Travelling with a baby can cause some parents to descend into a ball of stress. As I’ve mentioned before, yes it can be a daunting thing, especially first-time round, but it need not be. We travelled by plane, boat and car with our son when he was a baby and there were a few things I couldn’t do without during those times. So, want to know what they are? Here’s our top 5 travelling with a baby essentials, the things I couldn’t travel without when our son was less than a year old. These are besides that all-important change bag of course!
Travelling with a Baby Essentials: Our Top 5 Items
Sleepyhead Deluxe Pod
For the first four weeks of his life, our son slept on me…… and only me. It meant even less sleep than expected for me as I tried to sleep with him in my arms while I was propped up by pillows in bed. It was less than ideal. Then, as my husband was away with work, I ordered and started using a Sleepyhead Deluxe pod at night. And this started our co-sleeping journey.
But it didn’t stop there. This brilliant sleeping pod travelling with us during that first year and ensured our son slept well when we were not at home. The first time I used it I had returned to Ireland when our son was 4 months old and the Sleepyhead came with me in the car (and on the ferry). He settled well at night, whether we were with my sister-in-law or in my parents’ house.
It also came with us to Torquay for our first family staycation as a threesome and again he had no problem settling at night.
While we didn’t bring the full Sleepyhead with us to Gran Canaria, we did bring one of the replacement covers. We stuffed the tube section with a rolled-up towel and placed it into the travel cot in our hotel room. And once again, our son settled well at night and slept through.
I think as both the Sleepyhead and its replacement covers smelled like home, it was a comfort to him which helped him settle, despite his new surroundings. I can highly recommend the Sleepyhead Deluxe for use at home or away. It was a godsend during the first nine months of our son’s life.
Grobag Baby Sleep Bags
If you’ve read my review of the Grobags, you’ll know I was a huge fan of these for BattleKid. At home, or abroad, we never travelled without one of these. Depending on where we were going, we would bring either a 1 tog or a 2.5 tog. The 1 tog Grobags were ideal for warmer climates such as Gran Canaria or Lanzarote. And the 2.5 tog were ideal for trips within the UK and also back to Ireland.
We even had the travel versions of them, which can be used in conjunction with your stroller. We brought these if we knew we were flying in the evening so that, if our son fell asleep on the plane, we could easily transfer him into his stroller, and then car seat, for the journey to the hotel or home.
By using Grobags we never had to worry about sheets or blankets for our son when travelling with him and we continued to used them until he was two and a half years old, just before we moved him from his cot to a bed.
Ewan the Dreamsheep
Ewan was another addition to the family shortly after I got our Sleepyhead. I had seen this brilliant product in a parenting magazine and, to help our son settle to sleep easier, I bought Ewan and never looked back.
And every trip we’ve made, whether it was within the UK, to Ireland or even America, Ewan has accompanied us. He has travelled both on board with us when BattleKid was a baby, and in our luggage even now at age 4. We never, ever travel without Ewan as he is a firm part of our bedtime routine. He has ensured that, no matter where in the world we are, we have been able to stick to that routine, particularly when combined with a bedtime story.
Ewan is also great at helping our son to drop back off to sleep if he wakes during the night and is unsure of his new surroundings. Ewan has been a great addition to our bedtime routine and a great travel companion for BattleKid. I just wish we could wash him as he’s getting a bit grubby looking now.
Can you believe I had never heard of muslins before a work colleague advised me to buy some while I was pregnant! And buy them I did. Of all shapes and sizes.
And once we started travelling with our son, I quickly realised I really couldn’t do without them. The small ones were essential for feeding, nappy changes and general use. If I ever forgot our changing mat, a muslin was useful for placing on baby changing tablets while travelling.
The large ones came in useful for helping to protect our son from the sun in his buggy, or for covering up while breastfeeding on a plane. They were also great as something for our son to sit on in the sand on beaches.
Maclaren Techno XT Buggy
We bought an UppaBaby Vista travel system when BattleKid was born, and while it was great for travelling within the UK, we felt it was too big and cumbersome to bring on our first family holiday abroad to Gran Canaria. So, one afternoon while in Cardiff getting last-minute things for our holiday, we browsed the stroller-type buggies of John Lewis and settled on the Maclaren Techno XT. Maclaren was a name I knew from when my baby sister (13 years younger than me) was born, so without hesitation we bought it. We were also lucky that John Lewis were price matching buggies at the time, so we couldn’t have gotten it any cheaper anywhere else.
Suitable from birth upwards, our Maclaren has been to the Canaries several times over, Slovenia, New York and, more recently, Disneyland Paris. Once we bought the Maclaren, we hardly ever used our travel system again. This buggy was an umbrella-style fold-up buggy and became easy for me to spot in the over-sized luggage belt in airport baggage claim halls. It might not be to everyone’s tastes, and I will say there are lighter buggies available on the market, but it became our number one travel accessory. It’s still going strong today and we are almost ready to donate this awesome buggy to someone else.
For help finding a buggy for your family travels, head over to Thrifty Family Travels and check out Melissa’s awesome list of the Best Lightweight Travel Strollers.
This is by no means an exhaustive or definitive list of essential baby items to travel with. These are simply the ones I couldn’t have travelled with BattleKid without while he was a baby. Other things came in useful and there were other everyday items that were always packed, but these are those which became invaluable for us while travelling with BattleKid at home or abroad.
Parent Bloggers Top Travelling with a Baby Essentials
I asked my fellow parent bloggers what their top travelling with a baby essentials are and here’s what they had to say.
Like us, some of my fellow parent bloggers wouldn’t travel without their buggies. And let’s face it, holidays often involve lots of walking and exploring so you need it as little legs can’t walk the same distance as us.
Kirsty from Life With Boys as their number one travel essential is the Babyzen Yoyo buggy which folds up smaller than a holdall and makes their trips super easy.
Collette from Truly Madly Cuckoo has twins and found that two cheap strollers were better than a double buggy for the usually narrow streets abroad. She said just to remember to ensure they recline so your little ones can sleep.
Slings and Baby Carriers
Victoria from Lylia Rose wouldn’t travel with her Amawrap. She found it was brilliant as it left her hands free to carry things whilst her son snoozed.
Becky from Incredible Isla Blog always swears by slings and said it made their holiday to Florida with a 2.5-year old and a 10 week old so much easier, especially as they were travelling with a baby with severe reflux.
Emma from The Money Whisperer says her Tula sling, and later her toddler Tula, were life savers, especially for carrying a tired 4-year old through an airport.
Victoria from Parenting Peace and Quiet is another baby carrier advocate and says she wouldn’t travel with a baby without her Manduca carrier.
Kirsty from Navigating Baby says her Ergo baby carrier has been a must.
I could not have made it through airports without us having these as they don’t always being the buggy to the gate!
Shades and Protection
Nikki from Yorkshire Wonders says a little popup tent is brilliant. It gives little ones a bit of shade from the sun and if you can find one that they can’t crawl out of even better.
Mandi from Big Family Organised Chaos says they recommend a Snoozeshade. It not only protects little ones from the sun but, with the total blackout, it helps them to nap in their buggy pushchair during the day.
Emma from Emma Reed says they don’t travel without a buggy umbrella. They live abroad now, and she says it’s a must for the constant sun.
It’s perfect for walks, means he (their son) is shaded during naps and I even angled it to protect myself whilst I was feeding him one day.
Carrie, the guru behind Flying With A Baby says her Cozi-go has been a godsend for the airplane bassinets. It’s also a great UV 50+ stroller sleep cover too.
I lend it to all my friends and readers love it too!
Hannah from Hi Baby Blog says she always travels with their UV Poncho from Cuddledry as it gives her peace of mind that her daughter is protected in between swims while she clambers for more sun cream or dry clothes.
Other Travelling with a Baby Essentials
Steve from Big Stevie Cool said Eco-friendly disposable bibs are essentials baby travel items. By using disposable bibs when travelling with their baby, they didn’t have to worry about carrying dirty ones around for the day or washing them at night.
Polly from Our Seaside Baby says she doesn’t travel with a baby without a comfortable hands-free rucksack. A lady after my own heart. As Polly points out, when travelling with a baby, or toddler for that matter, two hands free makes such a difference.
Jenny from Kid Transit says their top baby travel essential was the Sandini head support which meant their daughter’s head didn’t roll or bob while she was sleeping in her car seat. We had something similar for BattleKid and it was great.
Liberty from Liberty On The Lighter Side says a change of clothes for herself. She learned the hard way during a long-haul flight when her son used up his two changes of clothes thanks to being sick and pooping the entire flight. She unfortunately hadn’t brought a change of clothes for herself so while her son looked reasonably clean, she did not.
Another blogger after my own heart was Catherine from The Money Panel who says she highly recommends Travel GroBags. We were huge GroBag fans and the travel ones with the buggy holes are brilliant for travelling with a baby. As Catherine points out you can get your baby ready for bed whilst you have dinner and then you don’t have to zip them into a normal Grobag when you get back to your hotel room.
And Katie from Mum of 2 Point 5 says she never travels without her camera. She says
The kids won’t remember the places we took them so photos are so important to us, so we can all look back on them and tell the stories of our trips.
And finally, Kirsty from Navigating Baby has a great post about stuff you need when travelling with kids that you should also read when preparing for a trip with kids.
Do you agree with these items or is there another travelling with a baby essential you’d recommend?