Packing clothes in suitcase

What Essentials You’ll Need When Packing for a Baby or Toddler

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Traveling with a baby or even a toddler can be tricky. When you have that trip planned out and start packing for a baby or toddler, you come to realize that they need way more essentials than us parents. But it doesn’t have to be a struggle. Making sure you have everything you need for your baby or toddler will be the difference between a smooth and comfortable trip or a disaster waiting to happen.

Well, you’re in luck, I have put together a list of essentials that your baby or toddler would need. Now you don’t have to lose your mind trying to remember everything your child will need.

What to Pack Your Baby or Toddler?

I have always been an over packer. So you can only imagine how bad I was when I started having to pack for my son. But let’s face it, contrary to what you’ve been told, you don’t need to pack everything from your baby’s room. You don’t need to pack the pack n play, plus the swing and bouncer. You don’t need to pack the light stroller plus the heavy duty stroller; one will suffice.

I have compiled a list of essentials you’ll need when packing for a baby or toddler without having to overpack.

Baby sitting on his clothes packed in a suitcase
(Photo Credit: Canva.com)

List of Essentials:

  • 2-3 outfits per day, plus 2-3 onesies per day: This is a good number to stick with because it will give you some extra outfits in case your baby spits up or wets themselves but without overpacking.
  • 2 pairs of socks per day: This is also a good number to stick with, giving you an extra pair in case they get wet.
  • 2-3 bibs per day: If your child is an older toddler, they may not need any bibs.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Baby Dove head to toe soap: Using the head to toe soap prevents you from having to bring 2 bottles — shampoo and soap. This way you only need the 1 bottle that can be used for both.
  • 2 bathing suits: Bringing 2 means you can switch back and forth between the 2 in case 1 is still wet from the day before.
  • 1 pajama set a night: I wouldn’t bring more because if it gets wet during the night, you can put them in one of the extra onesies.
  • 4-6 diapers per day plus wipes
  • Diaper cream
  • Favorite stuffed animal
  • 3-4 toys (but not any that are too loud): If you’re stuck in a car or an airport for hours, the last thing you want is a loud toy that is just going to get on your nerves or disrupt other people around you.
  • 2-3 favorite books 
  • Diaper bag
  • First aid kit
  • Pack ‘n play and sheets: A pack ‘n play’s a great item to take for the baby to sleep in. This will prevent you from worrying where your baby will sleep or worrying about the dangers of them sleeping in the bed with you. But if you have an older toddler that has outgrown the pack ‘n play, you don’t need to bring it and they can just sleep in the bed with you. Then it will be one less item you have to pack. Wouldn’t that be great!
  • Car seat: Make sure you bring your car seat even if you are not traveling by car.
  • Stroller: Stick with 1 stroller. The decision to bring a light weight one or your heavy duty one depends on you, where your traveling, what kind of walking you may do, etc.
  • Tablet with a few videos on it: I know too much screen time isn’t good for them, but this can be good if you do need a distraction during your travels or they’ve been crying or whining for hours and you just need some quiet. Let’s face it babies and toddler don’t do patience well.
  • Bottles/sippy cups and snack cups
  • Bottle brush
  • Infant utensils, bowls and plates
  • Breast pump and storage for milk or formula: You won’t need these items anymore if you are traveling with a toddler.
  • Baby food/Snacks
  • Baby/Children’s Tylenol, Benadryl, and thermometer: You should always carry these items no matter where you go because you never know when your child may get sick or have an allergic reaction.
  • Sunscreen
  • Monitor: You may need this if they’ll be sleeping in a different room. But you shouldn’t need it if they’ll be sleeping in the same room.
  • 1-2 Baby blankets
  • 2 Burp cloths per day: These are for babies, so you won’t need these if you’re traveling with a toddler.
  • High chair booster seat

Now that you have this list handy on what essentials you’ll need when packing for a baby or toddler, your packing days will go much smoother. So just grab that suitcase and start packing. And enjoy your vacation!


Looking for other travel advice and tips, you can check out these great articles:

5 Reasons to Bring Grandma on the Family Vacation

10 Tips on Taking a Road Trip While Pregnant

5 Reasons to Visit an Indoor Waterpark in the Winter

5 Reasons to Visit and Indoor Waterpark in the Summer

What item do you also make sure to pack for your baby or toddler when going on vacation? Tell us what it is in the comments below!

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