Moms on Call’s Guide to Packing for Traveling with Babies and Toddlers

With summer travels right around the corner, de-stress the packing process with our simple 5 step process and packing list!

Summer will be here before we know it and with the world slowly reopening, we’ll be able to enjoy traveling again! And we know all too well how packing for travel with babies and toddlers can be a daunting task. So, we’ve set out to simplify and de-stress the packing process for you.

Sign-up below for our downloadable packing list that you can print out, customize and keep on hand to use every time you travel!

We like to use a five step process when planning what to pack for a vacation.  (And yes, we do always recommend starting with a list so that you’re more likely to stick to the things you’ll need and avoid packing everything in sight!)

Step 1: Think in terms of the different categories of things your little will need.

  • Clothing
  • Sleeping
  • Eating
  • Toys
  • Traveling
  • Bathing

Step 2: As you go through each of these activities at home, take note of everything you use.  

For example, what are all of the things you use during a feeding session? 

Keep a running list in your phone.

There’s going to be a lot of stuff, but that’s okay! We’ll narrow it down.

Step 3: Is anything already available where you’re headed?

Does the friend you’re visiting have a pack n’ play that you can use? 

Will there be a washing machine and dryer?

What’s the sleeping situation? Will your little(s) be sleeping in the same room as you or each other?

Can you rent a crib, stroller, car seat, etc?

Make adjustments to your list accordingly.

Step 4: Narrow it down.

Clothing: Think in terms of outfits needed for each day versus quantities of each item. This will help to ensure you have complete outfits for all planned activities.

For example, for a beach trip, a day’s worth of outfits may look like this:

  • Daytime: A bathing suit, sunshirt, beach shoes, hat, etc.
  • Post-beach nap: PJs or comfy clothes
  • Dinner: Shorts, shirt and shoes
  • Nighttime: PJs

Toys: Less is best here. Your littles will be so mesmerized with their new surroundings, their normal toys from home won’t interest them! Bring one designated toy bag/bucket with a handful of key items. 

Bathing: Grab travel size items and make sure you have first aid items with you! (See the Quick Grab First Aid Kit list in our 0-6 Month and 6-15 Month books.)

Sleep: There are some incredible compact products out there to help parents recreate home sleep environments on the go, without taking up precious cargo space!  Our favorites include a Lectrofan Alpha Travel Sound Machine, SlumberPod (use code MOMSONCALL for $10 off) and Travel Toddler Bed.


Step 5: Get organized. 

Organized packing will help to ensure that you don’t forget anything, save space, keep track of things and can find things easily upon arrival.

We’re huge fans of packing bags within bags!

These zippered, water-resistant bags are great for smaller items and come in all different sizes.

Packing cubes are perfect for keeping clothes organized. If you’re traveling with multiple kids, each can have their own packing cube(s).  Plus, these come with a laundry bag which we also recommended bringing. (You’ll be glad you did when you get home and your dirty and clean clothes are already separated!)

Now that we’ve removed the guesswork from where to start when packing for travel, sign up to get our travel packing list.  It’s an easy checklist of the most common items needed, with space to add your own, that you can reuse for every trip!

We've got a FREE resource ready to send you that is age-appropriate for where your child is right now.


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Embrace the journey. You’re not in this alone.
Become a MOC Family, and we'll be your voice of hope as you parent out of truth, grace, and love.

~Laura & Jennifer