Road trip essentials for kids

Baby Road Trip Essentials [ 2023 ]: What To Pack For The Little One

So you have finally decided to put on your travel shoes and explore the world. But do you have any idea about the baby road trip essentials you need to bring so the little one can stay as comfortable as possible on the road with you?

You might have been traveling for years, but your baby is just taking his or her first steps into the world. It is important to ensure that you have all the little one’s basic needs with you when traveling. This is why we are certain you can make use of this ultimate road trip with a toddler checklist to anticipate what might come in handy on the road. Go ahead and have a look!

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Toddler Road Trip Essentials for Your Vehicle

Where does any road trip begin? We all know it– your car! The first thing that we recommend you do when traveling with your child is gear up your vehicle.

When you are stuck in the same dull place for months and weeks, the only thing that comes to your rescue is your car. This is why our baby road trip essentials list starts off with the baby products you need to have inside your vehicle. These are affordable, handy additions to your car that any expert traveler will recommend as much as we do.

1. Backseat Organizers

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From stationaries to candies, an organizer can store everything and save your car from becoming a mess. Perfect for storing toys, wipes, bottles, and books– it is the first item in our baby road trip essentials list.

Our top 3 backseat organizers are:

2. Car Seat

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Meant to meet your basic safety standards, a car seat is undeniably a must-have in baby road trips essentials. However, you need to be very sure of the size and the type of car seat before you plan to buy one.

Every newborn has to start with a car seat that faces the rear. This rule should be followed as long as your child is under two years of age. The weight should fall between 4- 40 pounds, or slightly more.

Children grow quickly, and the car seat you buy has to be age-appropriate with some flexibility for adjustments to be made as your child grows. Ideally, the child’s head should be at least one inch away from the top of the seat.

Our top 3 car seats are:

3. Car Pillow

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No matter where you travel, a car pillow ensures perfect support for your child’s neck. Car pillows made from high-quality material work great for your baby’s sensitive skin.

While you buy a car pillow for your child, make sure not to get a neck pillow that is made for adults. Children have poor neck support, and traveling in a car might trigger body pain. Only a neck pillow made for toddlers will have the right cushioning for a baby.

The neck pillow in your baby road trip essentials needs to be packable. Your child will need to use it all the time; hence it should not take a lot of space.

Our top 3 car pillows are:

4. Car Sunshade

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To make sure that your baby stays protected and comfortable, you need to find the best car shade. It is a must item in baby road trip essentials. The ideal car shade guards baby’s skin from ultraviolet radiation while also protecting it from sunburn. A sunshade also shileds his or her eyes from intense brightness from the sun’s rays which can damage your baby’s eyesight.

There are two top criteria to look for when shopping for a sunshade. Firstly, it should retain safe driving visibility. Secondly, it must also have a static film and cling to the glass without adhesive or suction cups.

Our top 3 picks for car shades include:

5. Travel Tray

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Travel trays are perfect for use in a vehicle. Although we have mentioned it in our list of baby road trip essentials, it can easily be used elsewhere too. While shopping for travel trays, ensure that the base is sturdy and must not droop. Kids will most likely put pressure on the base while they eat on the table. It should be able to stand the bangs and knocks along the road.

Also, the travel tray should have some compartments. If nothing else, it should at least have a cup holder as a side attachment. Here are our top 3 recommendations for travel trays:

Baby Road Trip Essentials – Toys And Fun Checklist

Even if your baby is a very flexible traveler, he will need some entertainment throughout the trip. You have to ensure that time passes easily, and you are able to keep your sanity while taking care of your toddler. Our road trip with toddler checklist recommends you to bring along the following to keep your child entertained:

1. Building Blocks

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Building blocks for children are structures that are made to stack or mix together. These are an important part of our baby road trip essentials list because no matter the age of your child, they always need some mental engagement.

This product is neither too big nor small and prevents any unwanted accidents.

While they keep your child entertained, they should be choking free. This means no small or pointy pieces. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that your child has to be entertained, not frustrated. Thus, the blocks in your road trip with baby checklist should be easy to attach and use.

Our list of top 3 building blocks are:

2. Stationery Set with Games

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Stationery kits are another important part of baby road trip essentials. Sometimes it has everything that your child could need during a trip. If you have to spend a day indoors due to bad weather or ill health, this kit will come in handy. With pens and activities, it makes for one of the most exciting kids’ items on Amazon.

Our top 3 picks in this category are:

3. Magnetic Travel Games

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Typically, games intended for the car or plane are small and often made with magnetic pieces to make it easier to play without pieces flying about. Here are a couple of ideas:.

4. Play -Doh, Slimes and Playfoam Go

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Play-Doh: There’s a reason Play-Doh has been so popular with children for almost 70 years. Kids love to use their imaginations and create their own mini sculptures in vibrant, fun colors.

Slime is a non-sticky Play-Doh alternative which is all the rage with kids right now. So, why not utilize it when you need to distract your child during a flight? Keep a brand-new pack of slime as a surprise and pull it out for your child when he or she starts to become bored. Out top 3 picks are:

Road Trip With Baby Food and Health Checklist

Nobody can enjoy a trip when they fall sick. This is especially true when it comes to your child, who is more sensitive to environmental changes. If this happens, your trip might be wasted.

For these reasons, our list of baby road trip essentialshas several things that especially cater to health and safety. We have also mentioned the things to keep in mind when buying these items below.

1. Sippy Cups

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It is important for your child to stay hydrated throughout the trip. This sipper is made just for that. With a sippy cup made out of silicone, it makes for the perfect non-toxic product to drink from. 

Avoid using a sippy cup or bottle that is made out of plastic. These have Bisphenol A, which dissolves in liquid and is later ingested by the kids. Steel is free of such faults and does not cause any hormonal imbalance. Our top 3 picks for Sippy cups are:

2. Medicine Bag

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A first aid kit is simply essential for traveling, most especially when you are hitting the road with a child by your side.

A medicine bag provides the perfect place to organize all your medical products. Band-Aids, bug spray, sunscreen, antibacterial ointment, Tylenol/Motrin/Benadryl (including kid versions), some decongestants, and a diaper rash cream — everything can be placed inside and found with ease.

When shopping for a medicine bag, you have to ensure that different medical items of your baby road trip essentials have a proper place. Ointments go in one packet, tablets in another. Any maintenance drug you are taking goes in one place, while your baby’s vitamins are stored in another pocket.

It is possible that your child may require special medical attention during your travel. In this case, we suggest that you consult his physician and prepare a medical kit that is responsive to your baby’s special medical needs.

Here are the top 3 Medicine bags that we recommend:

3. Tissues and Wipes

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Wipes are an essential travel item for babies. During your road trip, you might have to stop at a place where clean water or tissues are not available. Wet wipes are also needed to ensure proper hygiene is maintained. Try to get wipes that are scented and antibacterial.

You can also go for table napkins. They are available in various sizes, colors, and patterns. Make sure that they do not contain any harmful chemicals which might affect your baby’s skin.

Our top 3 picks in this category are:

4. Hand Sanitizer

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Many health experts from around the world recommend that you use hand sanitizers when traveling. This is not just a trick for surviving a pandemic. No matter where you are traveling, your child runs the risk of catching infections.

Your child’s skin might not react well to the application of a sanitizer. We always think it is good to first check whether your child is allergic to a particular product. Try going for an organic sanitizer if that’s the case. We recommend the following 3 products:

Road Trip With Toddler Checklist – Miscellaneous Items

1. Packing Cubes

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These zippers from Amazon are easy to carry around. They come in four different sizes and make packing and traveling much easier than ever before. You can store both large and small items in these packing cubes, which will become your favorite travel buddies.

Here are the top 3 packing cubes:

2. Travel Stroller

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While you’re traveling with kids, you need a stroller that’s durable and easy to fold. If you want to have a stroller that will be your baby’s companion through all his road trips, look no further. Full-sized strollers are sturdier, bigger, and more durable. No other product in our baby road trip essentials is as versatile.

If your baby is very young, then you need to take extra care. Many strollers offer a bassinet mode and deep recliners — so be on the lookout. It is also important to have a stroller that comes with neck support as well.

In all probability, you will hold your baby and his things when you need to open and close the stroller. Try to sample the strolled sample the stroller before you add it to your baby road trip essentials.

Our top 3 picks for travel strollers include:

For a more detailed guide about what to look for when shopping for strollers, check out another post we’ve written about the best umbrella travel strollers.

3. Baby Carrier

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When you are traveling with your child, you will want to be as close to them as possible. But there are times you will also need your hands free to relax and have fun. Baby carriers make it pretty easy to carry the baby, isn’t it?

Baby carriers are made of different materials. Some baby carriers use synthetic materials while others are made of natural materials such as organic fabric. It is important to consider your child’s weight to determine how durable your baby carrier has to be.

Your toddler will not be able to support her own head. At this early age, their necks are delicate and do not have any control. Therefore, pick a baby carrier that offers head support.

Our top 3 baby carriers are:

To learn more about baby carriers, read our article on the 10 Best baby carriers for travel.

4. Travel Baby Monitor

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A travel baby monitor can be very useful while you try to settle into an unfamiliar living space. You can use the monitor to make sure your child is falling asleep properly on your first night in your home away from home.

Here are the top 3 travel baby monitors you can opt for:

5. Flashlight

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We cannot stress this enough. A toddler road trip essentials list is incomplete without a flashlight that can be operated by your child. If you ever get stuck during a trip, a flashlight not only gives your baby a sense of safety and security but also works to keep your baby entertained.

Here are the top kid-friendly flashlights on our list:

6. Spare Plastic Bags

We’d also recommend having a plastic bag in your luggage that you can use for laundry. As you wear clothes and change out of them, just throw them into the laundry bag, ensuring they are kept separate from your clean clothes.

Your baby or toddler might not have the patience to sit quietly for a long time. If you want to plan a long trip with your baby, consider all the things on the road trip with a toddler checklist. You have to take special care while setting up the gear in your car to make the ride comfortable.


What kind of insect repellant should I buy?

As far as possible, pick a repellant that has been tried and tested by many users. Also, sample all such ointments among your toddler road trip essentials to check for allergic reactions.

Should I buy a bottle with a sipper for my baby?

Your child will need a sipper because there are high chances of a liquid getting spilled in an open cup. A sipper with a tight cap will ensure that there are no accidental spills along the way.

What are booster seats?

Once your child is ready to let go of the front-facing harness, it is time to get a booster seat. A booster seat allows your baby to use the car’s seat belt without a harness. You can get a high backseat or even a backless model as per your convenience.

How much should I pack?

Remember that you should not pack too much. You will come across many shops and stores along the way where you can buy supplies. But be sure to pack some essentials like diapers and medicines.

End of the Road

Life, as we know it, shouldn’t stop when we become parents. Sure, you need to make some changes, but there is certainly no need to put a full stop in doing the things that you love — like traveling! With this comprehensive guide to baby road trip essentials, we are sure you and your little one will be able to conquer the world without fear and have fun together while doing it.

We sincerely hope our list of toddler road trip essentials keep your bundle of joy happy on the road and make travel a cakewalk for you.

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3 years ago

Hi, I really enjoy your posts. I have a question about the Immi go car seat. How is it for when your child falls asleep in the car? I’m looking for a second car seat, and I’m just wondering how it does.

Beth McCarter
Beth McCarter
2 years ago

I wish I had seen this post before our road trip in Alaska earlier this month! There are several things on here that I *need* now- mostly the organizational stuff like the med bag and the packing cubes. Thank you! 😀