The tagline for Infinite Ireland is ‘a first-time visitor’s guide for planning a trip to Ireland.”
Joe and I have been traveling to Ireland since our honeymoon in 2006. We made it our mission to try and travel like first-timers each and every time we went to Ireland, always visiting new sites and experiencing new things.
But over the years, you get to know places and people, and it’s hard to recreate that first experience no matter what you do.
Until you have a kid.
Seriously, I can handle blowouts and 24/7 spit up, but an overnight flight and a five-hour time difference….ahhhhhhh!!!
To say I was nervous is an understatement.
I had all the normal new mom worries. Will he get sick while we’re away? Will he scream the whole plane ride? Will I completely screw up his sleep schedule?
But I also was worried about our experience. Joe and me.
Ireland has such a special place in our hearts that sharing it with Alexander was a no brainer, but I was worried. Would he hate it? Would we hate it? Would we be so exhausted with taking care of him that we wouldn’t actually enjoy Ireland?
There was a lot riding on this. I mean, my whole livelihood revolves around Ireland. If we didn’t have a good time, it’d be solo trips and see you in Ireland 20 years later, Joe.
Ok, I exaggerate, but pre-trip Stephanie was freaking out a little.
So I did what I do best. I researched the heck out of traveling to Ireland with a baby.
When I am worried about something or really, really want to make something work. I throw myself entirely at it. Sometimes it’s not the best quality to have.
Like, when it’s 2 AM and you know you have to be up in less than five hours (because a five month old waits for no one), but you found a really good article about jet lag and kids (as if the 15 articles before that weren’t good enough?).
So in the vein of saving already sleep deprived moms from worrying about their first trip to Ireland with a baby…
I’ve compiled all the things I wish I would have known prior to going to Ireland in a two-part series.
First up is what to pack when traveling to Ireland with a baby.
I followed my Ultimate Ireland Packing List, but skimmed it down to the bare essentials for us and added what felt like a bazillion things for Alexander.
Before I go into his list, here’s a little background: Alexander was 7.5 months old when we went to Ireland. He wasn’t mobile. So no crawling yet (but could do a mean roll across the floor). We stayed in three cottages and could do laundry in each. We rented a car and brought our own car seat.
What to Pack When Traveling to Ireland with a Baby
10 onesies/ long-sleeved shirts*
5 pairs of pants
7 pairs of socks
1 pair of shoes
3 sets of pajamas
1 rain jacket
2 muslin (all purpose) blankets
*Poor Alexander had awful reflux until he was almost a year, which meant he spit up a lot. So you may not need so many shirts/sweatshirts, burp cloths.
Infant car seat
Infant car seat stroller (only useful at airport)
Infant car seat gate check bag for flight
20 diapers (in overhead carry on) (purchased more)
5 diapers (in under seat carry on)
1 pack Waterwipes
1 changing pad
1 wet bag & several additional plastic bags for soiled diapers
1 diaper cream
Sound machine (no motor, use batteries)
Small bottle travel soap/shampoo
8 bibs (again he was a spitter, this may be excessive for you)
5 packages of baby food
12 bottles of pre-mixed formula (for the plane there and back)
Enough formula for each day plus several additional days
Baggies/containers for separating/dispensing formula
4 bottles with lids
Breast milk storage containers
Several small plush toys for carry on
Additional “electronic” toys in checked bag (things that made sound or had lights)
2 teething toys
3 small books
Extra zip lock bags of various sizes
Fragrance-free laundry detergent (difficult to purchase in Ireland)
10 burp cloths
Items we didn’t bring that you might want/need depending on age of child
Mother’s Milk tea for nursing mom (wish I would have brought this!)
Flax seed for nursing mom (wish I would have brought this!)
Pack n Play
Bottle brushes (wish I would have brought this!)
Crib sheet (wish I would have brought this!)
Purchased on Arrival
Waterwipes (they are actually made in Ireland!)
Evian bottled water*
*We use distilled water in the US to mix Alexander’s formula. However, distilled water is only found at pharmacies and costs several euros per liter. We opted to go with bottled water, but boiling tap water is also an option.
In the end…
All my new mom fears never materialized.
I am sure at some point he’ll get sick while we’re gone, or scream throughout the plane ride, or be awake when he is supposed to be asleep, but I think I can handle those now.
All the other worries, though, about will he like it or will we like it…
Well let me put it this way. Joe and I often will sit down and rank our trips. Quizzing each other, which one had the best food? Which route was the best? Which was the best overall?
Our honeymoon always won best overall. We didn’t think we could top our first trip of falling in love with the country.
But we were wrong. Sharing Ireland with our little man was incredible.
Ranking right up there with our first trip. I am not sure I could decide between them now.
Were there a few hiccups? Yup (just like our first trip).
Were they worth it? Absolutely.
Did you like what to pack for traveling to Ireland with a baby?
I’ve got a whole bunch more traveling with baby tips coming your way, but until then, listen to my chat with Jody from Ireland Family Vacations about our first trip traveling with Alexander.
I share all sorts of good stuff like the pros and cons of a having lap baby vs buying a designated seat, and can you do a brewery or distillery tour with a little one? Check it out here.
The Best Packing List
Want all my tips and tricks for traveling to Ireland and the best printable packing list for Ireland? Sign up here to grab your copy (oh, and you’ll get the occasional update on said little man above too–everyone tells you they grow so fast. I thought that was just something people say. Man, they actually do!).