As I may have mentioned before, I love lists. I love writing them, re-writing them when I’ve made a mistake (EVERY BLOODY TIME), and crossing things off and feeling all accomplished when everything’s done (which, to be clear, is rare). One thing I keep meaning to do is create an extensive baby and toddler holiday packing list so every time we go away I don’t actually have to start from scratch in my mind. So I did, and here it is, my ultimate summer holiday baby and toddler packing list.
This assumes the place you’re staying does have a few essentials like high chairs and travel cots but otherwise should cover what every family might need to take on a summer holiday with their little ones. It’s also written with overseas travel in mind but most will apply if you’re staying closer to home.
A fully stocked changing bag with nappies, wipes etc. (But don’t forget to put your nappy cream, hand sanitiser and any other liquids into a clear plastic bag or it’ll be confiscated).
Travel/foldable changing mat – because public changing tables are rank.
Soft toys or comforter
Dummies – if your baby likes a dummy then they’re a good idea on planes as sucking helps regulate ear pressure.
Drinks – a re-closeable water bottle or beaker with water. Travelling is thirsty work and aeroplanes in particular are airless and dehydrating. I love these because they keep drinks cool and look great too.
Snacks – ALL THE SNACKS. When we went on a four hour flight I based our toddlers snacks on an average of one every half an hour for the whole journey (plus lunch on top) and she pretty much kept up with my prediction.
Changes of clothes – and a spare set for you while you’re at it because babies love to vomit on you in confined spaces.
Large muslin cloth – i love these HUGE, supersoft ones from Lil’ Cubs because they’re big enough to use as a blanket, a breastfeeding cover, a sun shade, a makeshift playmat or picnic blanket and so many other uses.
Entertainment – this one is key. We got a really cool toddler activity pack from Keep Em Quiet which had all sorts of fun things to do in it. It’s a lot more pricey than just getting a load of stuff together yourself but it does take the hassle out of it all and it comes in its own carry bag. Just don’t forget to get one for the return journey too! We also packed our iPad and some headphones for our toddler as an emergency measure for when the baby needed feeding/changing/the seatbelt signs were on and we needed her to stay put.
Milk – if you’re formula feeding don’t forget to pack enough mlk for the journey in your hand luggage (plus a couple of extra feeds in case of vomiting/long delays.
Lightweight pushchair and carry bag (the bag isn’t essential but it does help to protect it a bit once you leave it at the plane door and it’s slung into the hold. you can also pack other things such as nappies etc into this bag to use up less space in your luggage and act as extra padding. The BabyZen Yoyo is totally on my list for our next trip because EVERYONE is raving about how amazing it is. Does anyone have one?
Car seat – if you’re planning on hiring a car and you;re not getting a car seat from the rental company, don’t forget to bring your own!
Essentials, food and medical
Baby monitor. A lot of places provide them but we like taking our video monitor for peace of mind. We have a Luvion Supreme Connect and it’s lasted nearly 3 years despite being dropped down the stairs a fair few times.
Children’s paracetamol/ibuprofen– because teething and random viruses don’t give a sh*t if you’re on holiday.
Teething gels/powders/liquid – see above. ANBESOL IS LIFE
Cold remedies – see above again, a saline nasal spray and some baby vapour oil is never far away from me, wherever we are.
Baby-friendly insect repellent
Nail scissors – because babies’ nails grow faster than anything ever.
Bath wash/baby shampoo – I LOVE everything from Child’s Farm at the moment – smells delicious and is perfect even on our daughter’s eczema-prone skin and scalp.
Any prescription medicines your child needs.
Oral rehydration sachets
Toothbrush and paste
Travel power adapters to plug in your monitor/nightlight etc
Formula, bottles, teats and bottle brush, and a travel steriliser or sterilising tablets.
Snacks – most places will have a supermarket or shop you can get supplies from but sometimes a familiar snack might be the only thing that will do!
Plastic bags to put dirty washing/things that are likely to leak in.
Travel first aid kit
Beach tent/shelter – If you have the space to pack one, a pop -up sun shade tent is a good idea to keep little ones shaded on the beach.
Travel wash – if you have a small bottle of travel wash you don;t need to pack so many spare sets of clothes because if you get stuck you can always wash a few things.
Travel plastic plates and cutlery.
Baby food jars/pouches – always good to have backup options.
Clothes and the like
Vests – even if you’re going abroad where you’re hoping for sunshine it could be chilly at night, especially for a young baby.
Sleepsuits/Pyjamas – of varying leg and arm legths so you can dress them according to the temperature.
Baby sleeping bag or blankets
Cardigan/zippy top in case it’s chilly in the evening or in the shade.
Swimwear I like getting the UV-protecting all in one suits because it saves slathering suncream all over. It’s much easier to manage necks, ears and faces than entire squirmy bodies.
Waterproofs and wellies (this one is probably essential if you’re staying in the UK)
Towels if not supplied
Books and toys – familiarity is always key so a couple of things from home to make them feel more settled, especially at bedtime, are always a good idea.
Now the only other thing you need to worry about is finding space to pack stuff for yourself…