How to pack for a European vacation with your baby!

Phew. I wanted to put this up before leaving but that obviously didn’t happen… we’re back!  And the recaps are being written!

Start by throwing everything you might need on your guest bed.
Keep sharpies, quart sized bags, post-it notes all right beside you at all times.

My tactic:
Use quart size ziploc bags to place any possibly needed medicines & label with Sharpie.

Label EVERYTHING so that I don’t have to question where something is…pray the husband will not just toss stuff into the incorrect bag. 🙂 …he forgot our medicines (i.e. advil/rolaids/etc) because we switched carry-ons at the last minute. No biggie, we survived.

Use post-it notes for each day – I also went a step further so I didn’t constantly have to check my phone by writing quick description of the day “61 rainy free day” “80 free AM wedding”. Great in theory, except it was MUCH colder than expected.

Our goal was to take two backpack carry-on’s; one for Caroline, one for us. Plus my purse. 
For checked luggage; one large suitcase and one small- could be used as carry on if need be.
We ended up taking a backpack & buying a diaper bag last minute to make better use of space. Looking back it worked, except the diaper bag shape was awkward.

by Fisher Price at Target


What we packed for her:

4 pajamas, including what she traveled in on the plane. I plan on sending all airplane-germ laden clothing/blankets to be laundered upon arrival in Paris. 
This worked great!

Every medicine I could buy at Target! #justincase   Grateful we packed infant tylenol & childrens benedryl. Caroline was suffering from sinus problems before we left & we used benedryl almost everyday for the first four days. Also – we did give her benedryl onboard  the plane to help her sleep – it seemed to keep her drowsy on the flight over but that was also during her normal bedtime. The flight home it didn’t work at all in my opinion.


An outfit for every single day plus two…figuring I could send out for cleaning if need be. Knock on wood, she doesn’t typically need changed a lot.  We ended up sending a lot out to be laundered at our Paris hotel; she happened to grow out of her size 3 diapers while on this trip so there was a lot of peed through clothing! Laundering wasn’t cheap & our hotel unfortunately lost a onsie and a blanket! We are being compensated though.

We decided to bring our own car seat/stroller travel system, the Britax B-Agile, as I re-confirmed twice with Air France that we could gate check both items which is what I decided was the priority for us. We also knew that we could leave her carseat in the room & she would relax comfortably in her stroller that also leans the whole way back so she could nap.  This was good overall – I will go into more detail on what I would do next time in my re-cap. And since this was the part I was so nervous about; Air France from Dulles to Paris were wonderful about tagging our stroller & carseat once in those bright orange gate check bags – we lost the car seat bag at some point in the trip, but ended up fitting stoller & carseat into one orange bag for the ride home. All survived but we threw the gate check bag out at the end; it was disgusting & for us, cheap enough to buy again.

We brought her Ergo Perfomance; although she isn’t a huge fan. I blame myself for not using it a ton – my short frame & all that weight don’t work well together. We used for security at Dulles – fine & during a half day tour; great. I will talk about this more in the recap.

Four burp cloths – I realize we probably need more but it seemed like such a silly item to pack a ton of; I could regret this. Perfect amount.

Six pacifiers or “binks” in our house. If we really did bring six, we only came back with four. HA

Bottle brush & I filled a small bottle with dish soap then placed in two zip lock bag. I felt like a genius for this idea!

2 Washclothes for her & her toiletries. Never used the washclothes, surprisingly our hotels had them!

300 Wipes! We had plenty leftover! The diaper bag we purchased came with a case so it was perfect to keep loaded. A friend recommended buying a “wet bag” (I found on Amazon) to store diapers/dirty clothes while out – it was a great idea – thanks Meg!

100 diapers! I honestly am not sure if that’s how many we went with – we ended up buying some in Paris…was no big deal!

An entire container of Forumla. We had plenty & also packed two of those formula dividers you can buy at Target – Formula dispenser. I’ll talk about this more in my other post, but if I had been a pumping mama I would have reallly struggled on this trip.

6 bottles – which is enough for a day, we will wash every night. Perfect!

Not a great photo – sorry – we hooked a bottle bag to my purse to help with carrying things – another great solution!

BOWS. lots & lots of bows. Girl needed options – I overpacked 🙂

…all the fun details to come!

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