Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Air-travel with babies - 10 travel-gear picks

Maybe it's because of the recent birth of the royal baby in England, or maybe it's because some close family members recently had their first baby, but I have had babies on my mind lately. Flying with an infant can be a challenge, but it can also be a lot easier than you might think - if you're lucky, your baby might just eat and sleep their way through the flight. If you're not lucky... well, my mantra for those situations is: "This too shall pass".

Here are 10 travel-gear items that are great when you're traveling with a baby:

1. Pacifier clips & toy straps

Keeping track of all your travel gear is hard enough when you don't have a baby, and with a baby: help is good. A pacifier clip helps keep your baby's soother safe and reasonably clean, and the toy straps can be used to secure various toys to your clothes, a carrier, the baby's stroller, and so on.

2. A diaper bag

A good diaper bag will help you keep your items organized and within easy reach, even in a cramped airplane bathroom. It should also be easy to carry: a backpack model might be just the thing to look for.

3. A portable change pad

Some diaper bags and backpacks include a portable diaper change pad, but if not, it's a good item to pack. Change tables in airport bathrooms and on board might not include any padding at all, and they might also be rather unsanitary!

4. A nursing cover

Breastfeeding can be very convenient when you're traveling: no bottles to clean or formula to heat, and no need for clean water, for example. I'm a big supporter of babies being allowed to eat when and where and how they please - nursing cover or no nursing cover (full babies don't cry as much on board, for one thing). And for those who like using a nursing cover, there are some very nice ones out there.

5. A travel bassinet/bed for your room or the beach

I wish I'd had something like this when my kids were little. A portable bassinet makes it easy to put your baby down safely for a nap anywhere: in a hotel room, at an airport, wherever. And the portable bed with mesh cover is a great idea for the beach: it protects your baby from mosquitoes and the sun!

6. A baby carrier

Baby carriers are awesome when you're on a plane, and everywhere else. They make it easy to carry your baby comfortably, and many babies just love being close and snuggly with mom or dad. Pick the kind you find the most comfortable and easy to use.

7. Travel-friendly baby bottles

If you're not breastfeeding, it really helps to have some travel-friendly baby bottles along. There are many good ones on the market, including several brands with thermos-features, or ways of heating up the formula quickly and easily.

8. Comfortable baby pajamas

Comfortable clothing is a must on a plane, and that goes for babies too. Pick something that is comfortable and easy to change in and out of on board.

9. Fun travel toys

A few well-chosen, easy to bring-along toys can help soothe and entertain your baby. Avoid anything with lots of noise or music, since it will probably end up annoying somebody on board...

10. A bag for wet stuff

Sometimes, you can't avoid little accidents. And just in case you end up with some wet clothes on your trip, a waterproof bag is great to bring along. Of course, you can just use any plastic bag for this purpose, but a washable, reusable bag is not a bad choice either.

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