We’ve travelled the world with our baby since she was 4.5 months old. Hazel has been to 18 countries and 36 states in the US, all before aged 2 years. Our little girl is very well-travelled and along the way we’ve learnt there are certain things we can’t leave home without. To make life easier, I’ve compiled our top 10 essential baby travel accessories in one simple list. Here’s what I think the best baby travel gear is… don’t leave home without it!
What You'll Find in This Post
The Best Baby Travel Gear
ERGO Baby Carrier
My absolute #1 essential baby travel gear item is an ERGO Baby Carrier. I seriously couldn’t travel without it. Not only is it lightweight and portable, it’s also easy to clean. We carry our baby in the ERGO when we’re out and about as well as when we’re at the airport. It’s incredibly useful for getting on and off the plane so you have your hands free for your carry on bags.
Wearing your baby while flying is comfortable for both you and her. Most airlines will make you take the baby out of the baby carrier for take off and landing but allow you to wear it when the seatbelt sign is off. Getting out and about with your baby after a long flight will help combat baby jet lag.
Lightweight Travel Crib
Travel cribs, or pack n plays, are essential baby travel accessories. If you’re travelling to 4 and 5 star hotels in Western countries you probably won’t need to bring your own travel crib, but in all other cases you are going to need one. Choose one that is lightweight and easy to carry.BABYBJORN make amazing lightweight travel cribs however they are expensive. We use a Graco one which is still great at only half the price. For small babies, under three months, you could use something like this instead for safe co-sleeping in a hotel bed. Read our reviews on the best Pack n Play cribs here.
Tip: Get your baby used to sleeping in the travel crib before you leave. Set it up in their room for a few nights before you leave.
For a bigger baby or a baby that doesn’t like being worn, a lightweight stroller is incredibly useful for outings and for zipping through the airport with ease. If you’re travelling around by public transport, particularly in Europe where there are lot of stairs up and down to Metro stations, you will need something that is easily foldable and portable. Get the lightest stroller you can. This this Chicco one weighs only 11 pounds. The Mountain Buggy Nano Stroller is also great for travel. It weight only 13 lbs and can be packed down to fit into an overhead compartment on an plane so you don’t have to gate check your stroller.
Read more: Should you travel with a stroller?
For travelling with little babies, I recommend taking your Boppy along. Don’t know what a Boppy is? Moms, you’re missing out! A Boppy is a horseshoe-shaped pillow designed to help babies breastfeed comfortably. It can also be use to give baby tummy time to keep active and to help sitting in older babies.
A Boppy is very useful for flying with babies. It makes breastfeeding on a plane much easier. You can also use it to help your baby rest or sleep comfortably while she’s on your lap. We used ours as makeshift feeding chair when our daughter was learning to eat in Hawaii.
Tip: Keep the case your Boppy comes in so you can use it for travel. The clear plastic, zip up case with a handle makes it perfect for carry on. You can even stuff a few extra things into the case like a blanket and toys.
Your baby’s comfort item is an essential baby travel accessories. Whether it’s a dummy, blanky or soft toy, bring it along. Comfort items can help soothe a cranky baby on a plane, settle them in a foreign room and make them feels safe & secure. Always pack it in your carry on bag so you have access to it at all times. Don’t risk losing it in checked baggage. Label it well so that if you lose it, you have at least a hope of getting it returned.
You do not need a separate suitcase for your baby! Packing cubes are one of the best baby travel gear items you can buy. Pack all your family’s belongs in the same suitcase easily by using packing cubes to keep them organised. Use one for your own clothes, one for dad’s and another for baby’s. Colour-coding them makes it easy to pick out who’s clothes are who’s. We also pack one packing cube with the entire family’s sleepwear and another with the family’s swimwear. This makes getting everyone ready for bed or the pool that much easier.
Read more: The ultimate packing list for travel with a baby
Read more: Exper guide to the best packing cubes for travel
If there’s one item of travel gear for baby I wish we’d pack on our recent trip around Europe… it’s a portable highchair. When babies are ready to start feeding themselves they don’t want any help from mom or dad! It can be extremely tricky to do this when she’s balanced on your lap in a vacation rental or a restaurant. There are some really great, lightweight portable highchairs available that clip onto a table or countertop.
Read more: The Best Portable Highchairs for Travel with Kids
Sterilising TabletsMilton Sterilising Tablets are an amazing invention! If you’re travelling with a little baby, under six months, and you need to sterilise bottles and dummies on a daily basis then bring these! These tablets dissolve in water and keep items sterile for up to 24 hours before use. They are very convenient and lightweight compared to traditional heat sterilisers. Must have travel gear for baby!
Swim diapers are essential travel gear for baby if you’re planning on taking your little one for a dip in a hotel pool or in the ocean while you’re on vacation. Whether you choose reusable fabric ones or disposables is up to you. I always bring them from home! Unlike regular diapers, they aren’t as easy to find on the road.
Tip: Pack your whole family’s swim gear in one packing cube. This makes it so easy to grab everyone’s swimsuits & hats and get everyone dressed quickly when you’re ready to head to the pool or beach.
Taking your baby on a tropical vacation somewhere like Hawaii or Thailand? You’ll need excellent protective gear to keep the sun’s harsh rays off your little ones skin. A 50 SPF swim suit with hat is essential. These ones are great as they have long sleeves and a zip open bottom for diaper changing. Don’t forget the baby sunscreen either!
What are your essential baby travel gear items? What things do you bring when you travel with a baby?
Let me know what you think the best baby travel gear is. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for that! We will take our first trip with our 2.5 months old baby in two weeks so I am looking up packing lists in order to prepare. From what age on did you use the ErgoCarrier?
Hi Sabine! Where are you going with your little one? We used the ERGO from about one week with the infant insert (padded so their legs don’t go through the holes but sit tucked up like a rabbit) and from 12 weeks without the insert. Hazel is still in the Ergo but now we wear it on the back like a backpack so she can see up and out. It’s still very comfortable even though she is a big girl! She can still get off to sleep in there when we’re walking about. It can hold a child up to 45 pounds (20 kgs) so good for a few more years!
I’m just writing up my actual packing list too BTW. Will be ready to post in a day or two.
We will go to Finland! We got the ERGO from my cousin and like it a lot. We are just unsure whether to buy the insert. Our little one is 10 weeks old and we leave in two weeks…..hmmmm.
I am looking forward to your packing list!
You probably don’t need the insert then. You can use a blanket rolled up instead – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Czeb3e4WD4
What great tips! I especially love the portable high chair. What a great invention!
Great tips! I used a different carrier (Baby Bjorn) but totally agree that one is essential with a baby. I loved our Totseat as well, which is a fabric highchair for when they’re a bit older and able to support themselves – attaches to any chair, so it’s great for toddlers as well to sit at the table (without escaping)… #globalkids
Great post Bethaney – you make me wish I had a child so that I could put your tips to good use 😉 (One day!) I can vouch for the packing cubes… a girl I met in a hostel on my travels had these and I was SO jealous of how easy it was for her to locate specific items without having to literally bury herself in a mountain of clothes. I can also vouch for the portable high chair… my sister has one of these for her little boy and it’s fantastic!
Having just re-entered the world of travel with baby (and all the stuff that comes with it!), this is a very timely post! I swear by the Phil & Ted’s travel cot. It is pricey but we had one for our two eldest and used it for years before it finally gave up the ghost. I’ve just bought a new one for bub number 3 and this one is even better. Thanks for the tips, I will be using your list before our next trip on Monday!
I haven’t been faced with having to add anyone else’s stuff onto my packing list, but I would imagine packing for a baby would be a nightmare. It looks like you’ve got it under control though! I will have to refer back to this list when my time comes. 😉
Great info on here! Love that you’re getting your family out and exploring!
We have been travelling for years as a family, but I am loving all these travelling with a baby posts over on Global Kids this month as we await our 3rd baby, I have forgotten a lot of it! 😀
My brother just had the first baby of our family and it was a quick lesson to never forget the boppy…it is a baby sitting life saver. Also I have seen the normal diapers on the water, and I didnt like it at all… Bring the swim diapers…always.
For our baby tho…a good one is her baby ear muffs to block out loud noises from unexpected celebrations and cities.
Packing cubes is something I really need to invest in for myself never mind for a baby! I am part of the ‘1 -2, poly bag crew’ as we’d say in Scotland, I put everything in plastic bags although I have found massive pack lunch style bags to be quieter. I can’t even imagine what getting a baby ready for the road is like. Craig has a rucksack and a cabin bag, gender stereotypes do not apply in our travelling relationship!
Wow! She’s about as well-travelled as we are!!! We’re going to pass this list along as we’ve got several friends and family looking to go on their first big trips with their little ones! Very helpful post!
My sister in law is about to give birth… I shall send her this list. It’s good to have them ready, thanks for sharing 🙂
How much did your crib (that was half the price) weigh, compared to the ultra light ones? i am sure you make that weight to price comparison a lot with your frequency of travels.
Great list, I would agree with all of these – for a good portable highchair, we used the Totseat (one of those fabric ones that you can attach to any chair at the table and can then fold up into your bag. Once the kids get a bit older, I would add a Trunki, kids headphones and blow-up toddler bed to the list!
Great list and I totally agree about the baby carrier – best thing to take by far! Thank you for linking up to #GlobalKids 🙂
Awesome list you got Bethany. I love travelling and it stopped since my baby boy was born. Never thought of a possibility of travelling again with a kid. With you’re tips, I surely think I can travel again at ease with a baby.
We have a babybjorn travel bed that has been to more than 25 countries. We customised the carry bag to make it into a backpack. Simply the best baby accessory we have ever purchased.
Any other baby carrier you can recommend? Ergo is kinda expensive for me. I hope you can suggest cheaper one but still safe for my baby. Thanks!
Hi Samantha. ERGO is the only carrier I’ve used personally. I know people who love Manduca’s though and they’re a bit more cost effective than ERGOs. Here’s a link to check out Manduca carriers – http://amzn.to/1kBVYw9. Where are you based? You could also look for a second hand ERGO on Ebay or Craigslist.