One thing I love to do is travel. But, what used to be easy can quickly become overwhelming when you have a toddler in tow. After all, even minor trips require you to pack a lot more stuff than you used to before you had kids.
Thankfully, I’ve learned to pack relatively light and efficiently despite having a child traveling with me.
To help you master the art of packing for a toddler, I’ve come up with a packing list that should cover all your essential needs. Whether you’re traveling far or near, this packing guide will help you be prepared and ready so you can enjoy your time away from home.
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The Ultimate Toddler Packing List
The types of clothes you pack will depend on what season you are traveling in, and what type of weather is on the forecast. If you’re traveling in the fall or winter seasons, you’ll likely want to pack long sleeved shirts and jeans or sweatpants. Unless, of course, you’re traveling to a much warmer climate!
In general, I try to pack between 1-2 sets of clothes per day. This is mainly because my toddler tends to be a very messy eater, and typically needs to be changed at least once a day. Even if you decide not to pack two sets per day, you’ll definitely want a few extra sets of clothes just in case.
I also recommend packing two sets of pajamas, in case your toddler has an overnight accident or somehow gets one dirty. And of course, one or two nicer outfits will give your little one something nice to wear if you decide to go out somewhere that requires a little dressing up. (Alternatively, it gives you a nice outfit for photo ops as well!)
I always pack two pairs of shoes as well. Because, you know. Toddlers.
For summer weather, be sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray. I like to use products specifically made for babies, such as Baby Organics bug spray. Be sure your sunscreen is at least 50 SPF!
I also pack basic toiletries such as Elijah’s toothbrush, his fluoride free toothpaste, and nail clippers. Even if we’re going on a short trip, I always bring along bath supplies. Typically I’ll pack a small or travel size bottle of Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash. A couple of wash cloths, a towel, and a few baby cotton swabs covers all our bases.
Diapers and wipes (or underwear and wipes) are pretty essential for any toddler packing list.
For diapers, I always pack 6-7 diapers per day that we will be traveling or away from home. For car travel, I usually buy a pack or box of diapers that will fill our needs. When flying, I pack enough to get us to our destination and through the next day or two, and then buy diapers when we arrive at our destination.
For wipes, one pack per week is usually enough for us. While we use cloth diapers at home, we use Luv’s diapers when we travel. Although I don’t use them on a regular basis, I do like to get Pampers wipes when we travel. They are my personal favorite wipe, and it helps avoid diaper rashes while we’re out and about.
If your toddler is already potty trained, then be sure to pack extra underwear in case of accidents. And of course, a pack of flushable wipes is always a good idea.
At this point, your toddler has probably graduated from a diaper bag to a diaper backpack. Be sure to pack it with everything you usually put in your toddler’s diaper backpack (check out my toddler diaper bag packing list here). For traveling, include a few small toys and books to keep your little one entertained. And of course, don’t forget some snacks and a drink!
For airplane travel, be aware of airline restrictions for carry on items. Pack a sippy cup, but wait until after you’ve gone through security to fill it up with water.
Sleeping arrangements for a toddler while traveling can be tricky. So far, we’ve always opted to use our pack ‘n play whenever we’ve had to travel with Elijah. Even though it’s getting a bit small for him, it’s kept him contained at bed time and has worked for us. If you go this route, be sure to pack sheets as well!
If your toddler has moved out of the crib and into a toddler bed, a sleeping bag or toddler sized blow up mattress may be the better option for you.
To make sleeping away from home easier on your toddler, bring along comfort items. Include your little one’s pillow, blanket, and/or stuffed animal if he or she sleeps with one or more of these things on a regular basis.
Whenever we travel, I try to pack one of Elijah’s suction plates and suction bowls, as well as his plastic utensils, to make eating on the go easier for us. We also bring at least two of his sippy cups.
Recently, we bought a travel booster seat, and it is perfect for traveling with a toddler! It’s easy to attach to a chair for your child’s use. When you’re done, it easily folds back up and fits easily in your car or luggage.
Last but not least, don’t forget to pack a few small toys and books to entertain your child! When choosing toys, think quiet toys that will be able to be played with either in the car or on a plane. Small toy cars or dolls make great travel toys. Books are also a great way to keep your toddler occupied until you reach your destination.
Traveling Toddler Favorites
What are some of your essentials that you pack when you travel with a toddler? Share with me in the comments below–I’d love to hear from you!
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