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The best baby travel products according to TPG readers

Sept. 03, 2022
7 min read
Man holds baby at airport and watches planes
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A new adventure is about to begin for The Points Guy. And this time, we're not talking about a safari or the world's longest flight.

The Points Guy himself, Brian Kelly, will soon become a dad, as you may have read in his latest newsletter. We couldn't be more excited to welcome a fabulous new flyer to the TPG family.

Last week, Brian asked readers to share their favorite tips for traveling with a baby, and as usual, our readers did not disappoint us with their recommendations.

In fact, there were so many great reader-recommended products to consider, many of which had multiple rave reviews and useful tips, that we wanted to share them with all of you.

Related: How I've kept traveling — even after having a baby

Here are some of the products new parents should put in their carry-ons, and some can't-miss tips for traveling with newborns and babies, as recommended by TPG readers.

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Baby carrier

AMAZON.COM

When babies are pint-sized, a snuggly baby carrier is an easy way to navigate airports and keep your hands free. TPG readers highly recommended two wearable baby carriers.

The first is the Moby by Petunia Pickle Bottom, a wrap that fits babies from 8 to 33 pounds. The wrap comes in 20 colors and costs between $43 and $50 (depending on the color).

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The second option is the Happy Baby carrier — a structured front carrier. Crafted from Belgian linen, the Happy comes in 28 colors, can hold a baby between 7 and 45 pounds and costs $155.

Note that if your baby doesn't meet the minimum weight suggested for these carriers, you should wait to start using one until they reach it or consult with your doctor before use.

Related: I flew a million miles (mostly) alone, then added a newborn — here’s what I learned

Sleeping on the road

AMAZON.COM

If you're a parent and you've traveled anywhere with your family, you know that getting a room away from home dark enough, long enough for your baby or children to fall — and stay — asleep is a constant challenge.

That's why it didn't come as much of a surprise that so many of you recommended the SlumberPod, a tent-like portable pop-up structure ($175) that fits over a crib or bassinet to help your baby sleep in a dark environment.

Another great suggestion was the Lotus travel crib — a playpen and portable crib ($239) that folds into a backpack for easy travel.

Related: How to pack — and prepare — for travel with a baby

Keeping babies busy

AMAZON.COM

It doesn't matter how much you've prepared for comfort — if your baby isn't occupied, it will make a two-hour trip feel like a long haul to Singapore. For the littlest hands, the Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle is a personal mom favorite — a brightly colored plastic sensory toy that's chewing safe and ultra distracting. It costs about $15.

A popular sensory toy recommendation from readers for little ones 12 months and up is the Beetoy buckle pillow. This toy (also about $15) features six different straps to buckle and unbuckle, plus buttons, zippers and threading activities that will keep toddlers busy while they work on their fine motor skills.

Finally, TPG parents also recommend activity books -- like these animal quiet books ($14) -- to keep a baby occupied on the plane.

Changing diapers on the go

AMAZON.COM

You can truly never have too many diapers when you have a newborn or baby. TPG readers highly recommended a travel-friendly changing pad like Skip Hop ($25.99) that holds extra diapers and wipes. The grab-and-go option is great for a quick change stop with everything you need easily at hand.

Pop it into an easy-to-carry backpack diaper bag like the one from Beaba ($89.95), for an option that gives you space to load up toys and the extra outfit you should bring for both of you, too.

Stroller

AMAZON.COM

When Brian's baby gets a little older, we're definitely going to help him pick the best travel stroller after his little one graduates from the Doona ($550), of which TPG has been a long-time fan.

You'll also want to check out the video in this post of TPG's director of travel content, Summer Hull, doing a demo when her daughter was just a baby road warrior.

Related: These are the 7 essential baby gear items that make travel easier

Advice on traveling with a baby

TPG readers also shared some of their most useful travel hacks and advice for flying with a baby. Many of the tips below were shared by multiple people.

  • Use a pacifier or bottle for your baby during takeoff and landing to alleviate ear pressure.
  • Avoid connecting flights if possible.
  • Book the bulkhead seats with the built-in bassinet on long-haul flights.
  • Before the baby arrives, take first aid training for parents and caregivers.
  • Ship diapers to your location or buy them once you arrive to avoid overpacking (be sure to pack some emergency carry-on diapers, too).
  • Always pack more diapers in your carry-on than you think you’ll need, and bring a change of clothing — for both you and the baby — on the plane for any messes.
  • Create an on-the-go, free bottle warmer: Lounges sometimes have coffee machines that offer a cup of hot water which will double as a bottle warmer. Almost any dining establishment you visit can also provide you with a cup of hot water. Pop your bottle in the mug of hot water, and there's no need to travel with a bottle warmer.
  • Buy duplicates of a stuffy or lovey that your child gets attached to. That way when they lose it, you'll have a backup.

More advice for traveling with a baby:

Featured image by WESTEND61/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees