Packing for Walt Disney World with a Baby
We’re counting down the days. Before long, our family will be headed to our long-awaited Walt Disney World vacation. It will be our one year old’s first visit and he’s prepared; now it’s my turn. Packing for a one week trip with a baby is a challenge. I only need to look around the house to see all the baby gear used to feed, entertain, and keep him safe. While I may want to pack it all for “just in case”, that’s hardly an option.
Of course I need to pack all the essentials such as his clothing, diapers, pacifiers, comfort item, and sunscreen, but after that convenience rules the day. A trip to the local baby store was successful, even if my purchases do take up the better part of a small suitcase.
So, what travel items did I decide to pack for our baby’s Walt Disney World trip?
1. Table Toppers - I love these – no more worrying about food touching the table! The disposable placemats are large enough to cover the entire area within my baby’s reach while adhesive strips guarantee they stay securely in place. We opted for the Disney theming but different characters are available.
2. Portable Highchair Cover – After covering the table, it’s on to his highchair. This Fisher Price portable highchair cover folds up compactly and fits into a small carrying case – perfect for a family on the go.
3. Bibs. Sometimes you only have to look at my son to know what he had for lunch. Although I was tempted to bring our bibs from home, the idea of toting a messy bib around the theme park after our meal was enough to convince me otherwise. Disposable bibs qualified as a convenience item and being small and lightweight, they made their way into his suitcase.
4. Disposable Sippy Cups and Utensils. I debated whether I should bring disposable sippy cups or the real deal from home. Disposable sippy cups would take up more room in the suitcase and are more wasteful. On the other hand, it would be convenient to be able to leave the cup at the restaurant and not worry about it leaking into a diaper bag and stroller, not to mention my concerns about leaving leftover milk in a cup that would be out in the hot Florida sun. I don’t need a trip to the emergency room because of accidental food poisoning. Disposable cups won out – especially after I found the take and toss variety which is reusable. Now, I have options.
Take and toss utensils also made the cut. By the way, why are knives included in the set? I haven’t met a two year old yet who will be cutting their own chicken. Just a random thought…
5. Utensil Travel Case. The travel case for toddler utensils is great. Keep your child’s flatware clean and organized during travel and keep your diaper bag clean after a meal if you’re not using disposable forks and spoons.
6. Travel Plate. Our son’s at the stage where he’s learning the basic principles of gravity. That means real dinner plates are not an option for him. A small plastic travel plate works well.
7. Travel Bowls and Lids – Our diaper bag wouldn’t be complete without an assortment of snacks. Since we’ll be at the theme parks for a good portion of the day, variety is important. These small bowls will let me pack a few different snacks to bring with us.
8. Wet Wipes. In my life, these are a necessity and they have almost unlimited use. Need I to say more?
Health and Safety
1. Travel Medicine Box - This is my must-bring safety item. It’s small, lightweight, and easy for adults to use but it keeps curious little hands away from the over-the-counter and prescription medications we bring when we travel.
2. Medications. Murphy, of Murphy’s Law fame, and I know each other well, a little too well in my opinion. Vacation would be the time for illness to strike so I pack any medications the doctor has recommended for our son.
3. Thermometer - If fever dares to strikes at Walt Disney World, I’m prepared. Although we rarely have to use this at home, I pack it for “just in case.”
4. Bandages and Antibiotic Ointment. You can’t go wrong packing these items. You probably won’t need them but if you do, you’ll be glad you have them.
5. Safety Tattoos. My little guy is beginning to walk and I can’t wait to see him take steps down Main Street U.S.A. Even though I will be holding his hand firmly, separation is my fear with the crowds and large spaces at Walt Disney World. I always use some type of identification for the kids at Disney World and there are a lot of options available. Even my four year old who knows his name, address, and phone number gets a child I.D. Knowing his contact information at the kitchen table is different from remembering it if he’s separated from us and scared.
Here are some other options for child identification.
- Who’s Shoes Child ID Kit™ (www.whosshoesid.com)
- SafetyTat (www.safetytat.com)
- Tottoos.Org (www.tottoos.org)
- Guardian Angel Bracelet ID (www.guardianangelbracelet.com)
- Luggage Tag on a Belt Loop
- Masking Tape and a Sharpie. Affix to the inside hem of your child’s shirt.
All the Other Stuff
1. Swim Diapers. A must if we take our little one in the hotel pool.
2. Diaper Disposal Bags – As parents we all know that disposing of diapers in some type of sealed container is essential for keeping our house smelling fresh. Tossing diapers directly into the hotel garbage can may be an assault on your nose. These diaper disposal bags are my answer to this issue.
3. Disposable Changing Pads. I like the idea of a disposable changing pad that can be tossed after use. It’s more convenient than disinfecting the reusable changing pad in the diaper bag.
4. CARES Harness - We’ll be flying to Disney and we were originally unsure about whether we would be bringing a car seat with us. I purchased this CARES harness to keep my little guy safe and secure in the air. We’ve ultimately decided to rent a car so we will be using his car seat on the plane but this harness will be useful in the future.
5. Wet Wipes. These are useful for everything from wiping down the Pak ‘N Play in your hotel room to cleaning little hands after a meal.
6. Nightlight. Our son has a nightlight in his room at home and I’m unsure if he will be afraid of complete darkness. Our vacation is not the time to find out. This small nightlight is easy to pack and will make him feel more at home.
7. Baby Monitor - On this trip, we’ll be staying in a room that has a separate sleeping and living area. Bringing a baby monitor will help us to listen for the baby behind closed doors.
8. Baby proofing Items – My son is curious by nature and a brand new hotel room to explore will make him even more so. We baby proof our home so for us it is natural to baby proof our hotel room as much as is practical. The good news is the baby proofing supplies are small and fairly inexpensive. To me, the most critical baby proofing item for the baby is the outlet plugs. The other items I’m bringing are more applicable to our preschooler. I’ve packed some door stops for the sliding door in the room. If our kids are able to unlock the door unnoticed, the suction cups with wedges will stop them from opening the door. I also purchased a lever handle lock with an adhesive backing for the hotel room door leading to the hallway. The adhesive backing will make it easy to remove without damaging the door. Special thanks to Chris for some of the baby proofing ideas.
By taking a trip to the local baby store and browsing the aisle for convenience travel items, I think I’m well prepared for our trip with the baby. If I’ve forgotten anything, please let me know in the comments section below so I can make another run for travel essentials.
Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe.