As you’ve probably gleaned from this journal, I am fundamentally opposed to checking luggage. It doesn’t matter if it’s traveling for a year internationally or a long weekend, I feel like there’s very little you absolutely CAN’T get at your final destination*.
So when we adopted a baby (OMG, did you know we adopted a baby??), for our first trip with her, I just knew I had to do it with carry-on only. My husband was horrified, but went along with it because he trusts me – and also kinda wanted to see what would happen.
First of all, here’s a gorgeous baby photo 🙂
We could have packed even a little lighter than we did had we not brought our portable crib, but we are determined for her to be a safe sleeper. Here’s the one we bought. Since it’s the length of a long yoga mat, I got a nice yoga bag to carry it (and some small things can fit too). Still officially not too big for carry on!
Since we were only going from California to Colorado and would only be staying 3 nights, we bought formula and diapers once we arrived, bringing only what we needed for travel and extras just in case. And just before we left the house, I popped a spare diaper or a burp cloth in any extra space left in each of the bags.
Some tricks to know for traveling with baby:
- Wet formula or breast milk is allowed in carry on luggage
- A car seat can be brought on the plane if you bought the baby a seat
- A car seat, base, and stroller can all be wheeled up to the plane and “gate checked”, which means when you get to your destination, you might wait a few minutes when you get off the plane, but it will be brought there instead of baggage claim. And while you’re in the airport, your stroller can double as a luggage cart!
- A lap infant isn’t given any baggage allowance
- If you didn’t receive a special boarding pass for the baby, you will have to go to the airline counter to get one before going through security
Since the baby is adopted and the adoption isn’t final yet, we brought her original birth certificate and the adoption paperwork (the agency told us which papers to bring). When we got up to security and discovered we needed a boarding pass for her, we went back out and to the counter and showed them all the paperwork. Southwest was amazing! They barely batted an eye at the papers and gave us the boarding pass with no hassle.
Baby was a great little traveler and I can’t wait to travel with her again (next week actually).
Here’s the list of baby things we packed (our list never really changes and we can both fit our stuff into one roller bag), leaving a little room of course for gifts from the grandparents. (Note the  before each item. If you use Evernote, copying this will make them all checkboxes for you.)
*In all my years of traveling, the only things I have had trouble finding have been: Zyretec (in Japan), sunscreen (in Cuba, luckily I brought enough), snacks (hard to find vegan snacks in Cuba).