Traveling with a toddler can be challenging but deciding what to pack for them doesn't have to be. You won't want to leave home without any of the following items for your toddler. Use our checklist to make sure you arrive at your final destination with everything you need.
Pack a Complete Diaper Bag or Carry On
If you're flying you'll want these items in your carry on. If you're driving, keep this fully stocked diaper bag right near your toddler's car seat for easy access for all their needs.
Pack 24-hours worth of diapers or Pull-Ups. You will know exactly how many diapers/pull-ups your toddlers needs. The rest of your diapers/pull-ups will be packed in your luggage.
Be ready for any kind of mess! Purchase and pack a small portable container of wipes. Not only will you need these for diaper needs but you could use them after a sticky snack or to clean up any spills in the car or plane seat. Also, pack a bottle of hand sanitizer to clean dirty hands after using a public restroom or changing a dirty diaper. More wipes will be packed in your luggage. .
You know that time your little one had an accident and you didn't have any spare clothes on you? Don't let that happen again. Pack two complete outfits consisting of a shirt, pants, and socks in two separate gallon-sized storage bag. Not only will these be easy to find but you zeal up the stinky clothes so the car doesn't smell for the rest of your ride.
Pack two non-drip sippy cups, a bunch of snacks in snack-sized zip lock bags and two bibs. If the cup has a handle you can attach the bibs to the cup. Your snacks should have a low mess factor like goldfish, cheese sticks, and apple slices with a dash of lemon juice to stop them from browning. Don't forget to pack extra bibs, snacks, and cups in your luggage!
A cranky thirsty and hungry toddler is never fun.
What things will entertain your kid? If your car doesn't have a screen built in pack a tablet or portable DVD player with your child's favorite movies. Don't be stuck with a dead battery! Either put it on your things to do list to charge your electronics or pack USB cables to plug into your car. If your child doesn't enjoy screens pack familiar toys or a book to help them feel secure. A traveling toddler can feel out of sorts so packing their teddy bear will be a must!
Last, but definitely not least, is to pack medicine. You never know when your little one will spike a fever so pack pain reliever or a fever reducer medicine. Additionally, pack ear drops, gas drops, and a thermometer. Better to be safe than sorry!
What Your Child Will Need In Their Luggage
Pack one day complete outfit, shirt, pants, socks, and pajamas for each trip day plus two extras. If you'll have access to laundry facilities, you can skip the extra outfits. Ziplock bags can be your saving grace. Not only do they keep smelly clothes sealed up but if your little one doesn't wear all of the outfits you'll keep the clean clothes separate from the dirty ones. Don't forget shoes!
They'll wear a pair for the trip but pack an additional pair, just in case.
Pack enough diapers/Pull-ups and wipes for the first three days of your trip. Once you are settled at your destination, go pick up some more that will last for the duration of your trip, plus your trip back home.
Now, for the comfort factor. Your little girl or guy will feel better if they have a familiar blanket to snuggle up with at night. They'll probably travel with one. So pack two in case you need to create a makeshift bed for your toddler's afternoon nap.
Your kiddo will need some of the same toiletries that you do. In a gallon-sized zip lock bag pack shampoo, soap, a toothbrush, toothpaste, ointment, lotion, suntan lotion, cotton swabs, and nail clippers.
Extra Things You'll Need to Bring
You going to need to bring a car seat.
If you are flying be sure your seat is FAA approved (it should be mentioned in your user's manual). Your seat should be lightweight, compact and easy to install. It'd be a bonus if there was suspension on the base to help with air travel, but it's not required.
A sturdy, collapsible stroller is a must. Even though umbrella strollers are lightweight and portable, they may not be comfortable and unable to endure the wear and tear of a busy vacation, Weigh the pros and cons when deciding which one to pack.
Before you go on your trip take a good picture of your toddler. If you and your toddler should become separated for any reason, you'll be glad you took a recent picture with you. It's the first thing the police, airport authorities or security personnel will need to help find your child.
Last, bring a special treat for your toddler like chocolate chip cookies or your child's favorite candy. Whatever you choose, it should be something your child loves but doesn't get on a regular basis. At some point during the trip, your child will have a meltdown. Stop it by offering your child the treat. Say that traveling with mommy is special and that you're celebrating with a special treat.
Now that you know what to pack it's time to go find your luggage! Once you follow these suggestions you'll feel confident you've packed everything your child needs. The only thing left will be to pack yourself and then enjoy your vacation!