Best Travel Gear for Babies Buying Guide
If you’ve been a parent for a while, you probably know that traveling with your little children requires a bit of planning. There’s the matter of car safety and mobility, sleeping arrangements, meal time considerations, among so many other things that your child might need while you’re all away from the comfort of home. It is quite understandable then, if you always find yourself making excuses to stay home and give up on planning trips all together. But it doesn’t have to be that way. After all, travelling has so many benefits for children in terms of their cognitive and cultural development. It’s a good thing then that so many great things have been invented to make traveling with kids a joyful experience again. You will definitely still need to plan, but it no longer needs to be as overwhelming as it used to be if you have the right gear.
This is where we at ParentsNeed HQ come in. We have outlined and reviewed the best travel gear for your little ones to bring the joy back into planning trips. Once you’ve got these essentials covered, the only thing you will have to worry about is whether or not your camera has enough memory to capture all the precious moments you will have with your family. Read on to learn more about the best travel gear for babies.
What features should you consider in buying the following travel gear for babies?
● Car Seat
Whether you are going on a long trip out of town or just to run short errands, a good car seat is one essential that you absolutely must not forego. Besides the fact that in some countries it is a law to put children in a car seat, you simply cannot discount the significant decrease in infant car fatalities since they were introduced. So if you have not purchased one yet, check for these features before you do.
- Pick a car seat that is appropriate for the age and weight of your child. If your child is above six months and you don’t think you’ll be having another baby, you can forgo models with a newborn insert. You might also select one that can accommodate your child until he is tall enough for his feet to reach the car floor when he sits down.
- You small child should sit in a rear facing car seat up until he is about two years old or weighs 40 lbs. So for the most economical choice, you want to get a model that can function as a rear facing car seat at first and then turn into a front facing one later on.
- Remember, you want a five-point harness or no deal at all. This is a standard and non-negotiable feature of all baby safety gear from car seats to strollers to high chairs.
- If you are going to travel by plane, it is a good idea to check the car seat for Federal Aviation Authority approval. Even though there isn’t a rule that your child must sit in a car seat during take-off and landing, you may want to have the option of giving him his own seat for both your baby’s and your comfort.
Once your baby learns to walk, there’s no stopping him from wanting to run from one adventure to the next whether he is indoors or outdoors. But even though he has those bursts of puppy energy, his little stature simply won’t be able to cover enough ground before he gets tired and cranky. That doesn’t mean your little trip should end just because he no longer feels like walking. This is when your little one will enjoy riding in his stroller for some chill cruising or for napping. There are a lot of options when it comes to strollers these days that specialize in casual urban strolling to off road jogging. Your choice will depend on what you want to use it for and if it has the following features.
- Because you will be traveling with the stroller, pick one that is light and folds into a portable size. There are a lot of umbrella strollers that provide a nice secure frame that are perfect for normal strolling.
- If you are going to go out in the bush or do some heavy off road strolling, we recommend purchasing a jogging stroller. They have a sturdy frame and three big bicycle wheels that will have no trouble going uphill or downhill. They also have some shock absorption for a smooth ride on a bumpy road. The downside is that they tend to be bigger and heavier – which would be ok if you take them to the great outdoors – so they can be unwieldy to use in the mall.
- Of course, a five-point harness is a must have in any device that needs to restrain your baby. So even though we mentioned it earlier in the car seat section, we’re going to put this here to emphasize its importance.
● Structured Baby Carrier
There are going to be places that will simply be too crowded for a stroller or where walk ways are too narrow. For those places, you will want to have a structured carrier for your baby. You might like to think of a structured carrier as a backpack that your baby can ride so you can cover a lot of distance without your arms giving out under his weight. You may opt for a lightweight soft structured carrier or, if you are going somewhere especially crowded or to a place that is a little too out there in the wilderness, you may find that a hard framed carrier is more suitable. Whichever you choose, you will want to consider these features:
- Go for an ergonomic design with a seat that is both wide and deep. Poorly designed carriers have seats that are too narrow and leave your baby dangling at the crotch. Avoid those models because a crotch dangle could cause hip dysplasia and may hurt your baby. Instead, pick a structured carrier that allows baby to seat with his legs wide apart and with his knees higher than his hips in froggy position.
- Choose a carrier that has wide padded straps at the shoulders so that you avoid having them dig down into your skin. You also want one with a waist strap so that you get a lot of lumbar support which will keep your neck from straining. With the right adjustment and the correct straps, you will feel a significant drop in your child’s weight which you will be thankful for if you need to cover some distance.
- Check that the carrier is made with good breathable material to prevent your baby from overheating. Remember that you will be sharing body heat when you carry your baby close to you, so you want to make sure that the material you choose can help keep both of you nice and cool.
- If you are going on an adventure in the great outdoors, you might want to choose a carrier that has a lot of storage where you could put your baby’s drinking cup, your keys, wallet, et cetera. When you start getting tired from moving around, you are going to love how everything you need is within reach.
● Portable Bed
If you have traveled at least once with your little person, you might already know that finding suitable sleeping arrangements for him is not as easy as you previously thought. Hotels don’t normally carry cots for babies and you might have found yourself in the potentially dangerous situation of having to sleep beside a very small baby. And if your family really enjoys camping, that one experience probably made you think that you would have to give up outdoor activities until your little one is older. Well, we are here to tell you that you don’t have to wait so long. You can actually plan your baby’s sleeping arrangements with a portable cot. The following are the things you want to look for.
- Aside from weight, you want to pick a cot that folds into neat package that is easy to carry. Avoid models that fold into awkward shapes and require even minimal assembly. You want something that folds and unfolds quickly and without a fuss.
- If you are going to go camping or do some wilderness adventuring, pick a portable cot that is easy to clean because they are more likely to get soiled. There are some models out there that allow you to detach the washable parts from the frame and throw it into the washing machine.
- If you are buying a crib style bed, make sure it has mesh walls all around so that it is well ventilated while still protecting your baby from falling. And if you are bringing it outdoors, get a model that allows you to close the top or use mosquito netting as an alternative. On the other hand, if your baby no longer wants to sleep in a crib, you can purchase a low lying toddler bed so that in case of your child falling off the bed in his sleep, he is unlikely to sustain injuries.
● Portable High Chair
Since we’re on the topic of traveling in the great outdoors, you will want to restrain your child during mealtimes for a couple of reasons. The first reason is to keep him safe. Cooking on camp grounds is an open air affair that involves a fire within your child’s reach. Allowing him to toddle around during meal times can be very dangerous. The second reason is so that you can give him some continuity if you have been teaching him the habit of eating on a high chair. Allowing him to walk around with food during meal times may undo the hard work you have put into teaching your baby some table manners. Fortunately, there are portable high chairs that you can purchase that are light and easy to assemble. You just need to know what features to prioritize.
- Pick a high chair that folds and unfolds easily. Strange situations can escalate quickly in the outdoors so you want to make sure you will be able to seat your child away while you deal with a potentially harmful situation, or pack everything up just as fast if feel you need to leave.
- Choose a model that comes with a nice wide tray so that your child can use it for a variety of things like as a desk for coloring or playing with blocks during downtime.
- There will be a lot of things in his surroundings to be curious about and he might suddenly decide that mealtime isn’t top priority. So you will want to make sure your portable high chair has a safety harness in case your toddler tries to escape.
- As with all your other travel gear, they will inevitably get dirty. It will serve you best if the all the things that you take with you on your trip are easy to clean. The same goes for your travel high chair. Choose one with fabric components that can be detached from the frame and thrown into the laundry.
If you have been avoiding vacations with your kids because of the hassle of taking all their bulky things with you, well you can go ahead and plan a trip now that all this travel gear is available at your convenience. After extensive research we have listed our Top 5 Best Travel Gear for Infants and the list includes a car seat, stroller, structured carrier, travel cot, and travel high chair. All of them are sure to make travel easy and fun again. Our top pick, though, is the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat.
The other items on the list may be optional for having a fun trip with your baby since your needing them may depend on where you are going or what you will be doing. The car seat though is an essential item that you must never leave home without. For this reason, we have picked the car seat to be our number one must have when traveling with your baby.
We also have out Top 5 Best Travel Gear for Toddlers and our top 1 pick is the Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 Harness Booster Car Seat.