The thought of traveling with a baby can often put a lot of people off. There are the worries about disrupting routines, the stress and uncertainty about what baby essentials will be available for you at the arrival destination or what you need to bring with you and not to mention the anxiety about how well your baby will travel.
So to help you out, from my recent trip to the UK and my everyday travels around Sydney I have created a list of 5 baby travel ‘must have’ items that have been tried and tested that i think are essential for any trip or destination.
A Good Pram.
Genius suggestion right!? Of course everyone wants a good pram, but i am not talking Bugaboo, i am talking a good pram that meets your travel needs and suits your personality. So, if you are anything like me and have absolutely no interest in using your pram to go jogging with your bub but you do want a pram that is easy to maneuver, suitable on most terrains (concrete, grass, sand etc) and easy to put up and down then i recommend the Mountain Buggy range. I chose the ‘Swift’model as it gives me all of the above plus it is suitable from birth as the back lays completely flat. The only negative (for some mums) is that it is outward facing but there is a bassinet attachment option. However, it is quite heavy and fairly bulky when folded down flat, so it may not be suitable if you will be constantly transporting it. Don’t fret though, Mountain Buggy also do a ‘Nano’and ‘Mini’ model which are very light and perfect for transporting from one destination to the next if you just require something to get your bub about the city and built up areas.
A Baby Carrier or Sling
Perhaps another obvious choice but i believe they are an essential item for all travel destinations because they are just so easy and practical, plus there is no chance of visiting that temple at the top of a heap of stairs without it. For activities a little more strenuous than a short walk along the beach i would probably recommend a carrier over a sling for peace of mind but it’s a personal choice. When choosing a baby carrier i chose the 4 in 1 Minimonkey carrier that includes a hood as it was much easier to use than some of the other products on the market as the clips were all at the side or on the shoulders and it was transitional from front to back. It’s very compact and suitable for newborns. It is also very reasonably priced. For long hikes and mountainous walking tracks it may be best to explore carrier backpack options.
If you have a baby under one you may be concerned about how you will sterilise baby bottles and i think this is the perfect solution as it beats trying to pack bulky electric sterilisers and most hotel rooms or shared kitchen amenities will have a microwave. Of course if you don’t have the space, washing bottles in soapy water, rinsing and then covering with boiling water from the kettle in a cleaned hotel sink will have to suffice. Do your research, there are some pretty light and compact microwave sterilisers out there but i chose the Tommee Tippee range which admittedly isn’t the most compact but it works super fast in just 4 minutes.
This is my absolute favourite ‘must-have’ and it is great for those mum’s and bubs who are a stickler for routine. The particular blow-up bath that i have was purchased on Ebay (from the UK) and it has an inflatable insert holding the baby in the seated position which is perfect for them to splash around in. My bubs absolutely loves it! This can also be deflated and transition to a full bath once bubs can support themselves. This bath can be completely flattened to take in your backpacks or suitcases and it means you can bath your baby anywhere there is running water without having to put them in a sink or a bucket!
Whether you’re camping or staying in a guest house or hotel your bubs is going to need somewhere to sleep. There are plenty of travel cot options out there and a sturdy but lightweight travel cot will be ideal for most babies and fairly easy to transport, many airlines will allow a travel cot to be taken along as checked baggage. If your baby is under 6 months and still can’t sit up unaided you might like to consider a travel ‘pop up’ bassinet (sun and sleep model) which will be much lighter. These are perfect for sleeping in, the beach or outside in a sunny/tropical destinations as they include a mosquito net and sun block out shade. They are incredibly light at just under 1kg and come in a compact travel bag.
I hope the above has given you some guidance with your travel essentials 🙂