5 Must Have Items for Travelling With a Baby
A lot changes when you have a baby: hangouts with friends end at 4:00pm, eating a meal with two hands becomes a novelty, and 9:00pm becomes an acceptable and sought-after bedtime. One other big change to your life will be your ability to get in and out of the house efficiently and with less than two bags.
Whether it’s a quick weekend trip to grandma and grandpa’s or a week-long getaway, traveling with your baby and all of their baby gear is not for the faint of heart. No matter where you are going however, it doesn’t need to be complicated. This is one area where the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Silly!) applies. With a little preparation and planning, you will be able to travel with your baby without it seeming like you are moving across the country. Consider the following advice to be like “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: Travel Edition”.
When you are preparing to pack, make a list of what you think you’ll need. Write down everything and anything! Once you have the list, go through it again and ask some hard questions: do I really need the diaper wipe warmer? Does my baby really need three sun hats? Will they survive a few days without the plastic musical light up toy they love? This is the chance to distill your list down to your baby’s “must-haves.” Of course, there are going to be non-negotiables on the list like diapers, their “lovey” or comfort item (a blankie, stuffie or soother for example), sunscreen or hats and mitts (depending on the kind of trip you are taking), jammies and adequate clothing.
Finally, organize it into what you can get once you arrive at your destination and what must be brought with you. You will be surprised how much less you will need to pack once you make this list. Items like diapers, diaper wipes, sunscreen and first aid items can be purchased once you arrive at your destination. A quick trip to a local grocery store or pharmacy will save space for the baby gear that will ensure any trip, regardless of distance or length, will go smoothly for everyone.
Having said all of that, here are some of the items we think are worth the luggage space for any trip:
- Baby carrier: depending on the size and age of your baby, make sure you bring a wrap or a structured carrier. These are great for walks on the beach, shopping, in the airport and on the plane. Wearing your baby while checking your luggage, finding your gate and sitting in your seat will give your arms a rest and keep them comfortable. If you’re lucky, they may even catch a nap!
- Baby Monitor with digital signal: Worry less do more on your vacation by having a baby monitor with you. Bringing a monitor with a private digital signal is perfect for travel because you simply plug it in and it works! No WiFi passwords and no spotty network connections to worry about. We suggest our Astra Video Baby Monitor. The 3.5” screen and easy set-up make it small enough to pack and easy enough to set up so you can put your baby down for their nap and get back to your glass of wine with peace of mind that they are sleeping soundly.
- Multiples of your baby’s comfort item: While your baby may not need three sun hats, packing three soothers, or two stuffies is definitely worth the space. That way, if you leave one on the plane, or drop it at the store, you’ve got a back-up that feels and smells like home.
- Food pouches: Never fear, food is near! Food pouches are a great emergency snack to have on hand if your baby is eating solid foods. They are also allowed to go through airport security.
- Nursing cover: If you are still nursing your baby, you will want a nursing cover so you can breastfeed on-the-go. Whether you are in the airport, on the plane or at a restaurant, having a cover that folds neatly in your diaper bag will be an essential asset to increase your flexibility while you travel. As a bonus, it can double as a blanket!
Finally, make sure you check the baggage rules on your airline – often things like car seats and strollers can be checked for free. Every trip and every baby are different and have different needs, but with a little magic, you have the ability to keep it simple.