As promised, here is the second part of the list of useful items for travelling with baby – as much as it can actually be relaxed travelling with a
hungry shark a little baby. I am not promoting mindless consumerism, but I also believe that there are some things, which can make your life as a travelling mom easier, and then it definitely is worth acquiring at least some of them. Of course even better, if you can procure them from friends, family, compassionate strangers, Gumtree or Craigslist.
My cousin Liya has carried out a great research on things which will make travelling with a baby easier. She later had a chance to check her findings while travelling with a 4 month old Sasha in the Philippines. And when we met again, I probably said the phrase: “Oh, I wish I knew about this thing before” at least 658764635736 times, seeing her pulling out yet another gadget.
Most of the time the things I learn about from her are not useful to me anymore, because Mark has already outgrown that phase by the time I see them. But I thought that many of you could use this knowledge. So I asked her a question: “Can you please tell me, which of the less-obvious things were most useful to you when travelling with a baby?”. And after a couple of days she came up with just over 2,000 words long answer.
Now I give Liya the floor and go to have my coffee, while my own baby is asleep (yeeey!).
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Table of Contents
- 1 List of Useful Items for Travelling with Baby
- 2 Sleepyhead Baby Pillow or DockAtot
- 3 Babymoov Multifunctional Playpen
- 4 Snoozeshade
- 5 My Buggy Buddy Sunshade
- 6 Baby Carrier
- 7 Dummy case/Pacifier Case
- 8 Sanitising Water
- 9 Silicone Teething Necklace
- 10 Pacapod nappy changing bag
- 11 Nappy wallet
- 12 Easily portable high-chair Totseat
- 13 Wet Dry bag
- 14 Retro Buggy Bag
- 15 Retro Backpack
List of Useful Items for Travelling with Baby
Sleepyhead Baby Pillow or DockAtot
This is not so much a travel-specific item, but we have taken it with us on all our travels and used it while sleeping in numerous locations. It is a sort of a pillow-type bed, that you can use for bed-sharing, cot-minimising, bed-transfer and travelling. It is surprisingly pricey, but we have used it since our little one was 3 weeks old. She refused to sleep unless she was being held, and Sleepyhead baby pillow literally saved our sanity. We take it with us when we travel, so Sasha gets something comfortable and familiar, which helps her to fall asleep faster. Mind you, you either have to have a very big bag or travel by car.
Babymoov Multifunctional Playpen
It is a mini-playpen for an under 6-months-old. Or as it is advised in their manual: until the baby starts rolling. We were travelling from London to Philippines, so we needed a place to put Sasha down sometimes. It also needed to be shaded, while also protecting her from mosquitoes, and this travel tent was perfect for us. We would mostly use it at night and put Sleepyhead inside, as it is very spacious. Sasha would sleep in it covered with a mosquito net. I imagine something like this would also be perfect, if you travel to places that have beaches.
This is another very useful item, if you live in a sunny country or travel to sunny countries. Basically, it does what it says – lets your baby sleep in the shade protected from the UV rays. We live in UK, and it is very popular there, although I feel we do not get enough sun to actually need it that much.
My Buggy Buddy Sunshade
So instead of Snoozeshade we ended up getting this pop-up mini-shade. It is a bit fiddly to get the angle right, if you are walking all day and the sun angle keeps changing. However, it works well for us together with the shade from the buggy hood. It worked great for us as a portable sun shade for the car. We would just clip it on to the window or car seat and it does not take any space. It is also my daughter’s favourite toy, so 2-in-1 really!
(Little note from Ana: After writing this, Liya actually forgot this shade in our house in Lithuania, when she left to London. We used it a lot, and while protecting Mark from the sun, it also soon became his favourite toy too. So yeah, 4-in-1, really!)
If you are into caring your baby, a sling is a must for travel. I have tried many many slings thanks to sling libraries in the UK, where you can try them all and also be taught how to wear them correctly. At the moment we own two carriers and are looking into getting a third one. Connecta Solar carrier is the lightest, easiest and most space-saving sling I have ever tried. We took it with us to Philippines, and it took so little space that I sometimes forgot I had it in my bag. It is very comfortable sling for you and the baby, and it is easy to put on. Sasha loved it, and you could see, how she would relax in it, as she was so comfortable. Connecta Solar carrier has UV protection, but you can get many different designs from Connecta or try other brands.
Dummy case/Pacifier Case
There are so many designs and brands of dummy case or dummy holder, so you can chose the one you like. I think it is extremely useful. You can pop a spare dummy into it, attach it to the buggy, or the changing bag, or your bag and have an instant dummy change, when your little one throws hers on the floor. Pacifier holder is even more useful, if you have one of so many dummies, which come without any cap to protect them. I use it everyday as well, but for travel it was especially good, as all the spare dummies had their own place. So I did not need to look through my bag for a long time, while my baby was screaming.
This is amazing! Especially if you travel to the country, where you should only drink bottled water and plan to travel around it a lot, without being able to boil water. Wait, who am I kidding? It is great for anything: like walks in the park next to your house, where you need to sanitise your little monkey’s hands, air plane journeys when dummies, baby toys or curious hands need cleaning, and any kind of journey really.
Just spray it on. There is no need to wipe it and it has no taste. It is one of the most important items in my baby changing bag. We got one big bottle Vital Baby Sanitising Water and two small bottles, which we refill from the big bottle, when they run out. We keep one by our bedside as well, as Sasha is into throwing her dummies out of the cot, and we are too tired at night to go and wash them all the time.
Silicone Teething Necklace
Not exactly a must-have for travel, but a silicone teething necklace has been very useful, when we have been waiting around airports with a tired baby, needing some distraction and her toys were not accessible. We have used it a lot during travel. You can put some toys on it and hang it on the buggy. This will save you space in your baby bag and keep them together during travels. That is exactly what we did, and it saved us loads of space in the carry-on bag as well as kept Sasha entertained in her buggy in the airport and on the plane. Plus teething beads are pretty, and even my husband got himself a silicone teething bracelet, because Sasha kept nibbling on his watch all the time.
Pacapod nappy changing bag
This is a great changing bag brand. They have many beautiful bags in many different styles, but that is not why I put it on this list. These bags come with mini pods: changing pod and insulated feeder pod. The pods are great for baby travel organisation, and you do not have to stick to one baby bag – just put baby changing things and food things into pods and pop them into different bag (bigger bag, more comfortable travel bag, or just clip them to a buggy).
But the life-saver for us during our travel was the changing pod. There was no need to look through the bag for all the different things I needed, all I had to do was pull out one small bag and head to the toilet. It was even better on the plane – instead of taking the whole changing bag with me and having to apologise to all the people on the aisle seats for unintentionally hitting them with the changing bag while wrangling a baby, I had the convenience of taking just one small pod and not getting in the way of other people (as much as you can on the plane anyway).
Nappy wallet is another alternative for easy nappy changing on the go. It is even smaller than Pacapod pods. It’s almost flat, which means you can put it easily into any ladies handbag. Nappy wallet consists of a changing mat with pockets, where you can put nappies, nappy bags, cream and special bag for wet wipes. When we were flying to Philippines, Pacapod was better for us, as we could put more nappies in it (28 hours of travel is no joke). If you have only two hour flight ahead of you, a nappy wallet is enough. Ours can fit 4 nappies, while Pacapod can easily fit 14. I usually take it with me, when I go for a 3-4 hour walk with Sasha.
Easily portable high-chair Totseat
There are a few different companies that sell seats like this, but they are all pretty similar. It is essentially a piece of fabric that goes around any chair and ties your baby to it in a seating position. It makes it easy to feed your baby, if the cafe or restaurant does not have high chair. In the UK most places have a high-chair, but even in some European countries it is harder to find a high-chair in a restaurant. It is suitable from six months or from when your baby starts to seat up. In our case Sasha is still learning to sit up, so she is a bit wonky in it. Even though all the restaurants, where we go have high-chairs, it has proven very useful visiting family and friends, where there was no high-chair. It folds into itself like a tote bag, so it takes no space. If you want, you can just attach it to the outside of your bag – it has a small clip to do so.
Wet Dry bag
There are lots of different brands and prices of wet dry bags. Skip Hop wet dry bag was originally for carrying wet cloth nappies, and even though we occasionally use cloth nappies, I found this bag perfect for packing Sasha’s spare clothes, extra muslin cloth and extra toys. The best thing about the wet dry bag is that it is not too big. I sometimes put it in the buggy bag or hang it on the handlebar.
Retro Buggy Bag
This is for those of you fashion-conscious, retro-style, multi-functional bag loving parents. This little gem of a bag I discovered thanks to my sister-in-law and her shop Three Little Pandas. It is actually a bicycle handle-bar bag, but thanks to a clever design, it also attaches easily to a stroller. It is big enough to fit basic minimum items for your baby, and also some adult stuff.
On our recent flight it was very convenient having it on. I actually had my own personal things in it while carrying small rucksack diaper bag with Sasha’s things on my back. All I had to do was un-clip it of the stroller, hang it on my shoulder while folding the stroller before boarding the plane. It even comes with a compact changing mat. It is also waterproof. So it can be shoulder bag, stroller bag and also bicycle handlebar bag. In my case it is a perfect combination, as once we will start cycling with Sasha when she is older, I will still have a small bag to bring some essentials in and just clip it to my bike.
So this is the backpack that I had for travelling on our last trip. I wanted something that would not scream baby-changing bag, would look stylish and be spacious with loads of pockets. I also wanted something I could wear on my shoulder like a handbag as well as on my back like a backpack (essential for your comfort while you are carrying a baby). Also as I cycle, this bag will be useful after Sasha grows out of having so much stuff with her, while we are out and about. It’s not too big, but not too small, has loads of pockets for organising baby’s things and your things.
What do you think? Any other essentials or just nice gadgets to have while travelling with babies, which I did not cover here? What are your top picks? Anyway, I hope it was useful for you.