Thursday, May 15, 2014

Baby Travel Gear Favorites: Part 1

Since becoming an expat in 2012 and having my first baby, one prominent theme has formed regarding my opinion of the United States and the amount of stuff we have available: Unnecessary, but convenient.

There are lots of gadgets and gear that you can get in the States that you will not find here. (Or that you will find here, but four times the price...) When I was trying to do my baby registry on Amazon, I had a hard time navigating through all the options. I tried inquiring with friends who had babies and the answer I got from almost all of them was “We have one of each of those and [insert baby name here] liked/didn’t like it at different times.”  

The same has been true when it comes to baby travel gear for Madi. Some of the things we have acquired are unnecessary. But they are sure convenient! I had a friend recently ask about what things are good to have when traveling with a baby. We are no experts by any means! However, Madi has now been on 24 flights (and will be up to 30 before her 1st birthday) so there are definitely some products we've discovered and things we’ve learned that I thought I would share.

Baby Travel Gear Favorites: Part 1

Baby Travel Gear Favorites

  1. Britax B-Agile Stroller Black BritaxThis stroller has been amazing for traveling the cobblestone roads around Europe! We originally had a more traditional umbrella stroller (albeit a cheap one...) and it was horrible to try pushing it on anything other than nice, flat cement. And if you ask Jason it was irritating all the time because he would always hit his feet between the wheels. This stroller is the perfect compromise for us. 
  2. Buggyguard Anti-Theft Retractable Stroller Lock, Black :... and Hook for Stroller: We have used these when we have to go inside somewhere that doesn't allow strollers and we wouldn't be able to keep an eye on it. 
  3. SippiGrip: We have a couple different varieties of these type of gadgets. They are great for securing toys, cups, and snack cups to the stroller so we don't lose them when Madi decides to throw it out the stroller. 
  4. Playtex Diaper Genie On The Go Dispenser: This has been great for using on the go and in whatever hotel or apartment we are renting when we travel. They are lightly scented and do a good job of blocking odors. 
  5. Navy White Chevron Park Place Diaper Clutch: This clutch has a pocket for diapers and wipes and folds open to have a changing mat. It's easy to grab and make a diaper change run without having to bring the whole diaper bag and the mat allows me to not have to lay Madi directly on the changing table wherever we are. 
  6. Phil and Ted's Travel Crib: This bed was pricey, but worth it! It's light weight (only 7 lbs) and easy to setup and take down. We took this with us from Illinois to Texas to Colorado to Oklahoma last December and it was much easier to travel with than a pack and play. It does take up a bit of space in the suitcase, but we make sure to put it in the hard cased suitcase and then add heavy to that suitcase and still get up to the luggage weight limit so its size doesn't really hinder us.
  7. Swiss Army Knife 15inch computer bag shoulder bags Wenger backpack: AKA the world's ugliest backpack. Ours doesnt quite look like this because it was a free backpack I got at a technical conference, but it's close. I have tried to convince Jason to let me buy a cuter one and he refuses stating that the size of this bag is perfect and appearance doesn't matter - it's functional. Spoken like a true (male) engineer. I do have to admit that it's a good size and holds everything and great for traveling. Sigh. 
  8.  Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind (New Version): Personally I think this is an amazing gadget for adults! We've even used it in Madi's bedroom here before we got blinds because we are currently having 5:00 am sunrises and 10:00 pm sunsets...
  9. : Kel-Gar Snug-Tub Duck : Baby Bathing Seats And Tub and Munchkin Bathtub Grippy Dots, 6 Pack: We bring both of these with us and can use the grippy dots in the inflatable bath tub or the actual bath tub. So far the inflatable has fit where ever we have been (and considering this is Europe and the tubs are usually skinnier), it will work in most places! We were able to use this tub even before Madi was sitting up, but it definitely took two of us to bathe her since one had to be helping her sit. 
  10. BRICA Roll 'n Go Car Seat Transporter: I have to be honest. We haven't used this yet. I have heard mixed things about this one versus this one and we may switch and buy the other when we are in the States. However, having some sort of gear like this is critical for our next trip to the States in May because we have purchased a seat for Madi on the plane and plan to have her in the car seat. We only have one connection going to the States, but will have three coming back. There is no way we could carry the car seat through the airport for our connections so this will be super handy!
  11. Baby Bjorn Carrier: I think carriers was the most debated I saw in my baby registry research. People will swear by Ergo, Bjorn, Moby, depending on their needs. So like a good American, we have one of each. (And a handful of others we acquired second-hand). I have to admit that when Madi was really little, I preferred our Moby or just a simple sling (as this was usually much easier to get her into). However, as Madi has gotten older, we've grown into the Baby Bjorn. Madi loves to be able to watch what's going on and isn't a fan of facing me, even when she's really tired. She's a social butterfly and will fall asleep no problem walking around forward-facing. I did notice this the other day though on Amazon and the idea intrigues me since both the Baby Bjorn and Ergo are bulky to carry around. Anyone used the Ergo travel carrier before?
  12. KidzStuff UV Sun Protectant Hooded Onesies, White, 9-12 Months: I guess these are location dependent when we travel. We obviously didn't use it in Helsinki during our cold and rainy weekend, but during our cruise around Greece it was great! Madi wore it during our three hour hike from Fira to Oia and it gave us some peace of mind that she wasn't going to be getting burned. 
  13. And lastly, Lifeproof iPhone Case: Why, you might ask, is my iPhone case on this list? Because Madi has reach the stage where she wants the iPhone and since we FaceTime with our family back home, she's used to seeing it and holding it. I would rather have peace of mind that if she suddenly drops it, I don't have to panic. (Or when I accidentally drop it I don't have to panic...) The case does not add much bulk to the phone and is also waterproof. Definitely worth the investment when you have little ones involved!

I've got a whole other list of my favorite nursing / feeding travel gear so stay tuned for Part 2 coming next week!

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