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Whether you are about to embark on a trip to an all inclusive resort, a city break, or a backpacking adventure, this packing guide will tell you everything you need for your trip to Mexico with a baby.
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What To Pack For A Trip To Mexico With A Baby
A Packing Guide
First of all, it is important to note that the climate in Mexico differs greatly depending on where you are going. For example, we spent three months in Sayulita on the Pacific Coast with our baby and he spent the whole time just in vests. When we travelled a few hours to the East however, because of the altitude, he was suddenly wearing trousers and long sleeves, and even jumpers and jackets in certain places. If you are going to a beach town, you can pretty much be sure you won’t need anything other than light summer clothing. But be sure to pack light cardigans for evenings or air conditioned interiors.
I love the Grobag sleepsuits, and found this lovely lightweight one for travel. It comes in a bag, is lightweight enough even for the hottest climates, and even has openings so you can use it in a car seat. Archer knows that when he goes in his Grobag, it is time for bed.
Sun protective swimwear is a must for beach trips. In the UK, try Boots or John Lewis for kids swimwear. You can even use your Boots reward points to buy yours, like I did. These kids wetsuits are perfect for cooler water, are sun protective, and are really breathable and lightweight so baby won’t overheat. For cooler climates, you might want a thicker wetsuit, such as this one which is great.
The best thing we took was his ‘keppi’ which we sadly lost at some point. It was so lightweight that he didn’t mind wearing it (he always takes other hats off), is quick-dry so can be worn in the pool or ocean, and is stretchy so will fit baby for a long time. The outfit shown below is from Boots.
Note on Swim Nappies: You can buy swim nappies everywhere (and cheaper than the UK) so don’t buy these before your trip. I did however buy a reusable ‘Happy Nappy’ beforehand, which I highly recommend and didn’t see available anywhere.
You can buy certain brands, including Johnsons in some pharmacies, however if like me you are picky with what products you use on your baby, you’ll want to bring your own. I love the Child’s Farm products, and therefore took a good supply of the Baby Moisturiser with me. This set of two comes with a nifty travel bag. For shorter trips, this travel kit has everything you need.
Again, you will find kids sunscreen in local pharmacies, but I think it is really important to be mindful of what you use on baby’s skin. Sunscreens are notorious for being full of carcinogens and chemicals. My absolute favourite sunscreen is the Child’s Farm sunscreen, and I packed two tubes but have yet to finish one after a 5 month trip, even using it everyday. Tip: Buy this one, not the 100ml version, as it is the newer formula.
I recommend buying a ready made, family first aid kit. This one is excellent and only £20. As for medicine, I always carry Calpol sachets with me, and baby Ibuprofen. I also pack a good supply of these teething granules, and I also like to take Dioralyte sachets. You can buy everything else when it comes to medicine in Mexico.
Toothbrush & toothpaste
Archer got his first teeth in Mexico, and we could not find a toothbrush anywhere. We finally found one in Walmart, and toothpaste in a speciality baby store in Guadalajara. Definitely take these with you.
I hate using chemicals on my baby, and found this amazing bug spray on Amazon which I took with us. It seemed to work really well, and Archer didn’t get bitten at all on our Mexico travels.
Pocket High Chair
This was honestly the best travel product we took with us overall. It was so useful. We used it at our home in Sayulita, meaning we didn’t have to buy a high chair just for 3 months. It also came in handy at restaurants which had slightly dodgy high-chairs without straps, or when he was really small so he could use high chairs for bigger kids. A MUST have travel item.
I don’t know why I packed so many bibs for our travels. It was such a waste of space when we also had the silicone bib. Firstly, bibs get gross, and when you’re travelling you won’t likely have continual access to a washing machine. A silicone bib can be washed or wiped immediately after use.
You can buy Gerber baby food jars and plenty of pouches in Mexico, but if you are used to the baby food available at home you might be disappointed. All of the baby pouches we came across (including in American stores such as Walmart) were fruit, and only two I ever found were organic. I would definitely recommend carrying a few assorted food pouches for long journeys and day trips.
I would recommend packing a few of your favourite snacks for your trip. The only easy snacks for babies that I found in Mexico were the Heinz baby biscotti biscuits. You will however find plenty of fresh fruit, and can also buy fruit disinfectant solution (all natural) at every grocery store so you’ll be able to feed baby berries and other fresh fruit and veg without worrying.
Sterilizing on the go
Even if you are not bottle feeding, you might want to pack some travel sterilizing items. I liked to give Archer’s feeding equipment, sippy cups, and teethers a sterilize every few days or so. I love these genius microwavable bags for bottles and cups. I also took some Milton tablets which were great for everything else (and when a microwave wasn’t available.)
I really love the Milton antibacterial hand gel, and keep it in my change bag. You’ll find other ones in Mexico, but this is my favourite.
I’m still undecided when it comes to travel and strollers. I decided to take my Mamas and Papas Urbo stroller with me to Mexico as it lays flat, and is really sturdy and secure. We were going to be living there, and I therefore decided it was worth the hassle. It breaks down in two parts so I bought this stroller bag for the flight. When we got there, I bought a little cheap pushchair from Walmart which was amazing for backpacking and day trips. It cost around £35 and we gave it away when we left. Deciding what kind of stroller you need will depend on your trip. This is my suggestion:
- Package holiday (staying in once place) such as resort or hotel, OR travel with a very young baby – bring your own usual stroller from home. You’ll be able to take it to the gate at the airport, and can use it to stash extra blankets and toys underneath (if it has this.) Be sure to buy one of these bags to ensure it doesn’t get damaged on the plane and to make collection easier.
- City break, longer stay, or travel to several places – either buy a travel stoller, such as these nifty ones which fit in overhead compartments, OR take a baby carrier and buy a cheap stroller in Mexico.
- Backpacking with a baby – Take a baby in a carrier and buy a cheap stroller in country if necessary.
Baby Carrier or Sling
Whether you decide to take your stroller or not, a baby carrier is a lightweight and useful item to pack too. I didn’t see them for sale in Mexico, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find one. As we were taking our large stoller, we decided to take the baby sling. When handing over the stoller at the gate, I transferred Archer into the sling for boarding. It also doubled up as a blanket/pillow when on the flight.
For bigger babies, I recommend the Ergobaby 360 carrier. You’ll be able to use this as baby grows too, including forward facing and on your back. I don’t like using sling with him forward facing as I think it squishes him, if you know what I mean, and doesn’t seem comfortable. The Ergobaby is an amazing travel item I would seriously consider investing in. It’ll make any kind of day trips, airport transfers, or city breaks a breeze. Plus, in Mexico they don’t really use car seats, and I felt safer knowing baby was securely fastened to me when in taxis or on buses.
If you decide to pay for baby to have their own seat on the flight, you’ll be able to take their car seat with you. This might be a good option for you depending on how your baby does in a car seat (mind hates being in one!). As mentioned above, they don’t really use car seats in Mexico, so if this makes you uncomfortable, you could take your own. If you decide to take your car seat to Mexico, I would recommend taking a base so you can use it as a stroller too.
Note that if you are hiring a car, most companies offer car seat hire too. That is what we did on arriving to Mexico.
A travel cot is an item which you’ll probably need depending on the age of your little one. When Archer still fit in the carrycot of his pram, I would use that in place of a cot when we travelled. If baby sleeps in their own cot, you should contact the hotel to see if they provide them. This will save you taking your own. If you don’t already own a travel cot, you can buy them in Walmart and other baby stores in Mexico. We saw they had a Walmart near Sayulita, and bought one when we arrived. Despite the fact Archer often sleeps with us, I like having a travel cot as a safe place to put him in the daytime and place for him to play.
Instead of buying any kind of baby travel bath, I recommend buying a baby inflatable pool. These are really cheap, and you can simply blow them up and have a soft space for baby to bathe. I got ours in Mexico, but they weigh so little I would buy one before you leave so you don’t need to worry about hunting for one on your travels.
I packed a few large muslin squares as a last minute thing and they were SO useful. I actually use them as sheets for the Pack n’ Play and they work really well. They’re also handy for beach blankets, breastfeeding coverups, and lightweight blankets. Of course it goes without saying you’ll need lots of small muslin squares. I actually really love the ones from Aldi the most as they are so soft and come in nice colours.
Hooded Bath Towels
You’ll need to pack two soft hooded bath towels, one for beach and one for bath. When it comes to towels, I recommend buying the best ones you can afford. Cheap towels might seem fluffy when you buy them, but a couple of hot washes later they will be scratchy and thin. These ones are so cute because they are personalised.
Sleep props and comforters
I took Ewan the sheep, and Archer’s little blanket and teddy with us. This meant that regardless of where we were each night, he always felt safe and secure at bedtime. Props like these can really help baby recognise that it is bedtime despite being in different locations or time zones. We never had any trouble with Archer sleeping even with jet lag and staying in different hotel rooms night after night.
I wouldn’t go mad when packing toys for your trip. There will be plenty of new sights, sounds, and people to stimulate baby on your tip. Plus, if your baby is anything like mine, they’ll be just as happy playing with an empty water bottle! I packed a few toys for the flight to keep him occupied, along with a few for his stroller. I recommend toys link toys like these, interactive books like this one, and a stroller toy like this.
These are really handy reusable wipe kits that come with essential oils, making them a chemical free alternative to other wipes. They usually come in a kit, with a plastic tub for storage, and bags for clean & mucky ones. I left the tup at home, and took the wipes along with the oil and bags with me. I LOVE the microfibre wipes and use them daily on my baby. Also handy for a quick “bath” when arriving to hotels late and sleepy. You can just buy the wipes on their own.
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What You Don’t Need
You’ll find formula everywhere, including at every small food store and pharmacy. If your baby has specialist formula, such as Goat’s Milk, I would take your own. But if you just use regular formula you don’t need to weigh your suitcase down by taking it with you.
Nappies/Diapers (including swim nappies)
You’ll find nappies for sale everywhere. The best are Huggies, which are available in many types including boys and girls. I love the Huggies for boys as they are really soft, fit well, and never leak. You’ll find lots of cheaper brands too, along with BB Tips, which all seem to be fine. Swim Nappies are cheap and readily available too.
I would recommend always packing 1 nappy per hour of your journey plus a few extra (including time at airport and transfers). This will never leave you short, and mean you won’t need to be out searching for a pharmacy as soon as you arrive. They don’t weigh anything so slip any you have left at home in the pockets of your suitcase, too. You never know, baby might have gone up a size by the time you get home!
If baby is picky, take your own, but don’t worry about packing a lot of extra bottles when you can buy them everywhere.
Readily available. Most large supermarkets and pharmacies stock Nuby as well as other brands.
Many brands are available, including Huggies. If you love Water Wipes or a specific brand though I would take your own. You’ll also find Nuby teether/bottle wipes everywhere too, so you won’t need to take lots of these. I always carry a pack of these for high-chairs and dropped toys.
Nappy Rash Cream
Every pharmacy and supermarket will stock Bepanthen along with other Mexican brands of nappy rash cream.
See above in ‘what to take’ section for my thoughts on travel cots. If your hotel provides a cot, you can leave your at home. If you don’t already own one, save on the check-in bag costs and buy one there.
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