Traveling With a Small Baby (0-4 months)

We took a quick 3 day trip from Tokyo to Okinawa when Baby J was seven weeks old. It was a warmup trip to learn how to travel with him since we had planned an ambitious 15 day trip to 8 different countries when he would be four months.


One of the toughest things about traveling with a baby is knowing how much to bring. It is easy to overpack by bringing everything you could possibly need. We try to be minimalists, but take enough that our lives won’t be overly complicated. Look for things that are dual usage and durable. At this age, count on at least one suitcase being just for the baby. If you can keep your own luggage to a minimum, this will help distribute the weight a bit better.

Here are the packing lists that I used for our first two trips:

  • Click here to download the document form for checked luggage.
  • Here is a second checklist for an in-flight carry-on.

Just print these out or copy and alter them to fit your needs!

Other Concerns

Traveling with a small baby is less complicated in some ways:

  • They aren’t mobile at this point (although J did decide to roll over for the first time at 3 1/2 months while we were in Singapore – so beware when you leave their sight in your hotel)
  • You don’t have to pack any baby food for them
  • They are very portable when it comes to getting on and off airplanes and public transportation
7 Week J In His Bassinet from Okinawa to Tokyo

7 Week J In His Bassinet from Okinawa to Tokyo

Sanitation and safety are probably your biggest concerns with a baby this size. We didn’t take J out of Japan until after he had had his first round of immunizations. We regularly cleaned Jared’s bottles with boiling water (we use stainless steel instead of plastic for this reason) since many of the countries we traveled to did not have clean water. Jared never got sick as a result of these countermeasures 🙂

For flight planning, we always chose itineraries that departed after 8 am and kept each flight leg to less than five hours (I realize many of our friends have taken 12 hr transoceanic flights from Asia but we never had to return to the states when he was that age). We also opted to only take public transit (which is much easier to do in Asia than in North America admittedly) so we didn’t have to bring a carseat (we’ll discuss more about car seats in a future post).

Bottom Line

This post isn’t very long because traveling with a little one isn’t as complicated as you probably think. We really just addressed all of our big concerns. If you have any others or just any questions, please register and leave us a comment so that we can all discuss.