Traveling with children, and especially a baby, can be incredibly stressful around the holidays. Between schedule changes, too much time in the car or airplane, and all of the distractions that cause sleep and eating challenges for babies, we sometimes feel like giving up and just staying home. Over the years, though, I’ve found a few things to really help make holiday travel less stressful and less disruptive for my family. Here are my top five essentials for holiday travel with baby.
1. A large organized diaper bag. I love the Timi & Leslie Kate bag. Besides including nearly every accessory you could possibly need, this bag has the option of using shorter handles or the long cross-body handle and attaches to the stroller. With enough compartments for everything, you can keep a well organized diaper bag for a baby and a toddler, plus anything mom may need as well.
2. A nursing cover from Poncho Baby. First, the simple breathable cotton fabric is comfortable and doesn’t draw a lot of attention if you are someone who prefers to use a cover. It comes in a few really pretty neutral colors and folds up very small to fit in the diaper bag. My baby is a very distracted nurser, so he really needs to be covered in public or he constantly looks around. My old cover had a pattern and Ezra would just stare at it forever, making nursing much harder. This cover provides front and back coverage, so if I have to pull up a shirt I’m not uncovered on my back, which is especially nice during the cold winter months where I live. Best of all, this cover is multifunctional. It serves as a car seat cover, a blanket, a stroller cover, or even a sunshade. This has been a great addition to my baby gear for baby number two.
3. A comfortable baby carrier like the Ergo 360. Our first son was incredibly fussy, and his first Christmas was one of the most difficult experiences we had with him. Between too many people, too much excitement, and not enough sleep, he was a wreck. I love using a carrier to protect my babies from too much action, giving them the chance to feel safe and comfortable. I also find that a baby carrier like the Ergo 360 is comfortable enough for moms and baby to skip the stroller altogether. When traveling in an airport, it can make a huge difference and make for a lot less fussing.
4. The travel crib light. The simplicity, lightweight design, and the fact that this works up to age three make the travel crib light a winner for traveling with children. While some hotels have cots and cribs you can use, when visiting family you are often stuck bringing something yourself. The old heavy Pack ‘n’ Play type products are not easy, take up a lot of cargo space, and are complicated to maneuver at best.
5. A white noise machine. A white noise machine can make a huge difference when you are sleeping in a hotel room, a family’s guest room, or anywhere unfamiliar for your children. I use this Homedics Sound Spa because it’s light and very portable, it plugs into the wall, and the volume can be adjusted from very very soft to very very loud depending on needs.
OK, friends, these are my essentials for the holidays. What products do you swear by when traveling with baby?
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