When you’re traveling with a baby, it’s suddenly not so much about you own luggage anymore. The focus changes to what you need for the baby during the journey and your stay. During our trips with Henrik when he was a baby, we discovered some items that made traveling with him a lot easier. We actually still use most of them now that he’s a toddler. Here’s a top list of travel items I found specially handy:
- The Ergo Baby Carrier. I already mentioned our carrier in my list of ‘(expensive) newborn baby items that were worth it’. Next to being handy for everyday use, the carrier became an indispensable companion during all our travels. On one hand, it was the easiest way to get Henrik to sleep on a plane. I fed him and then hummed him to sleep in the back of the plane within minutes. He was never a baby who just fell asleep in your arms (only at the very beginning, when he used to fall asleep while nursing) sitting on your lap, so not having the carrier with us would mean a overtired baby who wouldn’t fall asleep on the plane.
And next to the putting-to-sleep-function, it obviously gives you more freedom when exploring a place. Having walks on beaches, climbing ruins, walking old cobble stone streets.. All not that easy with a buggy or holding Henrik. With the carrier, we could keep him on us and still had our hands free. Once he was older, he sat on the back.
- Maxi Cosi car seat – with adapters for our stroller (you can get adapters for most stroller brands). This is specially useful if you’re traveling somewhere where you’ll use a car, as you can use the maxi cosi as a car seat but at the same time attach it to your stroller and use it as the stroller seat. You’re allowed to take it to the gate and (with most airlines I know) you will hand in the frame while they store the maxi cosi with the hand luggage. If you’re extra lucky and there are free seats left on a flight, the cabin attendants may assign you two seats so you can keep the baby in the maxi cosi next to you. On my very first flight, I had that luck and didn’t have to wake Henrik up for take off and landing in order to put him in the baby belt on my lap.
- Deryan Travel Cot. It comes in a baby version (opens on the top) and in a toddler version (opens on the side). Different than a common travel cot, this one resembles a little tent and is very light. It folds into a small round bag that you can easily take with you as hand luggage. While sleeping in different places, it is nice for Henrik to have his cot that he knows and recognises as his ‘bed’. The availability of baby cribs in hotels varies a lot per country and destination, and having the cot with us made our choice for a place to stay more flexible.
- A good working babyphone. We had a babyphone with bad reach at first, and got this one from Philips Avent now. It has great reach and tells you exactly how good the connection between both parts is. You can also see the room temperature where baby’s sleeping, talk through it, have it play lullabies and use it as a night light. When you’re spending a (beach) holiday, it can be a pity to stay in your room for two hours in the middle of a sunny day. So when there was the chance, we would get an appartment with a terrace, or a room close to the pool. That way, we could, using the babyphone, spend Henrik’s nap time out in the sun.
- A baby monitor app. As an addition or alternative to the babyphone, we have this baby monitor app. You’ll need a working wireless internet connection to use it as well as a second phone. You put the phone that has the app installed on it in the room where the baby sleeps and insert the number of the second phone you’re having on you. The app will call you as soon as the baby makes a repeating sound.
- The Sack’n Seat. This is a portable highchair from cotton that you can fold into a small pouch. It fits most chairs. Once Henrik could sit, this was a handy solution for the many times we visited restaurants and cafes abroad that didn’t offer baby chairs. As it’s small and weighs next to nothing, it’s really easy to take it with you. Also important for us: You can machine wash it.