Mamanista! » Travel Tips: Best Gear for Traveling with Babies and Children

Travel Tips: Best Gear for Traveling with Babies and Children

Traveling with Babies and Children

You can travel with a baby and have a great time, with a little preparation and a lot of patience. The trick is to balance traveling light with having the essentials. Here are my tips for traveling safely and in style with your baby.

Getting around:

1. Bring your infant car seat: If you are using an Infant Car Seat, you can transport your seat in a lightweight and convenient frame that converts the seat into a stroller. I’ve tried out my friends’ and I am definitely getting one the next time around. I really like the Kolcraft Universal 2 Infant Car Seat Carrier ($60–a great buy!). Kolcraft Universal Infant Car Seat Carrier
2. Bring a car seat for your older baby or toddler: For a Convertible Car Seat, the best option is the Go-Go Babyz Kidz Travelmate. I’ve tried some less expensive options and ended up with a toddler seat dangling off my luggage. Although on the pricier side, the TriplePlay Products Sit ‘n’ Stroll ($220) is also worth a look. It transforms from a stroller, to a car seat, to a booster seat. So, it is the only seat you’ll need for your toddler on your trip. Go Go Kidz Travelmate
3. Wear Baby Close and Safe: Up the stairs, off the beaten path, or dancing under the stars, baby carriers provide the easiest, safest, hands-free way to take baby along. For traveling, I like a versatile baby wrap with a newborn or a Mei Tai, like the BabyHawk or ToddlerHawk. If buckles are more your thing, check out the Ergo (a Dad favorite) and add the Ergo backpack accessory for extra storage. BabyHawk
4. Pack your bags: Teach kids responsibility by allowing them to pack their own choice of toys and extras in a case they carry on their own. Keep it small and light and get a rolling case, because there is a good chance you will have to add the weight to your load at least briefly at some point in the trip. Check out Trunki, the suitcase your kids can pull or ride-on ($30) . Trunki

Stay safe and comfortable

5. Have Safe Fun in the Sun: Don’t forget to bring the “three S’s”: sunhats (check out Old Navy), sunglasses, and sunblock. MD Moms makes the ultra-convenient baby silk babysafe sunscreen towelettes, which contain only physical sunblocks and no phthalates, lanolin, mineral oil, petroleum or waxes! Baby can stay cute and healthy! And on road trips, keep the car cool while you are out sightseeing with a car sun shade. Baby Sunhats
6. Take along a portable infant or toddler bed: You never know what sleeping arrangements will be available, so consider one of these options.

7. Carry a Few of Kiddo’s Favorite Things: Don’t forget baby’s favorite lovey, pacifier, blanket, and books!

  • We love the Zoobie Pets: part pillow, part blankie, all cuddly. If your baby is attached to a particular soft friend, make sure you bring or can easily find a duplicate.
  • has great deals on baby board books and children’s videos–most are included in their 4 for the price of 3 promotion.
Zoobie Pets Blanket Pillow

Air and International Travel

8. Book It

  • Use Orbitz for a discounted plane ticket for baby: If you are traveling by air, experts recommend purchasing a plane seat for your infant. Many airlines offer discounts for a baby under two, but only Orbitz allows you to book the reduced rate online. Check out the Orbitz Family Travel Home Page
  • Consider a Cruise: Cruises make it easy to get around from place to place without having to worry about loading and storying baby’s gear at each stop. You may be a great culinary adventurer, but your tot may have other plans: cruises offer a wide variety of familiar foods for fussier toddlers.
  • Don’t Forget Your Passport: Passports are required to take baby out of country and you will need to have the consent of both parents or legal guardians to get that passport.
9. Get There Safely and Comfortably

  • Fly Safely: Use a car seat (see tip number one) or, if you will have a car seat waiting at your destination, consider CARES: the FAA-approved airplane harness for children over 1 year old and over 22 lbs.
  • Get an Escort: It is perfectly legal! Call ahead and request an escort pass for someone who can help you get baby to the gate.
  • Save Time: Print out your boarding passes in advance when possible and find out what you can and cannot take on the plane with the most up-to-date Permitted and Prohibited Items list. If you are traveling with another adult, one can board ahead of time to install the car seat or stow items.
  • Keep Baby Comfortable: If you have a newborn, you may request a bulkhead (front row) and a bassinet. During the flight, pressure can cause baby discomfort. If you are nursing, you have a natural, readily available way to alleviate ear pressure. Otherwise, try feeding baby or using a pacifier. If all else fails, ask your doctor about administering a small dose of infant Tylenol.
CARES Airplane Harness

Don’t Forget the Essentials!

12. Stay Healthy, Organized and Clean:

  • Baby Friendly Snacks: If baby is eating solids, bring some convenient snacks along, just in case you cannot find appropriate foods where you are. The Snack Ball by Boon ($6.99) ensures baby’s treats won’t get squished. Choose snacks that will not spoil and will stay tasty even if left in the car, such as veggie puffs, dried fruit you can tear into strips, or raisins (for older kids only, raisins can be a choking hazard for little ones).
  • A First Aid Kit: Depending on the age of your child, your Baby First Aid Kit should include an aspirator, thermometer, calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream, petroleum jelly, antibacterial cream, tweezers, scissors, nasal aspirator bulb, adhesive tape, cotton-tipped swabs (Q-tips), liquid soap, oral syringe or medicine dropper, a hot-water bottle, an ice pack, butterfly bandages, band-aids, cotton gauze, tylenol. Ask your doctor for more ideas.
  • Laminate It: Consider laminating any really important documents or keeping them in a waterproof pocket…because you are traveling…with a baby.
  • Ziplock Bags: You can store food items, garbage (including stinky diapers), and wet clothing in these. Of course, being a parent you already know this–just don’t forget them!
  • Medications and Prescriptions: If you are traveling out of country, or plan to leave baby with a babysitting service, make sure you have a copy of up to date vaccination records.
Boon Snack BallLittle Docs Sensitive Skin Set

4 Responses to "Travel Tips: Best Gear for Traveling with Babies and Children"

  1. […] Traveling to see family and friends for the holidays? Dealing with holiday traffic or delayed flights can stress out even the most zen-like Mama. But whether you are an experienced traveler or terrified of taking a flight or roadtrip with your tot, we have tips for you. Check out Mamanista’s Guide to the Best Gear for Traveling with Babies and Kids. […]

  2. […] Travel Tips and Gear for Traveling with Baby from Mamanista […]

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