Essential Gear for Adventure Travel with a Baby

If you’re travelling with a baby you’ll be surprised at the extra gear even such a small person requires. And while some items, such as diapers, are a no-brainer to bring along, others may not come to mind so easily.

After three trips within Canada and ten weeks abroad in our baby’s first 13 months, I have started to get the hang of things. With that, here is my list of essential items for travel with a baby (you choose the level of adventure). In some cases I have recommended a specific product. You’ll no doubt find the ones that work for you! While gear doesn’t make the world go around, having the right items with you will definitely make your trip easier.

Don’t miss my other post in this series, Adventure Travel with Baby: 40+ Helpful Tips and Insights.

Want this info in a handy-dandy, printable checklist? Download the e-guides (use the code mjw19 receive a free copy!)

Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.
Baby in her Nozone suit and Sunday Afternoons Playhat. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

All Purpose

Blankets – For nursing, keeping baby warm, sun protection, playtime on the ground. Have one lightweight and one fleece blanket on hand. I love Aden+ Anais Bamboo Swaddles.

Baby Wipes/Disinfecting Wipes – These come in handy for everything – for baby’s bum and body, parents’ hands, restaurant tables and high chairs, etcI prefer natural wipes so that I can use them safely on baby’s face and hands, as well as for surfaces the baby will eat off of.

Face Cloths – You’ll be wiping baby’s face, arms, hands, as well as tables, high chairs, etc.


You’ll have to figure out what you need to bring depending on the climate you’ll be in, but bring extras! Baby clothes don’t take up much space. You can’t always control how clean an environment is like you can at home and clothes get dirty quickly and frequently.


Washable Diaper Bag – We used a Bummis Organic Wet Bag for storing diapering items, such as change pad, diapers, wipes, creams and sprays.

Washable Laundry Bag – A Large Bummis Organic Wet Bag is the perfect way to gather your laundry. Throw the bag in with your load.


Travel High Chair – One we particularly liked was My Little Seat. See notes under “Transit”.

Baby Food Containers – We brought three and it was the perfect amount. In the morning we could cut food up into bite size pieces for my daughter and have it ready while we were on the move.

Reusable Squeeze Pouches – This is something I didn’t bring but wish I had! Some brands of fruit purees only come in containers that don’t let you reseal. These pouches would have allowed us to reseal the puree in a container that’s also easy to feed from.

A Reliable Bottle – Our favourite is from Comotomo. Keeping baby hydrated is essential so bring along a bottle he or she likes.

A Plastic Plate or Bowl

A Knife – Find one that folds into the handle. Convenient for cutting up food for the baby.

Baby in the infant life jacket en route to Maupiti, French Polynesia. Photo Paul Zizka Photography.
Baby in the infant life jacket en route to Maupiti, French Polynesia. Photo Paul Zizka Photography.

Fun and Play

We kept toys to a minimum (mainly made toys out of objects around us!), but enjoyed having these two on hand:

Stacking Cups – These second as fabulous beach toys, too.

Books: Indestructibles were our favourites. Baby can’t tear them, and water can’t ruin them either!


Pack a Ziploc full of baby medications and homeopathic remedies (Tylenol, Camilia, Gripe Water, etc.) – The last thing you want to do is buy it when you actually need it. Save yourself some grief and have it on hand.


All Purpose Travel and Diaper Bag – I love, love, love the Lug Puddle Jumper

Reusable Shopping Bag – The kind that stuffs into its own bag. This came in handy for, well, shopping!

On the ferry from Tahiti to Moorea. The baby is in the Onya Baby Outback. Photo Meghan J. Ward colletion.
On the ferry from Tahiti to Moorea. The baby is in the Onya Baby Outback. Photo Meghan J. Ward colletion.


Coconut Oil – A fabulous natural moisturizer. We used it as cooking oil, too!

Baby Bug Spray – Try the Natural Newborn Bug Stopper Spray.


Sleep Sheep – For white noise. Actually we just brought the speaker, and left the stuffed animal behind.

Baby monitor


Sleep Sack

Baby Bed – Unless your baby is a master co-sleeper anywhere you take him or her, bring along a baby bed. We brought a Pack and Play for our rambunctious sleeper, and airlines let us check it for free.

Homeopathic Sleep Drops – These may help your baby overcome jet lag and restlessness when adjusting to new environments.

Fantail Falls, Mt. Aspiring National Park, New Zealand. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.
Fantail Falls, Mt. Aspiring National Park, New Zealand. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.


Infant Life Jacket – Bring your own if you’ll be near water. We’re glad we had one because some operators didn’t have jackets small enough.

Swim Diaper

Sun Protection

Hat – I highly recommend the Sunday Afternoon’s Playhat.

Baby Sunscreen – Thinkbaby Sunscreen

Sun Protective Suit – We liked the long-sleeved Nozone Baby Suit

Baby Sunglasses – look for ones with a strap so that they don’t come off or can’t be pulled off


Soft Structure Baby Carrier – Onya Baby Outback (also has a built-in chair harness) or Boba Carrier

e-guideWant this info in a handy-dandy, printable checklist? Download the e-guide (use the code mjw19 receive a free copy!)

Author: Meghan J. Ward

Meghan J. Ward is an outdoor, travel and adventure writer based in Banff, Canada, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Meghan has written several books, as well as produced content for films, anthologies, blogs and some of North America’s top outdoor, fitness and adventure publications. She has a forthcoming travel memoir (Fall 2022), to published by Rocky Mountain Books.

16 thoughts

  1. we are currently on our own adventure for months (6 in mexico and the rest traveling) while on parental leave with our 9 month old son and our 2.5 year old son. This is a great list! Although I would swap out one thing, instead of a baby monitor we use 2-way radios that can be used as a monitor. We put one in the baby’s room on voice activation and keep the other with us. And then you can use them as radios too. We have found them much more useful than a baby monitor and use them when we go traveling and camping.

    1. Radios…what a genius idea! We didn’t use our monitor much because of the kinds of places we were travelling and the fact that they wouldn’t reach. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Gemma! I’m a big fan of that bug spray. Knowing it’s designed for a newborn made me feel a lot better about using it on the baby. I often used it on myself, too!

  2. I would add my stretch washing line with hooks at each end. It has two twisted strands so you don’t need pegs. Invaluable microlight travel item, cheap and useful with kids or without.

  3. Love these ideas! What life jacket are you using in the picture? We are avid canoe campers but life jackets for little ones tend to ride up on our baby’s neck and make him not such a happy camper in the canoe. The one your little one is wearing looks much pretty comfy.

  4. Hello! What about diapering? Do you bring diapers? Do cloth and wash on the go? Buy diapers when you are in less remote areas? I can’t pack 2 months worth for our travels and was wondering what other people do!

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