Asia,  Japan,  Travel Tips

The ultimate guide to rationally pack your baby bag before vacations

Hello moms and dads. I’ve just turned 35 and, among other things, I realized that 1. Oh my God, it’s about time I’m back to running if I want to attend the NYC marathon one day 2. I’ve not been eating chocolate for the last two years… Nooopee, I was checking your degree of attention. Life is too short for calling off on chocolate 3. Once upon a time, this one below used to be my backpack.

My backpack after Princess was born

Yes my dear readers: in another era, this used to be plenty of bikinis, shorts, skirts, even a stiletto pair of shoes, favorite lotions and earrings, etc. Nowadays, my backpack turned out to be my daughter’s backpack. Since she was four-month old and she went on her first family trip! I have to say that I’m pretty proud that she has her own backpack at this young age: one of my concerns about her is to make sure that she turns out to be an interrail kind of person and not a trolley – style girl that goes to the Italian riviera clubbing spots every summer. I’m then more than happy to share Marco’s backpack and take away basically some underwear, a book and my cell phone, in order to allow Princess to travel with all her stuff. Still, packing for a long vacation with her implies a rational plan of what is really necessary. And, let’s be honest : mothers have a concept of “necessary” for their babies that is far from being rational. Even worse in my case, as I’m an Italian mother, at risk of calling Princess “a baby” when she will be in her forties. This picture dates back to our vacations in Japan. How did I manage to fit my twenty-day baby essentials? I still need to figure it out, but I did. Let’s have a look together on how to pack baby bags and (somehow) comply with weight restrictions of airlines.

Nuk magic cup, hand sanitizer and your guide. It’s almost all you need.
  1. Diapers. I exaggerated, bringing two packs: you find them all over the world. One pack is enough. Make sure you have 5/6 in your hand luggage on the flight to change your baby in any circumstances. If you are on a long haul flight, it may take you time before you can access your backpack.
  2. Drugs and solar cream. It depends on your destination, but if you travel abroad, it’s normally better to have your things from home, checked with your pediatrician.
  3. Changing mats. I took four and one in my hand luggage. They occupy a tiny space and are extremely useful. You can find them but not in the proximity stores that you normally find in city centers. Better having some more.
  4. Disposable bibs. Much depends on the stage you are living during the weaning process. We were at the time at the semi solid stage, where Princess ate shaked fruits and vegs and her first solid things, like rice and pasta. The problem being, no matter what she had, it ended up rather outside her mouth than inside. So, I took a whole package with me, to make sure I have a decent supply. I didn’t see myself wandering through Tokyo in search of them.
  5. Baby food. I stick to the “eat like a local” rule and I have always had great, enriching experiences, so i think that “wean as a local” may be the more convenient approach to the story. Of course, much depends on where you are going. In this case I took only some supplies of fruit jars because I read that fruit is scarce in Japan, while Princess is a heavy consumer. Plus, be sure you have a proper amount of snacks and jars to survive the flight and the first hours when arriving. I will write more in depth about this.
  6. Wet wipes. You can find them wherever I think. Still, they are so useful in so many situations that I ‘d rather have some supply. You never know how many times you are gonna change diapers, how many you’ ll need to remove food leftovers from little hands and mouth, how many you’ll use yourself to remove the food that will land on you (because it will, be sure). The list is long. I took three Fissan baby wet wipes (x72 each): one in my hand luggage and two in our backpack. To be honest, two would have been enough.
  7. Clothes. That’s the most tricky part. You want your baby to be confortably dressed, fresh if it’s hot, warm if it’s cold, dry if it rains, clean after each meal, cute if you have to go on a special night out… But, you cannot move the house, can you? I suggest to make sure you have several t shirt, of which, a couple should travel with you. I suggest also parents to take a spare t-shirt on board… From my experience it can be very useful. Don’t forget to have a sweater in case air-conditioning on the flight is excessive. A rain coat, some shorts. A confortable pair of shoes for toddlers. Socks for the little ones can do: even nothing if you are traveling to a warm place. A hat for cold or for sun. And you should be done. I normally bring Marseille soap with me to end wash Princess’ things and our underwear. It saves you much space.
  8. A baby bottle or glass and baby spoons. Depending on what’s your baby’s favorite. Princess has a glass by Nuk that we bring everywhere. I use to bring a couple of baby spoons as it’s easy to forget or lost them.
  9. A gel hand sanitizer. If you travel in western countries, you have no need of bringing it from home, as you find almost the same products you are used to, maybe with a different packaging. Alternatively, it may be more simple to have it with you.
  10. Stroller rain cover. This is essential, wherever you go. Any time of the year.
  11. A couple of soft toys. Your baby’s favorite buddy is part of the family and is coming on vacations. Make sure ayou don’t forget it. You can always find a toothbrush, an adaptor or a cell phone charger, but you cannot find another Dudu. And you know better than I do which crisis might burst if Dudu happens to be absent at bed time.
Girls are ready for the beach.

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