Are you taking a cruise with a baby? Are you wondering what to pack for a baby on a cruise? We are serial cruisers and have been fortunate to go on a cruise with our infant in different parts of this world. In this guide we will provide you with the Ultimate Baby Cruise Packing List no matter where in the world you decide to cruise with your baby!
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Information about Cruising with a baby
Most lines will allow you to cruise with a baby from the age of 6 months (be sure to check with your cruise before booking) or 1 year if you have more than two consecutive sea days.
Depending on the line you choose to sail with will depend on how many babies and what provisions there will be on the cruise ships for babies. But generally speaking I will normally try and take everything I need with me on a cruise because not all cruises will stock baby provisions and if they do you will likely to be a lot more expensive than buying on land.
What to Pack for a baby on a cruise (clothing wise)
One of my biggest tips for cruising with a baby and that affects what to pack for a baby on a cruise is whether or not your cruise ship has a guest laundry room.
If I can I try to book on a ship with a laundry room whenever I am a cruising with a toddler or a baby. That way I only need to take enough clothes for half the week and I will do laundry mid trip.
If your ship doesn’t have a laundry room for guest use be sure to pack clothes for the week plus extras just in case of accidents. Otherwise you will end up using the laundry service.
Things I always pack for a baby on a cruise are:
A Formal Outfit
Most cruises regardless of length will have a formal night. If you plan on attending the formal night (which I admit is one of my favourite nights on a cruise ship) then be sure to take something nice for baby to wear. It will make for some lovely family photos. I always however opt for comfort whenever I am choosing my baby’s clothes so I am a particular fan of these formal onesies
No matter what the destination is – even if you are cruising around the Caribbean or Hawaii, I always take plenty of layers for baby. Dining rooms are air conditioned and can get chilly for baby. And if you want to take them out on deck in an evening they will need something to provide some added warmth.
Sun Hat and Sunglasses
If you are travelling to a warm weather destination then be sure to take a sun hat and sun glasses with you for baby. Yes you are probably going to spend your day putting them back on your baby after they constantly remove them but there are a must have.
UV Protection Swimwear
Even if you are not on a cruise where unpotty trained children can use the pool be sure to take UV protection sun wear you (we have a hack for cooling baby even if they can’t use the pool below) and for any beach shore excursions you do
Minimum of two outfits a day
You never know when accidents will happen
for every night of your cruise
Baby Cruise Packing List
No matter how long your cruise is be sure to take diapers with you to cover the cruise length plus extras. Now if you are flying to meet your cruise and are worried about packing constraints then I you can buy them at your embarkation port. Either way just make sure that you have them when your embark on your cruise.
Even if you are on a ship that doesn’t have a splash pool for an unpotty trained toddler to use be sure to pack swim diapers for use on shore excursions.
This is pretty self explanatory – no parent wherever they are doesn’t want to be caught without wetwipes.
Depending on your cruise line while depend on whether they supply baby food. When we went on our first cruise with Royal Caribbean with a baby we were provided with fresh pureed fruits at every evening meal. We also had plenty of pouches with us just in case they couldn’t provide or our baby wanted some familiar flavours.
There are also lots of options for baby led weaning while traveling on a cruise ship – i.e. we managed to get a plate of handheld food like cucumber sticks and fruits.
But I always like to have a supply with me wherever we travel.
Formula Milk If required
If you are traveling with a formula fed baby I would advise taking a supply of milk with you. There is nothing worse than changing formula and baby getting an upset tummy. I always bring a supply with me wherever we travel
Normally sun screen can be bought on ship but it is expensive. You will likely want a high factor and kids version so be sure to bring this with you.
Anything Your baby Uses for Sleeping at home
If your baby uses a Comforter, white noise machine, night light be sure to bring this with you as the cruise will not be able to supply these.
There is not much space in a cabin so packing light is always a priority. Now I have seen people online say to leave a stroller at home when you cruise with a baby in favour of a baby carrier however I really don’t advocate this. Strollers are useful when in port and also for going around the ship. We would also use in the evenings on the ship as baby could nap in the stroller while we could have a late dinner or drink and meant we weren’t confined in our cabin.
However if you do bring a stroller be sure to bring an umbrella stroller so it packs away and doest use up space in the cabin.
Click here for our recommendations on best strollers for cruise ships.
While we recommend having a stroller carriers are still useful. IF you use at home over a stroller be sure to pack the carrier for use on vacation.
If you are going to a hot weather destination I would personally recommend buying a baby carrier for hot weather which is more breathable.
Table Mat and baby cutlery etc
I always like to travel with a silicon place mat as I know how it has been cleaned and my little one can put their food on it without concerns.
If you are travelling with an older baby or toddler and they use a specific type of cutlery then be sure to take this too
If you use pacifiers at home be sure to take these with you.
I usually take around three bottle and teats etc with me as this allows for fresh bottles on shore excursions without worrying about cleaning.
One of the biggest questions we had when cruising abut a baby was about how we were going to sterilise her bottles. We opted to use a sterilising bottle and steriliser tablets on our cruise like this.
If your child has migrated to a sippy cup be sure to have one with you.
Children’s Shampoo and Wash
While cruise cabins will provide you will an all in one shampoo and body wash I wouldn’t recommend using on baby. I prefer to use and take with me aspecific baby shampoo.
Inflatable Baby Bath
My number one tip for if you are traveling to a warm weather destination and your baby can’t use a pool is to take aninflatable baby bath with you. It is a great substitute paddling pool.
Even If you don’t plan on using the bath as a paddling pool I would recommend taking the inflatable baby bath with you anyway as most staterooms don’t have baths only showers.
First Aid Kit
We take one with us wherever we go!
Especially if you have some sea days in your itinerary I would recommend having a few (not lots) of toys with you and maybe a play mat if you have space in your case.
Possibly the most contentious item but we always travel with a car seat. Even if you are thinking about only walking on shore excursions with no car or coach transfers I would strongly think about whether you will be needing the car seat because you need to consider about how you will get to and from the ship. If you have a private car transfer you will definitely need the car seat.