How to Pack for a Weekend Away with Kids

Weekend Warrior mamas share their best tips.

How to Pack for a Weekend Away with Kids
*We’ve partnered with Baby K’tan to make life on-the-go with baby a little easier. There is nothing more rewarding than a weekend away with the kids, where you can experience new things, explore new places and create memories for years to come. But...packing for a weekend away with the kids is another story. You’ve got to think of anything and everything that might come up when you’re away from home base for your baby, your toddler, or sometimes both. With that challenge in mind, we gave a few of our fave Instagram Weekend Warrior mamas the new Weekender Diaper Bag by Baby K’tan and asked them to pack for a weekend away with their kids. Below, they share their packing secrets, along with a little inspiration to turn you into a family travel bug too! Priscilla Ann Soulé @kauailife Why do you love to travel with your kids? The world is a big place full of beautiful people and things, and there's something magical about how children take on new experiences. Their inherent sense of curiosity paired with a certain fearlessness inspires adventures and discoveries we may have never stumbled upon without them. Where’s your fave spots to travel? While the boys have explored all over Kaua'i, from climbing mountains and hiking along 3,000 foot ridges to swimming under countless waterfalls, they've become seasoned off-island travelers as well! Past vacations include Oaxaca, Sayulita, and Key West. We've also road tripped all over California and Utah. Best packing tip? Focus on experience, not things. Pack just the essentials. Whenever we travel (whether it's just a weekend or a couple weeks) we limit our belongings to carry-on luggage only. We want our keiki out and about exploring as much as possible so while I may carry a couple books for good measure, they know that any accessories or toys they want must fit in their own small backpacks -- for overnight trips this includes their blankets and baby dolls and/or stuffed animals. We prefer that they get creative with their surroundings. Less stuff means more to experience! Biggest packing mistake? Surely that's a tie between packing too much stuff and forgetting snacks! I prefer that everything in my diaper bag has a designated spot, so I love that Baby K’tan’s Weekender has 9 separate compartments. I don't like digging my hand into a black hole of a diaper bag and wondering where to find the things I need. I'll group like items together, utilize pockets with efficiency, and sometimes I'll even use a couple smaller bags (such as Aloha Collection's travel pouches) to separate things. Lastly: Can't. Forget. Snacks. Ever. Priscilla’s essentials: 1. Swimwear, a Turkish towel and sunscreen for the family because every day can be a beach day. Baby Baggies Shorts by Patagonia; Salt & Sea and Kaikini Bikinis and Hoa Kai Turkish towels. 2. A good swaddle is full of endless possibility. Our go-to is the island inspired Coco Moon Swaddle Blanket because it's oh-so-soft and large enough to use for practically anything. 3. Sugarbooger Lunch Sacks, they insulate well, clean up easily, and hold just the right amount of goodies to share. 4. Cloth Diapers by Fuzzibunz for both boys and didn't think twice about using them for baby girl. It's amazing how simple they are to use and care for even on the move--we've even used them on our backpacking trips! The Weekender by Baby K’tan has a water-tight, germ-resistant, built-in wet bag that’s perfect for dirty diapers. 5. We never leave the house without books because few things are better than story time and sandy toes. Rosie Maxhimer @rosiemaxhimer Why do you love to travel with your kids? It’s so important for their development. It takes them out of their normal surroundings and comfort zones and expands their understanding of the world. It provides us as parents the opportunity to show them new things around every corner. Whether it’s their first touch of snow, their first dip in the ocean, or their first time eating BBQ in Texas, these little experiences are huge. I feel like whenever we get back from trips, I instantly see developmental leaps. Where’s your fave spots to travel? We love our road trips to spots just a couple hours away, like San Diego, Santa Barbara, Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Idyllwild and Big Bear. But have also flown with both of them to Austin and Las Vegas. And now that our littlest is a bit older, we have lots of other trips on the books! Best packing tip? If you forget something, it can probably be purchased at the other end! While not ideal, it’s just good to remember. We, as mamas, have about one billion things on our minds at any time. So yes, try to remember to pack everything, but if you don’t, don’t sweat it. You can probably buy a new sippy cup, or use it as an opportunity to have them practice with a “big kid” cup (yes, I may be speaking from personal experience!). Biggest packing mistake? Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, especially now that summer is upon us. We are a fair bunch, and I get so preoccupied with packing diapers, outfits, toys, and snacks, that sometimes sunscreen slips my mind... which often leaves us running to the store at our destination. Rosie’s essentials: 1. I love to get super matchy matchy with the wardrobe. It helps me kinda streamline my packing, and I know what my kids will wear each day because they match! And not gonna lie, it makes for cute photo ops, because lord knows if we are going on a mini-vacay, photos will be taken. 2. Baby K’tan Baby Carrier, so I can throw the baby on and get moving. 2. Entertainment for the car ride: Books, teethers and toys. 3. Allllll the snacks! Find out more about the Baby K’tan Weekender Diaper Bag here. Shop it below.

Baby K’tan Weekender Diaper Bag in Gray

Baby K’tan Weekender Diaper Bag in Green

Baby K’tan Weekender Diaper Bag in Navy

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!

A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.


A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.


A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.


A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.


A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.


A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.


A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.


A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.


An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.


A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.


And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

Bethany Menzel: Instagram + Blog

As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

Here are the 10 photos you will want to take on baby's first day.

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