Checklist for Packing a Baby or Toddler’s Suitcase


Whether it is for a family vacation or a trip to a relative’s house, packing your baby or toddler’s suitcase is an important element in preparing for your trip. These ten steps will help parents and caregivers relax in the knowledge that they have included everything their baby or toddler needs for a long-anticipated or spur of the moment trip.

  1. Before you pack anything, check the local weather forecast before you go. A 10-day forecast is available on for anywhere in the world. You may also want to find an online version of a local news station or newspaper since their forecasts are usually a little more accurate.
  2. Pack clothing that can be mixed, matched, and layered. Don’t pack single use items, such as shoes that can be only worn once or a jacket that only matches one outfit.
  3. Bring along extras of everything. Socks, shoes, shirts, shorts, jackets, pacifiers, juice, formula, etc… Small children’s clothing is small, so you can easily lose items. Remember that a baby or toddler is allowed the same sized suitcase as an adult on an airplane, just make sure you have the means to transport everything at once.
  4. If you are going by airplane, distribute clothing evenly among suitcases. If one suitcase gets lost this way, you will not have lost your child’s entire wardrobe, just one third of it. Another reason to bring extras of everything (#3).
  5. If you are making any altitude changes, bring a pacifier/binkie, bottle, sippy cup, or chewy snack, to help relieve your child’s ear pressure. For airplane travel, this is a must. If you are traveling by car, remember that even an altitude change of a couple of hundred feet over a short distance can bother a young child’s small ear canals.
  6. Don’t forget to pack your baby or toddler’s toiletries. Keep a small bag filled with your child’s toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, body wash, sunscreen, and medication.
  7. Pack your child’s favorite “lovie.” Vacations and trips are not the time to break children of their attachment to comfort objects. Whether it is a blanket, stuffed animal, or pacifier, your child’s lovie will help him or her fall asleep or comfort himself or herself in a strange location.
  8. Pack snacks, toys, and books to help entertain your child during the journey. Consider buying a couple of new toys and books to bring along with your child’s favorites.
  9. If you are flying, check TSA guidelines for a list of items that may be prohibited in carry on or cargo luggage. This step will save you a headache at the airport.
  10. Pack a lightweight stroller. Especially if you plan on walking a lot. Another alternative is a child carrier that fits like a backpack.Bonus: Give yourself time to pack. Packing last minute increases the chances that you will forget an important item and increases the chances of you starting off your trip on a stressful note.