Baby Travel Essentials for a Stress-Free Vacation

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And we’re back! After an incredible two weeks in the sun, our little family is back in New York. It was a blast, but I did miss blogging every couple of days.

I am, however, thrilled to be able to share some of our latest discoveries for traveling with babies.

As many of you already know, I was very concerned about Liam’s naps since this trip was going to be the first time he slept away from home after being sleep trained. We had a boat trip planned for our last weekend and I was mortified at the thought of having him sleep (or not) on the go. I also knew the plane ride would be a whole different story at almost one year old versus when he was 5 months old, last December. A lot more fidgeting and fussing, that’s for sure (no in flight movie for us!)

Our trip would not, however, have been the success that it was without the life savers below. It is in part due to them that Liam did amazingly well on the trip (even during our day long boat trip to Anguilla!) and Mom and Dad were able to get some much needed R&R! You can thank me later, Mamas!

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was one of our most incredible finds this summer. Invented by a mom who’d had enough of covering her baby’s stroller with blankets and never being able to have her sleep “on the go”, SnoozeShades is an absolute must for all family trips. We’re sold on it! We thought we’d have to be home for all of Liam’s naps, but turns out he loved sleeping in his stroller with the SnoozeShade covering him. It’s pitch dark in there, but the mesh material keeps it nice and airy. Added bonus? SnoozeShades block 99% of UV rays and also protects from bugs (no mosquito bites for Liam this time around!) I love that there’s a “sneak a peak” zipper so we were able to check on Liam without waking him up from his naps. Love everything about this item!

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Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 3.29.31 PM.pngI grew up in the Caribbean, but I have to admit it is currently scorching hot in Saint Martin… very surprising for the month of June. We took every opportunity to take dips in the pool or ocean, and Liam was no exception. We found the perfect solution to this by bringing an inflatable tub with us to the beach. Not only did we not have to worry about waves, but it kept him busy as we relaxed under the shade of the palm trees. All we did was throw a few beach toys in there, and he was perfectly happy. We filled up the tub with fresh water so we didn’t have to rinse him off afterwards!

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We love this fold-up play pen we got from Amazon. We use it in Liam’s play room but thought it would be a good idea to bring it along on our trip… and we we right! It was a great way to keep all of his toys in one place and keep him busy as we ate breakfast and lunch at the table. A Graco Pack & Play works great too, but the advantage of this one is that it folds up into a tiny bag. Perfect to take everywhere!

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We got the Ergo Baby at our baby shower but didn’t love it when Liam was little. It didn’t help that he was born in the summer and it way too hot for him to really enjoy it as a newborn. Surprisingly, at almost a year old, he now seems to love it! We used it at the airport, mostly, but also during our trip when we took long walks outside. In the Ergo, Liam was always quiet, enjoying the scenery around us. This is a must if you want to stay active without having to hold your baby in your arms the whole time, but also while traveling to stay hands free.

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I absolutely love this new towel trend. Round towels are super practical: not only does the wide circumference give your baby more room to play without getting sand all over (great for diaper changes too!), but it is also so much prettier than a boring towel 🙂

How cute is this watermelon print?

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These sippy cup covers are awesome! We brought two of them with us on our trip which was the best idea. We didn’t have to overstuff our luggage with bottles and cups… these covers weigh close to nothing and fit on all types of cups and glasses. So perfect to stuff in a beach bag!

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Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 3.44.05 PM.pngI wrote a lengthy post about amber necklaces before we actually gave them a shot. I was curious about the benefits and was stunned to read about all of amber’s incredible virtues. I am so glad we brought Liam’s amber necklace along on our trip because turns out that one of Liam’s molars poked through… Yikes! Not only that, but he also started to have a heat rash a few days into our vacation. After a couple hours wearing the necklace, it completely disappeared. Coincidence or not, I’m glad we were able to nip it in the bud before it got any worse.

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This is one of the items I wish we’d purchased when I first had Liam. All babies tend to grab, pull, and pinch while they nurse and this teething necklace by TL Outfitters was super helpful, especially during our flights. It kept Liam calm and distracted and prevented him from tugging on my hair nonstop (which he loves to do, especially when he’s tired!)

It doesn’t hurt that their designs are absolutely beautiful, too!


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– Respect your baby’s sleep/feed schedule as much as possible. Not everyone understands my rigidness when it comes to my son’s sleep and feed schedule. But you know what? This rigidness ensures that my son is always happy and well-rested, no matter the situation. Although this is hard to do while traveling, it is important to stick to this schedule as much as possible if you want your baby to be patient and comfortable. Get to know your baby’s cues and how long he is able to go between naps (Liam is very predictable with sleep: he goes two hours before his first nap, three hours before his second nap, and four hours before bedtime.)

– Breastfeed during take off & landing. Nothing is worse than watching your baby cry hysterically at take off and landing because his/her ears are popping. Nursing helps a whole lot, so don’t deprive your baby of a few additional feeds during the flight. It’s all about keeping him/her comfortable!

Buy a gate check bag for your car seat. Especially for an international flight, you want to protect your car seat and stroller from being tossed around. We bought this bag for Liam’s convertible car seat and checked it with our lugagge (I miss his light infant car seat!) We gate checked his stroller at the very last minute which made traveling a lot easier for us as well.

– Create a play space to encourage free crawling. The one thing we missed during our trip was a safe play room for Liam to roam freely in. Do your best to create a “safe zone” for your baby to crawl around in.

– Always plan ahead with snacks, diapers & wipes. When you’re on the go, it’s essential to always have a stocked bag with baby essentials: a few crackers, Puffs, diapers, and wipes. You definitely don’t want to be caught off guard!

– Pack practical clothing only. We packed a bunch of cute outfits for this trip and Liam ended up only wearing short sleeve onesies, shirts, and shorts. No shoes, no long pants, no preppy polos. It was scorching hot, guys, and when you’re traveling with a baby, it isn’t a fashion shoot. You want to prioritize comfort above everything else, so pack only the essentials!

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Liam celebrating his first birthday in the sun (10 days early!)

Love this high chair garland by MK’s Bowtique!


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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

10 thoughts on “Baby Travel Essentials for a Stress-Free Vacation

  1. I’ve traveled with my soon to be four year old since she was a newborn and these are awesome tips! I just giggled at the fashion show line, our first trip included way too many cutesy clothes. We needed more simple, everyday onesies and not the frilly dresses soon to be covered in spit up.

    Liked by 1 person

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