It used to give me so much anxiety to travel with Chloe. There are so many elements that are beyond your control that it can get very overwhelming very quickly. But after traveling with Chloe a number of times both domestically and internationally, I think I’ve got a system down that is manageable and doable for any parents traveling with their baby! Today I wanted to share with you a few traveling tips and essential items I bring with me when traveling with Chloe. There is no such thing as traveling light with a baby but I hope that this comprehensive list can make things a bit easier for you when packing for you and your little one.
My everyday stroller is either the Nuna or the Stokke but since Chloe is a bit older I’ve been using a smaller and more compact traveling stroller. It folds up in one click which makes things super easy when traveling. It’s super lightweight and you can quickly and easily pack it and go. There are a number of traveling strollers out there but the one I use is the Babyzen Yoyo. It’s a life changer when traveling with a baby!
For the obvious reasons, a diaper bag is a must to store all your goods in, but it’s important to find one that is lightweight and easy to travel with. You guys know how I feel about traditional diaper bags, so I found a unisex one that both me and Allen share. It’s this super cool and hip Honest backpack that we carry around everywhere when traveling. First and foremost it’s healthier to have the weight evenly distributed on your shoulders than on just one. (This is especially important for me because I have shoulder problems.) It has a pocket and a pouch literally for everything. (Even a section for you to store your own personal goods such as your wallet and keys … I mean what’s not to love?) Although it looks small and compact it has a lot more room than most diaper bags. The best part? It has an insulated pocket where you can store the milk so it will stay cool for hours! This is a life saver when traveling because you are able to stay out and not worry about where you can store your milk. Game changer! And oh, Allen also appreciates the fact that he doesn’t have to lug around a flowery feminine purse (although I do get a good laugh from it!)
As I mentioned in this post HERE carrying around a first aid kit is very important while traveling. You never know what can happen on a trip and want to be prepared for the worst case scenario. I bought this cute one from Target and stuffed it with band aids, Neosporin, baby Tylenol, thermometer and other necessities.
I usually always use insulated bottles when traveling since there is less access to a fridge when flying and when you’re out and about sight seeing. Using an insulated bottle keeps your baby’s milk nice and cool and more fresh in the long run. This does not mean you can keep old milk in the bottle forever, but the insulated bottles will keep it cooler for a bit longer than what it normally would. I also highly suggest Pura because you can change the nipple out as your baby grows (nipple to a sippy cup to a straw,) So your baby can use it from when he/she is an infant all the way to being a kid.
If you are currently breastfeeding you do not have to worry about this, but if your baby has transitioned into whole milk already you might need to consider this. Everyone will have a different opinion about this one but this was my personal experience. When I traveled to Paris for the first time with Chloe I had stopped breastfeeding by then and was slowly transitioning her from formula to whole milk. I decided to bring a decent supply of extra formula with me because I wasn’t sure of how she would react to another country’s milk and/or formula. Even though I brought a good amount of milk, I still ran out on the last few days and ended up having to feed her the French formula brand. I was worried that she wouldn’t react well to it but to my surprise, she took it in as her regular milk. She didn’t even flinch or notice it was a different brand. But I understand that every baby is different and they all have different needs. So make sure to look into milk before traveling (especially when going to foreign countries.) Now that Chloe is almost 2 it’s much easier to travel with her since she can pretty much eat whatever we eat.
I actually discovered this plate when I had a play date with one of my other mommy friends. It’s literally the best invention ever and if you follow me on snapchat you know I bring this plate around everywhere with me. It suctions to the table so you don’t have to worry about him/her throwing it around during mealtime. It’s also important to have one of these when traveling because you don’t know how dirty or sanitized a high chair can be. And since it’s made it of silicone, you can simply wash it in one wipe and fold it up so it doesn’t take that much space.
I discovered this from Lauren from my team. She has a baby that is close in age with Chloe and she recently traveled to California from NYC and brought this detachable high chair with her. This portable pad attaches to any seat converting any chair into a high chair. It acts as a safety belt that keeps the babies in place when there is no high chair
available. You’ll be surprised by the amount of places that I’ve traveled to that didn’t have high chairs available. This was a life saver for me when I traveled.
8. Hand Sanitizer Spray- Honest Hand Sanitizer Spray
The worst thing that can happen when traveling is for your baby to get sick. So it’s super important to make sure you sanitize her hands as much as possible. I’m definitely not a germaphobe but when traveling I’m a lot more cautious. Chloe is at a stage where she will put anything and everything in her mouth so whenever I can I wipe her hands with a wipey and/or with the natural Honest hand sanitizing spray.
Sound machines are amazing in general but especially when traveling. Not only does it eliminate the outside noise but it can also be very comforting for the baby as it is bringing a piece of home with her. I use this one and she loves the ocean sound. She’s an Aquarius so as most of you know (if you follow me on snapchat) she LOVES the water. The sound of water soothes and calms her down.
Speaking of bringing a piece of home with you when traveling with a baby, a blankie or pillow that your baby is super attached with is great to bring. During the winter, Chloe had a very thick blanket that she was obsessed with. I literally hauled that thing wherever I went because it would immediately put her to sleep no matter where we are. Lately, she been obsessed with this Stitch doll that I bought for her at Disneyland. It’s a fairly large sized doll but it converts into a pillow which is great because she immediately finds comfort in it and can also sleep anywhere when Stitch is around. She has the biggest smile when she sees him, it’s the cutest thing!!
11. Snacks & Munchkin Bowls–
I talked about this in my baby beach essentials post, but I always bring her favorite snacks for her. I always stuff those yogurt chips in these munchkin snack bowls that keep her busy for hours! The way the bowl is designed makes it more difficult for her to get these snacks out of the bowl so it takes an immense amount of concentration. Which means a quiet baby for maybe an hour or 2! It’s a great activity and a great way to keep them busy, on the plane especially!
I actually stopped bringing a lot of toys for Chloe because I found that she loses interest in her toys quite quickly and is more interested in my own things such as makeup, clothes, books, etc. But when traveling overseas, I will usually go to the store and buy 2 new toys for her that I will present during the flight (the key is not to show them before or else they will lose interest by the time they get on the plane.) Last time I bought her these kid version of adult things- a toy iPhone and a toy pair of keys. This toy iPhone literally kept her busy for an hour and still to this day is one of her favorites.
You will be surprised by the amount of places that don’t have a baby changing station in bathrooms. I literally had to change Chloe’s diapers on the floors of bathrooms in so many different places because of this reason. That is why it’s SO important to carry around a diaper changing mat so you can change your baby safely anywhere and everywhere without having to worry about if there is a changing station or not. I personally love this one by Oh Joy because of the compartments to carry your diapers and wipes in + the cute design is a cherry on top!
For the obvious reasons … It gets really messy during mealtime and this OXO roll up bib is my absolute favorite one to use at home and also to travel with. The food-safe pocket is so large that it can virtually catch anything that falls out of baby’s noun or hands. Also, It can be rolled up after you are done using it which is great for storage.
It’s always the smallest things that I tend to forget at home and this is one of them. This is such a necessity though because when traveling I’m rarely able to find the proper brush to wash Chloe’s bottles. This compact cleaning kit is small enough to easily fit into diaper bags or purses while on the road. It also opens up into a drying rack which is amazing. I used to travel with a ridiculous amount of plastic bags for wet bottles but since this one has ventilation holes it provides aeration for quick drying. This is a must!
16. Pack Mate–
Last but not least I never thought I would need to use one of these but ever since traveling with Chloe I found the need to. There is no such thing as traveling light with a baby, but these plastic pack mates are a life saver because they allow me to pack a lot more than what I normally would. They allow you to roll out the air when packing which creates a lot of extra space and room in your suitcase. Not only is it great for traveling with babies but with traveling in general. It’s perfect for clothing, towels and toiletries and for getting more into your luggage.
There are obviously other things that I did not include in this list but for the most part, these are the essentials and the things I never travel without. It’s always a bit overwhelming when planning for a trip with a baby, but trust me, in the end, it will all be worth it! We are in this together so please leave any traveling tips or product recommendations that you never travel without!
11. Pack Mate