Based on my previous experience, I have prepared a list of must have items for traveling with a baby and a toddler. I have a toddler who just turned 3 years and a baby who is just 7 months old.
We travel a lot as a family. My parents live quite far so we take a few days off in a year to visit them. We also go for holidays whenever we get free time. Like the holidays are a month away and we are definitely getting ready to make this holiday count.
I know it will not be easy choosing what to pack and what to leave behind especially with two kids. But here is a list of the things I must carry when travelling.
A list of the things I must bring when traveling with baby and toddler
It is cumbersome to travel with a kid or kids.
It is even worse if you have to carry them all through whether going to the park, to visit grandma or on a vacation. When on holiday; for instance, you will want to relax, enjoy the ambience and walk effortlessly.
Thus, one of the must have items for travelling with a baby or toddler is a stroller.
It offers a seat for the baby, storage for baby items, and protects them from the sun. It also gives them a place to have a nap when they get too tired as you move around.
The good thing is that even when you have two kids, a double pushchair will come in handy. See full review of double strollers here.
When choosing a good travel stroller, make sure it meets the following characteristics;
- Light in weight to ease movement
- Reclines for your baby to nap when need be
- Easy to fold
- Fits the trunk of your car
The safety of your child should come first when travelling. If you are having a road trip or taking a plane with a baby, you need to think about the safety of your child as well as their comfort during the trip.
For this reason, a car seat is a priority to ensure the safety of the child.
A travel car seat should
- Not be bulky to allow you to lift it in and out of the car
- Easy to install
- Fit the type of stroller you have
It is not enough that you only carry a stroller. Sometimes, babies just get fussy and refuse to be strapped down on a pram. Probably because they are too tired from sitting and just want to be held or swaddled.
A baby carrier, therefore, comes in handy. Having a baby carrier is an ideal way of bonding with the baby as you take a stroll. In case your baby is fussy due to colic, baby carriers and wraps have been reported to an aid in colic relief. There are several benefits of babywearing as we discussed in a previous article.
Remember, to ease your movement when on the go, you need a baby carrier for travel that should be;
- Light in weight
- Easy to clean (There are some that can be wiped)
- Have a durable mesh for breathability
- Offer a variety of carrying positions to allow the baby to face in or out
- Fold easily so that it can be tucked away when not in use
- Allow you to breastfeed easily
- Can be adjusted to fit different wearers so that you do not have to carry the baby alone throughout the journey.
- Have a hood to protect the baby from the sun
4. Diaper backpack
Having a bag full of baby items is very convenient when travelling and makes you organised. Imagine when you want to feed the baby but you have to go through your bags or suitcases to find baby formula and bottles. That would be very hectic. A backpack allows you to keep all the necessary baby items in one place where you can easily access as you travel. Bag Nation Diaper Bag Backpack is ideal for travel because it has a number of pockets that are large enough to accommodate several baby items. Also, I has stroller straps and a changing pad.
So what should you pack in a diaper backpack?
Whether travelling a long distance or just going to the park, it is essential to carry extra and enough diapers for your baby. Do not assume that you will buy more when you run out because you may not find the brand your baby is accustomed to.
Avoid introducing your baby to new brands of diapers when travelling because they may react to them or get a diaper rash. Also, for convenience reasons, avoid cloth diapers since once soiled, they need to be washed properly, which may not possible when on the go.
When travelling, bibs save you a lot. Feeding time is usually messy for babies but when you have bibs you do not have to worry about having a change of clothes after every feed. Thus, you do not have to carry more clothes than you need. They also save you the hustle of doing frequent laundry while on holiday.
- Baby wipes
You should never forget the baby wipes when travelling. With all the mess that children make, wipes come in handy. Wiping them after feeding and wiping their hands, among other important uses.
- Diaper rash cream
When my firstborn was still using diapers, she often got diaper rush whenever we traveled. This was probably due to irritation coupled with the heat in the diaper after seating for long. Diaper rash cream helped us a lot. I would apply it at every diaper change to prevent irritation, which prevented diaper rash.
- Burp Cloths
Burping is a natural process that comes right after the baby has been fed. Normally, the baby is held on ones shoulder and a gentle rub on his back helps him to burp and when he does that your clothes could get soiled by his spits. It will be prudent on your part to have burp cloths to avoid frequent changing of your clothes when traveling.
- Hand sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is a must have when traveling with a baby and a toddler. Both are most susceptible to contracting diseases as compared to adults where hygiene is not observed more so when exposed to new environments.
Remember you should always wash your hands after every diaper change. Unfortunately, this may not often be possible when travelling.
Hence it is essential to carry along a good hand sanitizer. The sanitizer should be baby friendly to minimize contagious illnesses that could spoil a perfect holiday.
- Nursing cover
When on the go, there comes a time when the baby needs to breastfeed. Hence, for socially active mothers like me, privacy and discretion when breastfeeding should be observed. You should, therefore, carry a nursing cover or two during the trip. It also makes you comfortable when breastfeeding in a public place.
- Other important items you should not forget include in the diaper bag are baby bottles, sippy cups and food jars, sunscreen, pacifier, dish soap, and baby toys and books.
When traveling, a bottle warmer comes in handy for heating baby’s milk and food. There are a variety of bottle warmers but the best for traveling is the Tommee Tippee travel bottle and food warmer. It fits all sizes of bottles including wide neck ones like the Tommee Tippee and the comotomo bottles. It is also wide enough to fit baby food jars. The best thing about this portable bottle warmer is that it does not need an external warming source.
6. Extra clothing
Carrying extra clothing is a must even when you are just going to the park or to visit a friend with the kids. You, however, need to carry the most important clothing you will need so that you do not have to pack many bags. Pyjamas and rompers come in handy if you are going for a sleepover.
7. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes help to organize the clothes of each family member including the baby and the toddler. They are cost effective and enable you to travel with less luggage.
They come in various sizes so you can separate clothing according to type, numbers, colour and size. For instance, you can put clothing in one cube and electronics in another so you won’t have to struggle to find what you are looking for.
In addition, the slim/small packing cubes can be used to compress clothing and fit in a carry-on bag.
8. Folding Toilet seat
When traveling, hygiene for the little ones is key. You do not want your toddler sharing a seat with others in a public place. Thankfully, there is a wide range of disposable toilet seat covers in the market you can purchase.
The downside of the disposable toilet seat is that they are quite expensive. Imagine how many packets you would need to buy when on a vacation for one week or more.
Thus, a more affordable option is to get a folding travel potty seat. You simply clean it after use and pack it. Its folding ability enables it to fit even in a diaper bag.
The Gimars Upgrade folding travel potty seats are just the best. They don’t slip, fit perfectly in most toilets and come in a variety of colours. Moreover, they come with a bag where you put them after folding.
9. Changing pad
I am never comfortable changing my kids’ diapers in the changing pads available in the washrooms while travelling. I imagine all the germs left on that pad as we know some people do not observe proper hygiene in there. That is why I prefer to carry my own changing pad. It helps me change my baby’s diaper on a comfortable and clean surface when traveling.
Check this diaper changing pad by Comfy Cubs. It is foldable, has diaper pockets and it is waterproof; hence very easy to clean.
10. Portable Crib/bassinet/Toddler travel bed
A portable crib, bassinet or travel bed is important when you do not want to co-sleep with the baby or toddler. Your baby will need a bassinet and a good option is the BABYBJORN Travel Crib Light. It is very light in weight, compact and very easy to fold.
For the toddler, an inflatable travel comes in handy. This is because once deflated, it can fit in your backpack or suitcase, which makes it easy to carry along during the trip as opposed to a portable crib.