Does stress set in over the thought of traveling on a plane with your newborn or toddler? Are you anxious over what to bring? After recently having a baby, I have traveled on a plane with him twice, and the first time was stressful, especially not really knowing what to expect, what items I needed for making it through the airport and onto the plane, what I needed once I got to my destination or how he would react once on the plane and flying. After speaking to several moms about their travel experiences with their children and from my own travel experiences, here are 7 must have essentials when traveling with a child.
1. Diaper Bag-Most airlines will allow you to carry a diaper bag on board with no charge. I like this diaper bag from Skip Hop, which is the perfect size to pack all of the right gear for my little one, such as diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, toys, books, pacifier, etc.
2. Play Mat-I wanted my baby to feel at home when traveling to a new place, so I brought along a play mat. I like this one from Skip Hop, as it packs nicely into a suitcase and keeps my little one entertained for hours while in the hotel room.
3. Travel Crib-A safe place for your child to sleep and hang out is a must have when traveling. I like this travel crib from Nuna, which can be used from birth to 3 years of age. It is easy to pack for stress free travel.
4. Car Seat-If you traveling to a place in which you will be renting a car or using a car, having your car seat along is essential. Most car companies do rent car seats, but after reading several reviews, I found that bringing my own car seat was the way to go. I use the Nuna Pippa car seat and base, which fits perfectly onto any stroller with adapters.
5. Convertible Stroller-Choosing the right stroller is one of the many decisions that parents-to -be have to make. With so many options out there, it is essential to choose one that will carry you and your child through all facets of life, including traveling. I use the UppaBaby Vista, which is a convertible stroller which can accommodate a carseat, a toddler seat and a bassinet. I traveled to places in which I needed a car seat and a toddler seat, so this stroller was perfect and is easy to fold up.
6. Stroller Travel Bag-Whether you are using your stroller through the airport, or packing it up and checking it in, a stroller travel bag is a must have. I use the UppaBaby TravelSafe Bag. This bag is very versatile and can be used to pack your stroller to check in or since I used the stroller through the airport (and checked it at the gate, which is free) this bag was perfect for packing other essentials for my little one.
7. Baby Carrier-A baby carrier is an essential to travel through the airport with your child or just carrying your child from the gate onto the plane. I recommend (and also use) the ErgoBaby 360 Carrier, which allows you to carry your child from 4 different carrying positions, is comfortable to wear and also is perfect for the littlest of travelers by using with the insert.
Also, here is a great packing list from Travel Mamas that will help you stay organized when packing for your next vacation.
What are your must have essentials when traveling with a child?