With the holidays approaching and travel looming, packing is a time consuming task for anyone. Adding a toddler to the packing checklist makes the task more challenging. Toddlers do not require as much special equipment as babies, but there are still considerations when packing for a toddler. Start packing early and carefully to ensure all of the essential items for your toddler make it into the suitcase.
Appropriate clothing for the destination is a priority on the toddler packing checklist. Take additional clothing items in case the weather is unusually warm or cool. Also take extra clothes in case of accidents or messes. Being away from home may cause potty-trained toddlers to have accidents. Pajamas, socks, underwear, swimming suits, jackets, shoes and plenty of day time clothes should make it into the suitcase for your toddler.
If your toddler wears diapers, either all day or just at night, pack plenty. Bringing the diapers along means you won’t have to waste time trying to find a store to buy them. Don’t forget to bring wipes and diaper rash cream as well. If your travels include swimming plans, swim diapers should also be packed. Pack a few plastic bags to hold the dirty diapers in case there is no trash handy.
Any prescription medications your toddler is taking should be on the packing checklist. It may be difficult to get more of the prescription if you travel out of town and forget it at home. If you will be gone for several days, consider packing children’s pain reliever in case an illness occurs while you’re away from home.
First Aid Kit
Toddlers are notorious for getting little cuts or other injuries. Pack a first aid kit so you are prepared for minor injuries. Items to include in your kit include band aids, first aid ointment, alcohol wipes, gauze, medical tape and instant cold packs. Hand sanitizer can also come in handy while you’re on the road.
Always keep your child’s insurance card with you, particularly if you are traveling away from home. If an illness or injury occurs while traveling, your insurance card will make the medical care easier.
Snacks and Sippy Cups
Toddlers like to snack. Pack a variety of snacks that won’t cause a mess. Dried fruit, pretzels, dry cereal, trail mix or crackers are popular choices. Hungry toddlers can turn cranky very quickly so packing snacks can prevent a temper tantrum caused by hunger. Pack a few sippy cups to prevent spills on the road. You can easily fill the sippy cups with water, juice or other drinks for your toddler.
Books and Toys
A small selection of books and toys will entertain your toddler while traveling. Use a special bag and allow your toddler to pick a few toys to pack. Purchase a few new toys or books to bring along. This will keep them engaged longer than their usual toys. You can also hide some of their old toys a few weeks before the trip so they will seem new.
A stroller will make traveling with a toddler much easier. A small umbrella stroller should be sufficient and won’t take up a lot of space. Strollers allow tired toddlers to take a break and can hold a small bag or camera so you’re not stuck carrying everything.
A portable crib gives your toddler his own place to sleep while away from home. If you are staying at a hotel, they may provide a portable crib for you. Check before you leave so you don’t waste the space by bringing your own portable crib.
Sunscreen & Toiletries
Sunscreen is very important if your toddler will be spending time outside. A sun hat will also help keep the sun off of her. Other toiletries such as bath wash, lotion and toddler toothpaste should hold a spot in the suitcase.
A few small blankets serve many purposes while traveling with a toddler. A light blanket can keep him warm in a cool location. Blankets can be used as sun shades. They also work well for diaper changes or as a place for your toddler to sit. Don’t forget to pack his special blanket or stuffed animal for comfort.