If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of packing for an infant, you’re not alone. When we booked our first impulsive trip to Disney, I was totally shocked by how much “stuff” one tiny person could need! Three trips later, I think I’ve got it figured out.
Things to Consider
Before you even start thinking about packing, ask yourself these questions.
- How are you getting to Disney? Driving or flying?
- Are you staying on or off property?
- Where does baby sleep at night?
- Are you breast or bottle feeding? Does baby eat solids yet?
- Do you use cloth or disposable diapers?
- Does baby have any medical conditions?
- Will you bring your own stroller?
Then, follow your routine for a day and take notes. How many bottles did you use? How many diapers? What devices did you use throughout the day? Things like that.
Making a Packing List
Obviously, every family and baby will have different needs. This is a packing list based on our own, to help guide you while you craft your own!
- Drying rack, bottle brush, and dish soap
- Sanitizing bags
- Formula (When Lucy was a newborn, we splurged on the single serving 4 oz formula pouches, so we didn’t have to fill formula dispensers or carry a can around. When she got a little older, I opted to use the sample size cans in the park, instead of carrying multiple formula dispensers around.)
- Nursery water (This is a personal choice, of course, but we opted not to use tap water or water from QS locations. We prefilled her bottles with water before heading to the parks each day and kept the jug back in the room.)
- Baby food pouches and snacks, if age appropriate
- Snack cups
- Spoons, if baby is spoon fed
- Bibs and burpcloths
- Nursing cover, if you’re breastfeeding and use one
- Boppy pillow or similar, if you use one (We use this as our travel pillow while we drive too!)
- Diapers (We always opt to just bring a whole box!)
- Changing pad (There are changing tables throughout the parks and in the Baby Care Centers. We like to have our own pad to lay down though.)
- Wipes, wipes, and more wipes (We go through a ton, between diaper changes, sticky hands, messes in the stroller, etc. When we think we have enough, we add one more pack!)
- Diaper rash cream/ointment (You might consider bringing some, even if you don’t typically have rash issues. There’s a good chance that baby will be sitting in diapers longer than usual and may not be used to the humid climate!)
- Disposable diaper sacks (These especially come in handy in the room, where you don’t have a lidded trash can to contain smelly diapers! I think Mousekeeping probably appreciates it too.)
- Swim diapers, if you plan to visit the pool
As a side note for cloth diapering moms: I used to cloth diaper my girls. If you decide to use cloth in the parks, definitely remember to pack a few wet bags and warn security if there are any used diapers before they go through your bags! They may make you empty them out, so just keep that in mind. Also, consider if you have enough diapers to make it through the trip, if you’ll have access to laundry facilities that allow for diapers, and how you’ll store dirty diapers in your hotel room. I don’t have good answers to these, because I ultimately just went for disposables during our trip!
Bath + Hygiene:
- Until Lucy was a confident sitter, we brought a folding bath seat with us, so we could bathe the girls together. If you don’t have space, you can always get in the tub with them.
- Baby body wash and shampoo
- Nail trimmers
- Baby monitor (We often stay in villas and suites, where the kids are sleeping in another room while we’re still awake. We like having an inexpensive monitor with us, so we can enjoy time on our patio in the evenings, without worrying about missing a cry!)
- Pack & Play sheets (Disney will provide bedding for their Pack & Plays, but we liked to have an extra sheet with us, in case of leaks.)
- Blankets or sleep sacks, if your baby uses them
Health + Wellness
- Thermometer (We have an ear thermometer that we love and trust. In a pinch, the resort should be able to provide one, but it’s easier to have our own!)
- OTC baby medications (We bring Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl with us, along with the syringes or droppers)
- Any prescription medications (We like to bring our Zofran with us, in case of a sudden stomach bug during the trip.)
- Your pediatrician’s info (Disney is great about treating sick guests, but in nonemergent situations, we’d prefer to call our own pediatrician and ask for advice!)
- Baby outfits (I generally pack 2-3 outfits per day, just to make sure we have extra clothing to keep her looking fresh for pictures!)
- Socks (Pack all the socks. They will lose them. It’s just… the way it is!)
- Seasonally appropriate accessories (You’ll know your baby’s weather tolerance best, but if you plan to travel during the winter months, you might consider bringing a hat, mittens, and light jacket. Orlando weather can be unpredictable, but rarely “freezing”.)
- Swimsuit and sun hat, if you plan to swim
- Stroller (or make plans to rent one)
- Baby carrier (I personally like to bring my ring sling! It can be neatly folded in the diaper bag without taking up a lot of space, which is always a plus. We also like that it can be worn in a variety of ways and switched between us without much adjustment.)
- Stroller fan, misting fan, or other cooling devices (It can get really hot, even if it’s not the middle of summer. A little circulation is always nice, especially if you have the stroller shade pulled mostly shut at nap time!)
- Giant hooks (We don’t use these every time, but depending on your stroller storage capacity, they may come in handy to hang a shopping bag from!)
How to Pack
When we drive to Disney, I’m always thankful for the ability to pack a little bit more. If you’re driving too, consider packing all of your miscellaneous baby stuff (bottles, drying rack, diapers, etc) in a large plastic bin. We like how easily accessible, yet contained it makes all the clunkier items.
If you’re flying, you’ll likely be packing a little lighter. Dedicate a large suitcase to baby’s stuff, instead of multiple “kid sized” suitcases. Another option to consider is mailing some items directly to your resort ahead of your stay!
When it comes to clothing, I can’t recommend gallon ziplock bags enough! I use one ziplock bag for each outfit (clothing, socks, and any accessories) and label it with the day it’ll be worn and what shoes go with it. I can’t tell you how much time this saves us getting ready each morning – and allows my husband to help with the girls without any assistance from me!
For toiletries and medicine, I pack a “family bag” that can be put in the resort bathroom, instead of everyone having their own stuff. This also streamlines repeated stuff (like we don’t each need a toothpaste, contact solution, etc, when we can share it)!
Our awesome travel agent, Jessica, also suggested that I bring a copy of my packing list with me, so that I could make sure everything made it back in the bags before checkout. I highly suggest using this tip too!
Managing What You Can’t Bring
If you’re looking at this list and your luggage in a panic, take a deep breath.
Disney has wonderful shopping throughout the parks and resorts, so you can always opt to purchase some things there (like dish soap or swim diapers). There is also plenty of shopping right off property, if you want to Uber to a grocery or big box store for supplies instead.
Another option is to place an online order to be delivered to your hotel. You can use services like Amazon and Garden Grocer to have bulky items like diapers, wipes, and formula delivered.