Must-Haves for Traveling with a Baby
My husband and I traveled quite a bit in our pre-baby days. We’d try to log two trips to Europe plus a handful of domestic trips every year. And while we’re not quite that zealous now that we have a baby (yet!), it’s important to us to get our daughter equally intrigued by travel. After all, we’d feel kind of guilty leaving her at home with a baby-sitter when we go to Italy or another destination du jour for two weeks.
Thus far, she’s been on a small handful of short-ish road trips (five hours max, give or take) and one airplane trip. She’s only three months old; give her some time! Those few trips have taught me a lot, though, in terms of absolute must-haves for traveling with a baby. You might feel like the Clampetts — or a pack mule, as my husband refers to himself — because babies are pretty high-maintenance in terms of their travel essentials. But all of this stuff will no doubt make your life much easier en route or when you arrive at your destination.
- Dapple Surface Wipes and Pacifier Wipes are in my diaper bag at all times, whether or not we’re traveling. I love that their products are natural and non-toxic, and unlike some “green” products, they don’t cost an arm and a leg. I can’t tell you how many times we used the pacifier wipes on a recent flight. Lifesavers!
- Travel bags for strollers and car seats are well worth the money. We bought one of each but don’t be fooled, they aren’t nearly as streamlined as the pictures on the boxes might portray. Our Britax bags are big and cumbersome. You will not look like any of these people casually strolling through the airport with your happy family. Again, think about the Clampetts because that’s what you’ll look like. You will, however, arrive at your destination with your stroller and car seat in perfect condition.
- Travel size diaper wipes, formula, medicine — you name it. Anything you can buy in a travel size will make your life easier. Your diaper bag will be so jam-packed that it will be impossible to fit full-size wipes along with everything else you need. I especially like the packets of powdered baby formula; you can fit tons of those in your diaper bag.
- aden + anais swaddles are my favorite day in and day out (and they were long before Prince George started causing them to sell out), but they’re especially great for travel. The light muslin fabric makes a perfect “tent” over your stroller, and I like to drape mine over my daughter when she sleeps on the plane (I wish I had a photo to share because she kept pushing it off her forehead and she looked like Mother Theresa). The muslin fabric will keep your baby cool in the summer and warm in the winter. (aden + anais has other great products besides swaddles, too, like muslin crib sheets, bibs and more – love it all!)
- Dog poop bags serve double duty as dirty diaper bags when you’re in a bind. And since the roll is so compact, you can easily fit a few in your diaper bag.
- Some sort of entertainment is a must if you’re traveling by plane, and exactly what that entertainment is will vary depending on your child’s age. But dear god, please do not let your child be the one who is supposed to be entertained by a packet of peanuts (besides, most airlines don’t even hand them out anymore). Our three-month old loves her Taggies blanket right now.
- The Trunki is genius. It’s luggage! It’s a ride-on toy! It will keep your tot entertained at the airport! Our daughter will have one of these when she is old enough.
- A Baby Bjorn or other type of carrier will not only be useful on your trip, but also en route. If you gate check your stroller, it’s very convenient to pop your baby into the carrier until the stroller arrives. I personally love the Baby Bjorn Active Carrier because it offers a little extra back support.