This is our guide to baby travel gear, 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 and beatifically 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 necessarily.
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 Gear
- Baby Carrier or Sling
It does depend on the age of your baby and your activities. We also carry a baby trekking pack at times, but this is something we take on every trip. It gives you the ability to go hands free and keep your child contained. Not convinced this article further elaborates the Benefits of Baby Wearing.
We used the Ergobaby Baby Carrier and absolutely loved it (pictured below).
- Decide whether to take a stroller – or not.
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. Interested in the pros and cons of Carrier vs Stroller, this is a great summary.
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.
- Consider the baby car seat especially 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.
Baby Travel Gear – Trekking With Baby
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.
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.
Mealtimes – Baby Travel Gear
A high chair equivalent . 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 to 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 baby sitting in your lap while they eat dinner, which is how much of the world, eats dinner with babies. Having the Phil n 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.
Sleeping – Baby Travel Gear
Portacot/ Portable crib / or 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.
We’ve seen travel tents and looked at them enviously, they seemingly would be good for picnics, camping trips 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 night time 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.
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.
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