What To Pack In Your Toddler’s Carry On Bag

what to pack in a toddlers carry on bag

Do you want to know what to pack in your toddler’s carry on bag? Keep reading to find out.

Traveling with your small but mighty toddler is a whole new adventure for parents.

Hands down, the biggest thing that makes a difference to the success of your flight with your toddler is your preparation. By preparation, I mean packing all the right things in you and your toddler’s carry on to keep them entertained throughout the flight.

Packing for toddlers is an art. You have to balance the need to pack everything you’ll need for the duration of your trip with the need to pack light so it’s easier to manoeuvre through the airports.

It’s about finding the perfect balance of necessities, comfort items, and entertainment. This bag will be your lifeline during your journey, so it’s essential to pack it well.

So, what should you pack in a toddler’s carry-on bag?

You’ll need the essentials to keep your toddler fed, entertained, clean and healthy.

So if you are planning to travel with your toddler, here’s our toddler carry on bag packing list so that you know exactly what to add to your toddlers carry on bag.

Choosing the Right Carry On Bag

The first step when packing for a toddler is choosing the right carry on bag to house all the essentials.

The carry on bag should not only meet the size and weigh restrictions, it should also be durable and easy for your toddler to carry.

A rolling carry on bag is great for older kids who can be trusted to carry it on their own as they can fit more. A backpack is also great for toddlers provided that you don’t over stuff it to the point it becomes too heavy for your toddler to carry on their own.

Here are some great options for toddler carry on bags to consider.

toddler carry on bag roll on
toddler carry on bag roll on

1. Snacks and Drinks

When it comes to packing a toddler’s carry-on bag, one of the most important things to consider is snacks and drinks.

As any parent knows, a hungry toddler is a force to be reckoned with and having the right food and beverages on hand can make all the difference in keeping your little one happy and content during a long journey.

Toddlers are almost always picky and may not like what’s at the airport or on the plane. So you have to make sure that you have their favourite snacks on hand.

When packing snacks, remember to choose snacks that are age-appropriate and easy for your toddler to handle independently.

Need some snack recommendations for traveling with toddlers? Check out this post for 50 Kid Friendly Travel Snacks.

TSA regulations can make traveling with liquids or semi solids quite tricky, so just make sure you bring an empty water bottle or sippy cup so that you can fill it up with your drink of choice after you go through the security checkpoint at the airport.

Choose water bottles and sippy cups that are:

  1. Leak-proof: Invest in a spill-proof water bottle or sippy cup to avoid any messy accidents.
  2. BPA-free: Look for bottles and cups that are BPA-free to ensure the safety of your toddler.
  3. Insulated: Consider using an insulated water bottle to keep drinks cool for longer periods, particularly if you’re traveling in warm weather.

2. Colouring Books and Crayons

My toddler loves to colour, so packing colouring books and crayons are a must in our household.

Colouring and activity books are an easy, yet effective way to keep your little one engaged during your trip.

They allow for creative expression and can easily fit into a carry-on bag.

Opt for colouring books with large, simple images that are easy for your toddler to colour in. Pack a variety of crayon colours to keep things interesting. I like to provide triangular crayons especially for plane rides as they don’t roll off the tray table as easily.

3. Tablet and Headphones

This might be an unpopular opinion, but when traveling with kids, I’m not super fussed about their screen time. Sure I want them to take in the sights and while I encourage them with other activities, I always make sure that I have a fully charged tablet loaded with their favourite shows for the moments we need it.

Traveling with toddlers can be overwhelming for everyone involved, and this is one way to give everyone a bit of a break.

Of course, you can load the tablet with shows that are educational as well.

Don’t forget to pack headphones as you’re setting up the tablet for travel. Adult headphones usually don’t fit children very well, so opt for headphones made specifically for your toddlers smaller head.

You can find many cute and kid friendly options online.

4. Favourite Toys and Stuffed Animals

Your toddler likely has a few favourite toys or stuffed animals. These can be a lifesaver during travel.

Make sure to pack a couple of their favourites in the carry-on bag.

Whether it’s a cuddly teddy bear or a small action figure, having these toys at hand can bring a sense of security and familiarity. They also provide a source of entertainment during the journey.

6. At Least One New Toy

Whenever we travel, we try to pack at least one new toy for each child.

These toys don’t have to be large or fancy. In fact, I prefer to chose small toys as they fit better in the carry on.

Introducing your child to a new toy during travel is a great way to keep your little one happy.

Activity books are a favourite in our household as they can keep your toddler entertained for quite a long time. They are also great for developing fine motor and practical life skills.

7. Blanket

It can often get cold when you’re at higher altitudes. Although blankets are offered on most long distance flights, it can be a good idea to pack a blanket that your child is familiar with.

This can help with that added sense of familiarity and security.

8. Extra Set of Clothes

Toddlers are notorious for accidents and spills, so it’s always a good idea to pack an extra set of clothes in the carry-on bag.

This not only ensures that your little one stays clean and comfortable but also provides you with peace of mind in case of any unforeseen mishaps. Keep in mind things like delays in luggage.

Remember to pack clothes suitable for the weather and the duration of your journey.

It’s always a good idea to include a few extra pairs of socks and underwear as well.

9. Diapers

Depending on whether your toddler is potty trained or not, you may need to pack diapers in the carry on.

Make sure to pack enough diapers to last throughout the journey, including any layovers or delays you may encounter.

A general rule of thumb is to pack one diaper for every two hours of travel, plus a few extras, just in case.

10. Wet Wipes

It’s always a good idea to have an ample supply of wipes when going anywhere with your little one. Not only are they prone to making a mess, you also want to keep your kids clean from germs that are out there.

My kids touch absolutely everything. My younger one still puts everything in his mouth. So, we always make sure to wipe down our seat, tray table and surroundings as soon as we board the plane.

Travel sized packs of wipes are great because they can fit easily into either you or your toddlers carry on bag.

11. Hand Sanitizer

On a similar note, you’ll need to pack hand sanitizers for you and your little one.

11. Changing Pad and Disposable Bags

To make diaper changes on the go easier and hygienic, it’s wise to include a portable changing pad in your toddler’s carry-on bag.

These foldable pads provide a clean and comfortable surface for diaper changes, ensuring that your toddler is comfortable throughout the process.

Additionally, packing disposable bags or ziplock bags is essential for disposing of used diapers and soiled clothes hygienically.

These bags help contain any unpleasant odours and prevent any leaks or spills in your bag.

12. First Aid and Medications

When traveling with a toddler, it’s important to be prepared for any unexpected mishaps or health issues that may arise.

You need to pack some basic items for first aid such as a bandaid and antiseptic wipes to clean wounds.

Also pack any medications that your toddler will need for the duration of the journey.

Consider including the following medications in your carry-on bag:

  1. Allergy medication: If your toddler has known allergies, carrying an antihistamine can provide relief from allergic reactions. Some parents also carry an Epipen for patients with more severe allergies. You can get this from your doctor.
  2. Mild pain reliever: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen is suitable for your toddler. They help with any aches, pains and fevers that your child may experience. Make sure to chat with your doctor or pharmacist about the appropriate amount to give your child before you set out on your trip.
  3. Motion sickness medication: If your toddler tends to get queasy during travel, you can talk to the doctor or pharmacist about the various medications available for motion sickness. Make sure to include these in the carry on bag for easy access if needed.

13. Thermometer

A thermometer is an essential tool for monitoring your toddler’s temperature while traveling. A digital thermometer is quick, accurate, and easy to use.

Keep in mind that a high fever in a young child can be a cause for concern, so it’s important to monitor their temperature regularly.

Final Thoughts

Packing a toddler’s carry-on bag requires careful consideration of their needs and preferences.

By including the essential items listed above, you can ensure a smoother and more enjoyable journey for both you and your little one.

Remember to pack these items in a well-organized manner, keeping in mind any security regulations and space limitations.

Need More Tips For Traveling With A Toddler?

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