We spent about half of our sons first year on the road. We road tripped, we visited family, we backpacked…. we did it all. And during those six months we learned what gear we needed…. and what gear we didn’t…
Our must have gear for traveling with a baby
Our big heavy all terrain pram
Our big giant pram was a lifesaver when we were backpacking around Europe. The big inflatable wheels navigated cobble stones with ease, and when we had to move all of our stuff between hotels and bus stations we would just load all our luggage onto the pram, and carry our son in his hiking carrier. It made transfers a breeze and we could walk long distances with all our stuff without getting tired or frustrated. We wrote more about strollers for travel here.
A metal framed baby carrier
Just like our pram, we prefer our baby carrier big and bulky. The metal frame, thick shoulder straps, and strong waist strap means that the weight of the child is evenly distributed across your hips, allowing you to wear the carrier for long periods of times without hurting your shoulders or back. Also, the bulky carrier allowed us to pack at least a carry on worth of luggage in the storage compartment during flights or transfers. We wrote more about baby carriers here.
A fold down, secure booster seat
A lot of restaurants and cafes in Europe didn’t have high chairs available so having a little compact booster seat is key. We got our from Aldi of all places for just 25$. It folds down and fits in the undercarriage of a stroller easily. You can also make the booster seat a little higher as well by blowing into an inflatable compartment. It’s totally secure as well and straps baby in so everyone is secure. It’s brilliant.
Gear we didn’t really need for traveling with a baby
We originally bought the Phil & Teds nest, which as far as portable cots go is AWESOME. But we didn’t really need it. Firstly, our baby is HUGE, so he grew out of it pretty quick. Also, many hotels offer free porta cots anyways… and when they don’t… well you can improvise. Jacob slept on piles of blankets on the floor, drawers, even in our suitcase. He didn’t mind. But most of the time he slept in the bed in between Mom and Dad.
A collapsible play pen
Although we didn’t need this, I still love the concept. We got this collapsible plan pen at The Early Learning shop in the UK. It collapses down tiny, and it super easy to assemble. It was great because it kept all of Jacob’s toys in once place, but once he learned to crawl he wasn’t that interested at staying inside it.
Portable bottle sterilizer
Some parents are more worried about their child’s exposure to germs than others. We would fall into the “not concerned” camp. When he was under 6 months we would sterilize his bottles with milton tablets when we were traveling, but towards the end of the trip we just got lazy. We just made sure they were well washed out with a bottle brush and didn’t worry about a bulky “portable” sterilizer. And Jacob never once got sick.