It’s that time of year again!
Older kids are out of school, the weather is irresistible, work slows down - it’s the perfect time to get out and about as a family! But for new parents, packing for a summer vacation can feel a little overwhelming. Babies come with a ton of gear, and if you’re just easing into a good routine with your newborn, it takes a little bit of planning and a big jump of bravery to take your family show on the road.
But summer is calling, and there are tons of magical #dadadamoment memories to be made. To make sure your family doesn’t miss a single one, here’s our list of tips and packing essentials that make summer vacation with baby just a little bit easier.
A baby carrier you love. Strollers are wonderful, but in crowded airports, big cities, or on sandy beaches, it’s often easiest to carry your baby on your body. A comfortable carrier keeps your hands free for necessities like coffee and luggage wrangling, or to take photos and hold older kids’ hands wherever you go. Look for a carrier that fits your body well, with excellent lumbar support and easy in-and-out functionality - and bonus points for extra pockets to hold your wallet, passport, and hotel room keys!
Simple sun accessories. Sunscreen isn’t always an option for exposed newborn skin, so be sure to pack sun protection in the form of accessories. We love this floppy, full coverage sun hat to keep baby’s head and neck protected. And despite their wintery name, light cotton baby leg warmers are wonderfully easy to slip onto arms or legs for instant protection when you step outside or walk between locations! Bonus - they’re small enough to take up hardly any room in a diaper bag. Speaking of diaper bags…
A backpack diaper bag. Trust us - there’s no better beach bag than a backpack strap diaper bag. Most diaper bags are waterproof or water resistant, making them perfect for soggy swim gear and towels, and come complete with plenty of pockets to tuck in all your essentials. Two straps instead of one is easier on your back for long days of exploring. We definitely recommend taking a few minutes when you get back to your hotel each night to dump out all the contents, toss any receipts, trash, or leftover snacks you don’t need, and reload your diapers, wipes, and snack gear so you’re ready to go in the morning. Your AM self will thank you!
Diapers at your destination. If possible, arrange to have a pack of your favorite diapers delivered to the hotel or home where you’ll be staying. That way, diapers won’t take up valuable space in your luggage, but you won’t have to worry about making a special trip to find the brand you prefer and size you need once you reach your location.
Plenty of downtime. For those first family trips, less is more. Don’t overbook your days or plan too many non-refundable events - give yourself time and space to rest, chill in your hotel, and regroup. If you're planning a trip to an amusement park with a little one, look into getting multi-day passes so the pressure to ride everything in one day is off, and the whole family can take a break in the afternoon to prevent kid, baby, and even parent meltdowns.
Peace of mind. If you’re feeling especially nervous about traveling with a newborn, set aside a pre-vacation day to do a little research ahead of time. Check out the area surrounding your hotel, rental, or the relatives you’re visiting and locate a local store that stocks all your favorite supplies. Take note of a local pediatrician, just in case. If you’re visiting an amusement park or all-inclusive resort, search some parenting forums for information about the best spots for nursing, which restaurants are most kid-friendly, how to use the lockers or stroller rental services, and other parent-to-parent tips for a successful day. Knowing before you go can be a huge stress relief, and there are tons of parents out there posting the reviews and advice you need!
Taking those first few trips as a new family might be daunting, but the memories you’ll make are worth it! We hope you have a blast getting out there with your new little one this summer - don’t forget to use #dadadamoments to share all their first tourist adventures with us!