Heading to Disney World with a baby but don’t know where to start? With this series, I’m giving you my best tips so you can have the stress-free vacation you deserve!
When our daughter was born in October of last year, my husband and I knew it wouldn’t be long before she took her first trip to Disney. By the end of my pregnancy, we were missing Cinderella’s castle big time! So, this past weekend, we took our 3-month-old daughter to Disney World for the first time and had an absolute blast!
I was skeptical at first as to whether or not we could pull this off with a 3-month-old in tow. Would she be cranky the whole time? How would we do naps? Would she enjoy all of the things to see and do or would it overwhelm her? Would she be able to ride any rides? I kept hearing people say that there is no way that they would take their baby to Disney because they wouldn’t remember it or be able to enjoy it. But honestly, in our case, that couldn’t have been further from the truth! Our daughter loved it, and even though she won’t remember, her daddy and I will and now we have memories we will cherish forever!
Doing Disney World with a baby requires a little extra effort, but it doesn’t have to be stressful! For my next few blog posts, I want to give you all of my best tips and tricks for bringing a baby to the parks with you. I’ll cover what you need to pack (and what you DON’T need to pack), the best rides and restaurants, the best baby-friendly Disney hotels, general tips, and more! By the end of this series, you’ll be feeling confident enough to take on Disney with your little one!
But don’t do it without a plan and some help! I will plan every detail of your trip for you absolutely FREE! My passion is helping my clients have the most magical and stress-free vacation possible. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free quote on your vacation.
For today’s post, I’m giving you my tips on what to pack for your baby. This list goes beyond the basics and gives you specific things you’ll need for baby during your trip. Some things on the list you may not need, but these were lifesavers for us and hopefully I can help you think of some things you didn’t even know you’d need!
Plenty of Diapers and Wipes, Diaper Rash Cream, and Medicines
We all know how many diapers and wipes a baby goes through in a single day. Make sure you bring more than enough for your baby throughout your stay and to bring in the parks. For us, this was about 7 diapers a day. I tried to pack a few extra for blowouts too because, well, babies are unpredictable! I also made sure to pack a tube of diaper rash cream, as well as gripe water, gas drops, baby Tylenol, and a thermometer in case my daughter started feeling bad. If your baby is teething, make sure they have some teething tablets or their favorite teething toy as well!
Don’t beat yourself up in case you forget some of these things. There is a Baby Care Center at every park where they have all of the baby essentials for a cost, but they can be very expensive. So try to remember to pack these things ahead of time to save some money!
Extra Outfits and Socks (and a special outfit for photos if you want!)
No matter where I go, I always pack the diaper bag with at least 3 extra onesies and 2 pairs of pants for my daughter in case of a blowout or spit-up catastrophe. I’ve been in too many situations where extra clothes are needed to forget about them anymore, ha! Especially at Disney, with all of the things you’ll be handling (like ice cream and other sticky foods) something is usually bound to end up on baby’s clothes and you’ll be glad you brought extras just in case.
Also, since this was my daughters first trip, I wanted to get her a cute little outfit to wear for taking pictures with characters at breakfast. Around this time a year ago, my husband and I announced we were pregnant with a cute little onesie that said “Future Disney Addict Coming October 2018”, so I thought it would be super cute to have her wear that this time around! I paired it with a little pink tutu and a headband we got at a store in Epcot, and she was absolutely adorable!
Extra Clothes for Mom and Dad
This is definitely optional, but I was so glad I brought extra clothes for Steven and I. You never know when you’ll get spit-up on or pooped/peed on so it is definitely worth it to have something in case that happens. I just packed an extra t-shirt and some leggings and my husband packed a shirt. We just put them in the bottom of our bag and it didn’t take up much space at all.
Bathing Suit/Swim Diapers/Floats
It was way too cold to go swimming in the pool on this trip, but for those summer trips, definitely pack all of baby’s swimming essentials! I can’t wait to let my baby take her first dip in the pool at Disney. Also, there are several places in the parks with sprinklers/misters where baby can play in the water and cool off a bit, so be sure to pack that in your park bag!
A Lightweight (But Comfortable) Stroller
This is definitely a MUST have! I don’t know what we would have done without our stroller in the parks. This was a great place for our daughter to nap and also a great place for us to put our bags so we didn’t have to carry them around the whole park. Make sure your stroller is comfortable enough for baby to nap in, but also make it as lightweight as possible. If you ride the buses from a Disney resort to the park (or when boarding just about any Disney transportation system besides the monorail), you will have to fold your stroller up to board. Make sure you don’t have a bunch of bags with you that you will have to carry while boarding the bus!
Also, strollers are not allowed in the lines for the rides. You must park your stroller and carry baby (or baby-wear) before getting on a ride. Disney has dedicated parking for strollers and there are usually attendants watching them. So, if baby is ready for a nap but you want to keep riding, I recommend baby-wearing instead of having them nap in the stroller. If they do fall asleep in the stroller, that would be a good time to do some shopping or stop to eat!
Update as of 9/4/2019 – Disney has now placed size limits on strollers. Strollers must not exceed 31″ wide (79 cm) and 52″ (132 cm) long.
A Stroller Organizer, Stroller Clip, and Clip on Fan
These stroller accessories were lifesavers for us! The organizer was the perfect place to fit our cups, hand wipes, and hand sanitizers for easy access. We also brought a stroller clip with us to hang our shopping bags on so they didn’t take up room in our under-stroller storage. Lastly, a clip-on fan is a must, especially if you are going during the summer and/or have hot-natured babies like I do. My daughter couldn’t have lasted without hers!
Florida weather is pretty unpredictable. There might be a sudden cold front or downpour of rain. It’s best to be prepared so you can protect baby from any harsh weather! We loved our stroller cover, it was perfect for when our daughter was napping and the wind was too bad. This is also a good idea for leaving your stroller in the rain when going on rides so it doesn’t get soaked.
A Baby Carrier or Wrap
This is definitely a must have! Our daughter sometimes likes to be held when she naps, so this saved our backs from killing us the entire time we were in the parks. This is also good to have when you are getting on a ride because strollers aren’t allowed, and this way your baby can ride in a safer way than in your lap or just being held. We love our Infantino Together Pull-On Knit Carrier. It is the perfect balance between a traditional carrier and wrap. My husband likes wearing it too!
A Changing Pad
Unless you have a stroller that you can easily change baby in, (ours leans back so it makes a wonderful table when a blanket was put on it), you will need a changing pad to put baby on in the restrooms.
Hand Sanitizer and Disinfectant Wipes
I carry hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE. Also, disinfectant wipes (like Wet Ones) that come in the travel packs are perfect because they can fit in a bag or stroller organizer for easy access. I also liked to have the Wet Ones wipes that were safe to wipe baby’s hands in case they got dirty.
Wet/Dry Bag or Disposable Dirty Diaper Bags
For wet/dirty clothes!
Bottles and Formula/Nursing Essentials/Baby Food and Utensils
In the baby care center, there are places to feed baby if you need a dedicated space to do so.
Travel-Sized Dish Detergent
For washing bottles!
Thin Blankets (Or thick if you are traveling in the winter months)
Sometimes it gets a little chilly at night so it would be good to have something to cover baby up, especially if they get chilly easily!
Extra Pacifiers/Pacifier Clip
We constantly drop pacifiers if they aren’t clipped to ours or our daughter’s clothes, and sometimes you aren’t near a place to wash it off. Our daughter would freak out if she didn’t have her paci, so we always pack several extras and even an extra clip or two. Pacifier wipes would also be a great thing to bring with you!
That Florida sun can be brutal! I also recommend bringing a hat for your baby or at least covering them up with a stroller shade.
Portable Noise Machine
This one certainly varies by child, but my daughter has to have her sound machine when she is sleeping. It can help drown out a lot of the noise from the people and music around you!
My daughter is pretty easily entertained at this age, so we didn’t need to bring a lot of toys with us. But, if your child is at the age where they need to be entertained at all times, bring small toys for them to play with. The lines to the rides can be lengthy and it’s good to have something for them to do while you are waiting. I recommend a small book, a favorite stuffed animal, a rattle or teething toy, or something that can easily fit inside your bag.
An Autograph Book
This is something we forgot on our daughter’s first trip and I completely regret it! Next time, I’m going to get her an autograph book so all of the characters she meets on our trip can sign it. You can either bring one from home or buy one at Disney. I still have my very first autograph book from my first trip to Disney World and it’s so nice to look back and see all of the character’s notes to me as a child.
What NOT To Pack:
If you need to heat up a bottle, don’t worry about bringing a bottle warmer with you. Any quick-service restaurant can give you a cup of hot water to heat the bottle up with. Just ask for a cup of hot coffee water filled half-way and stick the bottle in there. It works like a charm! Or, if you are near the Baby Care Center, they have bottle warmers and microwaves there that you can use.
Portable High Chairs
Disney has high-chairs at every restaurant, so you won’t need to bring your own. The Baby Care Center also has stations with high-chairs so you can feed baby there. Of course, you can always bring a portable chair if you prefer. Just make sure it is compact enough to fit it in a bag or underneath the stroller.
If you are staying at a Disney resort, a pack-n-play or crib can be added to most rooms. All you have to do is request one and Disney will do their best to accommodate you!