Travel Gear Wish List for New Parents

As my husband and I are expecting our first baby in January, we’ve already started thinking about how living and traveling abroad will be different when we suddenly become a family of three.

When we were still just talking about getting pregnant, I started reading obsessively about traveling with kids and checking in on some blogs of active travelers and writers who have young children: Julie Schwietert, Leigh Shulman, David Miller, and Christine Gilbert.

I read all of Matt Gross’s Frugal Traveler posts that involved traveling with his baby daughter, Sasha, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading articles like David Page’s Adventures in Weaning: Cold Turkey in the Great American Desert. I was thoroughly convinced that bringing a baby into our family would not stop us from traveling or working abroad.

Several months later, I found myself prepping for the baby shower my mom is throwing. My husband and I are fairly minimalist, and we plan on borrowing the majority of baby-related items from his sister. We don’t want baby jumping things hanging from the doorways, clunky plastic toys cluttering the floors or music-playing mobiles driving us (ok maybe just me) insane with repetitive tunes.

We like to travel light, but we figured there are a few things that could make traveling with baby easier. I registered for a baby sling (for everyday use), a baby backpack (for hiking), an inflatable infant travel bed and an inflatable baby bathtub that rolls up and can easily be squished into a bag.

During my search for baby travel gear, I found all sorts of things that could be helpful for new and expecting parents. You can check out the full run-down on my latest BootsnAll article:

BootsnAll – Gift Guide: Travel Gear Wish List for New Parents

About half of these items are things I’ve registered for myself! If you do click over, remember the goal is to NOT be traveling with as much stuff as the mom in the first photo. Travel gear you do get should help make travel with baby easier, not leave you pushing overloaded carts through the airport.

15 Comments on “Travel Gear Wish List for New Parents

  1. We have the peapod travel bed..we used it when we went to Chicago. It is AWESOME because it hardly takes up any space. I would get a diff carrier like an Ergo http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4103268 or one of the new Infantino carriers..http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4285642 or http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4285643 they are better for the baby and more comfortable for you. Also, we got this http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3331861 because it can be used to secure a baby to ANY chair. The cover over the handle of the cart is separate…we also use it in those stupid wooden high chairs at restraunts because it seems a lot of them don’t have restraints…but again..its something that doesn’t take up a lof of space!

    • Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing Janelle. The part about not taking up space in the luggage is key – with a possibility that we’ll be doing another cross-continental move when baby’s 18 months, we’re trying to think ahead when it comes to packing. Hard to pack up your whole life into a couple big suitcases, especially when you’re now packing for three!

      Thankfully I’ve got the baby shower AND Christmas to work with when it comes to wish lists. : )

  2. I am going to start looking into this too. I’m engaged now so I see a baby happening in the next few years. It’s good to know that there are a lot of resources out there to explore. I’m planning on making travel a part of life forever so I can’t stop just because I’m a parent.

    • Congrats on your engagement Steve! I was so encouraged reading the blogs of other parents who travel. With so many people in American culture saying “it’s crazy” to travel or live abroad with a child, it’s good to remember that all sorts of people are doing it, and they’re not willing to stop either.

    • Thanks Lola! I actually just got a couple of these things today (Snugli carrier, PeaPod tent, bottle warmer) at the baby shower – so excited to try them out. : )

  3. I agree with Janelle on getting the ERGO BABY. You can forget getting 3 products since it is a baby sling, carrier, and backback all in one. And it is soft to pack not like a stiff backpack for hiking and washable. It is expensive, around $125 I think but if you plan on having more kids, it will get its worth or try to bid for one on Ebay. Love your travel stories about Pak since I am there now. I refer my friends to you in my blog since you had no ties to this country to come and are unbiased in your opinion, whereas I am an American Muslim Convert with a Pakistani husband. :) It does take some planning when traveling with kids. I have 3…9, 5, and 3. It does get easier and less to pack after age 3 when they are potty trained and eating regular food! :) I am hoping now since we are over here to travel a lot around this side of the world! Best of luck with the baby. Keep on blogging!

    • So great to hear from you Karrie and glad you’re enjoying the blog! Are you and your family living in Pakistan now? I’d definitely recommend heading up to the Northern Areas – not sure if you’d want to drive or fly (upsides and downsides to both options – the flights can be delayed for days but going by road would be quite the long journey with kids if you end up being delayed by landslide – if the road is clear it wouldn’t be too bad of a trip from Islamabad). Hope to ‘see’ you around the blog. : )

  4. Yes, having kids shouldn’t stop you from travelling! 50 years ago, my parents were working in Turkey, and travelled extensively with me as a baby. They drove from the UK to Turkey and back, after being advised by the Automobile Association that it wasn’t possible, and have some amazing stories to tell. I only wish I could remember things like my first Christmas – spent in Bethlehem! So my advice would be, take LOTS of photos!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I love that that they were told it was “impossible” and yet did it anyway.

  5. We packed up and moved overseas for the first time when our children were five years old and 18 months, and have since had a third abroad. Travelling with kids provides a unique insight. They notice a myriad of things that we just first see. And it’s certainly easier than I ever thought it would be.

    The ERGO is fantastic as is the Kindercot. We also use an inflatable changemat from Ikea (great place to place little babies to play when floors aren’t so clean). My husband showers the baby with him so no need for inflatable baby baths, although kitchen and bathroom sinks work pretty well too. Our youngest is now 8 months old and loves playing with a set of stacking cups and a small bag of five bath toys I bought in a bookshop.

    Look forward to more travel tales

    • Thanks Sonia! Man, I was just at Ikea yesterday – wish I’d picked up that inflatable changing mat, sounds really useful. Glad to hear you moved abroad with an 18-month old, as that’s most likely what we’re looking at doing. Where did you guys move to? Anything in particular you found to be a challenge?

  6. My gear for traveling with a baby, or even with an older child (just add snacks, they healthy ones you can’t find at the airport, water, toys/books/paper/crayon, alcohol in gel and a positive attitude!):
    -Breastfeeding. No gear needed, you are the gear! 😉 Plus: clean, safe, fast, healthy food everywhere. Nursing is also great for the plane (take off and landing).
    -Bed sharing, co-sleeping. There is no need to take extra cribs, and it’s soooo sweet! It also helps babies and kids to deal with unknown places (smells, sounds, etc), that can intimidate/scare them.
    -I agree: the Ergo Baby Carrier is awesome! We use it every day, all the time! (and we used the same one with our first daughter). It’s all you need to carry your baby around (and your toddler; the maximum weight is 60 pounds).
    -A regular backpack -not a diaper bag-, to carry an extra outfit, a blanket that you can use for pretty much everything -including a changing pad to avoid the vinyl ones-, diapers, snacks, books, toys, etc.
    -We also shower/take baths with our kids when traveling (and at home, hehe), so there is no need of a baby tub (we don’t even have one at home!).
    -Elimination Communication (EC) should also make traveling a lot easier (I hate having to use disposable diapers when we travel for more than 2 or 3 days). We’re just starting our EC journey, and it’s amazing!
    I think this is it! Good luck, safe travels! :)

    • Thanks for sharing Laura! I’m glad this gear (or lack of gear really!) has worked so well for you guys. My goal was to have as little stuff as possible with our first baby and to do breastfeeding, co-sleeping, cloth diapering and baby wearing with very little baby stuff, but all of those things proved difficult due to my birth injuries (separated pubis symphysis). I found it interesting how the first things to ‘go’ were my ideals. Now as I’m healing and able to walk again I have more options, but I’m also appreciate of all the stuff that allowed me to care for my baby when things were tough – the Arms Reach co-sleeper bassinet makes a great walker for the temporarily handicapped mom! I’m intrigued by EC – hope it’s going well.

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