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Travelling with a Toddler on a Weekend Trip – What to Bring?

The first time I went travelling with Madi was from Edmonton to Vancouver when Madi was just 1 month old. We were going to visit my parents for the weekend, leaving Friday early evening and returning Sunday evening. I was so nervous flying with her and packed a large suitcase AND  a small carry-on for her. I normally take at most 30 minutes to pack for myself for any business trip or vacation, but for my first flight with Madi it took me a full day to make a list of things to pack and then fit all of the stuff into her suitcase. I thought some tips for travelling with a toddler on a weekend trip might be helpful!

If you are worried about how to prepare for flying with a toddler, check out my other post here.

For my first weekend trip with Madi, I realized I completely overpacked and brought many things I didn’t even end up using. Afterwards, I was able to streamline my packing and this is what I brought for Madi on all subsequent  weekend trips.

  1. Baby carrier: this was essential for moving around the airport. I loved wearing a baby carrier because it was light, easy to store on the plane, and my hands were free. If it’s a short trip, I don’t think you need to bring a stroller unless you know you will be using it.
  2. Baby bottles: 2 bottles were more than enough for a weekend trip, we just had to make sure there was soap and water around to clean them. Our first trip we took 5 bottles which was definitely overkill.
  3. 5 sleepers and 5 onesies and 1 “fancy outfit” – I don’t like doing laundry on vacation and babies dirty their outfits so often, I just packed a bunch.
  4. 1 pair of shoes – A pair of baby shoes goes with pretty much everything
  5. Breastfeeding materials (if you’re breastfeeding): breastfeeding cover, breast pump, etc.
  6. Car seat: we only brought the car seat and not the base.
  7. Blanket: this also functioned as a jacket for Madi when it was cold outside.
  8. Soother: if your infant uses it, of course.

Every-time I fly with Madi I’m so nervous about her sleep and napping because I know when she is sleep deprived she can get so grumpy. We often fly between Atlanta and Edmonton, which is only a 2 hour time difference, but the effect on Madi’s sleep can be huge. Check out my other post about how to help your toddler adjust to a time change when travelling for more info.

This post was co-authored by  Stephanie Liu, MD, MSc, CCFP, BHSc. and Suzanne Black, MD, BSc

More from Dr. Mom on travelling with a toddler or baby

Leaving your baby for the fist time for vacation? Tips and tricks, what to know and prepare for.

Does going on vacation without your baby or toddler affect their attachment or bond to you?

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