The best baby travel products according to TPG readers
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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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).
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
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
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
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.
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:
- Flying with a baby checklist
- 21 airline stroller policies around the world
- Should you select a bulkhead seat when traveling with a baby?
- Planning award travel with a lap infant
- Privacy please — best US airline seats for lap babies and nursing moms
- Traveling with a baby: How young is too young to fly?
- The best airline seats, suites, lactation rooms and lounges when breastfeeding