The weather has finally started warming up and this means summer vacations are on the horizon. Many parents may feel the sense of dread in preparing for long haul trips. Don’t worry, here are a few essential baby gear for your travels.
1. Car Seats: Buy or borrow another car seat, only for travel. I recommend getting a Cosco Scenara Next, they are highly rated in crash tests, Carseat Lady approved, and cost around $45. You won’t feel so bad if it gets banged up a bit. Don’t forget a cover!
2. Strollers: Bring a portable stroller. I’m not a fan of umbrella strollers since they don’t recline, nor can they be used with a car seat. My favorite travel stroller is the Mountain Buggy Nano, a bit pricier at around $200. It’s so compact you can store it in the overhead compartment on an airplane, you won’t need a special adapter for your car seat, and it reclines almost flat (key for naps). Extras: fan clips and cool mats for strollers.
3. Baby/Toddler carrier: Sometimes, you just need your kids contained and to be hands free. (Like transporting them on and off the airplane and in the airport). While other times, walkers and fussier babies tend do well in carriers. Plus, you can easily nurse in one and going through security will be a breeze.
4. Cooler + Ice Packs: You can bring ice packs and coolers to keep breastmilk at the appropriate temperatures. Yes, you can carry more than 3.4oz of breastmilk! Pack them separately because they will require additional screening. In my experience, any excess breastmilk should be packaged in bags and left in the fridge. Then transported back home in ice packs in a good cooler. It’s much easier to keep them cold, rather than try to transport them frozen. Frozen milk must stay frozen, if it thaws then you will need to use it with 24 hours. If it’s freshly pumped, breastmilk can stay at room temperature for 4-8 hours. Always smell and taste a bit if you’re worried if your breastmilk is still good.
5. On Board Entertainment: Bring things to entertain your babies! We usually wrap up two small gifts for them to open on the way there and on the way back. Great incentives for your tots to behave. Non digital stuff: Papers and crayons, books, travel sized toys, play dough, magnetic wooden blocks, etc. Digital stuff: Headphones and portable tablet. Make sure you load content offline before you fly, since it will be difficult to stream.
Essential items like breastmilk or formula, snacks, food, etc you’ll need to carry with you. A few extra sets of clothes for the babies and one extra set for yourself. (In case of bodily fluids expulsion). Also pack enough diapers until you get to you where you need to go and the remaining you can have shipped to your destination. It may take a bit of extra planning with little ones, but I hope you enjoy your summer vacations!