What to Pack? Tips for Traveling with Babies and Toddlers
Trying to leave the house with babies and toddlers in tow can feel like a military operation; never mind going on vacation. The temptation is to take everything that you could possibly need to be prepared for any eventuality, but really you don’t half the stuff on your checklist. Here are some top tips to help you get ready for your big trip.
The one thing that you cannot do without is a stroller. It does not have to be an all singing all dancing one, just a simple umbrella type. If you have chosen one that can lie flat, your baby or toddler will be able to keep to their hard-earned sleeping schedule while you are out and about. Plus, it can also double up as a highchair for meal times.
Unless you are going to an exceptionally remote location, the chances are high that you will have access to diapers. You do not need to pack enough for the whole vacation. Make sure that you have plenty of zip-lock bags to be able to keep any unwelcome odors from a used diaper at bay. Choose a diaper rash cream that can prevent it occurring and treat it too – why take two tubes when one product will do the trick? Remember too that its soothing qualities can work wonders for all the family for a whole host of complaints: shaving rash and acne, for example.
Choose the clothing you are going to take wisely. Make sure that you pack basic solid clothing that can easily be mixed and matched. Choose cotton as it will keep you all well ventilated in hot climates, and can be layered for warmth if it gets chilly in the evenings. For babies and toddlers plan 1.5 outfits per day. Take some laundry soap as it takes no time at all to hand launder clothes or bibs.
You only need to have three bibs (you packed the laundry soap, right?), a plastic bowl, spoon, fork and sippy cup. For breastfeeding babies, try and take some formula with you if you are going long haul or across time zones– your feeding can get thrown out of pattern, and you will feel less stressed if you are prepared with a backup plan. If your baby or toddler likes a certain type of jelly, take a jar with you: no matter where you are traveling in the world, there is always an equivalent of bread.
The ability for your baby or toddler to sleep is central to the success of your vacation. You do not want any reason for your child to be unable to sleep in a strange environment. Make sure that you have extra of your child’s favorite pacifiers. It’s a good idea to pack a night light too to avoid them being disorientated if they wake in the night. Pack a special blanket from home to give further feelings of security, and in case nights are a little cooler than anticipated.
Getting ready to go on vacation can be stressful. You do not want your time to be spent worrying about whether you have packed all the right things for your baby, so remember that as long as they are fed and watered, and smothered in love, spending time with their family is all they need.