.
- We brought some cow’s milk for the flight, and it was good to go through security; I believe they had to check to ensure there were no bombs. Sippy cups, forks, spoons, and food containers were also packed.
CHECKED LUGGAGE MINIMALIST PACKING LIST FOR A BEACH VACATION WITH A TODDLER:
- We only purchased one packet of baby wipes, enough for two weeks.
- Diapers: I counted out 5–6 diapers per day and packed them because I didn’t want to deal with getting diapers and only trusted Pampers! We only brought JUST ENOUGH, and we still had one diaper when we got home. It was getting close to it. very near
- One onesie for use during the night. We would wash it during the day if it became dirty.
- A sleep sack is essential for our bedtime and nap routine.
- Six tops and six bottoms are sufficient for a few days of rotation and washing if necessary. Brought one sweatshirt and one pair of long pants.
- Two swimming costumes are necessary because it takes a while to dry.
- We brought both disposable and washable swim diapers. Ten disposable and one washable, roughly. Employ both. Went to the pool or beach virtually every day.
- If you use a nonscented brand, finding it in your destination could be challenging.
- Bottle wash: If you use a particular paraben-free baby bottle wash.
- We bought a little bottle of moisturizing baby oil in an “aeroplane safe” size, which lasted for a month of nightly newborn massages. It was a piece of the complimentary baby gear we received.
- hydrating baby lotion
- Shampoo and baby soap are necessary to remove sunscreen and sand.
- He brought two sun hats, but he didn’t wear one of them (he dislikes hats)
- Toddler sunglasses: Despite our best efforts, ours would not wear them.
- Sunscreen: We continued to use Thinkbaby mineral sunscreen.
- A pair of shoes and two pairs of socks
- We utilized this UV sun tent approximately three times, which was helpful. It packs flat and is minor. Since there was no cover at one of the beaches we visited, I could use it to hide with my toddler so that I wouldn’t become too cranky (I don’t handle the heat and sun well around 1 pm), and my husband could work on his tan.
- You only need one crib sheet to attach to your Pack N’ Play. Age-appropriate toys He had a terrific time with some small beach toys (like a little digger) that we had brought.
Here we go, it looks like a lot, but when you consider all the gear that traveling with young children and babies entails, it’s not that much. We are minimalists, and our infant and I shared a one-bedroom apartment for a while.