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What To Pack For A Toddler On A Cruise


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Bevvy Bohannon



Embarking on a cruise with a toddler can be an exciting and memorable experience for the whole family. However, when it comes to packing for a cruise with a little one, it can feel overwhelming to ensure you have everything you need. From clothing essentials to safety and entertainment items, being prepared is key to a smooth and enjoyable vacation.


When packing for a toddler on a cruise, it’s important to keep in mind the various activities and environments your little one will encounter. From exploring the ship to lounging by the pool or visiting new destinations, having the right items will ensure that your toddler stays comfortable, entertained, and safe throughout the trip.


In this article, we will provide a comprehensive packing guide for parents traveling with a toddler on a cruise. We’ll cover everything from clothing essentials to entertainment and safety items, ensuring that you have all the necessary items to make your cruise vacation with your little one a breeze. So, let’s dive in!


Clothing Essentials

When it comes to packing clothing for your toddler on a cruise, it’s important to be prepared for various weather conditions and activities. Here are some essential clothing items to include:

  • Lightweight and breathable outfits: Pack comfortable outfits that are suitable for warm weather, as cruises often take place in tropical or sunny destinations. Opt for lightweight fabrics such as cotton or linen to keep your toddler cool and comfortable.
  • Layers: It’s always a good idea to pack a few layers, especially if you’re traveling to a destination with unpredictable weather. Include a few cardigans or light jackets that can easily be added or removed as needed.
  • Sleepwear: Don’t forget to pack enough sleepwear for the duration of your cruise. Choose soft and comfortable pajamas or sleep sacks to ensure a restful night’s sleep for your little one.
  • Socks and shoes: Bring along a few pairs of socks and comfortable shoes for your toddler. It’s a good idea to have closed-toe shoes for activities and excursions, as well as sandals or water shoes for the pool and beach.
  • Hats and sunglasses: Protect your toddler from the sun by packing a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses with UV protection. These accessories will help shield their delicate skin and eyes from harmful rays.

Remember to pack enough outfits for the duration of your cruise, factoring in potential spills or accidents. It’s also a good idea to pack a few extra basics like t-shirts and shorts that can be easily mixed and matched.


By packing the right clothing essentials, you’ll ensure that your toddler stays comfortable and dressed appropriately for every occasion during your cruise vacation.


Swimwear and Beach Items

A cruise offers plenty of opportunities for your toddler to enjoy the water, whether it’s in the onboard pools or at the beach. Here are some essential swimwear and beach items to pack:

  • Swimsuits: Pack a few swimsuits for your toddler, ensuring they fit well and have appropriate coverage. Opt for ones with UV protection to safeguard their delicate skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Swim diapers: If your toddler is not yet potty trained, pack a sufficient supply of swim diapers. These will prevent any accidents in the water and ensure a hygienic swimming experience for everyone.
  • Beach towels: Bring along some lightweight and quick-drying beach towels for your little one to lay on or wrap themselves up in after a swim. Look for fun and colorful designs to add a touch of excitement.
  • Sunscreen: Protect your toddler’s sensitive skin by packing a reliable sunscreen with a high SPF. Apply it generously and frequently to all exposed areas, including the face, arms, and legs.
  • Beach toys: Don’t forget to pack some sand toys and beach-friendly toys to keep your toddler entertained during beach visits. These can include shovels, buckets, and inflatable toys.
  • Beach bag: A sturdy and spacious beach bag will come in handy for carrying all your toddler’s essentials, such as sunscreen, towels, snacks, and beach toys.

Before heading to the beach or pool, ensure that you have all the necessary items packed and ready to go. Keep in mind that supervision is crucial when your toddler is near water, so always stay alert and within arm’s reach.


With these swimwear and beach items packed, your toddler will be ready to make a splash and enjoy some fun in the sun during your cruise vacation.


Stroller or Baby Carrier

Having a reliable means of transportation for your toddler is essential when going on a cruise. Whether you choose a stroller or a baby carrier, it will make navigating the ship, ports of call, and excursions much easier. Consider the following:


If you opt for a stroller:

  • Lightweight and compact: Choose a lightweight and compact stroller that is easy to fold and carry. This will come in handy when moving around the ship or boarding and disembarking at ports.
  • Durable and sturdy: Ensure that the stroller is sturdy enough to handle different surfaces, such as cobblestones or uneven pavements, which you may encounter during excursions.
  • Sunshade or canopy: Look for a stroller with a sunshade or canopy to protect your toddler from direct sunlight.
  • Storage space: Consider a stroller with a storage basket or pockets, allowing you to carry essentials like diapers, snacks, and a change of clothes.

If you prefer a baby carrier:

  • Ergonomic design: Select a baby carrier that provides proper support for both you and your toddler. Look for padded straps and adjustable features that ensure a comfortable fit.
  • Hands-free convenience: A baby carrier allows you to have your hands free while keeping your toddler close. This can be especially beneficial during excursions or when exploring crowded areas.
  • Easy to clean: Opt for a baby carrier that is machine washable or made of materials that are easy to wipe clean.
  • Weight limit: Ensure that the baby carrier you choose can accommodate your toddler’s weight and size.

Before packing a stroller or baby carrier, check with the cruise line regarding any restrictions or guidelines they may have. Some ships may have specific regulations or limited storage space for strollers.


Having a stroller or baby carrier will provide convenience and comfort for both you and your toddler as you explore the various destinations and navigate the ship during your cruise vacation.


Diapering Supplies

When traveling with a toddler on a cruise, it’s essential to be well-prepared with diapering supplies. Here are some items you should pack:

  • Diapers: Depending on the length of your cruise, make sure to pack an adequate supply of diapers. Consider the number of diaper changes your toddler usually needs per day and add a few extra for unforeseen circumstances.
  • Wipes: Pack a sufficient amount of baby wipes to keep your toddler clean and fresh. Opt for a travel-size pack or transfer wipes into a more compact container to save space in your luggage.
  • Diaper cream: To prevent diaper rash, bring along a diaper cream that you regularly use for your toddler. Consider packing a small tube or travel-size container to save space.
  • Changing pad: A portable changing pad is a handy item to have when your toddler needs a diaper change. It provides a clean and convenient surface for you to comfortably change their diaper.
  • Disposable bags: Carry a supply of disposable bags to dispose of dirty diapers and wipes properly. These bags help contain any odors and maintain cleanliness.
  • Extra clothing: Accidents happen, and it’s wise to pack a few extra sets of clothing for your toddler in case of spills or leaks. Include extra tops, bottoms, socks, and even a lightweight jacket or sweater.

It’s a good idea to distribute diapering supplies throughout your luggage, making them easily accessible when you need them. Consider packing a small diaper bag with the essentials to bring with you on excursions or when exploring the ship.


Remember to check if your cruise ship provides diaper-changing facilities and whether they offer diaper disposal services. Knowing this information can help you plan and pack accordingly.


By having all the necessary diapering supplies on hand, you can ensure that your toddler stays clean, comfortable, and happy throughout your cruise vacation.


Feeding and Mealtime Items

When traveling with a toddler on a cruise, it’s important to have the necessary feeding and mealtime items to ensure their comfort and nutrition. Here are some essential items to pack:

  • Bottles and/or sippy cups: If your toddler is still using bottles or sippy cups, be sure to pack enough for the duration of your cruise. Consider bringing extras in case of spills or loss.
  • Baby food and snacks: If your toddler is eating solid foods, pack a sufficient supply of their favorite baby food pouches, cereals, or snacks. Opt for individually packaged items for convenience.
  • Utensils: Bring along toddler-friendly utensils such as spoons, forks, and small bowls or plates. These will come in handy during meal times onboard or when dining at ports of call.
  • Bibs and burp cloths: Pack a few bibs and burp cloths to help keep your toddler clean during meal times. Look for ones that are easy to wash and quick to dry.
  • High chair or booster seat: Check with the cruise ship if they provide high chairs or booster seats, or if you need to bring your own. Having a secure seating option will make meal times more comfortable for your toddler.
  • Baby formula and/or breast milk: If your toddler is formula-fed or if you’re still breastfeeding, ensure you have enough formula or expressed breast milk for the duration of your cruise. Consider the availability of refrigeration options on the ship.

It’s important to research the dining options and policies on your cruise ship regarding children’s meals. Some ships may offer specialized menus or early seating options for families with young children.


Remember to pack these feeding and mealtime items in a convenient bag that you can easily take with you to dining venues or when exploring the ship or ports.


By having all the necessary feeding and mealtime items, you can ensure that your toddler stays nourished and comfortable throughout your cruise vacation.


Comfort and Sleeping Items

Ensuring your toddler’s comfort and a good night’s sleep is crucial for an enjoyable cruise experience. Here are some comfort and sleeping items to pack:

  • Blankets and lovey: Bring along a familiar blanket or lovey that your toddler associates with comfort and security. Having something familiar can help them feel more at ease in a new environment.
  • Pillows: Consider bringing a small pillow specifically designed for toddlers to provide added comfort during sleep or relaxation times.
  • Portable crib or travel bed: Check with the cruise ship if they provide cribs or if you need to bring a portable crib or travel bed for your toddler. This will ensure a safe and comfortable sleeping arrangement.
  • Nightlight: A portable nightlight can help create a soothing and familiar sleep environment for your toddler, especially if they are sensitive to darkness or unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Noise machine: To drown out any potential noises or disruptions, consider bringing a portable noise machine that plays soothing sounds or white noise during nap or bedtime.
  • Pajamas and sleepwear: Pack comfortable and breathable pajamas that are suitable for the climate of your cruise destination. Consider the temperature of the cabin and adjust the thickness of the sleepwear accordingly.

Creating a sleep routine similar to the one your toddler follows at home can also help establish a sense of familiarity and promote better sleep. Stick to regular bedtime rituals such as reading a bedtime story or singing a lullaby.


It’s a good idea to prepare a comfortable sleeping space for your toddler in the cabin, whether it’s using a portable crib, travel bed, or reconfiguring the existing bed to accommodate their sleeping needs.


By packing these comfort and sleeping items, you can provide your toddler with a cozy and familiar sleeping environment, ensuring they get the rest they need during your cruise vacation.


Entertainment and Toys

Keeping your toddler entertained during a cruise is essential to ensure an enjoyable and stress-free vacation. Packing the right entertainment and toys can make a significant difference in keeping them engaged and happy. Here are some items to consider:

  • Favorite books: Bring along a few of your toddler’s favorite books for reading during downtime or before bedtime. Opt for board books or ones with sturdy pages that can withstand frequent use.
  • Coloring books and crayons: Pack a small bag of coloring books and crayons to unleash your toddler’s creativity during quiet moments or on rainy sea days.
  • Puzzles and building blocks: Portable puzzles and building blocks can provide hours of entertainment for your toddler. Look for compact sets that are easy to pack and assemble.
  • Small toys: Bring along a selection of your toddler’s favorite small toys such as cars, dolls, or action figures to keep them occupied during travel or in the cabin.
  • Stickers: Sticker books or sheets with reusable stickers can be a delightful and mess-free way for your toddler to engage in imaginative play.
  • Portable DVD player or tablet: Consider bringing a portable DVD player or tablet loaded with your toddler’s favorite shows or movies to keep them entertained during long flights or downtime.

In addition to these items, take advantage of the various onboard activities and entertainment options tailored for children. Many cruise lines offer dedicated play areas, kids clubs, and supervised activities designed to keep young ones engaged and entertained.


Keep in mind the limited space available in the cabin, so pack a selection of toys and activities that can easily be stored and accessed when needed.


By providing a range of entertainment and toys, you can keep your toddler engaged and entertained throughout your cruise vacation.


Safety and Health Supplies

When it comes to traveling with a toddler on a cruise, their safety and health are of utmost importance. Being prepared with the right safety and health supplies will help ensure a worry-free vacation. Here are some essential items to pack:

  • First aid kit: Pack a basic first aid kit that includes supplies such as band-aids, antiseptic ointment, fever reducer/pain reliever, and any necessary medications your toddler may need.
  • Hand sanitizer: Keep a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer with you to maintain good hygiene, especially before and after meals or when visiting public areas on the ship.
  • Childproofing items: While cruise cabins are generally safe, it’s still a good idea to bring along some childproofing items such as outlet covers and cabinet locks to ensure your toddler’s safety.
  • Sun protection: In addition to sunscreen, make sure to pack a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses for your toddler to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Insect repellent: Depending on your cruise destination, bugs may be a concern. Bring along a child-safe insect repellent to protect your toddler from bug bites.
  • Travel baby monitor: If you’re concerned about being able to keep an eye on your toddler while they sleep in the cabin, consider bringing a travel baby monitor to provide peace of mind.
  • Child locator device: Some families find it helpful to use child locator devices when exploring the ship or during excursions. These devices can give you added assurance by alerting you if your toddler wanders too far away.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the medical facilities and services available on the cruise ship. Find out about the availability of a pediatrician on board or the nearest medical port facilities should you need them.


By packing these safety and health supplies, you can be well-prepared to handle any minor health or safety concerns that may arise during your cruise vacation.


Miscellaneous Items

When packing for a toddler on a cruise, there are various miscellaneous items that can come in handy during your trip. These items may not fall under a specific category but are still worth considering for your packing list. Here are some miscellaneous items to include:

  • Travel-sized toiletries: Pack small bottles of shampoo, body wash, lotion, and any other personal care items your toddler may need during the trip.
  • Travel document organizer: Keep all important travel documents, such as passports, cruise tickets, and medical cards, organized in a travel document organizer for easy access.
  • Snacks and beverages: Pack a variety of healthy snacks and drinks that your toddler enjoys. This can be particularly helpful during long flights or when exploring ports of call.
  • Reusable water bottle: Having a reusable water bottle for your toddler is essential to keep them hydrated throughout the cruise. Look for leak-proof and BPA-free options.
  • Extra batteries and chargers: Ensure you have extra batteries and chargers for any electronic devices or toys that require them to keep your toddler entertained and engaged.
  • Camera or smartphone: Capture the special moments of your cruise vacation with a camera or smartphone. Don’t forget to pack extra memory cards or ensure sufficient storage space.
  • Plastic bags or wet bags: Pack a few plastic bags or wet bags to store wet or soiled items, such as swimsuits or dirty clothes, to keep them separate from the rest of your belongings.
  • Travel adapters: If you’re traveling to an international destination, make sure to pack travel adapters to ensure you can charge your electronic devices.
  • Travel insurance documentation: Carry a copy of your travel insurance documentation, including emergency contact information, for peace of mind in case of unexpected circumstances.

These miscellaneous items can contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable cruise experience for you and your toddler. Remember to pack them in a convenient and accessible manner within your luggage.


By including these miscellaneous items in your packing list, you’ll be well-prepared for any situation that may arise during your cruise vacation with your little one.



Preparing for a cruise with a toddler can seem overwhelming, but with the right planning and packing, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable vacation for the whole family. By considering the clothing essentials, swimwear and beach items, stroller or baby carrier, diapering supplies, feeding and mealtime items, comfort and sleeping items, entertainment and toys, safety and health supplies, and miscellaneous items, you’ll be well-equipped for any situation that may arise during your cruise.


Remember to pack according to the climate and activities you’ll be engaging in during the cruise. Take into account the limited cabin space and any restrictions or guidelines set by the cruise line. Prioritize your toddler’s comfort, safety, and entertainment, while also considering your own peace of mind.


Don’t forget to check with the cruise line for any specific amenities or services provided for families with toddlers. This can include dedicated play areas, kids clubs, or child-friendly dining options.


With careful planning and packing, you can create lasting memories and make the most of your cruise vacation with your toddler. Enjoy exploring new destinations, relaxing by the pool, and cherishing quality time together as a family. Bon voyage!