As I was packing up for Edison and I to come to Utah/Idaho this past week it had dawned on me that I have never shared one of my favorite most helpful tips when it comes to packing and traveling with your kids. This tip will save you SO much time, especially that valuable time right before leaving on a family vacation or even an overnight stay.
Ready for it… a checklist!! That’s it. I have been creating a checklist for Edison ever since he was 2 months old and we headed on our first trip as a family. That was probably the hardest list to create because newborns need so much baggage, luckily I had to only take the time to create a list once. Now when we wanted to travel I just pull out my handy checklist and check things off.
Of course your child grows, changes, their needs change, and soon they need less things. Having a checklist that you can personally check off and see the progression has been a major game changer for me. I use the Notes app on my iPhone. I love being able to use the checklist bubbles when creating a list so I can mark off the things I already grabbed and put in the suitcase.
On the Notes App I categorize packing into different types of trips, such as a road trip vs traveling on a plane. One of the biggest things I love to do is save everything that I no longer need because they were simply the “newborn” phase pack list, for the future. I have a ‘newborn’ list and just cut and paste them into that list for our next child.
Another thing that helped me when starting to create my checklist for Edison was to have my phone handy throughout the day a couple days before we left on our vacation. Anything that I needed or started to use I would add it to the list. That way you aren’t just throwing in last minute things you don’t need which helps to avoid over packing.
This checklist works great if you have multiple kids too! Giving each of your children their own checklist helps so you don’t have to go through the ‘did I already pack this time for kid #1 and #2 but not #3?”
REGULAR PACK LIST
Dawn dish soap – here is the travel container we use
Swaddle – I always pack two. The second one to cover the mattress pad on a portable crib your borrowing from a friend or one at the hotel.
White noise machine – This is one thing we can’t travel without. It always so helpful while staying in the same room as your child to help drown out some noise.
Wipes – I always pack a brand new pack of wipes. I have never needed to get more than that
Nail clippers – Only because I feel like their nails grow like crazy while your gone!
Baby food – I only pack enough food for the traveling and the first 2 days. Then I can go to the store and get more food
Hair Gel – I have been using this hair gel on Edison since we gave him his first official haircut.
Boon bottle rack – Love traveling with this especially while staying at hotels. Having a clean place to hold the bottles or sippy cups makes me feel so much better
Stroller – depending on the type of trip, I love being able to have my regular Uppa Baby Stroller, but if we don’t have room in the car, or flying I resort to the travel stroller.
ADDED PACK LIST FOR FLYING
Car seat – You can read about my helpful tips traveling with a car seat here
Travel Stroller – We love this travel stroller because it folds up small and can be carried as a backpack
Toys – Edison’s current favorite toy always in hand right now. I always love purchasing a new toy that Edison has never seen and give it to him on the plane. A new toy can always distract them for quite some time.
Ergo baby – I can’t fly without this. I love being able to wear Edison through security, and it’s easier to walk to the gate quickly if needed.
Lollipop – I just have Edison suck on dum dum suckers. If he isn’t in the mood for a sucker, I will make him drink lots of water both on take off and landing to help their ears to pop.
Download Netflix movies – I always have to have this on my list so I don’t forget to download movies while I still have wifi
iPad – Here is the case we use
Black Garbage bags – I pack two large black garbage bags to cover the car seat if we end up checking it. That way the car seat stays clean
Regular garage bag – I just use a grocery store bag to store garbage on the plane. I always hate having a no place to be able to put trash away
Birth certificate – Especially while traveling abroad
Passport – Especially while traveling abroad
Baby Tylenol – I always travel with Tylenol because there has been some trips where we aren’t close to a CVS or local grocery store during some teething pains. It’s so helpful just having it on hand when needed.
Ear muffs – Often we travel for Brandon to race his hotrod cars. Some of the races are very loud and I love having Ear Muffs as protection
Lavender oil – Lavender oil is a big one for us, helps with sunburns and I like to rub it on Edison’s feet right before bed to help him sleep better.
Dock a tot – When Edison was a newborn we only brought this on trips instead of a portable crib. He would sleep right between us.
Dr. Merlins Magic Sleep Suit – Do you guys remember Edison in this?!! One of my most favorite pictures of him. This is the only way I could get Edison to sleep for about 4 months on his own.
Microwaveable steam bag – These are a great backup if you’re having to hand wash your bottles each day. I felt better knowing there were sterilized.
Breast Pump – I only needed to pack this on one trip because I never over produced a lot of milk. But it was still something I kept on my list
Owlet Baby Monitor – One of my favorite baby monitors. Always a peace of mind even out of town. See our review on it here
Sleeping suit – I used this probably from 8-15 months.
Here is an example of what my notes actually look like.
I love that packing for Edison is a breeze, it takes little to no time because I am organized with my lists. I also love it because as a mama you know that you can’t pack several items your child needs until day you leave, such as a noise machine, having the list to go over one more time before leaving the house has been huge!