As people who have travelled with babies a lot, I think we are awesome at packing for babies and working out the best baby travel gear. There’s nothing like a trip with a baby to quickly learn what you 100% need and what was a waste of money and energy.
We have certainly come across some products which were lifesavers and some which weren’t so good.
However, before you go away that first time with baby, it’s really hard to work this out!
This article is your ultimate baby travel gear list so you can make sure you have everything you need and nothing you don’t!
Best baby travel essentials
Whether you are travelling or not, baby essentials always are about three things – eating, sleeping and getting around. So the baby travel essentials are all about this too.
Best baby travel products for sleeping
Sleep is absolutely crucial when it comes to life with a baby and the easiest way to try and get as much of it as you can while travelling is to make sure your baby has a safe and comfortable place to sleep.
Travel accommodation can rarely guarantee a cot and, even when you get one, they can be in terrible condition, missing a mattress (yes we have been given a steel cot without a mattress), far too small or just plain not safe.
We learned after our first trip away when we received cots with all of these problems to always take our own!
There are two styles of travel cots that work well for babies – a pop out design and ones that are like a small, lightweight portacot.
A pop out design, like the Wayfinder TravelTot here, is our favourite. This is because they are the lightest, smallest and easiest to assemble options. They simply “pop out” when you take them out of the bag.
However, for younger babies that are still waking up a lot, they are not ideal. It’s harder to get your baby in and out of these types easily which is problematic if your baby falls asleep on you and you want to transfer them without waking up or you don’t want to injure your back having to carry them inside sideways.
This is where a travel cot, like the Vee Bee Amado Travel Cot here, is a great choice. It’s a small crib style which makes it easy to get baby in and out, packs flat and weighs a small 3.9 kilograms. It’s a great choice!
Best baby travel gear for out and about
Deciding what to take to travel around with your baby can be the hardest decision when packing for a family trip. Especially when you are trying to decide between a carrier and a pram.
Pram vs carrier
I vote for both!
They both have their pros and cons. I think a carrier should be your top choice whenever you can use one. It’s much easier to get to any place you want with a carrier. When you’re not using it, you can simply put it in your bag and not have another piece of luggage.
Although if you have a heavier baby (like ours!), this can be hard work. Plus, you may have more success getting your baby to sleep in pram. If you want to eat while your baby sleeps, a carrier can be very frustrating.
I love my Ergo carriers.
Ergobaby Adapt is my top choice for babies and travel. It works great from birth.
Nothing beats having a travel stroller – something nice and compact – for travel.
We love out Mountain Biggy Nano. It has a crazy compact fold and an included travel bag which make it small enough to carry over your shoulder and take onboard flights.
Baby Car Seats
Definitely another item that can give you headaches is whether to take a baby car seat or not.
I take mine if we are travelling within Australia and we won’t have a hire car. If we are hiring a car, I’ll hire a seat through the car company to save the hassle.
When we are travelling internationally, we hire on arrival as well.
Best baby travel items for eating
If you are bottle feeding your baby, there are quite a few things you will want to take.
I recommend that unless you are travelling for a long time that you take all the formula you need with you. We have taken 6 weeks of formula in the past because you just don’t know what you’ll find in other countries and if your baby will like it.
A formula dispenser is not essential but I find it so much easier to carry that around with me when we are out and about rather than a tin of formula. Here is what we use.
If your baby is used to their milk being warm, you will also need to take a bottle warmer. I always got my baby used to drinking room temperature milk to save us from having to worry about this but if you do need to take a bottle warmer, there are some easy compact options around.
Travel high chairs
If your baby isn’t eating yet that will make things easier. However, if they are eating solids then consider a travel high chair.
Our top choice is the First Years On-The-Go Booster Seat. It’s great – compact, super lightweight and easy to use and clean.
Many places around the world do not have high chairs (or some, like in SE Asia have exactly that – a high chair with no harness!) and a travel high chair makes it so much easier to eat out with kids.
Other eating baby gear
We also love to travel with a plastic or silicone wiperable bib (like this). It keeps baby clean and is really easy to clean to re-use over and over again.
We have also taken disposable bibs with us which can be easy for a short trip.
Other travel essentials for baby
A backpack style nappy bag can be great for travel. It keeps your hands free while you can carry around everything baby needs.
You will also need plenty of nappies and wipes. I love cloth nappies at home but when travelling, I am all about disposables
The only exception to this is a cloth swim nappy which I would recommend taking with you if you will be visiting the beach or pool. I recommend two so if baby does have an accident, you have a back up while you are cleaning it.
I have not been anywhere I have not been able to buy more nappies when travelling. The only exception to this is if you have a large toddler – my first child hit 20kg at 2 years old and buying nappies for her in some places was problematic so I would take as many as I could for her from home.
I also recommend you take nappy rash cream (like this) and nappy sacks. Nappy sacks are small, odour-neutralising bags to put used nappies in. They are a smell saver when you are in a small hotel room or stuck carrying a dirty nappy for the day.
Finally, I recommend always travelling with some baby panadol. You don’t know what might happen.
I hope you have found this article helpful and now know what you need to take. I do recommend you take baby products designed especially for travel when you can as the amount of items you need quickly adds up and if they are big and bulky, travelling is going to be very difficult.
Here is a final list of what baby items I recommend you take travelling. Note it does not include clothing which you will also want!
Baby travel products packing list
- Travel cot and sheets/blanket
- Travel pram
- Car seat
- Travel high chair
- Wipeable bib
- Cloth swim nappy x 2
- Nappy rash cream
- Nappy sacks
- Baby panadol
Plus, for formula babies:
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I hope you enjoyed our guide on all the best baby travel gear, you can find my complete guide to everything you need for a newborn baby here.
If you’re looking on some inspiration on some great Aussie family holidays, why not read my brand new guide on all the best things to do in Tasmania with kids. Or you can find my guide to the best carry on luggage here.
Sharon is a proud Melbournian mum of 3 who blogs for a living in between parenting and (thanks to coronavirus) homeschooling.