Travel Packing List for Baby or Toddler: Essentials You Can’t Leave Home Without

Heading off for a trip with your new baby or toddler feels a bit like planning an expedition with military precision.  There is so much to consider and it can all become quite overwhelming when contemplating, “What to pack when travelling with a baby?”  Take some of that stress and worry away by using this travel packing list for baby or toddler.

A bag filled with must have items for traveling with baby like snacks, nappies and toys

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Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating a Travel List for Baby

Before creating your baby packing list for holiday or vacation start by thinking about:

  • What do you use at home?
  • What does your child like?
  • How long are you travelling?
  • What is the weather at your destination?
  • What does your accommodation already supply?
  • How much should you take?
    • Well, for me, if I am travelling only for a week or two I take everything I should need for that time frame.  I do not want those precious few weeks chewed up with trying to locate baby food or necessities.
    • However, if you are travelling for a longer period of time, just take enough to get you started – it is physically impossible to carry all that you need.

Essential Packing Lists for Baby and/or Toddler

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Travel Items for Baby

  • Nappy/diaper bag
  • Pram
  • Infant carrier
  • Car Seat
  • Porta Cot
  • Seat backpack*

Top Trip Tip
If you are planning on checking any of these onto a flight you may like to use a gate check travel bag* for your car seat, pram etc.  The luggage hold can get pretty dirty.


Deciding which of these items to pack for baby?

  • Consider how much these items weigh and how much space they take up.
  • When researching your trip investigate whether your accommodation can provide any of these items
  • It may be worth hiring some or all of these things on arrival.
    • To find a baby hire company Google “baby hire + destination”

Essentials to Pack for a Baby or Toddler

When choosing how many of the following items to pack consider the length of your trip, nearby shopping options, how much space and weight your luggage allowance permits.  It may be worth buying a top up of these items once you arrive.  Or there are services available that can supply baby items and deliver to your accommodation for your arrival, just Google “delivery baby supplies + destination.”

Must have essential toiletries and medical items for travel with baby or toddler

Essential Baby Toiletries and First Aid

  • Nappies/diapers
  • Wipes
  • Nappy Sacks
  • Disposable change table
  • Nappy rash cream.
  • Toiletries (find items applicable to your child’s age).
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Hairbrush
    • Shampoo/Conditioner
    • Body wash
  • Medical and first aid items (find items applicable to your child’s age).
    • Paracetamol
    • Teething relief
    • Band-aids
    • Antiseptic cream
    • Insect Repellent
  • Snuggle friend – DO NOT FORGET!

Packing Clothing for Baby or Toddler

The best tip I can give you is to choose mix and match clothing items and remember that babies and toddlers get dirty A LOT.  Pack spare clothes to allow for those days.

  • The travel outfit
    • Make sure it’s loose fitting and comfortable
    • Take a light jumper/sweater as aeroplanes, buses and trains can get chilly – don’t expect that there will be enough blankets to go around
  • Underwear and socks
    • Enough to rotate through the wash
  • Footwear
    • Walking shoes/sports shoes
    • Thongs/flip flops
    • Sandals/all-terrain shoe that is suitable for the water
  • Daywear
    • T-shirts or top
    • Shorts or skirts
    • Long pants/jeans
    • Jacket, jumper/sweater pashmina (even if you are travelling to a warm climate take one just in case)
      • Consider the weather
      • Consider what you will be doing
        • Sightseeing or visiting friends
        • Hiking, walking or sitting in a car
      • Consider how easy these items are to launder
      • Coordinate to mix and match clothing
  • Dress outfit
    • Particularly if you have a special occasion to attend


Top Trip Tip
Take a small amount of laundry detergent or soap dispensed into a travel container.



Swimming or Beach Packing List for Baby

Beach essentials for your baby or toddler include:

  • Swimming costume (call them what you will: swimmers, togs, cosi, bathers, bathing costume).
  • Swim nappy (if your baby or toddler is not toilet trained)
  • Rashie/rash guard/long sleeve swim shirt
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen

You may also want to bring to the beach for your toddler or baby:

  • Goggles
  • Bucket and spade
  • Shade
  • Towel if you are staying in self catering accommodation

Discover what else to pack for a self catering holiday HERE.

Food for Babies and Toddlers

If your baby is still on breast milk only – you’ve got this part sorted!  However, once your baby starts eating solids you will want to pack their favourite meals.  As your toddler begins eating better remember to pack snacks as they seem to be ALWAYS hungry.

  • Bottles
  • Baby food
  • Plastic bowl and spoons
  • Formula (if you are not breastfeeding)
    • You may like to purchase this for your toddler as well if you are travelling to a third world country and are not confident in the quality of milk
    • Milk tastes different in different countries and your child may not like the taste
    • The formula also has added vitamins which may help if you have a fussy eater who will only eat hot chips (like mine)
  • Bottlebrush
  • Dishwashing liquid
    • You can dispense a small amount in a travel container
  • Snacks


Top Trip Tip
If your baby has just started on solids and you are staying in a hotel room consider hiring a microwave for your room from a baby hire company.



Toys and Activities

Basically, choose items that interest your baby or toddler.

  • Snuggle friend
  • Books to read
  • Activity books
  • Crayons (I like crayons as they can be washed off surfaces that weren’t supposed to be drawn on)
  • Toddlers may also like a small toy.
    • I like Duplo as it can double up on the playtime activity – building and cars or dolls.

What to Pack for Baby on Plane

When travelling with a baby on a plane or even on a road trip you want to have a selection of everything above at your fingertips.  Packing carry-on hand luggage for a baby is just like packing your baby bag for a day out.  However, the number of items in your hand luggage for baby or toddler need to last for the duration of your flight.  Also, be prepared for delays and take extra.  Don’t shortchange yourself, there is nowhere to get off and get more.

A selction of essential items for baby on a plane

Essential Carry-On Luggage for Baby or Toddler

Pack sufficient:

  • Nappies/diapers
  • Wipes
  • Disposable change table
  • Nappy Sacks
  • Formula
  • Bottles of sterilised water (just advise security as you walk through the gate)
  • Dummy/Pacifier
  • Food and Snacks
  • Toys and activities


Top Trip Tip
There is only limited space in the cabin crew area.  Do not expect the crew to keep your bottles or food cold.  However, they will heat food and bottles when they are not serving the rest of the aircraft.



Top Trips Tips: Baby Packing List for Travel

I know it all sounds a bit overwhelming, but really just like you have been doing since the moment you became pregnant or decided to adopt you have researched everything about coping with your baby.  So too do you need to research and plan for your family trip.

Take time to fully:

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Giraffe suitcase to put baby travel packing

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A checklist for travel with baby or toddler

man with toddler in baby carrier on trip

Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.

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