The Minimalist’s Packing List for Summer Outdoors with Newborns + Toddlers

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The thing about newborns is no matter where you take them, you also have to take ALL THE STUFF. Even when you’re a minimalist, the minute you have a blowout and used up that one diaper and one extra outfit, you're cursing your minimalist ways. We've all been there. 

There is a way to stop the madness: specific and multi-functional items that come to the rescue in all the ways you might need for all of your time outdoors

With this list, you'll be set with the essentials whether you're hiking, picnicking, or headed to the beach (or pretty much anywhere else!)

1. Collapsible Spray Bottle

Fill these spray bottles less than halfway with water, throw them in the fridge (or the freezer if you won't need them for a few hours ), and you'll have a cool mister for really hot days! They also happen to be a multitasking beast for a long road trip or day outdoors. Use them to keep food cold instead of cold packs, and by the time you need them they'll be just the right temp to keep you from overheating. Why this is #1: Misting spray actually cools the body much more quickly and effectively than drinking water. So, yeah. There's that. No heat stroke for us. 

2. Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottles

These silicone water bottles are TINY and pack an amazing minimalist punch, folding down to the size of a coaster when not in use. When ready to use: fill a quarter of the way full with water or drink of choice and freeze - much better than ice cubes! 

3. Stanley Thermos

There is nothing like needing a cold drink on a hot day, and finding really hot water in your water bottle. And maybe it's because my grandfather had one that reminds me of happy summertime memories, but really there is nothing like the Stanley Thermos to keep ice icy like a boss. It's a little bulky but if you'll be out for a while in the heat, it's worth it's weight.  Fill with ice and water, or your favorite drink. (Equally awesome for hot drinks. And the bonus cup/lid-- can't even. So vintage. So great.)

4. Non-Toxic Wipes + Reusable Travel Container 

5. Car Sun Shade

Forget the crappy suction shades that fall down as soon as the car starts moving. Grab a few of these instead. Bonus: If it's a windows-down kinda day, the shade stays up. Brilliant. 

6. Sun hat

Choosing one that that shades the eyes and covers the neck = less area to slather with sunscreen. #win

7. Sunscreen

We love Badger brand, but ATTITUDE is the EWG's only verified pick for least toxic sunscreen. Kiss My Face is our other favorite.

8. Sunglasses

Choose shades that block 100% of UV rays, since sunglasses can cause your eyes to dilate more than normal and can actually harm your eyes if they're not enough UV protection. Also- what baby is not way too adorable with sunglasses on?!

9. Insect & Tick Repellant 

Burts Bees Herbal Insect Repellant is a favorite, as well as Doterra's Terrashield Spray

10. Powder

Because baby powder is a boss at getting sand off of everyone and everything. And where there is summer, there is often sand. 

11. Sturdy Bucket & Plastic Jar

Great for everything from building sand castles to collecting berries, fireflies, or flowers. These buckets are sturdier than your average sand castle bucket and you can get similar ones at the Dollar Tree for $1. And for the jar- clean out an empty peanut butter container or any plastic jar, soak it in water with some Oxy-Clean overnight to get the label off, and you've got a great place for seashells, wildflowers, or fireflies.

12. Non-Perishable Snacks

For easy packing stay away from things that melt or crush. Stash some Larabars, applesauce packets, or nut-butter single packs in your car, your purse, or wherever for a quick pick-me up.  

13. Stroller

A lightweight umbrella stroller can be a godsend for anywhere you might be walking a lot. This one is only 7.2 lbs- and oh so cute.

14. Native Wilds Nest

This Baby Sling/Carseat Cover/Shopping Cart Cover/Nursing Scarf multitasks like a boss, and we can't get enough! For the minimalist who wants to pack light, this is a must. And it comes in gorgeous colors and patterns too. 

15. Socks

Because inevitably you’ll find yourself at an indoor bounce house or play place or something in which socks are needed and everyone is in sandals. Socks with grips on the bottom are all the better. 

16. Blanket/Poncho

There are two ways to go with the blanket: one is with the two-in-one, super-sturdy waterproof poncho/blanket, which can also be used as a tarp. Or if you're looking for something that's as useful as a beach or picnic blanket as it is snuggling up on a cool night, try a multipurpose plush throw, which folds up small and keeps the cozy intact. 

17. Diaper Wallet

Pack a diaper wallet with diapers and wipes, an extra outfit, baby leggings (for unexpectedly cool weather) & butt cream. 

18. WATER Diaper WAllet

Puddle-jumping, water balloon tosses, sprinklers and wading in a  creek...even if you're not going swimming, you never know what waters your little ones might happen upon. Grab a second diaper wallet and pack with regular or reusable swim diapers, powder, extra outfit, wet bag and a packtowl to be set for all water adventures. 

19. Bottle Cooler Bag 

This one keeps a full days worth of milk cool- up to six bottles, or you can pack the family's picnic along with a couple of bottles. And it folds up nicely when not in use. (Don't forget to use your misting spray bottles as ice packs. Double duty at its best.) 

20. Cold Teether

For painful little gums, there's nothing better than a frozen teether on a hot day. These cookie teethers are adorable and can be thrown in the freezer too! 

21. Neck Wraps

These neck wraps are designed for adults and older children, and are awesome for keeping cool during hot days. (just don't forget to soak them for a little while before you're headed out for the day!) 

22. Inside Out Umbrella

I have no idea why no one invented this soon- this umbrella is amazing, ya'll. For all the rainy transitions, we need this.  

23. Collapsible Wagon

So this isn't on the list of absolute necessities, but this wagon is so fantastically helpful for carrying the mother load from the farmers market or carting around pretty much anything anywhere that it's on the list of essentials, simply because of it's portability and versatility. 

What to keep it in? 

The best cooler ever. While it's an investment, this small Grizzly cooler will keep everything cool for days- and WIN- if you're running to the store in a million degree heat and need your groceries to stay cold, you're set (just throw in a few ice packs).  When not in use, store all of the above essentials nicely tucked inside.


With these essentials, you'll be set up for any adventure- including your average trip to grandmas house or the grocery store. Fear baby and toddler travel no longer. 

Win at summertime #momlife. 

Feeling ready for summer?
What are your must-haves?