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I said a while ago that I would create this blog post, and here it is…FINALLY!
We have taken a few trips with Jack now, and we’ve figured out a few things that make life SO. MUCH. EASIER. when traveling with a baby!
These recommendations are more for a 5-6 month + baby, but some could work for younger!
Also, the best thing about these recommendations is that they’re ALL budget friendly! Making life easier without breaking the bank? It’s a win win!
1. Diaper Bag Backpack*
Let me preface this by saying that I still love our first diaper bag! Our first one was your traditional purse-like diaper bag, and it is wonderful! SO many pockets & so much room. But when we decided to take Jack to Asheville & do a tour of the Biltmore, I knew we’d wouldn’t want to carry a huge diaper bag around and we’ve most likely need our hands free to carry the stroller up and down stairs.
This diaper bag is AMAZING!!!! It fits WAY more stuff than I thought it would, and it is super comfy to wear! Robert and I both wore it and really like it! While it isn’t as big as my traditional diaper bag, here are a bunch of pockets, and we were able to take everything (plus some!) we needed with us for a day trip!
I use this one more than our other one now just because Jack is so active, it’s easier to throw on a backpack versus trying to keep the traditional diaper bag over my shoulder!
2. Durable Umbrella Stroller
For our Asheville trip, we wanted a stroller that would be light enough to carry up and down the stairs at the Biltmore, but also sturdy enough to support Jack (he was 9 months old). We also wanted something with a lot of good sun coverage for summer.
This stroller is AWESOME! It’s technically an “umbrella” stroller, but the wheels are super durable and the sun canopy is HUGE! The stroller is on the narrower/smaller side, so if you have a very large baby, it might be a tight fit. But for Jack, it was perfect! As he gets taller, we’ll probably just have to remove the canopy (it’s removable!) Also, he is in the 90th percentile for height, so for a shorter babe, this would last longer!
(Photo of Jack in the stroller for size reference!)
It is HUGE and has several different “levels”. You can have it all the way retracted or you can pull out the extra visor for full coverage. It was fantastic on our Asheville trip when we were touring the Biltmore property in the noonday sunshine!
One thing that isn’t the greatest about this stroller is the lack of storage. There IS a small basket below (which is more than a lot of umbrella strollers!!), but it is only about 2 inches tall. We put a few things in it, but I was glad we had our diaper bag for extra storage & that we could wear the diaper bag on our backs!
This stroller is SO light & easy to fold. It’s the length of a large umbrella & a little bit thicker. We easily carried it everywhere and it didn’t take up much room in our trunk, which was great!
This stroller is a little on the shorter side. I'm 5'2", and it was comfortable for me to push around, but Robert told me that it felt short to him. So if you're 5'10" or taller, just know that you may have to hunch over a little bit to push the stroller!
One thing that I want to mention… we got this when Jack was 9 months old, but I wouldn’t have wanted to use it until Jack hit the 6 month old mark or was sitting up well on his own. The stroller provides some support, but the harness is just a lap harness (no shoulder straps), and when Jack was younger than 6 months I don’t know that I would have felt comfortable with the lack of support/security.
Now we use this stroller when we’re out and about, and we STILL love it! For long walks we use our jogging stroller, but for quick trips to restaurants, walking around down town, or travel…this one is great!
3. Cart & High Chair Cover*
We got this when Jack was 7 or 8 months old, and it’s another “must have” in our book! We have used it both in shopping carts and multiple restaurant high chairs, and we love it! At first we used the pillow that came with it for extra support (this would be great for a 5 or 6 month old), but Jack outgrew it pretty quickly. Plus by the time he was 7/8 months old he was sitting up pretty well on his own! This just makes the cart & high chair more comfortable, and it covers the yucky handle (that Jack likes to try to chew on)!
Also, it has loops for "hookable" toys!!! We LOVE this feature! If you have a baby, you've probably experienced an accidental toy drop in a yucky place. Restaurant & supermarket floors aren’t the cleanest things, and these loops save the day! We hook car seat toys and old play gym toys to them, and he can play without us having to worry too much about the toys hitting the ground.
One last feature—it has a place to put your phone to entertain baby! We’re not huge on screen time (especially since Jack is so young), so we really haven’t used this except for once when we were desperate and were waiting on a check at a restaurant! ;) Parents…y’all get it! Desperate times call for desperate measures!
Here's a shot of Jack in a cart with the cover! We love it!
4. Disposable Place Mat*
We really like these! We’ve used them at a few different restaurants now, and they’re great because A) they’re colorful and Jack loves to look at them and B) They keep his food (that he doesn’t drop on the floor, ha!) from getting on the table! I feel like it’s cleaner than the quickly wiped tables at restaurants, and while it doesn’t always work perfectly (sometimes he manages to get it off), we still love it!
5. Pacifier Clips*
Paci clips are a MUST for us, because Jack gets excited and accidentally throws things all the time! So, we hook his toys to them AND his pacis...and then we either hook these to his shirt, stroller, or the cart cover.
So many of the paci clips I've seen are metal. For some reason Jack chews & sucks on his paci clips, and I felt better about them being a strong plastic instead of metal. Of course, it would be good to always check these clips to make sure they're in good shape before giving them to baby!
6. Toys that can hook to things*
We have LOVED having toys that have hooks on them (like the ones that are attached to baby play gyms!) Here are a few examples:
we have used the hanging toys from this play gym (Jack LOVED this when he was little) to hook to his stroller & cart cover
We have a few "Taggies" toys, and Jack loves them! This one is a favorite, because it can attach to anything and go anywhere :) Bonus- it has teether rings!
7. Pacifier Wipes*
These are gold! When there isn’t a sink around and we need to wipe off a paci or teether that has fallen in the grass or something, this is what we use! They’re food grade, so they’re safe for baby.
Of course, if something falls on the yucky bathroom floor at a restaurant, we just toss it into the diaper bag to clean and sanitize at home! But for minor wipe offs, we use these! They also work great on hands!
8. Sanitizing Spray
This one is kind of random, but I'm always going to have it with me when we travel (especially to hotels) from now on! When we traveled to Asheville, we stayed in a suite, and I had to wash Jack's bottles, teethers, pacis, etc. in the bathroom sink. Not having a separate sink for bottle washing was interesting (especially for someone with germaphobic tendencies, ha!), and I was glad that I had packed my homemade countertop spray to wipe everything down before washing his things!
9. Pack N' Play
This one is probably a no-brainer, but we love our Graco Pack 'N' Play! We've taken it so many places, and Jack sleeps great in it. As he gets longer, we'll probably have to switch to something else, but it works for now! We also love that it doubles as a safe, babyproof play space for him when we're traveling! I didn't include a link, because I couldn't find our exact model, but if you search for Pack N Plays on Amazon, you'll find LOTS of options! :)
I hope this post was helpful! As always, if you have any questions, shoot me an email! I love to hear from you & often I use questions for new blog material!
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