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10 Tips For Travelling To Vietnam With A Baby

From useful items to pack, to food and drink, and how to get around, here are some helpful tips for travelling to Vietnam with a baby.

Can you travel from London to Southeast Asia with an 8-month-old and still have a great trip? I’m here to say yes you can! A few friends definitely thought we were crazy when we booked a four-week holiday in Vietnam and Thailand. Most people we knew with children had spent that first year hunkering down at home. They’d barely left their towns, let alone hopped on a flight to go abroad!

halong bay cruise with a baby
Visiting Vietnam with a baby? I’ve got lots of tips for you

At 10 weeks, we took Cooper on his first trip abroad to Majorca. This was a relaxed villa holiday in which we did very little. We appreciated the change of scene and the sunny weather. Then, when he was four months old, we travelled to France for a holiday split between two luxurious chateaus.

Four months later, with him approaching 8-months, we were getting itchy feet! We’d had a few practice runs, and now we were ready to put everything we’d learned into action!

baby on the beach in phu quoc
It was amazing to see our baby playing on the beach in Vietnam

If you’re planning a similar adventure (no doubt with a similar amount of scrutiny from friends and family), I’m here to say: DO IT! It’s all possible and it’s not as challenging as you might fear.

Looking at the view of halong bay
Halong Bay was one of the highlights of our trip

I’ve already written a few guides to help you with your trip planning. Before you leave, have a read through of my 3-week Vietnam itinerary as well as my guide to what to wear in Vietnam. Also, if you’re considering visiting Halong Bay, I’d recommend reading my post about travelling around Halong Bay with kids.

Plus, if this is your first trip abroad with your little one, I’d suggest a quick read of my newborn travel essentials post too.

10 tips for visiting Vietnam with a baby

Pack your plane bag carefully

I stressed a little over what we’d need on the flight to Vietnam and how to keep things relatively compact. In terms of a changing bag, you may want to switch from a standard pram bag to a backpack for this trip, as it’s unlikely you’ll use a pram in some regions.

In our changing bag we packed:

  • Changing mat
  • Nappies (always pack more than you’ll need, just in case!)
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissues
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Sanitising wipes
  • 2 changes of clothes (just in case of accidents!)
  • A sleeping bag – I read it’s good to keep sleep associations like using the baby’s usual sleeping bag on the flight.
  • White noise machine – This is useful for the airport if you’re trying to squeeze in a nap pre-flight.
  • SnoozeShade – We draped this over the plane bassinet for one of his naps on the outbound journey.
  • A few small toys such as these spinners
  • A few pouches of puree and bags of snacks
  • A bib and spoon
  • Sippy cup for water
  • Calpol and syringe
snoozeshade on plane bassinet
Using our SnoozeShade over the plane bassinet

We also downloaded a few videos onto our phones (Dancing Vegetables and Miss Rachel) as they’re good for instant calming!

Plus, we had our baby carrier on us for the flight as it’s always been an easy way to get Cooper to nap on the go.

This baby bag was relatively unchanged for our entire trip. It then became our day bag when we were exploring Vietnam.

baby crawling on plane
We let him crawl up the aisles a little to work off some energy
baby in vietnam airlines bassinet
Lying in the Vietnam Airlines bassinet

Buy a decent baby carrier

I’ll talk about prams and pushchairs in a moment, but one of my top tips for visiting Vietnam with a baby is to invest in a really good baby carrier. Unless you have an early walker on your hands, most likely you’ll be carrying your little one for a lot of this trip. I’d recommend the Ergobaby carriers. We have the Aerloom and find it really comfortable to wear. It balances the weight of the baby well and is made of a breathable material, ideal for hot climates.

baby carrier halong bay
We used our baby carrier a lot in Vietnam

Cooper has always loved being in the baby carrier, so we knew it would be one of our most-used items on this trip. We had him strapped to us during a food tour of Hoi An, a boat ride in the Coconut Forest, a Vietnamese cooking class, a cave tour in Halong Bay, wandering the streets of Hanoi… the list of experiences goes on! If you have a toddler or older kids, you might not want to carry the weight so much, but hopefully they’ll walk some of the time.

enjoying the lights of hoi an
We’d recommend visiting Vietnam with a baby carrier

One more note about using a baby carrier in Vietnam, and I know this may be controversial to some of you. To travel in taxis, we strapped Cooper to us in the baby carrier, and then wore a seat belt over the carrier. While I know this isn’t as secure or safe as taking your own car seat, we decided against lugging a heavy car seat to the other side of the world for a few short journeys. If we’d been travelling in cars more, we might have felt differently.

taxi with baby in vietnam
I used the baby carrier in taxis too

Decide whether to take your pram or Stroller

We thought long and hard about whether we wanted to take our Babyzen Yoyo 2 on this trip. We’ve found this compact stroller to be the best option for travelling with. You can read my honest review of the Yoyo here too.

cooper in his babyzen yoyo pram
Cooper in his Babyzen Yoyo 2 pram in Phu Quoc

I’d read up on whether people used strollers in Vietnam and whether it would be a useful item. In the end, we decided that even if we only used it on travel days in the airports, it’d be worth having with us.

Much to our surprise, we used it absolutely loads on the first week of our trip. We spent most of this time in Phu Quoc, which turned out to be quite pram-friendly. There were wide pavements along the main road (although lots of broken paving to manoeuvre!) We also found Da Nang to be buggy-friendly, with its wide promenade lining the seafront. It was a relief to be able to sit him in the pram as we got pretty sweaty wearing him in the carrier for long periods!

As for the other destinations we visited , we didn’t use it once in Hoi An or Hanoi – the traffic was too crazy and pavement space was limited. We left it in our room for the entire time we were in Halong Bay too. Boats and buggies aren’t the best combination!

pram and snoozeshade and fan
We used the SnoozeShade and fan a lot too

If you decide to take your pram to Vietnam, I’d recommend buying a rechargeable fan to attach to it. You can keep your baby cool when the temperatures are soaring.

Prepare for overfriendliness

So, it turns out Vietnamese people absolutely LOVE babies! I’d read that they were welcoming to families and children, but I couldn’t believe how much attention we got! Everywhere we went, locals would come up to touch Cooper’s hand or make faces at him until he smiled. There were restaurants we visited where staff offered to hold him for a few minutes while we ate! And I’ll never forget the team at Ba Ri Tailors in Hoi An holding him while we had our garments fitted, playing with him lots and even feeding him a banana!

friendly vietnamese people
The friendly Vietnamese people love babies!

To be honest, it didn’t feel hassled most of the time. It was very warm and welcoming. The joy on people’s faces when they saw him! It was very cute. The only part I was less keen on was when they wanted to take photos of him or with him. Some were covert about it, but I did ask a few people not to.

If you’re uncomfortable with the constant attention, you might find this part a bit exhausting. I felt happy about it most of the time. Especially when you think how unwelcome you can be made to feel in England when you turn up somewhere with little one! Most people want to sit as far away from you as possible!  

Think about baby sleep essentials

So, if you’re going to have the energy for this epic trip, you’ll want to encourage good sleep! After all, you’ll enjoy the adventure much more if you’ve had some decent time to rest. My biggest tip here is just to continue whatever works at home.

We found our white noise machine was particularly useful for this trip. For a lot of the trip, we had Cooper’s cot in our hotel room, so the white noise machine was great for covering up little noises as we moved around the room.

baby sleeping in cot
Cooper slept well in the different hotel cots in Vietnam

When we used the pram, we often used our SnoozeShade for naps on the go. This handy item covers the pram and blocks out all light, acting almost like a blackout blind. We used ours in brightly-lit airports and even by the beach when the sun was shining.

I mentioned that we also packed Cooper’s sleeping bags. You might be thinking it’s going to be really warm in Vietnam so you won’t need things like this, but don’t forget that hotel rooms are usually air-conditioned. Your baby might need to wear a few layers, especially at night.

Pack a supply of baby food

I searched for a lot of travel tips on this topic before leaving. We started weaning at six months, so by the time we jetted off to Vietnam we were two months in. Cooper was a pretty reluctant and unreliable eater then. We knew we needed to keep offering food regularly, and we hoped his interest levels would eventually soar.

I think about ¼ of one of our suitcases was dedicated to baby food. I can’t remember exact numbers, but we packed around 5 x bags of Organix rice crackers, some crunchy sticks, several packs of Kidilicious wafers and about 10 pouches of baby puree / foods. We also packed a silicon plate and spoon for meals on the go.

baby food in vietnam
We brought some baby food from home

We usually started the day by grabbing a few items from the hotel breakfast buffet for Cooper. The biggest challenge was finding foods without added sugar. I imagine it’s partly for flavour and partly for preservation, but essentials like bread and yogurt were nearly always sweetened. Cooper definitely got used to his daily bananas (so easy to find and cheap!), plus he had the bonus of trying lots of exotic fruits too.

We had to resign ourselves to the fact that if we’d been at home he would have had a better, more varied diet, but this was the trip of a lifetime, so we made do with what was available.

weaning abroad
Weaning abroad can be challenging

Think about milk for your trip

I made the decision to continue breastfeeding for this trip, as I knew it’d be a lot easier than having to think about sterilising bottles, boiling water for milk powder and carting around tubs of formula.

However, it’s all possible! Friends who have been formula feeding throughout have said it’s often easier to use Milton tablets to sterilise equipment. In terms of formula, I’d recommend packing enough to last your entire trip. You can buy formula in Asia, but you won’t find the same brands you’re used to at home. Plus, there’s no guarantee your baby will like the taste of an alternative. It’s just not worth the risk or stress!

feeding baby in halong bay
Feeding baby in Halong Bay

One final travel tip about milk (and a little regret on my side). Before our Asia trip, Cooper was taking bottles occasionally. He was used to Macca feeding him formula, and it was liberating that I could go out for a little while, knowing he’d be ok. After a whole month solely breastfeeding in Southeast Asia we returned home to discover Cooper would no longer take the bottle. We couldn’t believe it! All that freedom disappeared in an instant. We tried everything to encourage him to take it again, but no luck.

If you’re combination feeding, but decide to solely breastfed for convenience while travelling, I’d recommend adding in the occasional bottle (perhaps expressed milk) just so your baby keeps the habit.

Take a travel high chair

If you’re used to going to cafes and restaurants in Europe or the US, you probably rely on there being a high chair to put your baby in. Well, let me tell you, this might not always happen in Vietnam!

On our trip, I think all the hotels had high chairs available, but only around 1/3 of the local restaurants. As for little coffee shops etc, it was very unlikely you’d find a baby chair waiting!

One of our most-used items was this travel high chair. It’s lightweight and compact, has a harness and a table. We were really impressed with it, and while we bought it for Vietnam, we’ve actually used it for a few weekends away since!

It’s the ideal item to keep in your car, for when you end up somewhere without a high chair available. You can either rest it on the floor, or securely attach it (with the straps provided) to a chair. This means your baby can sit at the table with you in pretty much any restaurant you visit.

travel high chair
If you’re travelling with kids in Vietnam I’d recommend a travel high chair

If we hadn’t packed this travel high chair, I think we would have resorted to selecting restaurants that had high chairs, which may have led to us missing out on some of the more fun and authentic Vietnamese meals.

In fact, one of my favourite memories on our Halong Bay cruise, was seeing Cooper strapped into his little high chair eating French crepes on the sundeck! Adorable!

cooper in his travel high chair
Cooper in his travel high chair on our Halong Bay cruise

Select baby clothing wisely

If you’re doing a long trip, you’ll definitely need to do laundry at some point along the way. We packed enough outfits for Cooper to last around two weeks, but we did our first load of laundry once we got to Hoi An, around ten days into the trip.

We dressed Cooper in romper suits or a short-sleeved baby vest with a pair of shorts. In bed, he wore long-sleeved sleepsuits with a sleeping bag. We also packed a long-sleeved UV-protection swimsuit with matching hat. An outfit like this is essential if you’re taking your baby swimming in Vietnam, or you’ll be spending a lot of time on the beach.

Lahana Resort
Lightweight clothes were essential

If you’re wondering where to do washing in Vietnam, there are little laundry places everywhere. They don’t look very smart or inviting, but they do the job! We always found somewhere within a five-minute walk of where we were staying. We paid 20,000 VND per kg and our washing was returned the next day, neatly pressed and smelling fresh. If only I could afford to have that done at home!  

wearing a bikini in Phu Quoc
Romper suits and sunhats are ideal for Vietnam’s beaches

Stock up on baby items in big cities

Run out of nappies? Looking for baby formula? What about baby food? Need an extra baby bottle or some new baby clothes? My advice is to stock up on everything in the bigger cities. We took one big pack of nappies with us, but by the start of our third week, we were running low. As we were about to spend a few nights in Halong Bay, we knew we needed to stock up before we left the city of Da Nang.

Cities like Da Nang, Hoi An, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have proper baby shops selling everything you could possibly need for a family holiday. There were two baby stores quite near to where we were staying in Da Nang, so we popped into both to compare prices. We came out with a big pack of nappies, baby wipes and some boxes of baby food.

These shops really did have everything too… from prams and baby clothes, to weaning equipment, baby formula, medicine and food.

If you’re not visiting the cities, you’ll be able to find the basics (nappies and wipes) at small supermarkets.

Go with the flow

My final tip for visiting Vietnam with a baby is to go with the flow! The phrase I said a lot before we left for this trip (mainly to people who questioned it) was “everywhere has babies, we’ll be fine!” And that’s the thing… there are babies being brought up in Vietnam, so of course it’s possible to travel around the country with a little one!

can you visit halong bay with a baby
We’re so pleased we travelled to Vietnam with Cooper when he was a baby

Being away from your home environment naturally encourages you to shake up your routine. As you ease into travelling as a family, you’ll find you don’t get so stressed about the smaller things that are out of your control. We still aimed to keep a rough schedule each day, but if naps were missed or delayed, we tried not to fret too much.

You’ll be spending quality time together having the most amazing experiences each day – that’s what really matters! The more we relaxed, the more enjoyable the trip became. Yes, it took a bit of a mindset shift, but it was a positive one!

vietnam with a baby was fun
Soaking up every special moment in Vietnam!

I hope these tips for visiting Vietnam with a baby help with planning your adventure. If you’re looking for more advice to plan your trip, I’d recommend clicking through to read these posts:

I’ve already written a few guides to help you with your trip planning. Before you leave, have a read through of my 3-week Vietnam itinerary as well as my guide to what to wear in Vietnam. Also, if you’re considering visiting Halong Bay, I’d recommend reading my post about travelling around Halong Bay with kids.

Plus, if this is your first trip abroad with your little one, I’d suggest a quick read of my newborn travel essentials post too.

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travelling with a baby in vietnam

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

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