Since my son was born six years ago, we have been on TWELVE plane trips, traveled to SIX countries, and stayed at countless hotels in many different cities. When my daughter was born last year she got to jump in on the fun, with an international flight at 3 months old and two other domestic flights since then. Now I am excited to share my favorite gear for traveling with a baby that have really made a difference in making trips smooth and relatively enjoyable for the whole family.
Please note: I paid full price for each of these products and I have not been paid to write this review; however, the following recommendations include affiliate links. Full disclosure statement can be found here. Thank you!
Many hotels have pack n plays available by request, but ewww. Some people would argue that the less you have to pack the better, but I really doubt they sanitize those things between each use, so I repeat, ewwww. My daughter slept in this travel sized pack n play, cleverly named “Travel Lite Crib,” from the time she was about one month old to about 6 months. There were a lot of hotel stays and other changes during that time and we never had any issues with her being in new rooms or environments because she was so used to her crib.
This is not the cheapest travel stroller on the market, but we liked it much better than the super cheap umbrella stroller we used with our son when he was a baby. I distinctly remember how terrible the wheels were on that cheap thing and how irritating that can be at airports or trying to hurry across busy sidewalks in a city you’ve never been in. Not worth it to save a couple bucks! This 3Dlite stroller has smooth wheels (although not for rough terrain) and the handles come up a bit higher than other umbrella strollers which is nice for taller parents. It also comes in black, if hot pink is not your jam.
This is a handy little gate check bag to put your stroller in while it’s on the plane. You absolutely don’t need to put it in a bag; they will happily gate check your stroller all by itself and toss it on top of the rest of the luggage. But I like putting it in a bag because it keeps it clean, dry, and can help keep loose items from getting lost if you like to keep things like chapstick, wipes, etc. in stroller compartments and then forget about them. Just remember to put the gate check tag on the bag when they give it to you, not the stroller itself, otherwise you may end up putting the stroller in tag side down. Because I did that. And it was so annoying.
So clearly I’m a germaphobe, but I’m pretty sure airport bathrooms are the grossest, and changing tables in airplane bathrooms are used for more than changing diapers (again, ewww). I like to keep a few of these disposable changing pads in my diaper bag for airplane and airport bathrooms, or for the unfortunate, but likely possibility of having to change a diaper on the dang floor at some point. I know there are reusable changing pads, but I just don’t love the idea of using it on a gross surface and then putting it back in my bag… next to my things… Disposable changing pads for the win!
Speaking of diaper changes, there’s a good chance you will find yourself with a wet or soiled baby outfit. You can use this wet bag to keep a spare outfit and then swap it out if you need to. That way you won’t find your favorite soft, footie pajamas in an outside pocket of a suitcase, with poo stains, one month after your trip. Just sayin’. These are also super useful for storing used cloth diapers if you are brave enough to use them while traveling, and if so, good on ya. Also handy for wet burp cloths… anything wet… you get the idea.
These adorable placemats stick right on to restaurant tables or airplane tray tables. Perfect for spreading out some cheerios or puffs and letting your older infant have a snack. Once your baby hits toddlerhood she will get curious and start peeling it off, but by that point you will just absentmindedly rub the surface with a baby wipe and then dump a few forkfuls of your own meal right on the table for them to
play with eat.
Pouches! Every baby’s favorite snack to squeeze all over themselves at the worst time! But if you have a well-behaved infant, these baby food pouches are great to travel with for a quick snack. Baby can just suck the food right out of the container, or you can squeeze it into a small bowl and spoon feed them.
For the babies who are passed the bottle stage, it’s nice to bring an empty sippy cup or thermos to fill up with water once you are through security. They can play with it, drink out of it, throw it at you, or point to the cute designs on the outside. Also convenient if you run out of bottles or finish breastfeeding right before take off or landing–you can just let them have a few sips of water to help with the pressure in the ears.
I like to keep some sanitizing wipes around for when baby drops a bottle, pacifier, or toy they are going to suck on. In a pinch they can also double as a hand wipe, cleaning off a surface for playing, or even cleaning up a small spill.
This travel table chair is nice for bringing to hotels or staying with friends or family who don’t have high chairs. It can fold up relatively flat in a suitcase and takes about 3 or 4 minutes to get set up securely. I’ve even brought it to restaurants when my babies were still a little small for those larger wooden high chairs.
These packing cubes are seriously the best for family travel, even after the baby stages. We have sets in four different colors for each member of our family. That way you can pack everyone’s stuff in the same suitcase for a short trip and easily find what you’re looking for without digging through EVERYTHING. Or you can expand to 2 or 3 pieces of luggage and just pack the cubes however they fit best without getting everyone’s clothes mixed up. The cubes also keep things folded up nice and snug.
So that’s it, guys! I hope this list helps make your experience traveling with a baby as enjoyable as possible!
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Do you have any favorite gear must-haves for traveling with a baby? Please share in the comments!