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Packing for Toddlers: 6 Items to Not Overlook

by Holly Riddle

Mar 23, 2018

© Tommyandone | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

You thought packing for yourself and your significant other was difficult. Add a toddler into the equation and you’ve reached an entirely new level of difficulty. When most parents pack an entire suitcase-sized tote bag just to head to the grocery store, heading off on vacation can be a struggle, particularly when you’re limited to carry-on luggage and personal items that only fit so much. Regardless of how you make it all fit, just make sure you don’t leave home without these six items.

Tissues and Wet Wipes

You’re walking around your destination, enjoying the city sights, when there it comes out of nowhere. A runny nose, sticky hands, dirty mouth, dirt in general — kids are messy. Just make sure they don’t get their little messes all over you, the stroller or a stranger by keeping your pockets filled with the necessary tissues and wet wipes.


Even if your kid doesn’t fall down and scrape their knees, a Band-Aid can work wonders on a crying toddler, particularly when there’s a cartoon character involved. Both good for bloody moments and just a case of the boo-boos, throw a few in the bottom of your purse for unexpected emergencies.

Refillable Water Bottle

As soon as you’re somewhere it’s difficult to get a drink, your child will claim they’re positively parched. They’ll cry they’ve never been so thirsty in their entire life. They’re practically dying. Save yourself the drama and pack a refillable water bottle, handy for both you and them.

A Reward

Bribery is supposedly bad parenting, but what desperate parent hasn’t employed it once or twice (a week)? Pack away a little something out of sight that you can pull out when you really need it. Whether it’s candy or a new toy, there’s nothing like a bright and shiny object to keep your kid’s attention and behavior on point.

A Distraction

When travel starts getting stressful, we all like a little distraction, whether it’s binging on our favorite shows on the plane or sipping a cocktail at the airport bar. Give your toddler the same treat by bringing along something you know will keep them entertained when things get fussy, whether it’s their favorite show downloaded onto your iPad, a book, a stuffed animal or their favorite music.

A Plan

Children love routines and aren’t the best at sudden changes in plans. Make sure they have what they need in terms of stability by planning out a kid-friendly itinerary well in advance that corresponds with their needed nap and bed times. Take things a step further and plan out their outfits, too, to make your own life easier. It’s as simple as picking their clothes out ahead of time and tucking them into their own plastic baggie, zipping them up and writing the designated day on the outside. When you’re on the road, you’ll be ready to grab and go.


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