Baby Travel Items: Tips for Easy Packing

Filed under: Babies


Traveling with a baby doesn't have to be stressful. Credit: Getty


Just when you've almost mastered the art of packing a diaper bag, you find yourself needing to take a long-distance trip with baby in tow. Some essential items, while bulky, just can't be left behind, but we have tips on how to take even the most cumbersome baby travel items along for a smoother ride.

1. Simplify. Some baby travel items are built to be portable, but still contain a lot of excess parts. If you find weight or bulk is a deciding factor in bringing along some of your most favored gear, consider stripping it down. Playards, for example, often come with a bevy of add-ons, such as changing tables, diaper caddies, entertainment mobiles and soothers. Leaving these removable accessories behind will not only lighten your load, they'll amount for less items to remember to bring home later.

2. Ship Ahead. Desperate to get your $400 jogging stroller to your aunt's house, but have no way of packing it into your hybrid? See about shipping it in advance of your stay. Many shipping companies not only will guarantee on-time delivery of all your baby travel items, but many retail locations will pack it up for you and arrange for return delivery -- in one stop.

3. Buy when you Arrive. It may not be worth half of your trunk space to tote along a case of your choice of diapers. If you're headed to a destination with plenty of retail options, buying baby travel items when you get there may be the way to go. (And while you're shopping, be reasonable about how much you'll use on your trip. Bringing extra home is no fun, either.)

4. Borrow. You may feel like your brand of baby swing is the only one for your child, but if a willing friend or relative at your final destination is up for lending out some baby travel items, take them up on their offer. Not only will it save you cargo space, time and effort, it can help you become familiar with the features of other brands and models. (You never know when you'll need to purchase a replacement for your trusted choice in gear.)

5. Rent.
This is a tricky tip that will have to be navigated carefully. The most common example of baby gear rental occurs when you rent a car. Many of the major rental agencies will offer baby car seats as an upgrade option you can request when you make your reservation. Be careful, though: Just because a car seat is being offered, doesn't mean it will be clean or safe. Ask detailed questions about what make and model will be offered with your ride, and check it against the CPSC government website for potential recalls. (The same practice should be done for baby travel items offered in hotels.)

Think you're ready to take this parent thing on the road? If all else fails, stick to gear that can perform multiple functions in your baby's life. The more tasks a baby travel item can handle, the higher priority it should get on the packing list.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.