UPDATED for 2019: Best Travel Accessories for Babies and Toddlers
Introduction – must have items for traveling with baby or toddler
Before becoming a mother I had no idea about all the awesome travel accessories for babies and toddlers that can make traveling as a single parent really a LOT easier. There really are a few MUST-have-items-for-traveling-with-baby that can make your life SO much easier AND babies life so much safer.
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Once people found out that I was in the process of adopting my daughter, of course everyone was very supportive and tried to help. In this article I will list the things that I bought because they seemed practical and of course safe. I loved each of them and used them until they fell apart or could pass them on to the next parent:
The Best Portable High Chair – fits in your handbag
The first thing I bought at a garage sale of a single mother was a foldable high chair. I had never ever heard of this but WHAT a clever invention! A high chair that fitted in my handbag. Whoop Whoop, motherhood was looking like a lot more fun than people made me believe sometimes.
Look at my Rosie sitting here at 9 months old on our first family safari in the Kruger National Park with my parents and my brother’s family. She’s part of the crowd, super happy and super safe. I think this foldable high chair is the best portable high chair ever because it even fits into my tiny hand bag and it is washable which is another big advantage. How dirty are the high chairs you find in restaurants?? I mean I was often in shock to see that no one seemed to clean these things. Eeks!! No rather bring this fantastic travel high chair that you easily stuff in any bag.
It will fit best around old fashioned chairs or bar stools like the one you see in the picture. So yes the only disadvantage would be if a restaurant or hotel has chairs where you can’t fit this travel high chair around the back of the chair but other than that, I don’t see any cons.
Click HERE to buy your own portable high chair. I can’t recommend them enough.
My 2nd best baby travel gear HAS to be this amazing travel crib. Look at this!! How cute is this and SUPER safe. When I first traveled with Rosie and no cot was available, I would ask for a gazillion pillows and then build a fortress on the bed, see picture on the right… However, when I found this, I felt much more at ease leaving her to sleep when I quickly took a shower or had to step out of the room for 2 minutes. This toddler travel bed traveled with us everywhere over South Africa. It is also perfect to provide some shade in case it is very hot and sunny. You child will feel safe and comfortable and is still able to see you through the netting. It folds away as a small packet and will fit in literally every single suitcase or carry-on bag.
My best advice of course came again from other mothers and a friend offered me to sell her Bugaboo travel system which by the way was voted best travel system 2018 in Europe.
It is a car seat stroller combo which I was happy to buy 2nd hand from my friend. So you have the Bugaboo bassinet, the Maxi Cosi infant seat for the car, the stroller seat and the wheels that fit underneath it all. Yes becoming a parent is not for the faint at heart, you will need to STUDY all these things. YO! To figure it all out my friend send me some youtube videos because you have no idea how to figure it all out if nobody just tells you.
However, once you know the system it is fantastic and so easy to travel with. By the time I adopted Rosie she was already too big to fit in the bassinet but the Maxi Cosi and the wheels I used every single day and we went on may adventures. Our biggest adventure going on the Gautrain in Johannesburg and of course our family safari.
There are all kinds of travel accessories for babies that go with the Bugaboo travel system, like an umbrella, a bag, a step on thingie for a bigger child etc. but I never bought any of those. Budget was a bit tight when I started out so I only bought the most essential baby travel accessories to make my life easy and Rosie’s life safe.
I love hiking and I used to do it a lot before Rosie and also when she was still small enough to carry. I was given one of those back carriers with a metal frame but it never felt comfortable to me. It always felt as if I was going to fall over and Rosie was bumping with her head against the sides or my back. I might be too short to wear those comfortably.
So my joy was big when I discovered the Ergo Baby Carrier which made my life with Rosie-On-the-Road the first 2 years very very comfortable and very easy. The support is fantastic because of the hip strap. You hardly feel the weight because you carry with your hips. You carry your child close to you so you feel her all the time which is also great for bonding and sharing.
We did many hikes with the Ergo Baby Carrier and I used it much more than a stroller because I could keep my hands free this way. Shopping, getting on air planes, walking with groceries, it all become easier and I became stronger (extra benefits there).
Please do yourselves a favour and don’t look any further. With the Ergo Baby Carrier you can carry your child up to 25 kg (although that seemed a bit insane to me, they should WALK and RUN by then and hike themselves).
Click HERE to order your Ergo Baby Carrier now. It is worth every single penny, easy to use and clean AND you can carry baby on the front as well. Sorry forgot to mention that because that’s not suitable for hiking of course but when they’re still tiny, you will carry baby on the front.
The Bugaboo Stroller is very convenient for when you have a reasonable sized car. At that time I was driving a small Hyundai so whenever I needed the stroller, my car was full. It started to irritate me and I wanted something smaller, a compact stroller for travel because we were planning to go to The Netherlands for the first time (Rosie turned 1 in The Netherlands).
Again I asked around and many moms would advice me to get a McLaren… (I thought it was a car brand only..). So off I went to find a McLaren Stroller and yes it was very compact, can be handled with one hand and you can stuff some other baby necessities like the nappie bag underneath as well or hang it over the handles.
Living in a flat, this was something that I had never considered buying but lucky for me I had some friends who had more insight than me. A baby monitor, OF COURSE, is a fantastic thing to have when you’re travelling and staying in accommodation where you sometimes want to pop out of your room or cottage while your baby is sleeping. A baby monitor really gives you piece of mind and they detect the smallest movement of the baby.
Oh and I REALLY enjoyed having a baby monitor during our trip to Italy.. Enjoying my glass of wine on the terrace while Rosie was sleeping upstairs. Sometimes that’s all you need on a holiday. During the day busy with the kids but at night you should be able to let your hair down a bit..
As you can see on the left, I had a very compact set with no video but now there are so many different option on the market. I would suggest to always go for 5 star reviews and check those that have the most reviews and read through them.
Click HERE to find the best selection on Amazon and find out more about their prices and specifications.
So these are just my absolute essential travel accessories for babies and toddlers. If I can think of more I will add them. Please let me know if you have any essential travel accessories for children that you would like to recommend. I would love to hear.