- Out for a Stroll
- In The Car
- Heading To Daycare
- Travel “Must Have” List
- Leaving on a Jet Plane (Airplane Travel)
- Chugga Chugga Choo Choo! (Train Travel)
- Ready to Set Sail! (Cruise Ship Travel)
- Road Trip! (Car Travel)
- Home Away From Home (Hotel Stays)
- Theme Park Adventures
Out for a Stroll
Whether strolling to the park, around the mall or just around your neighborhood, you’ll want both personal items and the necessities for your infant or toddler within easy reach without overloading your already-overloaded diaper bag! Some strollers have a good amount of storage space, while others have little to none. Luckily, there’s a wide variety of stroller accessories for you to choose from! From something as small as our Clip ‘N Carry Stroller Hooks to our Cups ‘N Cargo Universal Stroller Organizer, we have what you need. Want an organizer for YOUR personal items? Check out our Cargo ‘N Drinks Stroller Parent Tray. Want an organizer for your toddler’s drinks, snacks & cuddle buddies? The Food ‘N Fun Stroller Toddler Tray is perfect! Have a double side-by-side stroller? Our Double Cool Double Stroller Organizer is fantastic! Don’t forget to keep our Cuddle ‘N Cover Stroller Blanket conveniently attached to your stroller so your little one will always be ready for a cozy nap on-the-go!
Consider keeping another type of blanket, an outdoor blanket, in your car or stroller basket so any surface you decide is worthy of a little play time will be as dirt & germ free as possible.
Sunny days are wonderful for taking a walk and being outdoors, but make sure your little one is protected from harmful rays with a UV coated sun shade or cover.
Super chilly or rainy weather? Make sure to have a warm blanket or footmuff ready for the season. Our Universal Stroller Weather Shield will keep your little one dry if any droplets start to fall but you’re still on your adventure!
In The Car
When out & about and around town, here are some simple tips to make car travel a little easier with an infant and/or toddler!
Make sure your infant seat, toddler seat or booster seat is installed accurately and meets all up to date safety standards.
Make sure you have all of your on-the-go diapering essentials at hand for emergency diaper changes. Our Pockets ‘N Pad Diapering Station allows you to keep your car fully stocked with all of your diapering needs, meaning a couple less things you have to remember to cram in your diaper bag. It attaches to the head rest on the back of a seat, or in the trunk of your car to make diapering changes as easy as possible on-the-go.
Utilize removable window shades to keep the sun from glaring down on your infant or toddler and heating them up.
Do you find that your car is quickly becoming a forever home for SO.MANY.TOYS?! And they’re EVERYWHERE!? Yes yes, we understand…which is why we made the Backseat Butler Car Organizer. You’re welcome.
Consider investing in a baby safe mirror for entertaining your infant and for keeping an eye on them. Start with black & white patterns, and then move into colors as your child gets older. Mirrors with lights can be helpful but aren’t necessary (and who wants to keep the lights on when the baby’s happily napping?!)
Heading To Daycare
First time at daycare or preschool? Take time the day before to prepare & pack with these helpful tips!
Nap items, like a blanket, sheet, pillow, and stuffed animal (if allowed) are great to pack for your toddler. Most daycares have specific requirements, so make sure to check with them before the first day (and in enough time for 2-day shipping!).
A change of clothes, including socks and underwear, are essential – children tend to get dirty at daycare and/or have accidents. #thingshappen. Including one of our Wet-to-Go Wet Bags with their change of clothes is a great idea so the teacher has a water-proof and odor-concealing bag for any dirty or soiled clothes.
Pack a lunch & snack box, if required, and don’t forget utensils and a napkin! As a special treat for the first day, you could sneak in a family photo or an easy-to-decipher note (like a drawing of a smiley face or a heart). Check out our 6 Bottle Cooler or Cooler Cube Food and Bottle Bag as possible options for a lunch box to meet your needs!
Let your child help pick out their outfit (or offer a choice of two outfits), fix their lunch, and pack their things in their backpack. Being involved in the process and having some say in what they will wear and eat will help them feel secure when they’re away from you.
Travel “Must Have” List
When preparing to travel with your baby and/or toddler on plane, train, car or boat, this list of travel “must haves” will help you be as prepared as possible!
Stroller – Umbrella? Jogging? Complete system? To help you select which type of stroller to take with you on your travels, consider your destination: heading to a family member or friend’s house…consider a lightweight, collapsible umbrella stroller; theme park i.e. Disneyland…consider a stroller with more storage space for long days at the park; international travel…consider a jogging stroller if you’ll be doing a lot of walking on uneven pavement. Check out the chart below to further help you determine what type of stroller travel bag you’ll need:
Baby Carrier – Whatever type of baby carrier you prefer, in order to be as hands-free as possible when on-the-go, a baby carrier is a must. Select a baby carrier that compacts nicely for packing purposes. Wraps are amazing for infants and keep them secure and happy as close to mom (or dad) as possible!
Car Seat – If you’ll be in a car any time at your destination, you’ll need a car seat. You can either bring your car seat with you or rent one. We recommend bringing your own car seat to ensure it has proper and up-to-date safety features and isn’t covered in dirt & germs from other renters. To make traveling with your car seat easier (you’re thinking…is that even possible?!), check out our selection of Car Seat Travel Bags: the Ultimate, Wheelie, Deluxe Spinner Wheelie, Universal Side-Carry and don’t forget our Gate Check Bag for Car Seats specifically if you’ll be gate checking your car seat. To help you determine which car seat travel bag is best for you, check out this decision chart:
Portable High Chair – It’s helpful to have your own portable high chair during mealtimes in case an actual high chair isn’t available. There are pop-up portable high chairs, ones that are all fabric and wrap around chairs, as well as the clamp-on styles. Pick which one will work best for you! Note: If you’re an adventurous family that likes to spend the full day out and about, we recommend investing in a pop-up, portable high chair and you’re little one will always be ready for meal time!
Food & Snack Containers – Plastic plates, bowls, sippy cups and utensils…all portable with lids to keep things contained are a must. Don’t forget an insulated bottle bag and reusable ice packs (multiple!) to keep food & liquids at the right temperature. Check out our full selection of insulated bottle bags and reusable ice packs and find the right size for you! Probably a good idea to bring along disposable place mats and bibs too! Oh and about a million wipes.
First-Aid Kit for Kids – Always be prepared!
Travel Crib/Bed & Sheets – A safe and comfortable place for your child to nap & sleep while traveling is incredibly helpful. Tired babies and kids can get cranky 😉 As travel cribs can be large and heavy, you can also check with your destination if they have cribs available for free or to rent, or if there is a local baby gear rental company that you can rent one from (and they usually come and set them up for free!). If you go the rental route, make sure to bring your own sheets and blankets so your child has a piece of home to help them adjust.
Diapering Station/Portable Changing Pad – When on-the-go, you never know where and when you’ll need to change your baby’s diaper…so make sure you’re prepared with a full-body changing pad & all the necessary changing essentials! Check out our Pockets ‘N Pad Diapering Station as well as our Full Body Changing Pad in a wide variety of colors! Our Bag ‘N Bags and Tie ‘N Toss disposable bag sets will come in handy too!
Portable Bath Tub & Accessories – Blow-up ones are great to save space when packing.
Toys & Activities – Plenty of “fun stuff” to keep kids busy & happy. Don’t forget SNACKS, SNACKS and MORE SNACKS!
Item to Remind Kid(s) of Home – A blanket used often, special stuffed animal, etc. Something to make your kid(s) feel at home when on-the-go. A night light is also a great idea.
Leaving on a Jet Plane (Airplane Travel)
For Airplane Travel, start off with our travel “must have” list and then make sure to take into consideration these airplane-specific travel tips to help make your flight a memorable one…for all the RIGHT reasons!
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
No matter what, before you start packing or even planning for a flight with your young child or infant, make sure to understand your chosen airline’s policies when it comes to things such as buying a seat/ticket for infants and checking or gate checking car seats and strollers. Each airline’s policies are constantly changing, but most publish and update them on their websites…here are links to a few websites for some of the larger US airlines:
General Air Travel Recommendations: Flying non-stop is much easier than having connections, especially with young children. Try to schedule your flight time during nap time. Make sure you pack games/entertainment options with limited noise as you’ll be in very closer quarters. Lots of ‘special’ snacks are always helpful. Feeding/nursing young infants during take-off and landing will help pressurize their ears. For very young infants, wearing them in a baby carrier is usually easiest…then just luggage check your car seat and stroller so you don’t have to lug them all through the airport. Make sure to protect your checked gear with one of our padded car seat travel bags and a stroller travel bag. If bringing your car seat and/or stroller to the gate to be gate checked, make sure it’s protected from dirt, germs and damage with our compact Gate Check Bag for Car Seats, Gate Check Bag for Standard & Dual Strollers or Gate Check Bag for Umbrella Strollers.
Airport Security Reminders & Tips: If bringing your stroller to the airplane gate, it will need to go through security. Be prepared by keeping as much ‘stuff’ organized and in separate bags so you can quickly and easily disassemble and reassemble your stroller without taking small items out of every pocket and crevice. Your car seat will also need to go through the security check, usually being taken out of a bag if it’s already packed. Be sure to check with the FAA on updated liquid amounts before you pack and head to the airport. Breast milk and baby bottles are ok to take. Water is not but can be purchased after you’re through security. You can visit the TSA’s website here.
Boarding: Almost all airlines let families with young children board before other passengers or earlier in the boarding process. If you’re gate checking your stroller, make sure to fold it and place it in your Gate Check Bag for Standard & Double Strollers or Gate Check Bag for Umbrella Strollers prior to boarding. Same for your car seat if you’ll be gate checking it…and use our top-selling Gate Check Bag for Car Seats to protect it from dirt, germs, moisture and damage. Make sure to write your name in the ID Box so you can quickly identify your gear (and someone else doesn’t grab it!). As soon as you begin boarding, you will bring your gear to the entrance of the plane and drop it off, usually at the end of the jet way, to then be hand-carried into the cargo hold of the plane. Upon deplaning, your gear SHOULD be waiting for you in that same location. If it’s not there yet, simply wait for it to arrive…it will NOT be sent with all of the other checked luggage. If you will be using your car seat on the plane, be ready to show its FAA approved sticker to the flight attendant. Consider our Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bag for use when you’re bringing your car seat on the plane, as it’s great for wheeling your car seat through the airport and can then fold up for placement in the overhead compartment during your flight.
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo! (Train Travel)
While you’re huffin’ & puffin’ down the tracks, be as prepared as you can by planning ahead with these train travel tips!
Most items can be stored under the train. Depending on your seat and class compartment there might not be much area to store things above or below your feet, so take on only what you need and store everything else underneath.
Be sure to have car seat and stroller travel bags (check out our Ultimate, Wheelie or Spinner Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bags and our Standard & Dual and Padded Umbrella Stroller Travel Bags for a variety of options) to cover your items so they stay safe, clean and protected.
Make sure you have all of your on-the-go diapering items in your carryon bag as you’ll most likely be diapering in the restrooms onboard. Consider our Full Body Changing Pad or larger Pockets ‘N Pad Diapering Station, as well as our Bag ‘N Bags and Tie ‘N Toss for disposable bags.
Bring plenty of snacks and light drinks and keep them at the right temperature with one of our bottle coolers – the MaxiCOOL or 6 Bottle Cooler will hold a good amount of food and drinks…and don’t forget a few Reusable Ice Packs!
Ready to Set Sail! (Cruise Ship Travel)
For Cruise Ship Travel, start off with our travel “must have” list and then make sure to take into consideration these cruise-specific travel tips! Ahoy Mates!
Most cruise ships have cribs for infants and should actually stock your room with whole milk if you ask – so ask in advance.
Before you get on the ship, the porter will take all of your bags…make sure to keep your diaper bag and stroller & whatever you’ll need for the next few hours, but give him everything else to make check in & security easier and faster. Remember that you will have to carry all items you don’t give to the porter until your room is ready…which can sometimes be hours. We recommend keeping your stroller with you because sometimes you can’t get into your room until after a much-needed nap. Consider one of our stroller organizers to minimize the number of items you need to carry in your diaper bag or in place of carrying around a heavy diaper bag.
In your stateroom, change the desk or one of the tables into a changing table. Use extra towels along with our Full Body Changing Pad to soften the area and set up wipes, diapers, and crèmes. Bring a night light so there is always an easily available light.
For day trips off the boat with your stroller, we recommend a stroller organizer with LOTS of storage space, such as our Universal Cups ‘N Cargo Stroller Organizer or even an insulated option such as our Cups ‘N Cool Deluxe Stroller Console or Cool ‘N Cargo Stroller Cooler to keep food & drinks cool. All of these organizers have multiple compartments for food, bottles, snacks, your camera, a change of baby/toddler clothes, diapers, and toys.
When getting off the ship, your luggage has to be packed and ready to go the night before. Be sure to store your car seat in the Gate Check Bag for Car Seats or Wheelie Car Seat Travel Bag to stay clean and protected (fyi the Gate Check Bag will be easiest to find amongst all the luggage!). Be sure to keep your diaper bag, a change of baby/toddler clothes and your stroller with you. You will be standing in lines for a very long time (and the stroller allows you to take the elevator down which moves you up the line faster!).
Road Trip! (Car Travel)
Start with our travel “must have” list above for a great check list of what to bring and add a few more car-specific items:
- Our Backseat Butler Car Organizer for storing & organizing toys, food, drinks etc.
- Portable bottle warmer if you need to feed while in the car
- Potty seat (along with seat protectors, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, wipes, trash bag, etc.) if your child is out of diapers and will be using public restrooms along the way
- Ziploc bags and paper towels – lots of ’em!
- Our Pockets ‘N Pad Diapering Station for storing all of your diapering needs and giving you an extra-large changing surface in your car.
Be prepared with a variety of travel tunes, movies (portable DVD players), tablets, etc. to help keep little ones entertained along the way. Headphones are helpful for older toddlers when their younger baby siblings need to nap. No-mess coloring pages and reusable sticker activity pads are fantastic! Don’t forget fun car games everyone can play together too such as “I Spy.”
Pack more snacks then you think you’ll need – you can’t always stop on the side of the road for something if you’re driving in “the middle of nowhere.” Check out our 6 Bottle Cooler, MaxiCOOL and TwoCOOL as great, insulated options for drinks and snacks. You’ll probably need a few Reusable Ice Packs too!
“Reward” good behavior…as hours or miles pass, reward good behavior with snacks, new toys or games to keep kids happy.
Home Away From Home (Hotel Stays)
Utilize these helpful tips to make your hotel room feel like a “home away from home” for you and your kids!
When booking your room, some parents really like having 2 bedrooms or at least somewhat separate rooms so your child has their own area to sleep with lights out, minimal noise, etc. Multiple rooms are also incredibly helpful during nap times.
Call ahead to see if the hotel has:
- A DVD player in the room or audio/video input connectors to hook up your portable DVD player for your child’s favorite DVD’s (or subscribes to their favorite TV channels!)
- Portable play yards or cribs – if not, make sure to bring your own
- Late check-out/early check-in – it’s always helpful
- Rules for swim diapers in the pool area (if applicable)
- An in-room/in-suite refrigerator
Once you arrive…
- Clean room with wipes and take off bed comforter before letting child crawl or run around to minimize exposure to germs.
- Change the desk into your changing table (use extra towels to pad the area along with our Full Body Changing Pad) and set up wipes, diapers, and crèmes.
- Think about un-plugging a phone in the baby’s room/area so it doesn’t go off in the middle of a much-needed nap.
Don’t forget to ask the concierge what restaurants on site and nearby are kid friendly.
Theme Park Adventures
Whether you’re taking the kids to “the happiest place on earth,” heading to a zoo or wild animal park to take a walk on the wild side, or gathering up your courage for a full day of rollercoaster thrills, these tips will help you prepare for a day of fun-filled adventure!
When it comes to getting around with your stroller (and remember…don’t underestimate needing a stroller for even older kids after an all-day theme park adventure!) you’ll need as much cargo room as possible. Check out our various stroller storage and organizer options to see which fits you and your stroller best. For ALL strollers, we highly recommend our Side Sling Stroller Cargo Net as the perfect accessory to add quick-access storage space. For single strollers, our Cups ‘N Cargo Stroller Organizer offers a large mesh pocket, i.e. lots of extra space for sweatshirts, toys, snacks and more. We also have insulated options to keep drinks/bottles cool all day long, such as our Cool ‘N Cargo Stroller Cooler, Cups ‘N Cool Deluxe Stroller Console or Double Cool Double Stroller Console.
What to Pack: Pack everything…but pack light. We recommend foregoing a big diaper bag and using our 5-IN-1 Diaper Bag Organizer bags to stash everything you need, placing individual bags in stroller organizers and/or your stroller basket.
- Sunscreen – lots of it! plus sunglasses and hats
- Healthy snacks & quick drinks in one of our insulated bottle coolers or reusable snack bags
- Mini, homemade first-aid kit with Bandaids, Neosporin, Aspirin, Benadryl, fingernail clippers & tweezers (they come in handy for splinters!) to name a few
- Dry socks and definitely a change of clothes for everyone. We highly recommend our 2-pack of Wet-to-Go Wet Bags…one for holding clean clothes, and one for the inevitable dirty and wet clothes you’ll accumulate.
- Our Full Body Changing Pad along with wipes, etc. Our Bag ‘n Bags and Tie ‘N Toss disposable bags and container are perfect for diapering on the go too!
Think about purchasing small toys/trinkets related to where you’re going beforehand at mass retail stores to save money, i.e. purchase a Mickey Mouse doll at Target instead of in the park to save money and still provide a great, themed gift for your child.
If the park you’re visiting offers daily lockers for a minimal fee, take advantage and store those bulkier items like coats & jackets that aren’t needed all day or at a moment’s notice.
Let go & just be a kid!! See the destination through your kid’s eyes and enjoy the imagination and adventure of it all!