Introduction: Tips for Traveling With a Baby: Packing Baby Clothes

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In the last month we clocked over 4,000 km of driving and 30 hours of flying with our teething ten-month-old, and it was awesome!

I've learned a bit about traveling with a baby and thought I should share my tips for packing baby clothes.

By following this strategy (as well as relying on buying diapers at our destination), we've managed to go on week-long trips with our son, with nothing but carry-on luggage for two adults and an infant.

Step 1: Dressing in Layers

The weather in Canada is unpredictable. When packing for our recent trip through northern British Columbia and Alberta this August, I knew that we could expect temperatures between 5°C (41°F) and 30°C (86°F).

When planning the outfits for my son, I tried to choose clothing that could take him from cool mornings to hot afternoons and then chilly evenings.

A successful layered outfit for the summer could include:

  • Romper/onesie - functions like a t-shirt or undershirt, but can be worn on it's own if it's hot out
  • Light weight jeans, overalls or other pants - bonus points if these are convertible to shorts
  • Cardigan, sweater or long-sleeve flannel shirt
  • Socks

For my son, I pack 2 full outfits per day plus pajamas. He rarely makes it through a day in just one outfit, and if he needs something else to wear after the second change, we put him in his pjs.

I will also have shoes and a jacket with us in the diaper bag.

To keep the clothes clean as long as possible, don't forget to bring some bib clips!

Step 2: Packing in Plastic

Packing outfits in Ziplock bags is an old Burning Man trick. When everything around you is dirty and dusty, it's great to be able to pull a perfectly clean outfit out of a bag, with all you need down to fresh socks and underwear.

Putting baby clothes together in plastic bags is great for keeping them clean (even if you're not headed to the Black Rock Desert) but there are several other advantages:

  • Super quick wardrobe changes (nothing beats having everything you need at your fingertips when you're dealing with a squirming baby)
  • Easy transfer from suitcase to diaper bag when heading out on excursions
  • No odd clashing outfits at the end of the trip (we've all paired tops with bottoms, only to find that we're left with nothing clean that works together by the end of the week)
  • Somewhere safe to store soiled clothes. Once your baby is dressed in clean clothes, you can throw the dirty duds in the now empty bag to contain the mess and smell.

I use medium or large freezer bags, depending on the size of the outfit. If you are packing for an older child, you may need to move up to extra large bags.

Before putting the bagged outfits in your suitcase, suck all the air out of the bags with the help of a straw. The clothes now take up less space in your luggage!