Get in gear with our 11 baby travel must-haves!
1. Stroller/Carseat Travel System:
We suggest that you buy a travel system instead of buying a car seat and a stroller separately. It’s an important purchase because when you travel around with your newborn a travel system allows for the car seat to fit and click into the top of the stroller perfectly, without the added cost and inconvenience of buying a converter to make this happen. The Chicco Cortina Travel System Stroller does this job well, sets-up easily, and is quite affordable.
2. Car Mirror:
Being able to see your baby while you’re driving is a must for your peace of mind. So if your carseat fits well in the middle of the back seat, rear-facing (the safest place for your baby in the car), put the Brica car mirror on the seat-back behind it so that the mirror directly faces your baby. Then use your rear-view mirror to look into it to see your baby’s beautiful face. Some cars won’t fit a car seat well in the middle seat. In that case, we suggest you place it behind the driver’s seat because it’s so much more convenient (and safe) when you are getting your baby in–and-out of the car. Either way, there’s no way you will be able to drive with as much relief as when you can actually see your baby.
3. Extra Carseat Base:
You’ll want to purchase an extra car seat base for your partner’s car. For sure.
4. Carseat Seat-belt Covers:
These seat-belt strap covers help prevent the irritation the seat-belts can give your baby’s shoulders (especially in summer when she’s less dressed) and they help to keep your baby’s head more secure and upright. There’s no reason they can’t match your baby’s gear-theme colors too! For a more secure fit for your baby’s head, try this great head support from Boppy.
5. Carseat Canopy:
6. Carseat Stroller Toys:
This is another must-buy because your baby will spend so much time in the car seat (in and out of the car) in her first year of life. You really want to make sure she likes the experience as much as possible. Whether she’s in the backseat or at a restaurant (or wherever!), toys will help keep her from protesting the restraint when she’s awake. A car seat/stroller toy that wraps around can easily be removed from the car seat and put on just the stroller, once your baby’s old enough to sit well in it, without the car seat attached. Another great toy option is to attach this Vtech Monkey Swing & Sing to the car seat handle!
7. Stroller Fan:
Once the weather warms up, you’ll want this stroller fan to keep your baby comfortable on outings. You will have so many strangers tell you: “What a smart idea!” and “I wish I had one of those!” They’re super inexpensive, but uber functional at the zoo, the park, or just walking around the neighborhood. You can also attach it to the car mirror and keep it facing your baby in her carseat during hot summer days because it will help keep her cool until the air conditioning kicks in. Plus, it has the bonus effect of providing white noise! Another great product to shade your baby while in the car is this window shade — it’s a must for road trips, especially when your baby happens to be on the sunny side of the car for hours.
8. Waterproof Portable Picnic Blanket:
One of the first products you’ll realize you totally need for any warm-weather outing is a good, portable, waterproof picnic blanket. Going on a playdate to the zoo, park, botanical gardens, or even your own backyard with your baby is made so much easier with this gem of a blanket. It fits perfectly in the bottom basket of your stroller and will live in your car trunk permanently. It easily folds up, is stylish, and is totally easy to clean – which you’ll find is super important when babies, picnicking, and diaper-changing are involved!
9. Mommy Hook:
You will love that you have at least one Mommy Hook! Mostly you’ll use it to hook your diaper bag to your stroller handle and hook your diaper bag to your grocery cart — but you’ll end up hooking it to all sorts of things! If you don’t, your diaper bag will fill up the cart or the precious under-the-stroller storage space. Just be careful because if your diaper bag is heavy (and it will be) when you take the baby out of the stroller, it will tip over from the weight of the bag!
10. Insulated Tote:
An insulated bag to tote around your baby’s bottles and eventually food is another travel-must. More than just keeping them cool, it keeps everything in one place – including the spoons. If you return the bottles and containers back to the tote after the food’s been consumed, it’s way easier to find and wash them when you get home and much better than dumping it into the black hole that will become your diaper bag.
11. Baby Sunscreen:
Here’s the thing with sunscreen: there are some seriously scary studies, statistics, and advice out there in “parentworld” about which ones to use and which ones to avoid. After researching (and getting an earful from everyone), we had to pick one to use based on the fact that it’s mineral based, fragrance free, sensitive, and free of Parabens, Phthalates, PEG’s (polyethylene glycols), Propylene Glycol, and Phenoxyethanol, SLS/SLES. Basically, you should pick any sunscreen that AVOIDS the synthetic chemical oxybenzone. We recommend Earth’s Best Mineral Sunblock. And we personally recommend staying away from sunscreen sprays as the minute liquid particles could potentially get into your baby’s tiny lungs and possibly cause complications…or so we’ve heard. Oy! You just wanted to go to the park!
P.S. You’ll probably receive a portable sound machine at your baby shower, like this one, and we highly suggest you do not return it — because while it is not a substitute for the sound machine in your baby’s nursery, it is perfect for attaching to your stroller or your baby’s car seat while you’re out and about.