Honestly the thought of this was so overwhelming to me. I made sure to make a list and do a lot of research before packing for Liam.
I knew regardless of the research I would over pack just because I would rather be prepared. I decided to make a list of all the things we packed for Liam and whether it was necessary or not. I’m hopeful that this list helps others who are planning a vacation with a little one.
This post will show what we packed in black and my feedback once we returned in red.
To the airport (going):
- Pajamas-we had an early flight so we kept Liam in his pajamas.
- Sweatshirt -to keep warm but also have as spare for chilly evenings and for the return to the frigid cold.
- Socks-it is the dead of winter and cold so socks are a must; plus they will be nice to have as spares if the room is cold or we have a chillier evening –so thankful we had these because Liam ended up getting blisters and needed to wear socks with his shoes.
- Keens -these are the shoes he will be wearing in Mexico as they are durable and breathable; plus since he will be carried into and out of the airport quickly we don’t have to worry about snow
- Jacket -again it’s the dead of winter but we will be leaving this in the vehicle
Carry-On (diaper backpack):
- changing pad
- 6 diapers –3 or 4 would have been fine but it was nice to have extra
- 2 spare outfits in a ziploc bag-Our flight was early in the morning so we left Liam in his pajamas. One of these outfits was for him to change into once we landed and the other was a spare just in case; the ziploc bag was for the dirty clothes if an accident did occur. The spare outfit is pants/tshirt combo so he can wear the pants home at the end of vacation. –this seemed like the right amount to me; better safe than sorry.
- water cup
- toys/books-I brought 2 small books with only pictures that he enjoys flipping through, 1 larger book lift-the-flap book, and his buckle turtle (he likes buckles) –he really did not play with any of these; not sure what my recommendation would be but he was way more into the people and things on the plane.
- security item -Liam’s is a blanket –beyond necessary!
- snacks-I brought 3 different snack items since he is a toddler and we flew during his breakfast time –he ate one of the snacks (an applesauce pouch) and we ended up buying him a fruit cup and banana at the airport
- Ipad -Liam has never played games on our phones or on the iPad but we downloaded some apps for him to use at the airport and on the plane if necessary – entertained him for maybe 2 minutes. Should have given him a little exposure prior to the trip but not sure that would have helped either.
- Soft blanket – this was nice to have on the plane
- kids neck pillow –really helped support his head and my arm once he fell asleep. I would bring it again
- just under 60 diapers -I know this sounds like a lot but when we were planning for 7 days away we decided to bring extra due to the number of changes from swim diaper to regular diaper that may occur as well as the possibility of a reaction to some of his dietary options. –this was twice as many as we actually used and he had quite a few #2 diapers so use your best judgement but I would say 40 is plenty for 7 days.
- 7 sleep diapers -we use pampers baby dry diapers at night time and pampers cruisers during the day –perfect amount.
- around 40 swim diapers -again I know this sounds like a lot but thinking about the number of times he may be going in and out of the water I wanted to play it on the safe side. –Liam only went swimming a few times as he didn’t really enjoy it (water was a little chilly in the pools. The ocean was warmer but it scared him). I would recommend bringing 1 pack not 2 like we did and that would be plenty if your toddler does enjoy swimming.
- Wipes – We ended up using all our diaper bag/travel wipes and so one full pack of wipes was great to have in addition to the travel/diaper bag wipes.
- Security item -we have multiple of Liam’s favorite blankets so we packed a large one in the suitcase and a small on in the carry on
- 4 pairs of pajamas -I wasn’t sure on room temperature so I brought 2 shorts/t shirt pajamas, 1 tshirt/pants pajama, and 1 long sleeve/pant pajama –we did not use the long sleeve/pant combo but all other pairs were worn.
- 3 swim shirts/3 swim trunks -again with being in and out of the water I wanted to have dry options for Liam – I would recommend at least 2 swim suits for sure and 3 if your child enjoys swimming. It is always nice to have a dry set.
- 2 sun hats and 1 ball cap –the variety of options allowed Liam to wear the hat he wanted.
- 3 bodysuits -one tank top/short and two tshirt/short – he wore all of these.
- 3 dressy tshirt/short outfits -for pictures or nice dinners –he wore all of these.
- 1 shorts/tshirt combos – he wore both.
- 3 shorts/tank top combos – he wore all 3
- 2 extra t-shirts –he wore these
- 2 extra tank tops – he did not wear these
- 1 light long sleeve zip up – wore this every day. Maybe would pack 2 next time.
- 1 pair of socks –he did wear these and could have used an additional pair.
- Thermometer/nail clipper/Tylenol/Ibuprofen/nose aspirator (nose Frida) –I used all but the thermometer but was glad to have packed it just in case.
- 2 different diaper rash creams-Liam has not had a lot of experience with diaper rash so I brought 2 different kinds just to be sure -I read that humid temperatures can cause more diaper rash. Plus with being in and out of the water I figured all that moisture could lead to more rashes as well. – Liam did really good with rashes until the final few days. All the fruit he was eating loosened things up so I was glad to have these.
- Sunscreen -one spray bottle and one lotion both 50 SPF – used every day; the lotion was good for his face and the spray made for quick and easy application
- Milk cup –used every day
- Snacks -some extras to have in the room if necessary and for the flight home –these were great to have in the room.
- Toys -bedtime books, 1 toy car for the room, 1 toy car for the beach/pool, 2 plastic bath books for the pool or bath, plush Mickey Mouse –he was not interested in any of the toys except the bedtime books and the truck for outside
- Portable crib sheet -crib provided by hotel –it did not fit for some reason.
- Bubble bath/shampoo –yes!
- toothbrush/toothpaste –yes!
- forks and spoons –glad we brought these as Liam now requests to have a spoon or fork with his meals.
- disposable bibs –These were very convenient for meals and could just toss them after.
- 2 chair floats-one with canopy and other for spare if first one pops –I would recommend bringing only one. They have places to buy one if you need it.
- outlet protectors –This made so much sense to me but we did not use these.
- monitor –so amazing to have this.
- sleep owl noise maker and night light –so glad we packed this.
To the airport (home):
- Tshirt and pants
- sweatshirt and socks packed to add on once out of the warm temperatures
We also had to bring:
- Liam’s car seat – this ended up being unnecessary as our transfer vehicle to the resort did not have buckles to strap the car seat in. –We had a transport to the resort from the airport and to the airport from the resort. Our transport vehicle did not have seatbelts therefore making the carseat completely pointless. Had we known this we would not have brought it.
- Car seat transporter –very helpful for rolling the car seat around the airport and would work as a stroller if your toddler would sit in it -Liam would not.
- Ergo baby carrier -we weren’t bringing a stroller so if Liam was not comfortable in his car seat/transporter we wanted a spare that would give hands free options – we did use this and not the car seat.
I truly hope this list is helpful as you are planning your vacation. I know packing can be hard but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and successes on this trip and pack lighter/smarter than I did.