17 Must-Have Baby Travel Essentials
Perhaps you’re escaping the cold and heading to the beach, or are preparing to embrace the winter by visiting some family and friends. Maybe you’re loading up the old station wagon and hitting the open road, or are getting your boarding passes ready for an adventure in the sky.
No matter where you’re going—and how you plan to get there—you want to make sure you have the proper baby travel essentials to make your journey memorable (in a good way).
If you want to make sure traveling with your infant goes smoothly, there are a few travel must-haves to add to your luggage so that you’ll be prepared and ready for anything. With these 17 travel essentials in your bag, you’ll make this journey the best one of your baby’s life so far.
Necessities to Make Traveling with Baby a Breeze
Regardless of how you’re traveling with your baby or where you’re going, certain basics can help you feel at home—even in a hotel. These items are geared toward helping you pack all the gear your little one needs—even if their full-sized, at-home counterparts won’t fit in the car.
A well-designed diaper bag – You might feel like your diaper bag is all but attached to your shoulder at this point, but when you’re getting ready to hit the road or take to the skies, the right diaper bag can help keep you organized—and allow you to find that pacifier or pack of baby wipes in an instant. This backpack diaper bag is weather-resistant, with 13 pockets to keep its contents in the right place (two of which are insulated bottle pockets). And with this bag strapped to your back, you’ll have both hands free for your bundle of joy.
A foldable baby bouncer – If you’re headed out to visit friends or family, you might think you don’t have to worry about a place for your baby to relax. After all, everyone is going to be wanting to soak up all those sweet baby cuddles—but even babies get tired of people sometimes, and having a comfortable bouncer is a great way to help them get a little rest even when they’re away from home.
A play mat – When you’re at a hotel, friend’s house, or relative's home, you might not want your little one rolling around on the ground (who knows where Aunt Meridith’s schnauzer spends its days outside). Having a soft, compactable, and interactive play mat is the perfect way to let your baby get some tummy time, worry-free.
A table chair – This baby travel essential is a game-changer. A table chair is easy to travel with and means you won’t have to think about whether the restaurant you’re headed to has a high chair, or worry that Great Grandma is going to try and put your baby in one that’s a few decades old as you gather around for dinner.
A favorite toy – When you’re packing up all the things you need for your baby to travel, don’t forget to keep in mind something that they also want. A favorite baby toy can go a long way when it comes to traveling with a baby, and if they don’t have one yet, consider something like a soft book that will keep their attention for long stretches of time.
Must-Haves when You’re Hitting the Open Road
You’ve put together a soothing playlist, mapped out all your routes, and your family is ready to head out for an adventure by car. But what might you need when you’re planning to spend long stretches of time on the highway? While this list isn’t exclusive, these three items can make a significant difference in making everyone’s life a little easier on the road:
A lightweight and convertible car seat – If your baby’s current car seat is bulky, it may not be the best option for travel. This featherlight option only weighs eight pounds—about the same as some newborns!—and attaches easily to a Baby Jogger stroller base for an easy transition from the car to the sidewalk.
A portable changing pad – Say goodbye to your at-home changing station—any travel of more than a few miles calls for an on-the-go option. This changing pad folds up into a portable clutch with plenty of pockets to hold diaper-changing essentials. As a plus, the leopard print design will add some extra chicness to your travel gear.
A list of rest stops – This one’s not technically an item, but it’s so helpful to have, we’re including it anyway. Before you depart, aim to plan out rest stops or places where you’ll take a break at various intervals—say, every one or two hours—and note where they are along your path. Having these breaks built into your trip can help you and your little one loads when you need to stretch your legs, some fresh air, or a diaper change without having to scramble with your maps app while on the road.
Air Travel Essentials for Taking Baby to the Skies
Did you know you don’t need to book a flight for passengers under two years old?1 It’s true—and it’s one of several reasons why flying with a baby doesn’t have to be difficult.
You’ve got this—and we’ve got a few baby travel essentials to make your flight even more smooth, from take-off to landing.
A baby carrier – For those long walks between check-in and your airline’s gate, having a trustworthy, supportive carrier is a baby travel essential. Keeping one of these packed away in your luggage or tucked in your diaper bag is perfect for days when the stroller is with your checked bags or you need your hands free for your boarding passes.
A warm blanket – Organic receiving blankets are one of the must haves for winter newborn essentials. Taking to the sky can be a little chilly for anybody—but especially for babies, who can’t regulate their temperature as well as adults. So make sure you’ve got a warm blanket handy to keep them warm and cozy as they hang out among the clouds.
Some swaddles – On the topic of blankets, having a few lightweight, breathable swaddle blankets handy can also be helpful as you board your flight and settle in. Not only can a few swaddles help keep your little one comfy and cozy, but they’re also helpful in creating privacy if you’re nursing or blocking out any light if your baby is napping mid-flight.
A waterproof bag – Planes aren’t always known for their spacious interiors, and babies aren’t always known for timing their messes at convenient moments. That’s why having a wet bag as you get ready for the sky is essential when traveling with a baby. From wipes to diapers, outfit changes to snacks, a bag like this has a million uses.
Some entertaining toys – Even babies get bored, so make sure you tuck a few fun toys into your diaper bag as you get ready for boarding. You can go for a toy that easily hangs to keep them entertained and focused from their carrier. Or, opt for something a little more hands-on to help with development and distraction as you make your way to your destination.
Extras to Help Keep Your Little One Calm
Now you know exactly what you need when traveling with a baby, but what are a few baby travel essentials that will help keep your baby calm as you put some miles under your wings (or tires)?
A travel shusher – When you’re cruising down the highway or a few thousand feet above the road, the last thing you want to think about is rocking your baby and shush-shush-shushing. That’s why this little gadget has won the hearts of so many parents, as it helps keep babies calm without all the leg (or lip) work.
A teether – Even the smallest babies need a good teether when those pearly whites make their first appearance, so when you’re packing up all of the essentials for your infant, don’t forget the teether. By soothing their gums and keeping them entertained for hours, a teether is a must-have baby travel essential for any long (or short) journey.
A stuffed animal – As you gather travel essentials to keep your baby calm on your journey, don’t overlook the magic of a soft, comforting stuffed animal. We’ve all had our favorites for a reason, and your little one will be even more comfortable as they leave home if they have their favorite pal by their side.
A rattle – A cute and soft rattle is like a book on tape or your favorite in-plane movie to an infant. It will keep them calm and entertained for hours as they practice gripping, shaking, and probably a little biting.
Plan Your Next Adventure with Monica + Andy
From newborn babies to crawling speedsters getting ready to walk, you probably can’t wait to show your little one all your favorite places. And having a few baby travel essentials can make all the difference as you load up the car, board a flight, grab a train, or hail a taxi.
So load up that diaper bag with their favorite toys, a teether (or two), some extra baby blankets, and get ready to show your little one the whole wide world (or maybe just a few parts of it for now). You’ll be amazed at how different it can be to see an old (or new) place from their eyes.
At Monica + Andy, we have all of the baby travel essentials you need and more, so you can enjoy the journey and relax at your destination. All you need to do is focus on making some new beautiful memories with the latest addition to your life.
- American Airlines. Traveling with Children. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/special-assistance/traveling-children.jsp
- Flying With a Baby. Essential Bassinet Seat Information. https://www.flyingwithababy.com/essential-airline-bassinet-information-chart/