Traveling with an infant can be super overwhelming. When Rob & I left the house for the first time with Elle, we probably spent an hour packing up all our stuff and then preceded to double check over and over again to make sure we had everything before actually hitting the road. By the time we left, I was already burnt out and immediately questioned why we even left the house to begin with. As much as I wanted to get off the couch and start experiencing the world again post baby, I wasn’t sure the added stress of getting out the door was even worth it.
Now two years later, Lily is here (our 2nd daughter born in May 2019) and while it still can be overwhelming at times, I feel way more prepared this time around. I have a list of essential items we take with us when we leave the house and have actually enjoyed getting out and about. Rob has a few weeks off for paternity leave and while Elle is at school, we have been taking Lily on day trips to enjoy the start of summer. Daytrippin’ with a newborn can be fun, I swear! Lily is relatively predictable (sleeps, eats, poops – the standard newborn daily agenda) and given that she is not mobile yet, she is very portable at this stage. Below I rounded up all the gear I take with me when leaving the house which takes a lot of the stress out of traveling with an infant!
“Wear the Baby!” – I never knew how critical a baby carrier was until Elle had her first melt down while Rob & I were out running errands. The only thing that would calm her down was if one of us held her, which made it hard to get anything else done at the time. I started packing the Ergobaby after this incident and things started to look up! Elle loved being close to me and I was able to be hands free and still move around, get errands done, or enjoy an outing. My favorites are the Ergobaby Carrier and the Baby Ka’Tan. The Baby Ka’Tan is perfect for the infant stage and allows you to position the baby different ways depending on their size and what the baby prefers. The Ergobaby is a bit heavier, but provides great back support for longer activities (such as hikes) and I find works better as your little one gets bigger.
A Well-Packed Diaper Bag
This is an obvious one, but one of the most important! There are a wide-range of diaper bags out there that range from super fashionable to more practical. For a practical diaper bag that can be worn by both men & women, I love the Columbia Diaper Backpack. It fits a ton and has a cooler section for an icepack and milk if needed. I stuff all the essentials in here – diapers, wipes, pacifier, burp cloth, swaddle blanket and a spare set of clothes. TIP: ALWAYS BRING A SPARE SET OF CLOTHES! Blow outs are inevitable.
The Nursing Cover
For nursing mamas, this is an essential. I never know if Lily will stick to a predictable nursing schedule or unexpectedly want to eat every 30 minutes. Either way, I am prepared to feed at a moments notice. I prefer the apron-like nursing covers because I find them to be more breathable and easier to throw on and off. With Elle I used to be a bit more timid about being in a public place and nursing, but I have gotten a lot more relaxed with Lily. I now throw on my cover and will just enjoy the moment instead of getting stressed about what others may be thinking. Baby’s gotta eat, right?!
The Travel Stroller System
Infants sleep a lot, so having a travel stroller system that works with the car seat is crucial. Lily usually falls asleep within the first few minutes of being in the car, so when we get to our destination, we keep her in the car seat and put the car seat right in the stroller. It’s a win-win for both mommy and baby! Baby can continue to sleep and mommy can continue with her activities. There are so many good stroller options, but a few of my favorites are the Chicco Bravo and UPPAbaby.