Traveling with Baby

In living the expat life, Jeff and I have been fortunate enough to up our travel game this year. As you may know…from following our blog…we moved from the USA to Germany in October of 2018. Since then we have been able to visit Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Spain, Hungary, Luxembourg, Denmark and in a few days, Italy. Italy will bring Carson’s country count to 11 (and technically 12 since we will be visiting Vatican City…yes, it’s a country too)! This also means that we travel a lot, more than your average household. Sometimes it’s a quick 1-2 hour drive across the border, but other times it’s a quick 1-2 hour flight.

Recently, a friend asked me about my travel “must haves”. Wow…me? I’m usually so busy packing “must haves” for the baby that I don’t even think about what’s in my bag. After thinking about it for a few minutes, I was able to tell her what I always pack and actually use! I’ve compiled a list of “must haves” for both me and C and included links in case it’s a “must have” for you too. All links take you to the item or a similar item on Amazon. I am not sponsored by Amazon or any of the products listed. These are just things I have found and love.

  • Must Haves For Me:
    • Travel Purse
      • My great friend Stephanie came to visit us a few weeks ago. She had a travel purse that held a lot of items and kept them safe at the same time. You had better believe I ordered it as soon as she left and can’t wait to travel with it on our trip to Rome in a few days. It’s a leather mini backpack with zippered pockets, hidden compartments, holds an iPad and comes in a variety of colors! Face wipes
      • These are a must. Travel can be hectic and stressful. Whether you have a 60 min flight or a 6 hour flight, it’s always refreshing to cleanse your face with a wonderful smelling, cool wipe. I prefer to use the Yes To Cucumber Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes for Sensitive Skin. These are a little hard to find in Europe so I use whatever I can find that seems legit.Hand sanitizer/disinfectant wipes
      • Thinking about all of the germs in/on public spaces…yuck! Don’t! Seriously…just don’t. One way to ease your stress about the germs from traveling is hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes. The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer is my absolute, hands down favorite. I love the different scents and the ease of the spray. Honestly, I carry 2-3 of these sprays with me all day, everyday…even while not traveling. I also love Clorox Wipes in a travel size. I personally love to wipe down the arm rests and fold away tray as soon as I take my seat in the plane. Small bag to hold cords
      • If you are anything like me, even while you are in a chaotic state, you like to stay organized. Not sure what it is about being organized that makes me feel calm but whenever I am traveling I have to have a small pouch or baggie to hold all of my electronic cords. If I’m really feeling inspired, I’ll even label them (doesn’t happen often). It can be a plastic baggie or a beautifully monogrammed zippered pouch as long as it holds all of the cords I have, it does right by me. (No link as this is probably something you already have in your house). I usually carry two of these with me. One for cords, as mentioned above. The other bag is for small items so they don’t get lost in my purse like floss-sticks, safety pins, a hair thing or two, moisturizer, nail file, clippers etc.Twist Ties
      • As silly as it sounds…twist ties. Yes, the twist ties that come on everyday items, yet I can’t think of one. I save and collect these in a way that makes my husband crazy. However, they make great binders for cords…you know, the electronic cords that are being stored in your small zippered baggie. Again, it’s the organization in a chaotic time that makes me feel at ease. Every cord is always wrapped and bound in an organized manner.Extra Charger
      • At this point in time, most airplanes have seats with charging ports. However, sometimes you will fly on a plane that is a little older and there are no charging ports to be found. You could turn off your devices but on a 9 hour flight my response is, “no way!” Especially not with a little one in tow. I always bring with me an external battery charger for my phone, iPad, electronics etc. This way, I know for sure that I am covered when the battery on my not-so-old-phone dies a little too quickly. Small Notebook and Pen
      • Even though most information is stored on my phone sometimes I like to actually write it down. Its always a good idea to keep a pen on you but I like to take travel notes in a little notebook/journal. Inflatable Neck Pillow
      • Let me just say that this is Jeff’s “Must Have”. He purchased these for both of us when we were traveling to China (15 hour flight) a few years ago and thank goodness he did! The Inflatable Neck Pillow provided some much needed comfort on long flights. Not only is it small and compact but it inflates incredibly easily to the comfort level of your choice. I only bring this with me on long flights where I want to sleep.
  • Must Haves for Carson:
    • Backpack Diaper Bag
      • When Carson was first born, I bought a beautiful leather diaper bag. It was large, elegant and heavy…very impractical. After a month of slinging this thing everywhere I went, my massage therapist suggested I get something a little more lightweight. I stumbled upon the Diaper Backpack. The backpack comes in a variety of colors and holds a lot of baby essentials. It is now our everyday diaper bag and we love it.Woofy, the Lovie
      • I’ve already mentioned our friend, Steph, but did I also mention that at one point in time, she was a nanny? She knows what babies want. At birth, she gifted Carson with a Lovie (mini blanket with an animal head). Woofy, the Lovie, is Carson’s absolute “Must Have” for sleep. Not sure if you’ve realized but we have quite a spirited girl with a huge personality. When she is tired, Woofy is all she wants/needs. Side note: we now have 2 Woofy’s…just in case. They are not allowed to leave the crib unless we are traveling. On travel days, we keep him in the diaper bag so she can have her comfort item on the plane. We also always leave one Woofy at home. Developmental/Busy Toys
      • Thanks to my expat/mom friend/the person I spend every day with Nicole, Carson now has a few toys that don’t leave the diaper bag. They are light weight and keep her busy when we are out and about.
        • The Dimple Toy by Fat Brain Toys is always a win! Carson loves pushing the colored silicone spots in and out. Another toy she loves is Pop and Slide Shelly a turtle toy from Fat Brain Toys. This one keeps both adults and children entertained. The colorful pieces on the turtle’s shell slide around and pop into place.The newest addition to our travel toys, especially on longer flights is the Wooden Lacing Watermelon Threading Toy. Carson fully concentrates and play with this toy for a solid 10-20 min. She enjoys threading the little green worm through all of the holes in the watermelon.Water Wow books by Melissa and Doug are also great to have on hand. Simply fill the little paint brush with water and paint the pages. When your little one paints, the water activates the colors in the picture including secret picture details. Painting on the go with no mess…sounds like a win-win to me!Travel Baby Chair
      • There are quite a few of these on the market at this point but we really like the super light weight, easy to carry portable high chair like the My Little Seat Travel High Chair. The portable high chair fits over the back of most chairs and keeps baby safe and secure. Many restaurants in Europe are pretty small and do not always have a high chair. This portable seats turns almost every chair into a high chair so you don’t have to eat with a baby on your lap.Pacifier Clips
      • Pacifier clips have been a must have for us since Carson was born. However, Carson has never taken a pacifier. She used to give us a look as though we had offended generations of her family every time we tried to coax her to take one. Almost 15 months later and she still hates them. The good news is that we don’t use the clips for pacifiers. We use them for, well, everything else. Attach one to the handle of a snack cup or bottle and “VoilĂ “, it doesn’t get lost when it is inevitably thrown. Clip blankets and toys to strollers with ease and again, they don’t get lost when the princess no longer wants these things.McClaren Travel Stroller
      • When I initially saw the price on the McClaren travel stroller, I about fainted. We already had a Running B.O.B. and a Chicco Car Seat Carrier. Why on Earth would we need another stroller! The good news is that we found one on CraigsList in decent condition. I’m so glad we did! It has traveled with us to 10, soon to be 11, countries. Harness Backpack with Leash
      • This is a new item that we will be trying out in the next couple of days. Carson loves, loves, loves to walk but doesn’t always love holding an adults hand while she is walking. She loves exploring and at 15 months old, doesn’t yet know stranger danger or the dangers of the environment around her. We thought it best to try out a backpack with a leash. Yep, we have officially become those parents. We are also going to call it her “snack pack” where we store her tasty treats…nothing too heavy as she is still pretty little.

One thought on “Traveling with Baby

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the mentions 🙂 I love the gray color your got (making me want a second backpack haha), and Carson’s backpack is the cutest thing ever!! Funny enough, last week my friend asked what to get a 1-yr-old, and I told her you recommended the turtle and dimple toys! Hahaha. Love you guys xo

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