7 TRAVEL NECESSITIES
We don’t collect stamps, records, or baseball memorabilia— we collect countries.
Our daughter Elah is only 6 months but she was either fortunate or unfortunate (depends how you look at it) to be born into a family obsessed with traveling. In her 6 months she has been on 6 planes, visited and explored 3 countries and 5 states. It has been a lot of trial and error with her but here is a list of some must-have travel items that we found essential in our wanderlust.
A sound machine is essential in Elah’s sleep regimen. She naps and sleeps with white noise. The airplane is one big white noise machine but in our hotel/air bnb or on the go – white noise is essential especially when there might be noise from outside, we are in a small space or another room and want to stay up late. White noise gives her that familiar feeling just like sleeping at home. I could use a white noise app on my phone but then I have no phone. This white noise machine is 3.7 ounces, rechargeable with convenient USB charging (USB cable included) and has 3 Sound Options - Bright white noise, deep white noise and gentle surf. It is perfect travel gear.
Jet Lag, long flights and maybe a cheeky night out? I’m a nursing mom and always travel with a hand pump and at least 1 bottle. You never know when you may get a night out or a baby who actually sleeps through the night or an extended period of time on the plane while you get completely engorged. Most hand pumps can be bulky and a pain to clean. I love my Haakaa. It’s a manual silicone breast pump that simply suctions right on and draws out the milk using suction. It is easy to clean and perfect for when you want to discretely express. It’s also great to catch some extra milk if you have a leaky boob. For you crunchy moms it is 100% eco-friendly, BPA, PVC and Phthalate free.
I recently wrote a full review on the Phil and Ted Traveller Cot. It’s 2.8kg/6lbs, packed: 65 x 20 x 20cm / 25.6 x 7.8 x 7.8" assembled (footprint): 117 x 79 x 63cm / 46 x 31 x 24.8" and it’s mattress size: 98 x 57cm / 38.6 x 22.4". What else do you need to know? This cot is literally lighter than when Elah was born and fits into our luggage. It’s relatively easy to assemble, comfortable and extremely breathable for warmer beach holidays. She has already spent countless nights in it and it’s extremely durable. We use it even if where we are staying offers a pack n play or crib to help create a familiar sleep environment.
Taking an entire diaper bag onto an airplane or small restaurant bathroom is not ideal and there may be additional places that baby could need a change on the go. Many diaper bags come with changing mats these days but if yours doesn’t I highly recommend a portable changing mat. We love our Skip Hop Baby Pronto Portable Changing Station. I actually use the wipes case normally in my day to day diaper bag. Our diaper bag has a changing mat but this is a great extra mat to have on hand in case you don’t want to bring the diaper bag. It easily fits in any bag (backpack, suitcase or purse) and can still fit various items such as your diaper rash cream, some hand sanitizer and disposal bags in its pockets.
Many museums and tourist attractions don’t permit strollers, not all streets abroad are stroller friendly, umbrella strollers don’t work on sand at the beach and most international flights will not return your stroller to the gate upon arrival. A good baby carrier is essential especially in travel outside of the US. Elah also HATES being in the stroller at the airport because there is too much to see and too many people to flirt with. I absolutely cannot use a baby wrap-even the baby K’tan was too complicated for me. We have a Tula which was terrific when Elah was younger but she is too young to go onto the back and too old to face me because she wants to look at everything. We’ve settled on the Baby B’jorn & the Ergo. Both of which are forward and rear facing, not as bulky as other carriers and perfect for my small frame. Baby carriers are totally preference so my advice is to try different ones until you find one that works for you!
It’s all about the familiar sleep environment. Elah uses a sleep sack at home for all naps and bedtime. Using things like her sound machine at home and away and her sleep sack signals to her that it is sleep time. A well rested baby= happy parents.
Highchairs are hard to come by sometimes outside the US. Sure, Elah could and has sat on my lap because we do baby led weaning but then she is trying to grab everything I’m putting in my mouth. We found travel lobster chairs too bulky when we are doing shorter trips and want to bring limited luggage. My Little Seat Infant Seat is a fabric seat (machine washable), foldable and fits easily into any diaper bag, backpack or purse. Sling it over the chair at the restaurant and boom! You have a high chair!
For more travel tips and adventures of Elah, check out my blog Our World Go Explore