- 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 no storage space. 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 Double Wide or Cups ‘n Cargo Stroller Organizers, we have what you need. An organizer for YOUR personal items? Check out our NEW Cargo ‘N Drinks Parent Tray. An organizer for your toddler’s drinks, snacks & cuddle buddies? The Food ‘N Fun Toddler Tray is perfect! (Side note…if you have a parent in a wheel chair, most of our stroller organizers can be used as wheel chair organizers too!)
Consider keeping an outdoor blanket handy so any surface you or your child decides 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.
Cold weather? Make sure to have a warm blanket handy…food muffs are a good idea too and there are more than enough to choose from! Raining and still want to take a stroll? Make sure you have a rain canopy handy to keep your little one dry.
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 and fully stocked for necessary diaper changes. Our Diapering Station To-Go is the perfect accessory and allows you to keep your car fully stocked with all of your possible diapering needs. 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 in your car.
Utilize removable window shades to keep the sun from glaring down on your infant or toddler and heating them up.
Consider investing in a baby safe mirror for entertaining your infant. Start with black & white patterns, and then move into colors as your child gets older.
Heading To Daycare
First time at daycare? 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.
A change of clothes, including socks and underwear are essential – children tend to get dirty at daycare.
Pack a lunch & snack box – 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 as a perfect option for a lunch box with lots of space!
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 to bring AS WELL AS what type of stroller travel bag you’ll need:
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.
Car Seat – If you’ll be in a car anytime at your destination, you’ll need a car seat. You can either bring your car seat with you or rent one; however, 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, check out our selection of Car Seat Travel Bags: the Ultimate, Wheelie and Elite, and don’t forget our Gate Check Bag for Car Seats 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, and much easier to carry one with you that can fold and fit in your diaper bag.
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 multiple reusable ice packs to keep food & liquids at the right temperature. Check out our Tall TwoCOOL, 6 Bottle Cooler and MaxiCOOL Bottle Coolers as well as our Pack ‘n Protect Tote as great options! Probably a good idea to bring along disposable place mats too!
First-Aid Kit for Kids – Always be prepared! Make sure to include All-Purpose Cleaning Wipes in either a Kit you put together or add-on to one bought in a local retail store.
Travel Crib/Bed & Sheets – A safe and comfortable place for your child to nap & sleep while traveling.
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 Diapering Station To-Go 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 probably 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.
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 USA airlines:
Flying non-stop is much easier than having connections, especially with young children. It might be slightly more expensive, but will be worth it in the end.
Try to schedule your flight time during nap time…it will make the flight much easier for both you and your child.
Make sure you pack games/entertainment options with limited noise as you’ll be in very closer quarters with other travelers for the duration of your flight.
Airport Security Reminders & Tips
Use our Gate Check Bag for Car Seats if you have to send an infant car seat through security as it keeps the car seat clean when you put it upside down on the conveyor belt.
If traveling with larger car seats (meaning you should probably already have an Ultimate, Wheelie or Elite Car Seat Travel Bag with you) you’ll have to take the car seat out of the bag since it won’t fit on the conveyor belt. TSA will take the car seat and check it out with a wand and a fabric swab. The bag can then be folded up and placed on the conveyor belt.
Fold up your stroller before you get to the metal detector to save time. Most umbrella strollers fit on conveyor belts, so just place it in a Gate Check Bag for Umbrella Strollers to keep it clean & protected.
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.
Getting on Airplanes
Almost all airlines let families with young children board before other passengers, so make sure to use this time to reduce the stress for yourself and your child and get set-up & acclimated on the plane.
STROLLER: If you’re gate checking your stroller (we recommend) lay your stroller in the Gate Check Bag (we have gate check bags for both Umbrella Strollers and Standard/Double Strollers) next to the other strollers at the bottom of the jet way. When the flight lands they will bring the stroller up to that area again for you to grab. With the Gate Check Bag it’s easy to find your stroller, grab the handle and go…getting out of the way fast.
CAR SEAT: 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.
INFANT CAR SEAT:
If you have an infant car seat and the plane is full (meaning you can utilize your infant car seat in an empty seat), leave it covered at the bottom of the jet way with the other car seats and strollers. Make sure it’s covered with our Gate Check Bag for Car Seats since the under area of a plane is VERY DIRTY!
When taking off, lollipops are great for toddlers to suck on, pacifiers for infants, and gum for older children. Sucking and swallowing will help lessen ear problems during take-off and landing. Breast feeding and bottle feeding are a good idea too.
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 Elite 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 Diapering Station To-Go, 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 Tall TwoCOOL, MaxiCOOL or 6 Bottle Cooler…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 but still allows you to keep needed supplies close by.
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 Cups ‘N Cargo 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:
• Car organizer for storing & organizing toys, food, drinks etc. within easy reach for your kids
• 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 isn’t potty trained yet
• Ziploc bags and paper towels – lots of ’em!
Road Trip TIPS
Be prepared with a variety of travel tunes, movies (portable DVD players), handheld games, etc to help keep little ones entertained along the way. 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 Tall 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.
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
• Portable play yards or cribs – if not, make sure to bring your own
• Late check-out – it’s always helpful
• Rules for swim diapers in the pool area (if available)
• 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.
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 that you’ll be happy you brought along! Whether you have a single stroller in need of the Cups ‘N Cargo, a double stroller in need of our Double Stroller Organizer, are looking for an insulated option such as our Cups ‘N Cool Deluxe Stroller Console or want to try out the new Cargo ‘N Drinks Parent Tray…we have what you need!
What to Pack: Pack everything…but pack light. The more lightweight the items are, the easier it will be to carry them either in a back pack or stroller organizer without your stroller (or you!) tipping over.
• Sunscreen – lots of it! plus sunglasses and hats
• Healthy snacks & quick drinks
• 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 for everyone, possibly a change of shoes as well and definitely a change of clothes for any super little ones
• Full-body changing pad (check out ours in a variety of great colors!) along with wipes, wipes case, etc. Our Bag ‘n Bags and Tie ‘N Toss disposable bags and container are perfect for diapering on the go too!
• Reusable or plastic bags for wet clothes, etc.
• Camera & video camera to capture all the amazing memories of the day! And if there are park associates whose job it is to take pictures, take advantage of it!!
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 necessarily needed all day or at a moment’s notice.
Let go & just be a kid!! See the theme park through your kid’s eyes and enjoy the imagination and adventure of it all!