Our youngest daughter Avie has been on more flights and trips than we can count. When you travel with a baby as often as we do, you manage to weed through all the baby travel gear products to work out which travel gear for babies are truly worth the money. As a result, we have written many reviews & guides on our family travel blog to help you find the best baby travel gear for your situation.
In this article, I want to provide you with a comprehensive list of all the best baby travel accessories that you will need to help make your trip a success.
Table of the 10 Best Baby Travel Essentials in 2018
Find below a handy table to give you a quick overview of our top 10 favorite baby travel products. Keep reading further to read more about why we love each of these products so much.
The best travel crib. It is a lightweight pop-up crib and it folds down to compact size. (You can even fit it in your suitcase)
The sack will regulate the body temperature and can be used with external temperatures as low as 60°F (16°C) to as high as 77°F (25°C).
Take along a video baby monitor to keep an eye on your baby whilst they nap.
You never know how noisy your hotel room (or hotel room neighbors) will be. This white noise machine is small and easy to pack - just for in case!
Our favorite travel stroller. The stroller is super compact (folds down to 12 x 22 x 20"). It meets regulations for airline carry-on luggage and it is lightweight (13 lbs). It also comes with a travel bag!
The best baby carrier for travels. The carrier has 4 different carry positions. It can also be used from birth with the special newborn insert! We never leave home without it.
The best travel car seat for babies. It is FAA approved, it is lightweight (14 lbs) and slim enough (18") to fit on the airplane seats. It works as a rear and forward-facing seat.
The best travel diaper bag. It has big pockets to pack plenty of bottles. It is large enough to fit all your diaper needs for long-haul flights and it is comfy to carry around.
We use packing cubes for almost everything. To sort all our baby food in one cube, to sort baby toys into another, to have a small grab-and-go diaper cube etc. They are so handy!
The best portable travel high chair. It is very easy to use, folds up with a carry handle, and it does not take up much space at all.
Here is More Information on the Best Baby Travel Gear That we Currently Use!
The right gear is key to making a trip with a baby a truly enjoyable one. It will also ensure that your trip is stress-free (or as much as a trip with a baby can be anyways). No matter where you are heading, or how long you are going for, the travel essentials for babies that you will definitely need all revolve around eating, getting around, diapering and sleeping.
1. Best Travel Baby Gear for Sleeping
a) Portable and Lightweight Travel Cribs
Most hotels will provide you with a baby crib. Some will charge you a small fee for this, but most of the time they will offer it for free. We have had so many issues with hotel issues cribs - some were ridiculously tiny and our baby was uncomfortable in the tiny space, some weren't secure and would disassemble when she pressed on the sides (YIKES!), many were just simply 'gross' and really needed to be replaced.
Read our comprehensive guide to help you find the best travel crib for your next trip.
So! The simplest way of ensuring that your baby will have a safe, comfortable and clean space to sleep in, is to simply take along your own travel crib. We used the KidCo Peapod throughout all our travels in Japan. It is a great option as you can fold it up and pop it in your luggage (if you space). You open it up and it simply pops-up.
We did find the velcro and zip slightly annoying for night-time feeds, but they were small annoyances considering how easy the crib was to carry, unpack and pack pack up.
Baby Bjorn Travel Crib Light
For those after more of a 'crib' option, I recommend you check out the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light. They are slightly bulkier to tag along, but I love that it can double up as a travel playpen for a baby and of course it is easier to pop baby in and out for those night-time feeds.
b) Sleep Sack
We find that a sleep sack is truly invaluable on trips.
Firstly, we use a sleep sack at home, so it helps to keep baby in her normal sleep routine.
Secondly, we find that airplanes are either too hot or too cold, so it is a handy product to have in your baby carry-on bag.
Thirdly, hotel rooms are always cold! And many don't allow you much flexibility when it comes to the aircon settings. And we have NEVER been provided with blankets for the hotel baby crib.
Fourth, it means you can leave your baby blankets at home, which helps to keep luggage weight down.
We love the Woolino Baby Sleep Bag. The sack will regulate the body temperature and can be used with external temperatures as low as 60°F (16°C) to as high as 77°F (25°C). The sack is 100% natural and made from the soft Australian merino wool!
c) Baby Monitor
We always take our baby monitor with on our trips with our baby. Our baby monitor has a video screen so we can watch her sleep. We find it invaluable when we are away - for peace of mind mostly, but it is also handy when you are staying in a private villa that has a pool - so you can be outside in the sun whilst your baby is napping.
We simply tag along our home monitor. We love the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor.
d) White Noise Machine
A white noise machine is also a good idea, espesially if your baby is a light sleeper. Many hotel rooms are noisy, even more so when you are trying to get your baby to have a nap in the day (and kids in the next rooms are busy running, playing and shouting).
We love this small baby white noise machine, they don't take up much room and do an excellent job at blocking out distracting noise.
You never know who is going to be your neighbor! Better be safe than sorry.
2. Best Travel Items for Baby for Getting Around
Getting around with a baby overseas can be stressful for many parents. You might not know what to expect - will there be a car seat for my baby? Will the terrain be stroller-friendly? Figuring out which travel with baby gear you should take along can be pretty tough.
Here are some tips to help you decide what to take and what to leave behind.
a) Travel Strollers
We always take a travel stroller along, every single time. It doesn't mean we always use it, I think we barely touched our stroller in Bali, but I always take it along for peace of mind.
A stroller has many benefits (in comparison to a baby carrier):
- Your baby might fall asleep easier in a stroller
- The stroller will have a shade roof to keep the sun out of baby's eyes
- You don't have to struggle under the weight of your baby (so true when they are older and weight more!)
- You won't get as sweaty - hot destinations + baby carrier = sweaty combination for both you and your baby.
It is important thought o find a stroller that folds up small and that is fairly lightweight and easy to take along. One of the most compact travel strollers that we have used is the Mountain Buggy Nano. It also comes with a travel bag.
Another popular stroller for travel purposes, is this Summer Infant 3DLite. It also folds up really small, it is only 13 lbs, and has a multi-position recline for nap time.
b) Baby Carriers
Baby carriers are brilliant and again we always take one along.
Here are the reasons why we love them:
- Even though we have a lightweight compact stroller, many airlines request that we check ours in to the oversize luggage counter. Which means that we are stroller-less for the duration of the airport. A carrier is a lifesaver whilst you deal with scanning your luggage, handing over tickets and passports etc.
- When you get stuck on an overnight flight where the baby bassinets are all taken, a carrier is a lifesaver to allow both you and your baby to get some sleep.
- So many tourist sights and attractions have stairs, making exploration by stroller unpractical.
- They allow you to enjoy hikes out in nature.
We personally use and love our Ergo Carrier. We use the ErgoBaby 360 which is great for babies from birth (you will need to purchase the newborn insert for babies under 4 months).
Baby Hiking Carrier
If you are planning on doing a lot of hiking, you might want to invest in proper baby hiking gear.
In that case, I would suggest that you leave the ErgoBaby behind and that you invest in a comfy good quality hiking carrier instead.
We highly recommend the Clevr Cross Country Baby Backpack Carrier. They are great for babies who are 6 months and older (up to 4 years). They are lightweight at only 5 lbs. Has a canopy to protect your baby from both rain and sun and they are comfy to carry with their thick padded shoulder straps.
c) Travel Car Seats
The American FAA strongly recommends that you use an approved child restraint device when travelling with infants less than 2-years old. Ultimately car seats are the safest and most comfortable way for infants to travel on a plane. But it also means that you need to pay for that extra seat ticket!
The bonus of tagging along the car seat for the airplane is of course that you will also have a car seat to use in your transfers and taxi's during your holiday. So whilst it is a bit of a pain to take a car seat along, it really comes down to simply keeping your baby safe on both the plane as well during holiday transfers.
We highly recommend the Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat for babies as the seat offers enough padding to keep baby comfy. It is FAA approved, it is lightweight and slim enough to fit on the airplane seats. It works as a rear seat for infants or a forward-facing seat for older babies and toddlers.
3. Best Infant Travel Gear for Diapering
a) Travel Diaper Bag
Forget about a shoulder diaper bag when you are traveling. Diaper backpacks are so much better as they allow you to have two free hands when traveling.
Look for a diaper bag bag backpack that has loads of pockets and compartments. Ensure it has enough space to fit all your bottles! I've shared the video here to show you how much we can pack in our favorite diaper bag: DadGear Backpack Diaper Bag. We can fit 4 bottles in the side bottle pockets. Love this bag, it has been to many many countries with us!
b) Packing Cubes
We LOVE packing cubes and use them to sort and organize all our families luggage items. I love using the smaller sized packing cubes in my diaper bag as I find them so handy.
- You could use a small cube for a set of spare baby clothes.
- Also handy to hold all of your babies food and snacks for the flight.
- Once baby is older, you could use the cube for all the baby toys. Handy because you can easily keep this cube with you during the flight.
- We also use a cube for a quick-to-grab diapering cube - it has the changing pad, 2 x diapers and a small container of wipes. So handy for those insanely small airplane toilet cubicles!
We use two different brands at home and my favorite is the PRO Packing Cubes.
4. Best Baby Travel Items for Eating
a) Travel High Chairs
Once baby is eating solids, you will also need to think about dragging along a travel high chair. We find that it can be rare to find baby high chairs in restaurants in various destinations overseas. You really want something that is lightweight and easy to pack. We love the First Years On-The-Go Booster Seat. It is very easy to use, fold up with a carry handle, and it does not take up much space at all.
Further Reading: Here is our guide on the best travel high chairs.
b) Other Eating Accessories
Leave the wipeable bibs at home as they will get grotty and you won't have any easy way to wash them. Instead pack in some silicone bibs. Silicone bibs are great as they have a handy lip to catch any food. You ca also give them a quick wash in your hotel or restaurant bathroom sink after use. We love the amazing silicone bibs by Happy Healthy Parents.
If your baby is drinking from a bottle, you will have to pack some bottle feeding supplies as well. We always take a tub or two of the formula that we use at home. And take 2-3 bottles, so that you always have a clean one on hand. Don't forget a baby bottle brush to clean them and a formula dispenser for when the plane and for when we were out and about.
You also have to think about how you will be warming the milk as well as how you will be sterilizing the bottles.
Babies on Solids
If your baby is eating solids, we also highly recommend that you pack in loads of food jars and snacks that they are used to eating. If your baby is a fussy eater, you might also like to invest in a portable insulated food jar. The Foogo Thermos will keep food warm for hours whilst you are out and about exploring. So the food will be warm and ready for whenever baby gets hungry.
Best Baby Beach Gear For Those Beach Vacations
Are you heading off for a lovely beach holiday? We have some really handy guides that you might like to read to help you pack and prepare for your trip.
Other Handy Baby Travel Essentials
A travel playpen or Pack 'n Play is also handy to have once baby is mobile and moves around a lot.
We would love to know if you love using any baby products for your travels that we have not included in our list? What do you think are the best baby travel products?
- See a list of all of out travel gear recommendations here.
- Grab some more tips for how to travel with your baby here.
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