The ultimate baby holiday packing list

The only packing list you will ever need for any trip anywhere, even a bush camping trip. By mommy blogger Dani Silbermann

At the outset, I openly admit that this list is ludicrous. Complete overkill. And I am embarrassed that I even own half of this stuff.

But, just in case your flight gets delayed or diverted and you land up in some place where no parents have ever before stepped foot, with no supermarkets or pharmacies in sight for a 1 000 km radius, then, hey, this list will come in handy.

The amount of stuff you choose to pack will also depend on the type of holiday you’re going on. If you’re going somewhere remote and want the convenience of not having to think about a single thing (and you have the space to pack it all)… then go for it.

Things to check before you depart:

  • Camp cot provided at accommodation?
  • Hotel transfer from airport – are car seats provided?
  • If renting a car, have you ordered a car seat?
  • Provisions for boiling water? Is there a kettle?
  • Get emergency contact numbers for your family doctor and paediatrician
  • Are you traveling to a malaria area? (If yes, medication is necessary.)

Nifty packing tips:

  • Make sure you have squish or pouch food and disposable bibs. Nothing keeps a crying baby quiet like some fruit puree.
  • Make sure you have a dummy stashed in every bag so that you don’t have to look too hard to find one at any given moment.
  • The same applies for sunblock and sun hats. Have a set for each bag (beach bag, nappy bag and handbag). You may also want to have some extra baby powder for your beach bag as it’s the only thing that gets sticky beach sand off with ease.
  • Make sure you have linen savers, wet wipes and nappy sacks stashed in a few places, because these always come in handy.
  • Make sure you have a few plastic shopping bags to use as makeshift bins, for carrying wet clothes, or as an emergency sick bag.


This will vary, depending on whether you breastfeed or bottle feed. Moms who formula feed will have substantially more to pack than those who breastfeed. If you breastfeed, remember to pack your breast pump and accessories.

  • Bottles, teats and lids
  • Formula (1 tin per week)
  • Formula dispenser containers
  • Kettle (if your accommodation doesn’t provide one)
  • Glass bottle for cooling and storing boiled water
  • Bottle brush and sponge
  • Bottle drying rack
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sterilising options:
  • Miltons tablets and a 5-litre tupperware (pack stuff into the tupperware so it doesn’t take up unnecessary space)
  • Microwave sterilising bags
  • Steam steriliser if you have space
  • Alternatively, just sterilise your bottles using boiling water poured directly over the bottles, teats and dummies.
  • Sippy cups
  • Feeding bowls and spoons
  • Squish or pouch food and jarred food. This makes travelling so easy, and I have no problem feeding #babyjake from a jar when on holiday. I like to buy an organic option. Rice cereal is also an easy food option.
  • Snacks such as mini rice cakes and teething biscuits
  • Disposable bibs
  • Frozen food portions if you want to take them along
  • Mini cooler bag, lunch boxes and ice packs for day and beach trips.

Medicines and essentials

I like to make sure that I’m medically well-equipped before going anywhere.
Tip: Pack this in a separate toiletry bag that you take as hand luggage with you on the plane. You don’t want this bag going missing if the airline loses your bag.

  • Dummies, containers and dummy chain or toy toggle
  • Calpol, Nurofen or Stopayne
  • Syringes
  • Empaped suppositories (it’s easier than administering syrup to a hysterical baby)
  • Telement or gripe water
  • Buscopan syrup
  • Thermometer
  • Tweezers or a needle (for stings or splinters)
  • Nail scissors or clippers
  • Allergy reaction medication or antihistamine and Epipen if needed
  • Teejel, Dynexan, Prodol, Ashton & Parsons powder (or whatever teething ointment you swear by)
  • Reuterina (probiotics)
  • Glycerin suppositories (and other constipation meds if your baby gets constipated)
  • Antipeol (and whatever else you use for severe nappy rash)
  • Anthisan or Mylocort (for stings and rashes)
  • Bactroban and Bactroban Nasal
  • Rehydrate sachets
  • Saline spray, Sterimar nose spray, Iliadin Paediatric
  • NoseFrida and filters
  • Burnshield
  • Bandaids and plasters
  • Sunblock
  • Mozzie repellant
  • Regular prescription medication if relevant

Useful stuff to pack

  • Mozzie net
  • Baby monitor and charger
  • Childproofing gear (plug socket covers)
  • Swimming nappies and pull-up nappy pants (easier to get on while changing on the beach and at the pool)
  • Linen savers, disposable nappy changing mats
  • Dummy antiseptic steriliser spray
  • Ziplock bags and plastic bags
  • Woolite, handwashing powder and stain remover for clothes
  • Milestone card (if you’ve been doing monthly pics using something like milestone cards, and will be away over one of the monthly milestones, be sure to pack it to get a holiday snap shot)
  • Universal plug adapter
  • Child leash (especially for airports and busy public spaces)
  • Printed photograph of your child (in case they get lost)

Bathing and changing

  • Nappies (disposable, swim nappies and nappy pants)
  • Nappy packets
  • Wet wipes for changing
  • Bum cream (Sudocrem can double up as after sun if needed)
  • Towelling nappies for spit up or burp cloths
  • Changing mat, wedge and linen savers
  • Bath seat
  • Non-slip bath mat
  • Towels
  • Face cloths
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Bath toys
  • Universal basin plug
  • Hair brush
  • Moisturiser
  • Baby powder
  • Vaseline
  • Earbuds
  • Cotton wool
  • Tissues


  • Camp cot, mattress and linen
  • Your own waterproof cot sheets if you are using a camp cot supplied at your destination
  • Cot wedges
  • Muslins, blankets and swaddles
  • Sleeping bag or Grobag
  • Special attachment items (teddy, blankie, etc)
  • Travel-sized night light
  • Bedtime story book


  • Vests
  • Babygros
  • T-shirts
  • Pants, leggings and shorts
  • pyjamas
  • Warm clothes
  • Sun hats (more than one)
  • UV swim suits
  • Bibs (regular plus disposable)
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Beach sand shoes
  • Sunglasses


  • Some inflatable toys (easy to pack in terms of space)
  • Blow-up pool (useful to get a small one to play in on the beach)
  • Swimming accessories (armbands, etc)
  • Baby swim ring
  • Floatation swim suit
  • Small air pump
  • Play mat
  • Picnic blanket
  • Bouncy chair
  • Books
  • Colouring books and crayons
  • Stickers
  • Puzzles
  • Rattles
  • Balls
  • Teething or chewy toys

Pram and travel:

  • Pram or stroller
  • Pram liner
  • Pram hooks for clipping on nappy bag
  • Car seat, Isofix, mirror and neck cushion
  • Pram attachment parts for car seat
  • Pram sun shade and rain cover
  • Window shades for rental car
  • Music, audio books, Kid’s CD’s, iPod for car, cables and charger
  • Travelling nappy bag (a lightweight version of your regular nappy bag that can handle being tossed around and soaked in sand and sunblock)
  • Portable nappy changing mat
  • Portable high chair or clip on table high chair
  • Sling or carrier
  • Baby UV sun tent (baby can also sleep in this)

If travelling internationally:

  • Passport and unabridged birth certificate
  • Health and travel insurance documents
  • Vaccination documents if needed

Click here for 10 tips for air travel with kids. 

Click here to download a printable checklist version of this list. 

Dani Silbermann is mom to 11-month-old Jake, and a mommy blogger. Visit to read more of her blog posts.

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