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Packing for holidays with babies and young children


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Packing for holidays with babies and young children

Going away as a family is an important part of making memories together, but sometimes packing to get there can feel overwhelming. Follow our guide for a list of what you need to make it a relaxing break for you - as much as possible with little ones around!

Packing checklist

Try to start packing a few days before you leave so you have time to add in things as you remember them. Put suncream and medicine in plastic bags to avoid spillages.

Here is a useful checklist of what to take:

Pushchair/buggy with sunshade (if required)


  • First aid kit including children’s pain killers and sticking plasters (just in case)
  • Any prescribed medication or creams
  • Baby/toddler toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Suncream

Swimming equipment

  • Swimwear and floatation devices
  • Swimming nappies/diapers
  • Towel or dressing gown

Changing equipment

  • Nappies/diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Nappy/diaper cream
  • Nappy/diaper bags
  • Portable changing mat
  • Plastic bags to carry any soiled clothes
  • Antibacterial hand gel


  • Blanket – for warmth or for providing shade
  • Travel cot (if required)
  • Special toy for bed and/or special blanket
  • Favourite stories
  • Baby monitor and/or night-light
  • Baby sleeping bag if using or other bedding


  • Bottles/sippy cups
  • Bibs
  • Steriliser (if required)
  • Plastic feeding set (if required)
  • Portable highchair (if required)
  • Snacks


  • Phone/camera plus chargers to capture those special moments.
  • Tablet/phone and charger, plus travel plug adaptor if required


Depending on the age of your child you may want to allow for two outfits a day (or more if they are babies).

  • Sunhat or warm hat/mittens
  • For babies: vests, pyjamas/sleepsuits, clothes including something warm if required.
  • For older children: underwear, pyjamas, clothes including something warm if required, shoes and boots.

If you are going somewhere with a washing machine you can take less clothes and wash them there. You may want to pack a small amount of laundry detergent in a plastic box so you don’t have to buy a whole packet whilst you’re away. If you are going somewhere warm, you’ll be surprised at how few clothes are worn if everyone is by the pool for much of the day.

Keeping children entertained

Long car journeys or flights can be stressful and boring even for adults – asking a two-year-old to sit still for several hours is even more of a challenge! Here are some suggestions for keeping children occupied whilst you’re on your way:

  • Tablet with your favourite shows and games downloaded
  • Toys to play with on arrival e.g. a favourite character or set of toys
  • Colouring books and pens
  • Sticker books
  • Story books

Settling in

Children often find it hard to go to sleep somewhere unfamiliar. Don’t forget to bring their favourite cuddly toy and some stories to read at bedtime to help them feel at home.

You might want to leave a light on for them and reassure them that you will check on them when they are asleep. Try to get them into bed on time so they aren’t too tired for the next day and to give yourself some time to unwind!

Time together

The best thing about holidays is the time together as a family. Remember that if the kids are happy, you’ll be happy. It’s important to treasure these times, even if your time away isn’t as relaxing as it used to be!

Don’t forget to take lots of photos. They are great to look back on in years to come and you will treasure these memories you’re making.