This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Remember a few weeks ago when the groundhog gave us six more weeks of winter? Luckily for us, that six week mark is almost here. Spring Break is coming up quick: whether Punxsutawney Phil likes it or not!
Traveling before kids was relaxing. I didn’t have to think about so many ‘what-ifs’ — whether it’s about the weather, sickness or our itinerary getting messed up, there’s plenty of things that can alter our plans. I’ve taken M on four different airplane rides already and countless road trips, so I finally feel somewhat confident in my packing skills for babies and toddlers. Here are some of my favorite tips that I use when packing our own suitcases for vacation:
Plan What Outfits Will Be Worn Each Day
This tip is one of my favorites because I’m a big planner. Depending on the length of your trip, take plastic freezer bags and label them for each day or weather conditions/specific plans you may have. Pack everything you’ll need for the first day in the first bag, everything for the second day in the second bag and so on. This takes the guess work out of “what should the baby wear today?” It makes getting out the door much quicker! We pack plenty of essentials: plain white onesies, multiple pairs of shorts/pants, tees and rompers (these are my FAVORITE – so, so cute). The age of your little one will determine how many outfits you need for each day. I would pack at least two a day for newborns up to 1 year, or when you’re comfortable feeling like you really understand your child’s “schedule” and can predict when those dreaded blowouts may occur. M is going to be two in a few months and I’m definitely comfortable only packing one outfit per day. Pajamas can be put in a the same bag or kept separate – it’s totally up to you! Grab all of Spring’s ‘must-have’ outfits here.
Always Have Back-Up Outfits in the Diaper Bag
When you’re planning the outfits for your trip, pack several extras to keep in the diaper bag. That way, when someone gets a little too messy at snack time or there’s an unexpected blowout, you can easily swap our their clothes and put the dirty outfit into the plastic bag so that it doesn’t get on anything else! I learned early on that keeping extra outfits prepped was a huge time saver as well as a stress-reducer. Plus, spit-up and blowouts are a mess for baby and mama! Don’t exclude yourself when putting your diaper bag together. Pack a few plain tees just in case of a poop-splosion or for when baby’s spit up unexpectedly overshoots the burp cloth. You’ll be so glad you were prepared when it does happen (because, let’s be real – it will happen if you don’t have any extra clothing options with you!)
Plan for Someone (Especially the Baby) to Get Sick
This means packing everything you normally use when your baby (or you) is suddenly under the weather. Take your ibuprofen/acetaminophen, thermometer, nasal aspirator, allergy medicine, cough medicine, etc. Even if you end up not needing any of these items, it is so much better to have it on hand instead of having to search for the closest 24-hour pharmacy. In my own experience, illness naturally has a way of striking at the most inconvenient times.
Pack Different Shoe Options For Your Little Walker
Whether you’re taking your little one on a short “hike” or you’re taking a stroll to the beach, the shoes that you take are just as important as the clothes. We absolutely adore the shoe selection at Carter’s! They’re comfy and well-made, plus they won’t break the bank when you know that their tiny feet will soon be growing again! We always have strangers stop us and ask where he got his cute sandals (pictured below). They’re the perfect touch to any outfit and I can’t wait to take them on vacation in a couple of weeks! We finally purchased M a pair of sneakers for when we spend more time outside. You can imagine the joy in his face when he noticed that they light up! I feel like light-up sneakers are some sort of right-of-passage amongst toddlers. They’re just so cute when they run and the lights flash! You can grab some Carter’s shoes for your tot in stores or by clicking here.
Always Plan For Bright, Sunny Skies
No matter where you’re headed, always assume the sun will be shining. Pack your sunscreen, sunglasses and sun hat! Carter’s has the best selection of hats and shades – we never leave the house without them! I totally get that some kids won’t leave their sunglasses on, which is why hats are a great thing to pack to help keep the sun out of their face. We’ve been pretty lucky with M and he doesn’t really mind having sunglasses on so we tend to reach for them first, but we always have a hat on hand, as well.
Cozy Blankets Are A Must
I’m a worrier… especially when it comes to M’s temperature. Is he too warm? Too cold? I always bring extra blankets because, let’s face it: planes are always freezing cold. And when you’re working up a sweat while you run to board your flight, you aren’t thinking about how your babe will be shivering in 30 minutes. Plus, a blanket that they cuddle with at home is likely to make them feel more at-ease when they’re in an unfamiliar situation. We love our blankets from Carter’s because they keep M warm and cozy while also giving him that sense of comfort wherever we are. He loves snuggling up on the couch with his favorite blanket to watch a movie or when we have to take a ride somewhere!
“Pass the hand sanitizer, please.”
I’ll admit it: I love to travel… but what I don’t love is being surrounded by germs. I know, I know. It’ll happen no matter where we go. However, having a kid-friendly hand sanitizer is a diaper bag essential. Be sure to look for an option that is alcohol-free as kids are always putting their hands in their mouths and you do not want any alcohol being ingested. Whether they touch something they shouldn’t on the plane or a stranger goes in for a handshake, you’ll feel prepared knowing you can wipe their hands down quickly.
It’s All Fun & Games Until….
It can be hard to find games that keep your babe’s attention for any extended period of time, especially through the overstimulation that can come along with traveling. We love puzzles at home so I figured, why not use them while on the go? So far it’s been great at distracting M from everything around him and it keeps him happy having a familiar toy around. (Plus, unlike plush toys, if he drops a piece on the floor I can easily wipe it down.) We keep the pieces in a baggy when we aren’t home so we don’t lose any during all of the hustle and bustle. Carter’s has a ton of fun toys by their registers, and I love that they are wooden because I’ve wanted to make the transition to more natural, plastic-free toys. He loves these puzzles and so do I!
We’ve trusted Carter’s since before our little guy was born, so it’s no surprise that we went straight there to stock up on all of our travel essentials for our upcoming adventures. What are your own travel tips that you’ve learned from traveling with kids? I hope my tips have helped to prepare you as you look towards your own Spring Break adventure! (Also: Keep scrolling to snag a great Carter’s coupon for 25% off a $40+ purchase!)