Ultimate Baby & Toddler Packing Checklist
Recently, I had the pleasure (ha!) of organizing our family of five for a plane trip with about two days’ notice. As we all know, packing for a trip with kids can be a bit of a logistical nightmare. The younger they are, the more stuff they seem to require.
We travel with our kids quite often, but I usually have a lot more time to get organized. Fortunately, I’ve been keeping a running packing lists for the kids for years, so I had something to refer back to.
In the spirit of making all of our lives easier, I decided to consolidate my running packing list into a master baby & toddler packing checklist. See below for the printable.
First, a few caveats.
This is a consolidation of packing lists I’ve been using for our kids from ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Every kid is different, every family is different, and every trip is different. You’ll need different things when travelling via car versus plane and when staying in a hotel versus a stocked AirBnB. I tried to err on the side of a more comprehensive list.
My kids never took a bottle well, so I didn’t include bottle feeding supplies, as I would be guessing as to what’s necessary. Hopefully the extra spots I’ve included give you enough room to fill in the items you need.
I left blank spots for you to fill in extra items that you need for your little one. If I missed something that’s a necessity for you, please let me know! My goal is to make this as useful and useable as possible.
Baby and Toddler Packing List
Click here for the printable checklist.
We usually stay at places with laundry, so unless we have a special event I pack enough clothing for each day of our trip +1. We always bring at least 2 pairs of PJs, 2 sleepsacks, and 2 Pack ‘n Play sheets, just in case we have a middle of the night disaster.
My big kids are old enough that we can get away with using whatever dishes they have at our destination. However, for little ones I like to bring some dishes and cutlery if we have room, just in case we end up in a place with only breakable dishes.
We recently purchased this for my daughter and it was wonderful for our last trip. It’s particularly great for restaurants (especially with a baby who would otherwise be eating right off the table!).
We always bring sippy cups or water bottles for each child, so they can easily be filled up on the go, instead of having to purchase bottled water.
I highly recommend packing snacks, snacks, and more snacks. Snacking kids are happy kids, so we relax all rules about snacking when travelling and pack more than we think we need.
This is pretty self-explanatory. We always pack diapers if we have room, unless it’s a really long trip. It’s usually much more cost-effective than buying a small package of diapers at our destination.
You know your child best – bring what you can to replicate your child’s sleeping conditions at home. There was a period of time where we brought our daughter’s swing on every road trip, because it was the only guaranteed way to get her to nap!
We’ve had great luck with the KidCo Peapod travel bed, once our children are older than one. It packs up small, so it’s easy to travel with, and it provides a safe and familiar spot for them to sleep while travelling. The key is to get them used to it at home.
In addition to the obvious items, we always bring a thermometer and ibuprofen/acetaminophen when we travel with our kids. Although you can usually purchase it at your destination, it’s more difficult to do so in the middle of the night, which always seems to be when you need it! If our accommodation has laundry, we’ll bring a small container of laundry detergent, just in case it isn’t provided.
Your needs will depend on your child(ren), and the type of trip you’re going on.
When we travel by plane, we always leave our big double stroller at home and take our umbrella stroller or, when we’ve had an infant still in a bucket seat, our Snap N Go. I also throw in a travel baby carrier, just in case I need to secure two children at the same time. This approach has served us well so far.
If you’re travelling by plane and bringing a car seat, I cannot recommend this car seat bag enough. On our last trip, we had three full size car seats, each packed in one of these bags (we were quite the sight to see at the airport, I’m sure!). It would have been almost impossible for us to travel without them. My husband and I could each carry a carseat on our backs, which made navigating the airport possible. Our bags have been on many trips with us, and are still in great shape.
I hope this packing list makes your next trip a little bit easier! If you have any feedback about how I can make the checklist more useful for you, please let me know. Happy travels!