Travel Essentials: What to bring when traveling with a baby or toddler

In my last post I discussed some of the lessons learned during all my travels with my daughter. If you live in a cold climate during the winter like me, you might be in the middle of planning a warm getaway. I’ve compiled some travel essentials that I highly recommend you bring along on your trip with your little one, whether baby or toddler, to set you up for the most positive stress free trip possible.

    1. Reclining Umbrella Stroller: Like I said in my last post. This item is a lifesaver. There are going to be time where you need to put your little one down for a nap, but you aren’t near a crib. Being able to recline your stroller and drape a blanket over the hood can provide enough seclusion for your baby or toddler to catch a couple z’s and allow you to keep your sanity.
    2. Baby Blanket: This is a must. Not exactly for warmth (though it helps with that too), but actually to be able to drape over yourself or a stroller for a nap. If your kid is like mine, the excitement of the outside world is to distracting to get her down for nap even when she is exhausted. While flying, I forced her to lay down in my arms, and I draped a blanket around my shoulders to create a secluded environment. It was key in getting her to nod off.
    3. Stroller Fan: Let’s face it, babies and toddlers have a pretty low threshold for discomfort. If you are traveling to a warm destination, then definitely invest in this. I’ve used it on all my vacations with her, and it greatly helps in keeping her cool, and it also provides an added distraction. The one I linked to is the one I purchased. I like it because it has foam blades, so it’s impossible for my daughter to get hurt. Just don’t let your little one grab onto it. It can easily be ripped apart. Also, it can be easily clipped onto the visor or handle of a stroller for easy convenient carry and use.
    4. Snacks: LOTS OF SNACKS. If you can’t get your kid to sleep during a flight or perhaps a long lay over, bring plenty of snacks. They help as a distraction even for only a few minutes. My preferred snacks are Happy Baby Puffs and Happy Baby Rice Cakes. Rice Cakes are my daughters favorite, and  they don’t break apart that easily so she can munch on one for a decently long time by herself.
    5. Baby Detergent: If you are going on a long trip you are going to most likely need to wash some bibs or onesies. I highly recommend you bring along your favorite baby detergent, and a stain remover. My go to for a stain remover for baby clothes is OxiClean. Like most moms I try to keep my daughter’s exposure to harmful chemicals at a minimum. I do use organic, gentle detergent. But, those detergents do not get out tough stains. So soaking clothes in oxi for a few hours always does the trick to get her clothes stain free. For a trip, it’s very convenient to bring some oxi and fill up the bathtub or sink for the night and let her clothes soak. After a good rinse, her clothes look brand new.
    6. Water Shoes: This was a last minute purchase that was definitely worth it for an unexpected reason. When we went on our cruise I figured it would be slippery around the pool, so these rubber soled water shoes were perfect for her to walk around without fear of slipping. Besides that, there was an unexpected reason for the shoes helpfulness. When we went to the beach, my daughter did not want the sand touching her feet. She refused to stand, and cried when we tried to get her to. Once I put her water shoes on, no problems. She walking around and enjoyed the salty water and sand with no problems. Apparently, it’s common for a toddler to not like the sand at first. Just some food for thought if you are bringing your little one to the beach for the first time.
    7. Travel Bowl and Spoon: So there is probably a chance you will want to give your kid some real food on a trip to and from your destination. I purchased some string cheese and some fruit in the airport so that I could get her something decently healthy to eat in between snacking, distracting, and napping. My travel bowl and spoon set was perfect for a quick feed, and these bowls have a sealed top for an added perk of storing the leftovers for later.
    8. Travel Bottle Cleaner and Dry Rack: This is a definite must if you are traveling with baby bottles. Bottles get gross pretty easily after filling them with formula or milk. This rack and brush were great getting her bottles clean and scraping out the those hard to get to nooks and crannies that usually get filled with gunk.

Hope this list is helpful. Happy traveling. Please add any other essentials you found to be helpful on your travel with your baby!

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