How to Pack a Child's Suitcase

Packing a child's suitcase properly can make or break a vacation. If you forget something, you may have a very upset child on your hands. Taking the time to prepare and carefully pack your child's clothing can make a vacation run much more smoothly.


  1. Image titled Pack a Child's Suitcase Step 1
    Make a list of everything your child will need while away. This will vary depending upon where exactly the child is going and the length of the trip. Think about special circumstances; for example, if your child will be going swimming or to the beach, pack a couple of swimsuits. Remember to consider toys, blankets and other comforts, like nightlights. Using a list will help you remember all the items you need to pack.
  2. Image titled Pack a Child's Suitcase Step 2
    Pack one pair of pants or shorts for each day of the trip, plus at least one shirt per day. Your child will also need at least one pair of underwear per day, and a pair of socks for each day, depending upon which shoes you pack. Work from your list so you don't forget anything.
    • Clothing needs will depend upon the age of the child. For example, a small child may need more extra shirts and underwear due to spills and accidents.
    • For shoes, think about where the child is going and what activities she'll be doing. Sneakers are usually a good option but for warm weather or beaches, sandals may be more appropriate. For snowy weather, pack a pair of boots. For winter weather, pack plenty of extra socks so the child can double up or change socks that get wet.
  3. Image titled Pack a Child's Suitcase Step 3
    Group the clothing by day so your child understands what he's supposed to put on each day. Pair the bottoms with one or two tops, a pair of underwear and a pair of socks. Put these in a large zipper bag, together, and mark the day of the week on the outside of the bag. Explain to her how you're dividing up the clothes, if she's old enough to understand.
  4. Image titled Pack a Child's Suitcase Step 4
    Put the clothing that will be used last toward the bottom of the suitcase, with things that will be used first toward the top. Add any extra shirts, underwear and socks to the side of the bag for easy access. Shoes can go in an outer pocket or on top of the clothing in the suitcase to be unpacked first.
  5. Image titled Pack a Child's Suitcase Step 5
    Stash toiletries your child will need into a separate pocket, either on the inside or outside of the bag. This includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant if necessary, floss, hair supplies and hand sanitizer. Put these into a zipper bag first, in case they open up. Also pack any medications that the child will need during the trip. Remember the rules for taking liquids onto airplanes, if your child will be traveling by air.
  6. Image titled Pack a Child's Suitcase Step 6
    Organize the suitcase so you have some extra room on top or in an outer pocket for some toys the child can access easily. Pack a few healthy snacks in an outer pocket also.


  • If your child will be carrying his own suitcase, think of how much he can safely carry and don't pack more than he can handle.
  • Pack plenty of toys, games, and/or books so that your child is fully occupied on the trip. Otherwise, they could get bored and cranky.

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Categories: Travel Packing