Summer is officially upon us, and of course that means that everyone and their brother (or, you know... their baby) is planning a family vacation. But when you have a little one clinging to your body at all times, taking a trip may not be quite as exciting as it used to be. Actually, more often than not it can cause of a slew of unnecessary stress since you're constantly in a state of preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. It also doesn't help that babies aren't known to be the most adaptable creatures, and it's not uncommon for them to have a hard time adjusting to a new space and routine.
Despite the anxiety of preparing for a family vacation with your baby, your trip should still be fun for you and your crew. Now is your chance to make lasting memories together, and also take a well-deserved break from the mundane, so it should be embraced and not dreaded. To help ease some of the stress of getting your whole fam ready for your trip, we partnered with VTech to list the absolutely essential items you should pack to help your baby feel more comfortable on vacation. Check it twice, and then go have fun!
A Travel Crib
Please note the important difference between a travel crib and a pack n' play: Travel cribs are much lighter (typically between 11 and 20 pounds), and are usually much easier to fold and assemble than pack n' plays.
A Video Monitor
Another item you'll absolutely need so you can be sure both of you get a solid night's sleep is a portable monitor that'll help you settle baby down when they start feeling uncomfortable. The VTech Owl VM344 Video Baby Monitor with Pan & Tilt Camera is a favorite of ours because of its easy setup, multiple angles, and ability to include up to four cameras if needed.
Easy Clean-Up Snacks
If your baby is on formula, make sure to find some pre-mixed formula or travel packets so you don’t have to worry about lugging around a giant canister. If they're a bit older, throw a few pieces of fruit, some baggies of cereal, and a small bag for trash in your tote. (Trust me: You'll be so grateful you packed a lil' trash bag. I practically never leave the house without one now.)
A Travel Stroller
A stroller can be your best friend in a time of need, or your worst enemy if it's too heavy or difficult to maneuver. It's definitely worth investing in (or even borrowing) a lightweight stroller that you can throw over your shoulder if need be.
Plenty Of Pacifiers
I know, I know — not everyone is into the binky, but if you’re traveling by air or train a pacifier can really help to ease any pressure in their ears, plus there's the added benefit of it probably putting them to sleep so you can finally crack open that book you’ve been dying to get into. This is vacation after all!
A Sound Machine
It can be hard to know exactly what your baby's sleep setup will be like before you arrive at your destination, so one of the most critical items you’ll need to bring is a sound machine to help provide some familiar sounds from their nursery at home. We like VTech’s Myla the Monkey because it's small and has a rechargeable battery for easy travel, plus it has a bonus nightlight!
A Special Blanket Or Toy
Bringing your baby's favorite bedtime blanket or stuffed animal will help to remind them of home and feel protected when they're feeling insecure about being in a strange place.
A Few Favorite Books
Allow room in your luggage for a few of your baby's favorite books to keep the familiarity of your regular bedtime routine going. Pop up or peek-a-boo books are also great for engaging them in an activity that can kill some time during layovers or unexpected traffic.
My daughter has a real issue with using strange bath tubs (don't ask), so I find if there’s a new and interesting bath toy to distract her, it's a lot easier for me to get her clean while keeping her freak-out level to a minimum.
This post is sponsored by VTech.