This is our guide to baby travel essentials, which I very nearly titled, a guide to baby travel “stuff”.
As you evolve into the parent role, you realize that babies and toddlers have a lot of STUFF. Just like every child is unique, so too is the jury out on what babies actually NEED. Some Zen-like mums seem to get away with having very little. They then beautifully smile when you sweatily lug 3 suitcases of baby stuff. Others swear by some items and decry others. Ultimately, you are only going to know what baby travel gear you need for each individual child and for yourself.
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We found that many baby things did make life easier, but when traveling their benefits had to be weighed up with how much luggage we thought was necessary.
In this roundup, we have called on some other blogging families for their experiences of what to take! We would love to hear your thoughts on what is necessary when traveling with a baby (drop your ideas in the comments).
As babies and toddlers come with a lot of paraphernalia. Deciding which ones to take is always a first step in the travel packing planning for us.
Getting Around – Baby Travel Essentials
Baby Carrier Or Sling
It does depend on the age of your baby and your planned activities. This is something we don’t take on every trip. It gives you the ability to go hands-free and keep your child contained. Not convinced this article further elaborates on the Benefits of Baby Wearing.
We used the Ergobaby Baby Carrier and absolutely loved it (pictured below). The Ergobaby Baby Carrier makes traveling with a baby a breeze. We really love this carrier and recommend every time someone asks us about a baby carrier recommendations. A baby carrier or sling is one of the top baby travel necessities.
We are firm baby wearers but we still have to decide whether to take a stroller or not. There are LOTS of reasons why strollers are better than carrying babies, none the least a stroller saves the back of the parent who ends up carrying the kids.
Especially when you are traveling in cities, a stroller makes life much easier. We have traveled with a Graco Pram and then later with the Britax Bob Motion stroller, which is a lightweight stroller with large inflatable tires. It is similar to the Britax Revolution. We highly recommend the Britax strollers and consider them a baby travel must have. Yes, the carriers and slings are essential but so is a good travel stroller.
Interested in the pros and cons of Carrier vs Stroller, this is a great summary.
Baby Car Seat
When traveling with a baby and all their baby travel gear, you have to consider the pros and cons of taking your own, vs hiring it. This is a UK based article but lists some great considerations.
If you are wondering, we always have traveled with baby seats OR hired them. We just working out a cost/ benefit analysis of whether it would be better to carry them or pay extra. Of course, this will depend on how much you will be traveling by car or bus.
Trekking With Baby – Baby Travel Must Haves
If you are going to trek, a trekking carrier is a must-have item. We’ve loved the Deuter Kid Comfort III Trekking Carrier which has accompanied us all around the world! One day we will write a full review but we LOVE this carrier. It carried our kids up to 4 years old. If you plan on doing any hiking or trekking this one of the baby travel essentials you don’t want to forget. Trekking with a baby without one would be almost impossible.
What about when they ‘should’ be able to walk but are just a bit young?
If you are new to travel or are traveling with a pre-schooler who is a bit big for a pram or a carrier, you might like to consider this super useful blog about getting around airports with a pre-schooler. There are definitely certain baby travel accessories that also apply to travel with a pre-schooler. Being prepared and researching ahead of time is the key to a successful trip.
Mealtimes – Baby Travel Gear
Best High Chairs For Travel
Ask yourself: will there be high chairs where you are traveling to?
We have used two in our travels, both worked quite well. A chunky seat which worked better for longer stays and was more stable as the little guy approached 3 years old. We loved this one from Fisher-Price. However, it took up a lot of space in the luggage!
For both children, we used the phil&teds Lobster Highchair when they were smaller, about 18 months. It seemed like a precarious contraption but was much easier to pack and did the trick when it came to giving regular meals.
If you are not going to be exclusively eating in restaurants with high chairs, then there is always the solution of having the babysitting in your lap while they eat dinner, which is how much of the world, eats dinner with babies. Having the phil&teds did work quite well for establishing a dinner routine for a baby who was on the road for much of her first two years. While we wouldn’t consider this a baby travel must haves, if you have the room in your luggage it is nice to have.
Sleeping – Baby Travel Accessories
Portacot/Portable crib/Travel Tent
Again, it depends on how long you are traveling for and where you are staying. When it comes to traveling with littlies there is a lot to be said for having cots in hotel rooms.
However, if you are traveling longer or on a budget, staying with friends or home rentals, you might need a portable crib. We had a Pack ‘N Play style crib for both kids and have no complaints. We bought it for $20 at a garage sale and it worked wonderfully for us. For us, this one of those baby travel essentials. It makes traveling and life in a hotel much more manageable.
We’ve seen travel tents and looked at them enviously. They seemingly would be good for picnics, camping trips, and as well as traveling. The only ‘issue’ I can see is that the child could get out which is not going to work if you are trying to establish a nighttime routine where the kids need to stay in bed. That is, it looks to me that they can ‘escape’ from a tent. Which, is then going to involve a lot of putting them back. We didn’t use one personally, but this one from KidCO comes recommended. In the future, this a baby travel gear item we would consider purchasing.
Finally, for baby #1 we struggled with her not sleeping for months. The Peruvian ladies asked repeatedly why we didn’t take her to bed with us. We quoted the risks of SIDS and co-sleeping. About 4 months old we did some more research and took adequate precautions and co-sleeping became part of our life. Not to say that both kids didn’t get put down into a cot and have a routine but co-sleeping seemed natural and with precautions worked with us. When traveling, it’s a no-brainer and we try to convince the hotel to charge us less.
Other Baby Travel Essentials
Every baby and family is different. So, if you are looking for another travel family’s advice, take a look at Baby Travel Must Haves. We always read multiple reviews from traveling families before we consider purchases for what we consider baby travel essentials. It helps to get a perspective from different families with different circumstances.
Interested In Our Other Family Travel Planning Resources
For the last 24 hours – check this one out Departure Day: A Final Checklist
For the week prior to departure take a look at Travel Packing List – 1 Week To Departure
How to visualize the departure & get very organized – 1 Month Prior To Departure
What should I include in my Family Travel Medical Kit?
Featured on #MondayEscapes hosted by http://www.minitravellers.co.uk
Verdict – A Guide To Baby Travel Essentials
These are our top baby travel essentials. We are a traveling family and spent a lot of time on the road whether it is international travel or local getaways. All of the baby travel accessories mentioned in this post have been tried and tested by us. They come highly recommended after trial and error and much use.
Do you have any must-have baby travel gear recommendations? If so, leave it in the comments below.