Our first time packing for Italy with a baby was a big change for us.
How would he do on the flight? Would we be able to get around easily with a little one in tow?
Our little one was 15 months old and just starting to get very mobile! What would he be needing over the course of that month we were in Italy?!
I did plenty of research before we left, and these are hands down the most useful things to pack for Italy with a baby. No matter how many days you plan on staying, these items will definitely come in handy!
1. A Foldable All-Terrain Stroller
While we were planning to stay with my husband’s family most of the trip, we also wanted to go on a beach vacation for a few days. We needed a stroller that was easy to lug around.
For our trip, we swapped out our beloved “daily driver” Chicco Bravo stroller for something much lighter and more compact. To be honest I was blown away at how much of a necessity it was to have a smaller, foldable stroller for travel.
The best part?
Our gb Pockit+ All-Terrain Stroller was approved as a carry-on item with our airline, so our little one could chill in his stroller right up until we got in our seats.
It was a game-changer during de-boarding, too: we witnessed other parents waiting nearly 45 minutes to get their regular strollers from the cargo hold!
Make sure you research your airline policy on this. Most allow some type of folding stroller within certain weight and size limits, and they often will specify exactly which makes and models they accept. The Pockit+ is one of the most universally allowed.
I can’t imagine what we would’ve done on our trip without it. It made all the difference in Italy’s narrow streets and inside compact vehicles. Our foldable stroller even served as a high chair at meals, and a changing table when in a pinch!
2. Stroller Phone Holder
When you’re traveling sometimes your baby is so happy taking in all the sights! And then there are those other times where screen time can save your sanity.
We used my cell phone to play his favorite cartoons, and the flexible phone holder made it easy to strap the phone to the seat during the flight, in the car, on the stroller, and even on the beach chairs.
Pro tip: make sure to pre-download some videos so you can use it on the long international flight, not all flights have Wi-Fi, and even when they do, it’s often temperamental.
This flexible phone holder for strollers is light and flexible, so it was easy to toss in the diaper bag and carry on the go!
3. A Mini Stroller Fan
We arrived in Italy in the middle of a historic heat wave, and I’m not sure we really could have survived a those brutally hot days without this extra portable fan.
In many places in Europe, air conditioning is not available, so it gave me great peace of mind to know we could keep him cool with this fan. He enjoyed having it on the beach and when out at restaurants on hot summer evenings.
This portable fan we found is rechargeable with a regular USB cable, has a long battery life, and is super quiet, which was helpful since we had to keep it on at night too.
Top top it off, it features integrated LEDs, so it also worked great as a night light!
4. Travel Cleaning Supplies: Clorox Wipes and A Mini Bottle of Dawn Dish Soap
It’s kind of amazing how much entertainment little ones get from throwing everything within reach on the floor!
A pack of disinfecting wipes proved very useful for sanitizing things that our little guy tossed around while out and about.
Another thing I was so happy to have on hand was a travel size bottle of dawn dish soap. It helped me quickly clean his eating supplies while staying in a hotel, and is also great for getting food stains out of clothing.
5. Stackable Drinkware & Eating Supplies
Instead of bringing some of my kiddo’s nicer bottles from home, we bought in advance some cheapo cups that were easy to travel with. They all stacked together nicely for storage, too.
Will these last forever? Nope! But they worked great for our time in Italy, and we were able to recycle the ones that got dinged at the end of the trip. The others are going to live at nonna’s house for future trips!
Each time we ate at a restaurant, we brought his plastic utensils and a plastic bib. It was easy to wipe them clean at the end of the meal and keep everything in a ziplock bag until we could hand wash.
6. Pre-packaged Snacks
Kiddos get fussy while traveling and when they are out of their routine. Jet lag anyone?!
One thing that helped big time was to be able to offer a convenient snack until we could make it to mealtime.
I highly recommend packing some easy to grab snacks for traveling, and a few to have around during your stay. Is it easy to find food it Italy? Of course! But meltdowns can happen at the drop of a hat, and having a backup options that keep well in your diaper bag is always helpful.
At Italian grocery stores, we were able to find pouches of fruit purees, and mini packs of crackers that were diaper bag friendly. (Pro tip: fruit purees in Europe are often in the “health foods” section and not in the baby food section, so make sure to check there if you can’t find them)
I was also glad I had some extra packages of shelf stable snacks like my son’s favorite “melties”, and some baby cereal bars for those moments when we were not near a shop. We also bought a bunch these Plasmon brand “biscotti” that Italians add to their babies’ milk bottles, or to have as a quick snack. My husband grew up with these and our little one loved them!
7. Extra Diapers, Wipes, and Swim Diapers
Of course, you can find diapers and wipes in Italy but, while some stores carry Pampers and Huggies, they’re not everywhere. That said, you can often find more affordable local brands that are just as good.
If you’re on a lengthy stay it’s not practical to bring a large supply of diapers or wipes in your suitcase, so you will need to buy as you go. However, I recommend always bringing a few diapers and wipes in case you have to bridge the gap between shopping trips. Some hotels or private villas can help you coordinate delivery of diapers, wipes, and even other baby items.
One thing I had a hard time finding in Italian stores were disposable swim diapers. I had packed a few and able bought reusable swim diapers which were great to have for long days at the beach!
8. Portable Changing Pad
If I could got back in time, I probably would have swapped our diaper bag with something a little bit bigger. Our smaller diaper bag fit great in our smaller stroller, but it would’ve been so convenient if it also had a portable changing pad.
Italy is very kid friendly, yet you won’t find many changing tables in restrooms the way you are used to seeing in the United States. When you’re in a pinch, having a pad to change your little one is super helpful.
9. Sunblock for Babies
Sunblock is one of those things that is pretty expensive in Italy compared to the United States, and there aren’t always as many options. You may have to go to a pharmacy to find it, as not every grocery store will carry it. Plus, experimenting with new brands on vacation isn’t exactly fun.
I highly recommend picking up a little more than you think you will need. We used a spray mineral sunscreen that wasn’t the easiest to apply but stayed on well. It kept our little one free from sunburn.
The sun is strong in Italy, so keep your little one in the shade and reapply, reapply, reapply!
10. Car Seat
Even if you are not planning to travel by car much, a car seat is a must have for Italy. You can gate-check them for the flight free of charge with most airlines.
We bought an inexpensive car seat specifically for the trip, so that if it got lost or damaged, we would still have ours waiting at home.
Most airlines will let your child under two fly for free as a “lap infant”. However, if there are free seats on the plane and you bring a car seat, you may get your kid set up in the car seat. Unfortunately both our flights were fully booked, so they gate-checked ours twice. Just make sure your car seat is approved for air travel, not all of them are.
Pro tip: bring a foldable luggage caddy with wheels to strap the car seat to. We were able to strap one of our carry-on bags to the car seat, making it convenient to roll around in the terminal.
11. A Portable International Charger
Having a portable charger with both US and Italian plugs meant I never got anxious when the low battery sign came on my phone during our trip! It kept our phones powered up so that we could always take photos, and soothe our little one with some entertainment when he got fussy. We also used it to power our portable fan when it got low at the end of the day!
Nowadays most of our devices are powered by USB cables, so pick an international charger that features one or two USB ports (some even have USB-C now).
While you’re at it, also grab one or two extra portable batteries to have on hand during your trip! You’ll be glad you did!
Have Fun in Italy!
Hope you enjoyed these tips for what to pack for Italy with a baby!
Always remember that planning helps, but things will inevitably come up that you may need to grab during your trip. If that happens, relax knowing that you will most likely be able to find something similar to what you use at home, and no doubt there will always be a smiling Italian around waving to your little one while you shop!
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