Wondering What Baby Essentials You Need to Pack for a Day at the Parks? Find Out!
Plus, here’s how you can earn Mommy Bonus Points by going an extra step!
By Suzanne Burmeister
Are you bravely considering bringing a baby to Disney World? Then you’re going to need some extra gear. Before you start feeling overwhelmed by deciding what’s necessary and what’s necessary, check out these baby essentials.
Background: My daughter was 8 months old when I took her to Disney for the first time. Since then, she’s been there three times, and I’m preparing to take her and my new son there in November. I can tell you that I’ve learned and adapted what I bring with me into the parks—and you can learn from my mistakes and observations!
Here’s what you need to bring for Baby—and what may not be so important.
Baby’s Hungry: Turn to These Feeding Essentials
Okay, so you know you’ll need bottles and formula or breast milk.
How Disney can help: Did you know you can ask the Baby Care Center to keep your breast pump bag and store your breast milk in their fridge? A friend of mine did that when we were in Magic Kingdom for 14 hours straight on New Year’s Eve. She loved the private cubicles where she could pump. You can find Baby Care Centers in every theme park.
Since I gave my daughter formula instead, I would bring bottles and small formula containers ready to dump when necessary. That made things quick when she got fussy. I also brought my own plastic baby food containers and spoons to use when we stopped for full meals.
Storage solution: A lunch box with a freezer pack!
Don’t forget clean diaper cloths and/or face wipes. I also included some baby food, bibs, and clean spoons. Food pouches make things extra easy. All these things will fit in a decently sized lunch box. I also liked to bring my own rolled up plastic mat and high chair cover to help avoid unnecessary germs.
Mommy bonus points: If you’re concerned about reusing sippy cups, get a small bottle of dishwashing soap and brush. Then you can clean it yourself at points during the day.
Baby Needs Some Personal Time: Here Are Your Changing Essentials
Little ones obviously need diapers (cloth and/or disposable), and that means you’ve got to guesstimate how many you’ll need while you’re in the parks. Before you go, start taking a tally of the typical diaper routine so you’ll know how many you’ll need. (I use the Baby Tracker app on my iPhone, which allows you to statistically see your averages.)
How Disney can help: If you forget your diapers—as I once did, to my eternal shame—then you can talk to the helpful Cast Members at the Baby Care Center. They directed me to the gift shop right at the entrance of Hollywood Studios who, thankfully, sold disposable Huggies diapers. Crisis averted!
You’ll find plenty of changing stations in most park bathrooms, so you will always find a place to take care of your infant’s needs. The Baby Care Centers offer a quiet, clean spot where you can change your baby if all the noise and people become too much.
Storage solution: A portable diaper change kit!
All you need to take into the bathroom with you are your diapers, wipes, and a changing pad. Why take the whole diaper bag? It’s so much easier to go light and leave the stroller outside with a family member. The portable diaper changing kits often allow you to clip onto your stroller’s handlebar for easy access. Don’t forget to bring an emergency outfit and wet bag, in case things get disastrous.
Mommy bonus points: I like to take a light wash cloth and a travel size of a cleanser (such as, Mustela’s no-rinse infant cleanser). My daughter sweated like the rest of us during the hot September day, so I would take her into the bathroom, wipe her down, and put her in a fresh outfit to keep her nice and cool. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen!
Baby’s Tired: Zero In on These Napping Essentials
Little ones need a lot of sleep, and an action-packed theme park day often leads to exhaustion. The stroller is the prime napping area, but there are things you can do to help your baby get some rest—and that’s investing in a stroller that:
- reclines all the way back,
- offer plenty of shade,
- allows for a clip-on fan for those hot weather days, and
- has plenty of storage.
How Disney can help: You can rent strollers from Disney itself if necessary. Plus, you’ll find plenty of quiet air-conditioned areas for a quiet respite. For instance, we wheeled our stroller into an unpopulated area of Pecos Bill within Magic Kingdom to let the baby sleep. If the noise at counter service areas are too distracting, the Baby Care Centers offer some kid-specific areas for hiding out.
Storage solution: Bring your own stroller!
I was envious of those kids who were flat-out during prime nap times—and for good reason. My first park stroller only reclined part-way, and my daughter seemed twitchy and uncomfortable while trying to snooze.
I also didn’t have full shade coverage, and her legs were subject to the unforgiving afternoon sunshine even while she slept. I since invested in a Rayshade Stroller cover, which extends the amount of cover—almost to the point of blacking out where the baby sits. Perfect for naps. When the sun sets, you can pull that shade off and fold it flat and compact.
Florida heat can be intense, and I definitely found that buying a clip-on fan was necessary. Disney does sell cute Mickey Mouse versions, but you can save some money by buying them from other retailers (like Walmart). Don’t forget extra batteries.
Finally, you’ll want a stroller that has ample storage. If you don’t have something big enough underneath the seat, you can find add-on sling saddle bags for the sides of strollers. Just be aware that weight can sometimes make them tip without a child in the seat! You should always make certain your stroller is safe for your child.
Heads up: An afternoon rain shower is typical, so you need to have that on your radar. Either get a rain shield specific to your stroller—or go the cheaper route and bring an extra poncho to drape over your stroller. How about a Get Down to Disness one? Remember that sometimes rain can erupt while you’re on a ride, so make sure you cover your stroller before you join a line if it looks like rain.
Mommy bonus points: Make your stroller easily identifiable by dying a ribbon to your handlebars. Among the sea of other strollers parked outside rides, you’ll be able pick out which one’s yours—especially as Cast Members often move them.
Be Courteous in the Dreaded Bag Check Area
All this sounds great, but are you concerned about clogging the bag check line and feeling waves of invisible hatred from all those guests behind you, who think you’re taking way too long?
I’ve found that having separate bags for separate things means convenience of pulling out what I need at any given moment. But this also means that I spend a little time preparing for the security guard by opening everything up and placing them on the table. Often, this receives compliments from the guards. You’re helping to move things along!
If a magical vacation with your baby sounds doable for you, let’s chat about how to get you there. Our travel services are absolutely FREE to you when you book your Disney Destination vacation with us!
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