Traveling with a Toddler: Must-Haves & Lessons Learned
It’s that time of year when it seems like everyone is planning their family spring getaway! So whether you’re off to a beach destination to escape the cold, or traveling to be with family, there’s a few essentials I’ve come to learn between our two trips with Tati that every mom needs to pack.
Let’s first give a HUGE shoutout to Inglesina for sponsoring today’s post so that I could share a few of my favorite things to have with me when tackling the airport with a little toddler!
It is SCARY taking a baby on a trip for the first time.
Every thought from “how many diapers to pack,” to :how many snacks to bring,” and “dear LORD, please don’t lose it on the airplane” are running through our heads.
I hope this list can relieve that anxiety for you (at least a little). All of the products below are tried and true not once, but TWICE, so mama, I gotchu. Now let’s get into it.
First, a good travel stroller is hands down, without a doubt, the most used MVP of traveling with a baby! There are tons of travel cribs on the market but my research led me to THIS Quid Stroller for a number of reasons.
- Super lightweight (literally only 13 lbs)
- Unfolds with one-hand (needed and used that in the airport!)
- Fits in an overhead bin when folded (and the compactness was ideal in the hotel also)
- Comparable design to my luxury stroller, with a great sized basket that can hold my diaper bag (something that’s hard to find in travel strollers)
- Comfortable, spacious seat and footrest (Tati can comfortably lounge, recline, sleep, or hang out)
- Easy swivel wheels and lock
Yes, a lot of hotels and places will have a pack and play or crib upon request, but our Lotus Travel Crib is just too easy to bring and I KNOW she’s comfortable and familiar with it, so I’ve brought ours on both trips and not regretted it.
- It weighs 11 lbs (13 lbs when packed)
- The carrying case can be a duffle OR a backpack, which is great for lugging around
- It has a comfortable foam mattress (mom tested, lol)
You will be shocked at how much you use this gadget! I am SO grateful I snagged this travel sanitizer/sterilizer Munchkin Box at the last minute on Amazon prime.
- It uses UV light to eliminate 99.99% of bacteria & viruses from pacifiers, bottle nipples, teethers, and any other small baby items you can think of.
- It’s powered with AA batteries and has a USB cord also
- Doesn’t require any soap or spray – just 1 minute in the UV light to sterilize!
Must-haves aside, there are a few tips I’ve learned from our travel experiences as well…
Books > Screen Time
Every baby is different, but Tati is about to be 16 months old and ONLY this past month is she entertained by TV.
Prior to this month, it held her attention for MAYBE 3 minutes, max. So if your baby falls into that category, they aren’t going to magically be interested in screen time on a plane. Pack PLENTY of books that your little enjoys. Books saved us.
Beware of the Suckers
Tati was 13 months and 15 months for her travels, so we’ve been phasing out of bottles. Every mom told me that suckers were the WAY to go on a plane to help with ear popping.
My verdict is, they’re great. While Tati doesn’t actually seem to be bothered by the cabin pressure change, they keep her busy, still, and satisfied for a long time.
HOWEVER, sticky hands, sticky cheeks, and sticky EVERYTHING are inevitable so have your wipes ready to go. I also recommend wearing a color that’s darker than your darkest sucker in case some of the sucker drool sticky makes it’s way to your shirt. Not speaking from experience or anything.
Resist the Urge to Overpack for Baby
Yes, you want to pack extra clothes and diapers in case of emergencies and accidents, but my first trip, the packing was EXCESSIVE.
I legit packed as if Tati was going to have 4 blowouts a day! Ridiculous. LOL. I, no joke, came back with probably 15 unused diapers and 10 unused outfits. So, don’t do that.
Ask About Car Seat Rentals
If you rent a car through a mianstream service like Avis, chances are, you can add on a car seat. So that’s exactly what we did.
In Mexico, we arranged through our resort for a van to pick us up, and again, mentioned that we . If you inquire about a car seat, chances are, they have one. SO in both our travel experiences we have NEVER lugged a car seat around!
I got WAY smarter my second time around:
- Packed 6 diapers a day
- ONE full pack of wipes
- And just a couple alternate outfits (as opposed to 2 alternates per day)
And even STILL, I came home with excess. SO, all that to say, we travel with enough “stuff” with a toddler, so try to cut back where you can, and worst case scenario, you have to go buy your baby something.