10 must haves traveling with small kids

August 4, 2018 | Jamie Rowley

So, you decided to be insane like me and take your baby on vacation. now your trip is coming up and you need to pack. So you take out 80 suitcases and freak out when you realize you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING. 

What do you need? Do you pack everything? Do you buy stuff there? Is there some way you can pick up your entire house and bring it to your destination? 

Well, don't you worry. I'm here to help. I put myself through this chaos when I decided it was a good idea to take my then 6-month old to Europe. Below are my favorite items to pack.


Could you use your fancy diaper bag? Yes. 

Do you want to? No. 

The more hands I have in an airport, the better. Plus, it holds a blanket and change of clothes for the whole family (if you don't believe me about the change of clothes, I'll happily share my getting projectile vomited on at Heathrow Airport with you). And there are enough compartments that I can easily find whatever I need in a flash. 

Disposable Changing Pads

The places I had to change my kid on our 1st trip alone: an airport bathroom counter, in my lap, in the car next to a cornfield, in the grass at the rest stop, an underground cave parking lot. You name it, she had to be changed there. Always the most inopportune time. These disposable changing pads saved my life. Just scoop it all up and throw it away. No need to worry about a mess. 

Lotus Everywhere Crib

I could say you need a travel crib. But not just any travel crib. You need this one. 

It weighs only 13 lbs., can be a carry on, has no age limit, and sets up in 15 seconds. I'm obsessed. When you show up to your apartment in France and they tell you there's no crib even though they listed one online, you'll be thankful you brought your Lotus.

Sound Machine

So many distractions and noises happen when traveling. maybe you're stuck in a small hotel room with your baby and they go to bed at 7pm. Maybe the people above you have screaming children running around at 6am. Sound machine will solve these problems for you. They even come in travel size!

Travel High Chair

You think why do I need a high chair? All restaurants have one. And then you find yourself in your hotel room trying to sit your kid up so you can feed them. This fabric travel high chair that rolls up and fits in your purse is one of the best travel inventions. 

Umbrella Stroller

I'm all about "the light, the better" when it comes to my travel items. Some of you may want to bring your big stroller with you and that's fine. But for those of you like me that want all items under 15 lbs, look at bringing an umbrella stroller. The UPPAbaby G-LUXE is my go-to travel stroller. It weighs only 15 lbs and if you use their travel bag, any damage caused during air travel is covered. AMAZING. Because you will gate check your stroller and then find it going around the baggage carousel. (Heathrow, I'm looking at you.)

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Travel Car Seat

I know. You're thinking I need a travel car seat too?! If you're currently using an infant seat, you can easily bring that along. But if you have a clunky 25 lbs convertible car seat, you may think twice before lugging that around. 

Yes, you could always rent a car seat. But since I don't know where those car seats are from and what they've been through, I'm not interested in using a rented one. Especially in a foreign country when I can't read the instructions. Half the time, we can barely figure out a GPS in another language. 

I've heard too many horror stories from other people trying to pick out a car seat from a pile of random beat up cars seats. No thanks. So we have a travel car seat. One that is light easy to use, and is narrow enough to fit in a plane seat. Because there comes the time when holding your kid for 8 hours on a plane sounds torturous and your squirmy child needs to be strapped in their own seat. 

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Car Seat Bag

If you bring a car seat, you most likely need a car seat bag. This especially comes in handy if you're checking your car seat. Car seats normal check for free and they don't open the bag up when you check in. So toss in the laundry on the way home, and it'll leave room in your suitcase for important souvenirs. 

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Antibacterial Wipes

I'm a crazy germaphobe and I'm a first-time mom with a kid who puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. So I assume all germs will equate to getting the plague and ruining our vacation. If you're crazy like me, you need 80,000 antibacterial wipes. Airports, airplanes, and hotels are cesspools of germs. When I board a plane, I put on my Super Mom cape, get out my antibacterial wipes, and wipe down everything. Of course, my husband thinks I'm insane and my child always licks the one miniscule spot I didn't wipe down, but that's neither here nor there. At least I tried to do my part in fighting against the vacation-ruining germs of this world. 


Why bring full size of anything when everything comes in travel size nowadays? Laundry detergent, dish soap, diaper cream, shampoo, etc. pack it all in travel size. Then throw them in a quart size plastic bag and put it in your backpack. Because there's nothing worse than needing that dish soap or diaper cream and realizing it's in your suitcase!

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