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What to Pack For An Overnight Trip with Baby or Toddler

Updated on March 9, 2014
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First Things First

Your first overnight away from home with your new baby is a milestone! You may feel slightly anxious about how baby will act at your host’s home or at a hotel. Don’t worry. As long as you are there, young babies will behave much the same as they do at home.

Try to make their schedules from home work as best you can while you are away. If the baby naps at 2:00pm, lay them down at 2:00pm. If you don't mix up their schedule too dramatically, odds are the baby will barely notice.

Here are some tips on what you should pack for the road trip.

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Image by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr
Image by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr

Baby Outfits

Pack three sets of baby clothes for every day you will be gone plus fresh pajamas for every night. Babies soil or wet themselves often and you want to be prepared with more than enough changes of clothes. Remember to pack extra socks, too, as they often get soaked.

Travel Tips for Traveling with Baby

Image by Alessandro Perilli on Creative Commons
Image by Alessandro Perilli on Creative Commons

Bottles and Formula

Bottles and formula are absolute musts as are any baby foods your baby is eating. You can’t assume you will find a store right away at your destination that sells the right things. Carry three or four bottles so you can wash one, use one, and keep one in your purse. A spare is always handy in your suitcase, too.

Bring individual store-bought packets of formula if you can. If not, bring airline-approved clear plastic containers with formula measured out for each bottle in them. You’ll be glad you don’t have to lug a whole tub of formula out of the overhead bin and can just pull out a small portion. Have bottled water on hand to mix it with. There is no cry more shrill than a hungry baby waiting for their bottle. Don’t chance it. Waiting for a flight attendant to bring you water or a rest stop to appear is a recipe for disaster.

If your baby is more of a toddler age, make sure you bring some baby cookies or snacks that they can munch on to keep them busy.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Skinny on Creative Commons
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Skinny on Creative Commons

Pack Diapers Gallore

Diapers! Overload on the diapers. The last thing you want to be doing is looking for an all-night WalMart in a strange town because you’ve run out of diapers. Plan for at least 6 diapers per day. Better safe than sorry. Carry extras in a carry-on bag if you are checking luggage.

Photo courtesy of ff137 on Flickr
Photo courtesy of ff137 on Flickr

Nooks, Toys and Bibs

Pacifiers, fun baby toys, and extra bibs are great ideas. Bring one less pair of shoes for yourself if you’re running out of suitcase room. You’ll be thankful to have the extra supplies at the ready.

Traveling with baby can be a fun adventure with some advance planning. It’s not so stressful once you get the hang of it!

Photo by drcorneilus on Flickr
Photo by drcorneilus on Flickr

Spoons, Wipes and Other Goodies

Carry everything you need to feed baby including spoons and lots of wipes. Bring a nightlight in case the place you’re staying doesn’t have or use one. You’re less likely to trip at the 3am feeding in a strange place if you can see where you’re going.

Find these travel items at
Find these travel items at
Image by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr
Image by Joe Shlabotnik on Flickr

Car Seat

You’ll have to carry baby’s car seat on a plane with you. Ditto for a stroller.

But for driving trips, you’ll already have the car seat and can pop a small umbrella stroller in the trunk for walking.

Planes, Trains & Babies...

Image by Elizabeth/Table4Five on Flickr
Image by Elizabeth/Table4Five on Flickr


Baby-safe sun block is a must if you are going to be outdoors or walking anywhere. Even minor exposure to the sun can burn baby’s tender skin.

Baby’s favorite toy is a also nice reminder of home and will help baby settle down to sleep.

Image by Charles Williams on Flickr
Image by Charles Williams on Flickr


Any medications baby is on—including baby Tylenol or Motrin—is a must! This is often an easily overlooked item and can cause major problems. Keep medicines in their original containers if you are traveling by plane in case your suitcase is searched. And carry them on the plane with you, don’t check them through.

Medication Organization

Image courtesy of heydrienne on Creative Commons
Image courtesy of heydrienne on Creative Commons


Whether or not you need a crib is up to you. If you’re staying with relatives, they may have one or you can set up a portable “pack and go” type collapsible playpen for baby to sleep in.

Hotels will often supply a crib if you ask when you make your reservation. The less you have to lug the better.

Other couples just have baby sleep between them in bed, but that’s for you to decide.

Pack and Play Overview

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    • profile image

      hubpageswriter 7 years ago

      Such cutesy pictures of those babies. Love it.;) Anyway, this is a great hub and filled with lots of tips. Useful especially for first time parents to be. Hub up.;)

    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 7 years ago

      Wow - what a comprehensive list. Great job!

    • jkvkdailey4 profile image

      jkvkdailey4 7 years ago from Minnesota

      Excellent suggestions! Very thorough list, helpful and well thought out. I totally overpacked for our first out of town trip with baby, we couldn't even fit everything inside the car. Thank heavens I went overboard instead of running out of something though.