September 20, 2010
When you are traveling with a baby it’s tempting to take everything you own with you on your trip! After more than a year of travel with our son, I’ve learnt that it it’s better to take the essentials and leave the rest at home; when you are en-route, you’ll be thankful you did.
Personal must haves vary depending on baby and parents, but there are some items that most moms, dads and babies (!) can’t live without if they are traveling by air. Besides the obvious necessities of diapers and wipes, here are some of my essentials.
My first essential is having a good diaper bag that I can put all my stuff in and I love my Go-Gaga gondola bag, both for all the space and for the amazing-comfortable shoulder strap. I’m a fan of using Connor's own changing mat on change tables whether its on an airplane or in a public place, so I always bring that with me, and there is a unique spot for it in my bag. When Connor was a new born I always made sure I took a couple extra outfits in case he spit up or had a diaper explosion. For the same reasoning, I always had extra burp cloths with me. I also brought a blanket for him to use on the plane when it was nap time. Connor never took a soother (pacifier) but for children that are comforted by them, make sure you have a couple. When Connor was really little he didn’t require toys other than Sophie the giraffe, a toy which quickly became his must-have-favourite-companion. Easy to travel with, Connor never left the house without Sophie!
Depending on what my plans are at the destination, a stroller is often on my essential list. I love gate-checking it and highly recommend using a stroller-bag to protect the stroller during travel; not to mention, I think that it’s easier for the baggage handlers when they can carry a bag and there’s no chance the stroller will unfold. (Also, there is room for a blanket and a couple of toys!) One note on the stroller bag, don’t be surprised if people think you are trying to bring golf clubs to the gate, a quick glance at the stroller bag can sometimes cause confusion!
I always take Connor's car seat with us; like the stroller-bag, a car seat bag is on my essentials list. Some airlines allow certain car seats to be used on board if your infant has their own seat, which is also helpful.
Now that Connor is a little older, I bring a few small books, a couple of small toys and his current fav toy “Scout”. Once Connor started eating solids I brought his food with us on board. Make sure you use a leak proof container, like the kind Think Baby makes. I also can’t say enough about Thermos’ Foogo leak proof straw bottle. I always take one with milk and one with water. Connor loves drinking out of them and I like how they stay cold for hours and are easy to travel with. (Be careful the first time you open it after take-off as the pressure may cause some of the liquid to spray out of straw-this makes Connor giggle!)
As many hotels won’t supply blankets for cribs because of the risk, I bring Connor’s sleeping sack or blankets with us. In addition, I take Connor’s favourite bath toy, Squish the duck by Boon.
My trick, find out what will be available to you at the other end, such as a crib, playpen, stroller etc. Pack clothes for changing weather temperature, bathing suit and you are ready to go. Bon Voyage!