Packing for a vacation with a baby or toddler is always a challenge. Should I pack a separate suitcase for my little one(s)? Should I pack less for myself and stick their stuff in my suitcase too? How many bathing suits do I pack? Why does this bag feel like it weighs 100 pounds?
Some items are an absolute necessity to bring with you when you travel with a baby, such as diapers, bottles and pacifiers, clothing etc. But you don’t have to overpack for your baby and make it harder on yourself. Here are items you don’t need to bring with you.
You don’t need an entire box of diapers. It’s easier to just pack enough diapers for two days (in case of cancelled flights or layovers) and then purchase a box of diapers when you arrive at your destination. It will free up more space in your suitcase.
You don’t need a ton of multiple-piece outfits. This is true especially if you are flying and packing your diaper bag. Bodysuits for your baby are a mom’s best friend on vacation. They are so easy to snap on and pull off. And they pack so easily because they barely take up any room. You could also wash them easily in a sink and hang dry them over a shower curtain rod if necessary.
A big, bulky stroller is a huge hassle on a vacation. They take up so much room in the car and they are just one more heavy thing to have to load and unload. Try an adorable umbrella stroller. You still have a comfortable place for your little one to relax in and it’s super easy to tote around. This especially comes in handy if you are staying somewhere with stairs up to the door of your hotel room or beach house.
Don’t bring a play yard. Most places have play yards that you can request in your room or rental home. Be sure to check and see if they can provide one so you don’t have to bring yours. If by chance they don’t, then a simple and comfortable one would be much easier to bring along than some of the bulkier, complex ones.
Unless your baby is walking, don’t worry about packing shoes for them. Socks will suffice if their feet get cold. (Unless, of course, you are going to a snowy place. Then one pair of warm shoes should be good.)
You don’t need to pack up that bottle sanitizer. As wonderful as it may be at home, you can wash the bottles in piping hot water and it works just the same. But don’t forget a bottle brush and a small bottle of liquid dish soap! Some places don’t provide dish soap and you’ll need it to wash out the bottles.
One extra, random tip: I used a brand of formula that not only had a powder form but a liquid form as well. They came in small bottles with four ounces of formula in each. I was allowed by TSA to carry these unopened bottles of pre-mixed formula through security at the airport. This was a lifesaver for me, because I didn’t have to make extra time to purchase a bottle of water after going through security and have to mix it with powder. (By the way, that water would have been ice cold and there’s no way my baby would drink ice cold formula.) The liquid stayed at room temperature and I could simply open one, pour it in the bottle, and feed my baby immediately. Be sure to call ahead and check with your airport or airline to see if they allow this. It seriously was a huge blessing for me when I flew with my babies.
I hope your summer vacations are as stress free as possible and that this list of unneeded items will help your packing to be lighter and easier. Happy vacationing!