After a few family trips under our belt, we have some clear favourite baby and toddler and travel essentials which may come in handy for other families too.
I have never travelled light pre-baby O, and it seems that now that we travel as a family of 3, some things never change! Jokes aside, we are trying to keep all the gear we need to travel with to a minimum and here are some of the baby and toddler travel essentials we have purchased and loved.
Please note that this list is in reverse order – i.e. I will add things as we get them – so things for little ones are at the bottom (an example: we have now moved on from the Baby Bjorn travel cot to the Stokke Cloud Sleeper. So the travel cot will be at the bottom of this post).
Stokke Jetkids Cloud Sleeper
Costs £89 from John Lewis
Once little one started climbing out of her cot, it was game over. This self inflating bed has been recommended by many friends and we are pretty impressed. We started using it for naps at home and she loved it. It requires a little workout to inflate it (a few minutes, not horrible) and then folds into a pouch which makes it very easy to put in your suitcase.
It was a mesh sheet which I would imagine would be a pain to remove and wash, so with a bit of help from my readers, I found a sheet that fits the JetKids Cloud Sleeper reasonably well (160x80cm) and we use a little pillow too (pillowcase here), and a muslin blanket.
Little Dutch Backpack
Costs £20 from Kidly
Once potty training was over we have tried to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ we take with us, and this little backpack has been great as she can carry it herself (sometimes).
We have some pouches inside to keep it organised as well as mini versions of everything like pens and sticker books. I have added it to my Amazon highlight.
Babyzen Yoyo 2
We love our Yoyo and if we didn’t live in a semi rural location, we would exclusively use this stroller every day (we do, except when we go for country walks) and not just for travelling. It is sturdy, it ‘drives’ beautifully, it it light and super compact and you can choose whichever colour pack you’d like.
From a travel perspective, it folds and you can store it on the overhead luggage compartment on any plane – and this makes it perfect.
Ours is the Air France Blue (I hadn’t realised Babyzen was a French company and Air France ‘grabbed’ this colour as their exclusive. Ours has only flown British Airways so far 🙂
PS. As it doesn’t go on the hold, it doesn’t count towards the infant baggage allowance, which is made up of a suitcase plus 2 of the following items:
- fully-collapsible pushchair (stroller)
- car or booster seat
- travel cot
- baby back carrier
More than a baby and toddler travel essential, the Yoyo is a life essential!
Babyzen Yoyo accessories
The Yoyo comes with a variety of accessories – some of which are more useful than others. Whereas we have never used the parasol, we have used and recommend the following:
Babyzen Yoyo Drinks Cup holder (for parents and/or baby)
Babyzen leg rest
In our opinion it should be an add on – but part of the main product. It is needed from 8 months on and makes cruising and napping much more comfortable.
Babyzen Yoyo Bag
We struggled with a large Longchamp as our airplane bag (which had to be larger than our day nappy/everything bag), as we couldn’t rest it on the Yoyo (it would make it tip if unoccupied) or it literally was a pain for us to carry it. So this bag (which comes with its own wheel), has been a great addition and makes trips around airports much easier. So yes, it ticks the box as a baby and toddler travel essential.
The downside is that it is a vertical bag, so you need to have some sort of organising system so you know where things are. We use large freezing bags to keep things within the same family. Also doubles up nicely as a beach bag for all the stuff that is needed for little ones.
Baby Travel Essential: Day bag
We have made 2 transitions (one from the large Storksak nappy bag to the matching pram organiser (which we filled up to the brim, absolutely loved and recommend) and as we have edited down our daily essentials, decided we wanted to go with something that was less babylike (and would have a long lifespan for our daughter and used in many other ways).
We have bought the Longchamp Le Pliage club small shoulder bag (there is also a slightly larger version) and we literally want to keep things small (we also have an XL one for overnights and proper days out) which we love, so they match and as you all know, they last a lifetime and if they don’t, you can always send them to Longchamp to be repaired).
EDIT: With Potty Training, we upgraded our bag to a Large size as we needed to add a few more things like the folding toilet seat. The Large Size isn’t that much larger and will serve you better.
Note: we also got a Le Pliage organiser which really helps things stay tidy inside.
Urban Kanga Travel Car Seat
Costs £139 from Amazon UK / Europe.
From 9kg this seat is really portable and you can fit it inside your suitcase or just wear it as a backpack on your flight and put it in the overhead bin (if you don’t want to risk luggage getting lost – we always take ours with us as we have had horrible experiences with filthy car seats at rental companies (and others so old it was appalling), we bought a second cybex (slightly different model which was all in 1, In terms of the seat and base) and sent it with our luggage but it broke… so now we do not take any chances and this Urban Kanga has been a godsend. Our cost per usage is under £1 right now :).
Click here for our car essentials (back at home.. car seats and the lot!)
Folding travel toilet seat (for restaurants, airplanes etc)
Costs £14 from Amazon
This is our absolute star product (in the realm of toddler potty training) and we love it. It also comes with a travel bag (where we keep wipes, bags and underwear), which we then keep in her ‘going out’ bag. You can see our toddler potty training essentials here.
Skip Hop wet/dry bag
Also a great all rounder – we have a few (one lives in our car for example and we have another one in the swimming class bag). But for travelling, it is fantastic – it is a at the bottom of the Yoyo bag with a change of clothes on travel days and got a lot of usage on beach days.
Oxo Tot on the go wipe dispenser
Costs $10 from Amazon USA (and ships worldwide and worth every penny). It will cost $16 all in when shipped and delivered to the UK, for example.
Build up a shopping cart on Amazon US and only look at shipping and duty at the end as you may have. nice surprise.
We have a few of these and we love them. You can open them with one finger and the best bit is that you get one wipe out at a time. One of them lives inside the Skip Hop changing mat, I have a lose one on the yoyo bag, sometimes one in my handbag and there’s also one in our ‘meal kit’.
We order these from Amazon US (and they are worth the shipping). For some reason they are stupid expensive in Europe.
Baby Bjorn travel cot
We had a disastrous first experience on our first trip to a hotel in the UK (with a revolting cot) and for now, we will travel with ours no matter where we go. With BA’s infant allowance, the baby has 1 suitcase + 2 items and this is one of the items. The other we have used is the car seat as the yoyo doesn’t count.
I am sure that there are other other sheets – but we have always bought the Baby Bjorn ones, and have 2 sets with us wherever we go.
First aid travel kit – a basic baby and toddler travel essential
Costs £11.99 from Amazon
This is nice and neat and has all the essentials. We have added things like Calpol, Calpol vapour rub plug (a godsend and excellent for us too) and the Mustela Calendula and Arnica gel which is seriously magical.
Mustela Travel Kit
Costs £17.50 from Sephora UK
We love Mustela and these small bottles are refillable. I recommend the whole range , which you can now buy from Sephora.
If still in nappies, read below:
Storksak pram organiser
Costs £39 from JoJo Maman Bebe
We have defied the definition of pram organiser as this really is our day bag (when we get away without taking the baby changing larger bag, also from Storksak). We have added the straps from the main one (which connect to this one, and makes it a proper bag).
We fit everything in here (eating bib and all the meal PPE required), a small changing mat, some toys, snacks, and water bottles (this one for water, and this one for milk). We use this day to day, but also took it away with us (inside my beach bag within our luggage as we wanted and we used it every day).
It is made in a scuba fabric which means easy to wipe (and also machine washable).
Skip hop pronto mini changing mat and bag
We use this every time we leave our house and when travelling it was great. Also fits well in the Yoyo basket. Has a decent sized mat, plus designated areas for your wipes, nappies and any products you may need. 2 of them have zippers.
Munchkin disposable nappy bins
As much as we love our Tommy Tippee nappy bin at home, travelling with it is not an option, so I was delighted when I stumbled upon these prior to our month-long trip to Spain. They say it holds 30 nappies, but I would say it was 15 for us.
But the point is that it keeps any smells away when sealed properly (it works), and makes it easier to dispose of nappies without a doubt. Also doesn’t take that much space in your luggage (and you should come back with none), which ticks the box as a baby and toddler travel essential.
Hiccapop travel booster seat
We originally bought this for the garden, then started keeping it in the car (back in the UK) as we were surprised with how many times restaurants did not have highchairs. We took it with us to Portugal where we used it a lot – and forgot to take it to Spain, where we missed it dearly as a handful of places also ran out of highchairs and others simply did not have any. So for us it is a baby and toddler travel essential of sorts.
It folds nicely (and fits under the yoyo well). If you have a rental car, it doesn’t really matter, so you can keep it there if needed.
We have now purchased this more portable option – but have not used yet!
I have left out books and toys, as I am preparing a post on its own! I will continue to update this page with our baby and toddler travel essentials as and when we find items we love and would recommend others to use as well. And as always, let me know your very own travel essentials too!
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PS. Check out all my Baby and other Essentials on my Amazon storefront. Click here for our Potty Training Essentials.