Like all first-time parents, I spent the week before our first trip with Margot asking a lot of questions. How the hell would we even conquer baby travel packing? We’re not even good at ADULT packing. And how were we going to function in France without everything we’re used to having on hand?! I’d wake in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, shaking over what we would do without our changing table and nappy bin and bassinet and boppy and THIS SERENITY STAR?!
I kid. Mostly. That Serenity Star is awesome.
Luckily, Le Majestic made our lives generally easier, but unfortunately, once the hubs’s conference started, we relocated halfway through the week to a hotel that did pretty much the complete opposite. That’s when I realized that making a detailed packing list really worked out well for us.
Ahwhatnow? Yeah, if you’ve been here for awhile, then you know: packing is NOT my strong suit. I rarely plan in advance, and I usually regret every single thing I bring with me, despite my best intentions. Lucky for me, Karla from Little Peanut on the Go recently got in touch. She asked if I wanted to test out the app before our first family adventure. Obviously, the answer was YES.
When you first download the app, you’re able to pick from a bunch of different plan options. For this trip, I used the “Outing” plan. It’s specifically geared toward parents traveling with their kids! Because she’s still so little, the feature I mostly relied on was the packing lists.
If you have more than one kiddo joining you, you can create separate packing lists for each one. You can also write separate care schedules that can be shared with nannies, babysitters, husbands, etc. I love that you can just copy the exact plan for future trips. This will be super helpful when we head off on our next few adventures.
Total sidenote, but baby lingo is a whole new ballgame once you enter parenthood. On top of that, the hubs and I have adopted most of the UK terms. There was no use in resisting it. If we went with US terms, our lives would be a hell of a lot more difficult here.
In case I start Brit-ing it up, here’s what I’m yammering on about:
- pram/buggy = baby carriage/stroller
- nappies = diapers
- dummy = pacifier
- cot = crib
- vest = sleeveless onesie
- baby grow/sleepsuit = long-sleeved onesie
- wind = gas
- flannel = washcloth
- teat = bottle nipple, and I refuse to say it because I am 12
The more you know!
Anyway! The app breaks the packing list into categories, which I loved. Pre-baby, I wasn’t much for routines, but, like most things, this has all since changed. Little Peanut OTG made it much easier for me to think through what we need & use for each part of the day, and as a result, I was able to be a bit more systematic in my approach and not forget something major.
(I’m aware this is probably common sense for people who love a good packing list. You can stop rolling your eyes at me.)
Here’s what made the cut!
Looking this good comes with a price, and that price is packing.
12 onesies // Boden and Joules are my go-tos for all baby clothes, and especially for onesies. They both have great year-round sales in the UK. That is practically unheard of here, so I can only imagine what their US stores offer. We packed 12 in total, thinking that gave us about 5 as back-ups. It did not! Week 9 of Margot’s life is the week she really developed her gag reflex. By our return flight, we were choosing the lesser of 12 evils when it came for what to wear home…
2 hats // She wore a heavier knit hat on our travel day from London since it was chilly here, and we packed a sunhat from John Lewis (similar to this one from Old Navy), which she wore anytime we left the hotel in Cannes. We also picked up a pair of baby sunglasses from Ki ET LA, which is a French company, but it looks like Pottery Barn Kids has some adorable options. Look at those pink flowers!
4 vests // It was sunny and certainly warmer than London, but still not sundress weather. These gave an extra layer for warmth, without cramping her style. Ours are from John Lewis, but these look to be basically the same.
8 outfits (leggings + tops + socks) // From the beginning, I’ve been dressing Margot in outfits during the day, and onesies at night. See: the adorable dress in the above photo from her Auntie Wino. I feel like it’s helpful to get dressed in the morning after her first feed. WE then change into a onesie at night after her bath. Even if she’s not totally aware of it yet, I figure it can’t harm in developing her circadian rhythm. Because babies apparently don’t really have those for the first four months?!
Fortunately, baby clothes are so insanely small that all of the above fit into one medium-sized packing cube.
nappies // We change Margot about 10-12 times over a 24-hour cycle. This meant we were looking at a minimum of 80 nappies. Obviously, packing that many was insane, so we just took one bag and bought more in France. We were able to get our normal Pampers, and a fair amount flew home with us because we got more than we needed.
wipes // We realized the night before that we only had one pack of Water Wipes left to take with us, and no time to re-stock before our trip. We ended up with a pack of Huggies and a weird French brand of wipes that I liked at first. But then I realized they weren’t nearly as good as our regulars. Still, we survived! Thank god for Carrefour. Oh, and we had a few with us on both flights to wipe down the table, arm rests, etc. etc.
8 muslins // Any muslins by aden + anais are the best, hands down. Naturally, we underestimated just how many we’d want throughout the week. I use them for everything. To keep discrete when breastfeeding in public. Over her pram to keep out the sun. On our shoulders to keep off the (VAST AMOUNTS OF) spit-up. One also stayed in between her and the carseat, because it doesn’t seem like rental companies clean those often or well. I could have used about 8 extras throughout the week.
burp cloths // At home, these are preferable to dirtying a massive muslin with a little bit of spit-up, but we ran through our supply pretty quickly on the road. Next time, zero burp cloths, double the muslins.
lanolin // Ugh, necessary. Lansinoh forever and ever amen.
nursing pads // Also necessary. I live in these, and luckily they’re easy to pack.
pram // We have two prams: the Bugaboo Bee3 for trekking all over London, and the Babyzen YOYO, which is specifically made for travel. It’s the only stroller designed to fit in the overhead compartment, and almost everyone at BA stopped us, paused, and said, “oh, it’s the YOYO, never mind, you’re fine.” At first we wondered if it was completely insane to have two prams, but then we rationalized a bit… we don’t have a car, I walk about 2 miles every day, and we already have plans to fly with Margot an average of once a month through the end of the year.
Plus, when you look this good, you need a ride to match.
When it came to carting her around in the YOYO, I did feel glad that we don’t rely on it everyday at home. The Bugaboo Bee is WAY sturdier — the YOYO, for instance, could not handle the cobblestones in Eze, and I ended up carrying her while Jeff carried the stroller. If you don’t use a stroller everyday, though, then the YOYO could definitely be your BAE and I’m sorry I just said that please forgive me moving on.
This has nothing to do with anything except she’s technically asleep in this photo and also looks like a miniature Elton John impersonator.
sleep pod // Fellow moms keep proclaiming their love for the Sleepyhead Deluxe, (or the DockATot in the US) and having used it for the week, I have to agree. At Le Majestic, we put this down inside the pack and play they set up for her. Then, at our second hotel, I wasn’t thrilled with the cot they set up… I was kind of scared of it, actually. We don’t co-sleep at home, but the Sleepyhead made it possible for us at that hotel, where, honestly, it was necessary. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fold down to a size that makes it THAT convenient for travel, but we were checking luggage anyway, so it fit well inside our larger suitcase.
snuza go! movement monitor // Go ahead and judge, but Jeff and I both sleep so much more soundly now that she wears the Snuza Go to bed. If you’re also neurotic, welcome! Come sit by me, we can wear Snuzas, too.
sleepsack // We originally used the extra large muslins for swaddling, but she hated having her arms bundled, and eventually started kicking off even the tightest of swaddles. Enter, the HALO SleepSack. She likes it, we like it, and it’s way easier to manage in the middle of the night instead of trying to re-swaddle her.
dummies // We were using Philips Avent at the time, but we’ve switched to Nuk because she couldn’t keep the others in her mouth for very long. Both are fine, I’m not crazy about the whole thing but they’re helpful when she really won’t settle.
vitamin drops & spoons // Our health visitor gave me these, which are a pain to give and I forget about half the time. But we brought them with, and I was actually much better about it on the road because our routine was like clockwork all week.
washcloths // For bathtime! Cheeky Wipes are our go-to brand, and they’re sooo tiny.
plastic bags // This was a suggestion directly from Karla, and it was one of the best. We took plastic grocery bags in our carry-on and nappy bag, and they were great to have on hand for any extra trash. THEN I GOT FOOD POISONING, and they were very convenient to have in the car on the way home from my birthday lunch. But that’s another story for another time, aka never.
We decided not to bring any of her soap or shampoo because we normally only use product during bathtime once a week. Then Le Majestic surprised us with some, so I’m glad we didn’t use up space to pack any!
Now back to the app! Aside from the packing list, there’s also a care schedule, which I imagine will be hugely helpful when we face our first trip with jetlag and everyone’s schedule will be thrown off. For traveling moms who use a separate app to track breastfeeding, you can delete that one and use this instead! Within the Care Schedule, there’s the option to Add Event, per below:
Complete with a handy “notes” section where you can keep track of which side needs more attention during the next feed. Isn’t breastfeeding so glamorous?
What I love about the app is that it will not only grow with Margot, it will grow with our family. Right now, especially since I’m breastfeeding and she hasn’t taken to bottles yet, wherever I go, she goes too. But once we’re ready for babysitters and nights away, I’m sure the other plan options will be hugely helpful for peace of mind. A few moms from my NCT group are also starting to talk about nanny shares, and I imagine when there are multiple kids and families involved, having your caregiver keep everything organized in one shareable app would help everyone, too!
The one downside is that the app is currently only available for US accounts. I’m a sneaky iPhone user, so I have two accounts — one for the US and one for the UK — but it does make certain features a bit more difficult (the phone number formatting comes to mind).
Honestly, though this trip was great, I feel a bit like we’re learning to travel all over again. Apps like Peanut On the Go definitely make the learning curve feel a little less steep.
So, tell me this: any other apps you love for traveling with a little one? Leave a comment and let me know, and pop over to either the App Store or Google Play to download Little Peanut On The Go! It’s free to download, with one $2.99 in-app upgrade for certain features.
Edited to add: Apparently, this app is no longer available! But I wanted to keep this post up since the tips should still apply for anyone traveling with a little munchkin.
Enjoy & bon voyage!
– This post is sponsored by Little Peanut On The Go, but all opinions are, as always, my own.