10 Worth-It Purchases Before Traveling with Littles
Updated: Apr 10, 2021
Happy spring break my friends. Greetings from gorgeous California! I am blown away by the beauty here. One thing I certainly miss living in Michigan (well, besides glorious sun every day) is mountains! Fun Fact: I actually grew up in New England, so I am used to seeing purply-blue Appalachian mountains. But these San Jacinto Mountains in California are a whole new level of amazing.
Although I could write a whole blog post detailing the beauty of these mountains, that’s not why I’m here spending my spring break morning with you all. I’m here to talk traveling with littles. On our flight over here I realized I have made it past the more challenging years of traveling with children (read: screaming infant on plane, newly trained toddler in long car ride...you get the idea). With 6 years under my belt of traveling with littles, I can confidently say I have become an expert of sorts in this area. My first trip as a mom was when my oldest, C1, was only 3 months old. And we just dove right in and did an 800+ mile car ride. No need to practice with shorter trips when you’re a novice, amiright??
So let’s get to it! Here are 5 must-haves to make the trip with a baby a little easier:
>>Easy Pouch Independence: Baby Food Pouches seem like a great on-the-go way to feed baby...until baby squeezes it all over your car! Enter Easy Pouch Independence. Easy to use, and so effective at keeping baby from squeezing the pouch all over.
>>ChooMe SoftSip Food Pouch Top: This is my first choice for optimizing baby eating from pouches, but it requires a little more skill from baby because they need to bite the top to allow the food out (like a camelback water bottle top). So younger babies will do better with the first option. These are a game changer though! Not only is there less mess, but it also allows baby to open the pouch themself as they get older.
>>Formula Dispenser: For any mamas using formula, a formula dispenser is going to make your life a lot easier when you are traveling. You can measure the amount of formula you’ll need ahead of time, so when baby is ready to eat you can just dump, mix, and feed—no measuring required! (I had used this Munchkin brand, but it looks like Dr. Brown’s has some nice options too)
>>Manual Breast Pump: Breastfeeding mamas, its time to spend the $30 or so dollars and get yourself a manual pump. I know you have your electric one insurance covered, but I think every mom should have one of these too. Especially with traveling! Practice before you are traveling, but once you get the hang of it you will love not being hooked up to wires! I know several moms (myself included!) who actually find they pump more milk with a manual breast pump over their electric one.
>>Infant Car Seat Toy: This was a last-minute, panicked purchase for me just a few days before that initial trip with my 3-month-old daughter. ”What if she cries the whole way???” And so I purchased a pink activity arch for her car seat, and she stared at that thing anytime she wasn’t asleep. This isn’t the exact model I used, but this is a better option because it is made of a softer material.
Please note, car seat techs would suggest you avoid anything additional being on your child’s car seat. This includes anything that didn’t come with the car seat (mirrors, head supports, etc). Use at your own discretion.
And obviously, don’t forget to pack Puffs. The magical, most entertaining snack. Something tells me you already have these in your Amazon cart😉
Okay baby has grown and now you have a toddler—congratulations! Travel is now easy.........
right? Oh wait. Now you no longer have a little travel companion that naps for hours being lulled to sleep by the car or plane. You no longer have a little travel companion that pees in their diaper, and instead says, ”I HAVE TO GO POTTY” as soon as you pass the rest stop exit. Welcome to traveling with a toddler. Here’s what you’ll want to have:
>>Travel Potty: We are starting off with potty talk because I know you are discouraged after reading the paragraph above— “I never thought of that! She won’t always be in diapers???” I know it feels like that in the moment, but yes, some day you will be beyond diapers and you are going to want a travel potty for long car trips. Even if you have your plan of which rest stops to go to, toddlers have a hard time holding it once they have to go—even that walk from the car to the rest stop can be too long to hold it. Have the potty set up and ready to go for stops, and easily dispose of the bag. Bonus points for not having a toddler in a germy bathroom touching everything🙌🏻
>>CozyPhones: These were one of those Amazon buys I just happened to stumble upon while searching on Amazon one day—and I’m so glad I did! The first pair of kids headphones we purchased for our daughter she was constantly adjusting and saying they bothered her ears. These, on the other hand, are a polar fleece material that fit like a headband over the ears. Plus the price is nice!
>>Melissa & Doug Water Wow: Add water to the brush (easily refillable in the car too with a water bottle if needed) and watch the magic happen! When water is added to these pages, colors appear as if they’ve been painted. And when they dry, the color disappears, and they can reuse it. What will Melissa & Doug think of next! (if you’re looking for more travel activities, just scroll through Melissa & Doug’s page. Lots of easy travel toys—this just happens to be my favorite🙃)
>>Crayola Color Wonder: When your littles get better at taking the marker tops off, you’ll want to introduce this next level of magic coloring. This option has the nice travel case, but they also sell individual coloring pages of your favorite characters (Elsa, Blippi, Peppa, etc). These markers only work on Color Wonder paper which means you don’t have to worry about marker getting all over the tray on the plane or carseat or whatever! Not reusable like the Water Wow, but each set comes with several pages.
>>Travel Tray: I’m not sure I’d go through the hassle of bringing this last one on board a flight (especially since there are built in trays), but this has been a useful tool in our car. Although I must admit, ours doesn’t have the whiteboard—what an awesome feature! This is basically an entertainment center for your child during the trip—it stores everything within arms reach! Any way to minimize having to pass things in the backseat during a car ride is a win in my book.
What are YOUR must-haves for traveling with kiddos? Share in the comment section below!
sending coffee & sunshine your way,
jennie june xo
[As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]