Oh the gear! The gear! This continued to boggle our minds as new parents—how can a tiny 8lb infant come with 300lbs of gear? At first I thought we were being ridiculous, extravagant and overly cautious taking this much stuff with us for a quick overnight trip, however, there is something to be said about minimizing your stress and maintaining some creature comforts while travelling with a baby. That first overnight away is not just a special milestone for baby but for you too, and you want it to go as smoothly as possible.
With the holidays approaching you might be finalizing plans to visit family or friends. While staying at a loved one's home is easier to pack for than if you were staying at a hotel, there are a few key travel products I'd like to highlight that will help make your trip merry and bright.
Baby Travel Products Worth Their Weight:
- Travel Crib and Playpen
Unless your hosts have a spare playpen or bassinet, I'd definitely toss one of these in my trunk. It's important to have a safe place to put your baby down to sleep in, not to mention a safe place for her to play if the house isn't particularly baby-proof. I just read about this Lotus Travel Play Yard that is very lightweight and has a side zip opening so if mom is still recovering from child birth she can avoid the deep bends of lowering baby down. Don't think you have to spend this kind of money though, there are hundreds of options out there.
- Noise Machine
If you are in the habit of using a noise machine at home I would highly recommend taking it with you on your overnight away. A familiar soothing sound in an unfamiliar place can go a long way in helping your baby get the sleep she needs. The Cloud B Sleep Sheep was a favourite when my kids were babies. It was relatively inexpensive, cute and durable. That thing went everywhere with us and lasted a solid 5 years.
Best Sound Machines of 2019
- Umbrella Stroller
Finding a lightweight, easily collapsible and durable stroller is probably one of the best investments in baby gear you'll make. We had a large cumbersome one with our first and only invested in a good one when our second baby came along. I wished I had done the research properly the first time. We bought a Britax brand travel stroller and loved it, and numerous sites are listing the Summer Infant 3DLite Stroller as a popular choice now.
The 10 Best Travel Strollers of 2019
- Baby Carrier
Perhaps you don't even need a stroller for just an overnight? Toss your baby carrier into the back seat and be done. The perfect baby carrier is very much a personal choice. You might be at a baby playgroup with 20 other parents and see 20 different carriers. One thing to consider though when you're going to visit family and friends—take a straightforward, uncomplicated carrier so that other people can easily tote your baby around without fussing over wraps and knots. Our favourite by far for comfort and simplicity was the Baby Bjorn Original Carrier.
- Portable Highchair
Feeding your baby while she sits on your knee is definitely a do-able option, but this travel item can come in handy more often than you might think. There are a few different styles to review before making your decision:
Like the highchair, there are work-arounds for this item if you want to cut down on gear, but if you know you'll be travelling a lot with your baby (or babies) then a compact bathtub might be a worthwhile purchase. We had a simple, cheap plastic bathtub like this First Years Sure Comfort tub that we used at home on a daily basis as well as traveled with it, but more compact, collapsible options exist.
The 9 Best Baby Bathtubs of 2019
These travel items are only suggestions to kick-start your packing list planning. On your first trip with baby or overnight away from her, there will always be something you wish you'd brought or something you packed and never used. Whatever you do, record and enjoy this momentous milestone!