Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Packing for a Toddler

Packing for a long trip is no joke. There are so many different things that you need to bring for yourself, let alone your tiny human! Since we're heading out of town next week, I actually started packing for Chloe last week. I know it seems a little excessive, but I wanted to knock out one suitcase and lower my stress levels a bit. While I was in the process of packing for Chloe, I thought that I may be able to share a few packing tips for your littles. Some serious, some funny, so let's take a look.


Tiny humans need so much stuff. 
No matter where you are, they need a lot! While at home, you can make this happen with ease, but traveling can make it a bit difficult to have everything you need. I struggle with trying to figure out how many diapers, wipes, snacks and such to bring versus buy. The length of time you'll be gone is definitely a factor in whether or not to pack or buy something. If you're visiting a country that's more expensive than home, you don't want to plan on buying things there that you could pack. Here's my pack vs buy list:

Things to pack:
- Clothes for the whole trip
   - An outfit per day
   - PJs for each night
   - Extra clothes in the suitcase and carry on
- Sippy cup/Water bottle
- Snack cup with lid
- Snacks: lots of different options that you know your toddler will eat
- Plastic toddler sized utensils
- Small toys {probably from the dollar store} that you wouldn't be upset if they got lost
- Books
- Coloring book & Crayons
- Other activities for traveling
- Lovie or stuffed animal for comfort
- Changing pad
- Toddler toiletries {remember tear free shampoo!}
- Car seat
- Stroller

Optional things to pack:
- Baby carrier
- Portable crib {if one was not available}

Things to buy:
- Diapers
- Wipes
- More snacks because you know you didn't pack enough

Obviously you'll pack some diapers and wipes, but don't use up all of your luggage space on them. Just buy more when you get to your destination assuming they're similarly priced! For this trip, I'm bringing 10 diapers for travel since we'll be traveling for close to 20 hours from our house to Charlotte's! I also have 40 diapers packed in her suitcase. This should get us through about the first week and then we plan to buy more in Norway.


Figuring out exactly how to pack
Since we'll be gone for nearly 3 weeks, I decided to come up with a plan to figure out what to bring for Chloe. The weather will be hit or miss, so I knew that she would need both short and long sleeve shirts. Here's what I decided to do. I took a pair of leggings or jeans and paired them with two shirts: one long and one short sleeve. I also packed two sweaters and a jacket that could be worn over the short sleeve shirts should the weather stay cooler for the majority of our trip. I also packed a few dresses that can be worn with or without leggings since my girl loves wearing dresses!

Another thing that is completely different for toddlers is the number of pajamas necessary. I packed 14 pairs of pjs for our trip. It may seem excessive, but I don't like her to wear the same ones two nights in a row between sweat and just diaper odor. I'm planning to wash some at the end of our first week when I have access to a washer and dryer.

As far as extras go, you always need to pack a few extras for your toddler. They're bound to get dirty, wet or sticky and will need an outfit change. I have an extra pair of pants and a few extra shirts that will hopefully get us through the trip. If not, I'll be washing some things in the sink at the end of the trip!

How to organize it in the suitcase
Packing cubes! I've never used packing cubes before, but they're amazing. I ordered some for Chloe and then went back and ordered some for me after packing for her. I was able to pack all of her legging and top options together in the large cube. Her dresses and extra clothes went into the medium cube. Her shoes went into another medium cube. Her socks and bloomers into the small cube. This set also provided laundry bags to put dirty clothes into. I definitely plan on using these for my messy toddler!


Pros and Cons for packing for toddlers
Pro
You don't have to pack "just in case" outfits because they feel too fat or bloated.
Con
You have to have pack "just in case" outfits because you never know what sticky, wet substance is going to end up everywhere.

Pro
Their clothes are pretty small so you can put more items in one suitcase.
Con
The leftover space in said suitcase is filled up with all of the extra things you need to bring for said toddler.

Pro
They're not opinionated enough to tell you exactly what they want you to pack.
Con
They are opinionated enough to tell you what they want to wear on any given day. {I may be in trouble for not packing Chloe's Elsa dress. On second though, I may go sneak it into her bag now...}

Pro
You're not packing for yourself so it's less stressful and kind of fun.
Con
You always feel like you're forgetting something since they need so much!

There you have it! Packing for each individual toddler is totally different, but having a base or guideline helps to get started. Chloe has been traveling the world since she was born and I'm starting to become a pro at this packing thing. Let's hope that I actually have what she needs.

Am I missing something from your must have toddler travel list?
I'm always interested in what others bring for their littles, so please share!
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