Mexico is a very baby-friendly destination. The country is beautiful, so it’s no surprise that many people looking to escape winter chose Mexico.
You don’t need to stress when traveling to Mexico with a baby or toddler, it’s a great spot for all ages and a pretty easy destination for the first trip with a baby or a fun trip with a toddler!
I’ll be focusing on beach destinations in Mexico in this post, because I feel like most people are looking to explore Riviera Maya with a baby. We’ve been living in Playa del Carmen on and off for years now and my second son is actually Mexican – he was born in Cancun, so I can tell you everything about a baby in Mexico. I can say I have experience with taking kids to Mexico from birth to preschool 😉
Is it Safe to Take a Baby to Mexico?
Yes! It’s a short flight away, there’s a huge variety of baby products everywhere, no threat of any infections or diseases and locals are very accommodating with babies. Around Yucatan Peninsula, most people will speak some English, or if they don’t they’ll find someone who does what makes it an easy destination to travel.
Use a sun hat, a rash guard for swimming, and baby-safe bug spray and sunscreen and you’ll be fine.
I do feel like many bloggers still present traveling to Mexico with a baby or kids with an American mindset of “it’s scary, so take precautions”, but you can relax a bit and don’t need to stay at the resort and rely on organized tours only. Quite honestly, especially the Riviera Maya region is much safer than if you were to take your baby to New York City or Chicago. Remember, kids live in Mexico too!
Traveling to Mexico with a Baby or Toddler
Best Places to Visit in Mexico with a Baby
You can’t go wrong with Mexico! Even a place that’s not the most kids-friendly like Tulum still has some options for families with young kids.
If you’re looking for a nice beach and explore a bit I can recommend anywhere in Riviera Maya, but for a slightly more local vibe, I recommend Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Puerto Morelos. There are plenty of wonderful apartment rentals which are convinient when you’re traveling with a baby to Mexic,
If you’re into resorts, there are various resorts all over the place that caters to families. While most kids clubs in Mexico accept kids older than 4 years, if you want some time alone the resort offers babysitting services.
Whatever you decide, I highly recommend getting an apartment with a pool. Mexico along with the resort of the Caribbean might get hit with a seaweed wave and if that happens you won’t be able to get into the ocean (you could, but it will be pretty yuckie). Pool is crucial in those circumstances.
This is why Playa del Carmen is a great place for families, because you can find a ton of apartment rentals with a pool and walking distance to the beach, restaurants or shopping. Then, you can rent a car or do a tour for day trips.
Babysitters in Mexico
Babysitters in Mexico are wonderful and incomparably better than anywhere in the US. Don’t be afraid to use them! Resorts have their own babysitters (it’s usually someone who’s working at their kids club) and you can tell them whether you want the babysitter to stay in the room with the child, or go to the beach, take them to kids club and so on. We hired a babysitter at the resort once and quite frankly we had to hire her a few more times during our stay because my son (1.5 years at the time) didn’t want her to leave and kept asking when is she coming back to play again.
If you’re staying outside of the resort you’ll have many options for all ages. In Playa del Carmen there are a few wonderful agencies – I mentioned them all here. We had a ton of different babysitters and they were all wonderful, coming with a bunch of activities and always super engaged with the kids.
Plus, it’s affordable – it’s usually a maximum $10 an hour, or $15 an hour for two kids.
Baby Products and Diapers in Mexico
Everything is available in Mexico. Most American and European brands and more are available in Mexico without issues. You can buy diapers, wipes, other baby products, and formula at a big grocery store or any pharmacy.
Brands like Similac, Hipp, Nan, Enfamil are available in Mexico. In fact, there is WAY more choice of formula in Mexico than in the US and it’s always been that way.
Baby Food in Mexico
I actually brought a ton of formula from Mexico back to the US, because they sell European formula for an affordable price.
If your baby eats purees you’ll be able to purchase them in Mexico as well. Gerber jars are popular, and you can purchase some pouches but it’s mostly fruit.
As you can imagine all resorts have things like high chairs and cribs. Many apartment rentals also offer some baby gear.
High chairs at restaurants in Mexico are a hit or miss. Various tourist restaurants have high chairs, but they often run out. Especially if you’re traveling with another family with kids and need 2 high chairs, consider bringing your own harness or other portable one.
Baby Water in Mexico
A lot of people worry about the water in Mexico, especially with a baby. I’ve spent years living in Mexico and quite frankly never had a single issue with the water. I brushed my teeth with it and frankly did what locals do when my baby was born – I washed my bottles with tap water.
In hotels, I used a kettle in the room to heat the water mixed with liquid dish detergent and a brush. Otherwise, in a rental a brush will do (Mexicans are not very big on dishwashers for some reason).
I did wipe it with a paper towel afterward and it was absolutely fine, but some friends brought their microwavable bags for bottle cleaning – it’s an idea if you’re renting an apartment.
Apart from cleaning bottles and dishes, drinking tap water isn’t recommended! Hotels and resorts provide you with bottled water and if you’re renting an apartment the reception usually offers to replenish a giant jug of water for a dollar or two.
Do Babies Need Car Seats in Mexico?
The good news is that Mexico uses the same car seats as the US, so your car seat will be legal (it’s not legal in Europe).
Babies should be in a car seat regardless of the rules for their own safety, but depending on your situation you might not have to bring your car seat from home. Here’s why:
If you’re traveling to a resort and not planning on leaving it you can basically order a transport with a car seat. Cancun Airport Transportation provides car seats for even infants and I actually do that quite often in Mexico, because the car just shows up with a car seat installed and I don’t need to install anything myself after a long trip.
If you’re renting a car to drive around then I recommend you bring your own car seat
When it comes to taxis it’s tricky, because it’s not unusual for a taxi to come with no seatbelts. Most locals just use public transportation (minibuses) and carry their babies in carriers, which brings me to the next point.
Is Mexico Stroller Friendly?
I do recommend bringing a stroller to Mexico, because it’s hot and humid so carriers all day long isn’t the greatest idea. If you’re staying at the resort it’s nice to have a small travel stroller by the pool.
For off-resort exploring keep in mind that most sidewalks are uneven or don’t even exist, so with a stroller you will be doomed to touristy streets. However, we always manage with a stroller just fine.
Renting Baby Gear in Mexico
It’s definitely possible to rent some baby gear in Mexico or if you prefer you can buy some things. Things like bottles, toys, umbrella strollers, cribs, anything baby related can be bought at any bigger supermarkets or pharmacies.
Renting is available from sites like Baby Gear Rental, but quite frankly it’s so affordable it might be cheaper to just buy whatever you need.
What to Pack for a Trip with a Baby to Mexico
If you’re flying to Cancun pack lots of spare milk, snacks, and toys in your carry-on luggage. Once you get off the plane lines to immigration at Cancun airport are long and kids will be bored. Have a stroller and some entertainment ready for them.
Then, once you pass the immigration you’ll be waiting for your checked luggage for a while and there’s no shop to buy snacks in that area so come prepared!
1. Bug Spray and Bug Net
Mexico has a lot of bugs! Depending on the age of the child you can use a big net on top of the stroller or spray the kids with bug spray for the evening.
My kids always get attacked by mosquitos regardless of the DEET, but without it it would be impossible. You don’t even have to bring your own if you’re staying off resort – they sell kids-friendly bug sprays at every corner.
2. Rain Cover for the Stroller or Umbrella
The weather in Mexico is slightly unpredictable. It can be a beautiful sunny morning and then suddenly it starts raining, and most of the time it really pours. Always have a raincoat for the stroller and umbrella or a lightweight raincoat for a toddler. It’s warm enough, so nothing fancy is necessary but you will get wet.
And speaking of a stroller… if you’re bringing one keep in mind that streets might be busy, more narrow, or full of uneven pavement. A cheap umbrella stroller will be your nightmare, so get yourself a good travel stroller.
3. Sunscreen or SPF Shirts
Mexico’s sun is strong so babies and toddlers will get a lot of sun. SPF shirts are great and keep you from reapplying sunscreen a million times, but you might want to apply some on kids’ legs.
4. Consider taking a flashlight or candle
There are occasional electricity cuts, especially in places like Tulum, so you might want to have a flashlight or candles ready. My husband always feels very proud of himself when there’s no light and he uses a flashlight to give the baby some milk.
5. Floatation device
If you’re planning on going on a boat tour or to a cenote (which I highly recommend, even with a tiny baby – my son visited his first at 3 weeks old!) bring your old life jacket.
I’ve never found a resort, hotel or rental place that offers infant floatation device. They just expect you to either have a baby in a carrier or go without it. In some spots even toddler size are hard to find, so we always bring our own. It doesn’t take too much space in the suitcase, but it makes things easier.
Anything else like sand toys or fun floaties can be bought cheaply anywhere in Mexico, but a life jacket for a baby isn’t something you can easily rebuy.
Things to Do in Mexico with a Baby
I always say that you can do everything with a baby or toddler anywhere unless they actually ban you from bringing them. Especially Riviera Maya is such a family-friendly destination that many activities are available for all ages.
Whether you want to find a local spot to hang out, or go to one of the adventure parks like Xcaret, it’s all possible and enjoyable with a baby or toddler.
Do you have any questions about traveling to France with a baby?