Summer Travel Gear for Babies and Toddlers

Clever contraptions and everyday essentials to help you parent while away from home.

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Caring for little ones requires an arsenal of feeding, cleaning, transporting, and sleeping products, regardless of whether you’re at home or traveling with young children. Your strategy for getting to your destination and making an as-comfortable-as-possible home away from home will impact your trip, your ability to appreciate time together, and your decision on whether or not you’ll leave the house again. Thankfully, plenty of excellent travel gear is out there to help prepare your crew to hit the road, sail away, or jet-set to your following location.

But first things first: take a moment to adjust your expectations and accept that vacationing with kids probably won’t be an actual vacation, but rather, the opportunity to go about your daily routine in a new, more exciting place. Therefore, make sure to pack whatever must-haves you need in everyday life—because you’re still going to need them whether you’re sightseeing, going on fun excursions, or trying out local restaurants. However you end up spending your time away, secure these travel essentials to help your family enjoy every minute. 


Pop-Up Highchair

A traditional highchair is far too cumbersome to bring with you while traveling. Whether you’re headed to the local beach or embarking on a weekslong European holiday, this pop-up OmniBoost Booster Seat from hiccapop will make mealtimes more manageable. The easy-to-maneuver folding frame quickly expands and compacts, and a detachable, dishwasher-safe tray can be added and removed as needed for younger diners. The chair sits securely on the ground thanks to its broad, stable base, but it can also be harnessed to a dining chair to allow your baby to join you at the dinner table. The OmniBoost Booster Seat has a three-point safety harness, swivel tray, washable seat cover, rear pocket, and carry bag. It’s safe for children ages 6 months to 3 years or up to 30 pounds.

Foldable Chair Harness

If you’re looking for a safe way to situate your tot at the table while dining and prefer something more compact, the Nuby Portable Toddler Travel Chair is a great pick for children who can sit up unassisted. This fitted design accommodates most standard adult chairs and features adjustable straps to hold the seat in place. It boasts a five-point safety harness, is machine washable, and folds up like a towel for ultimate storability. Plus, a matching storage bag keeps it nicely tucked away in your diaper bag until it’s time for another meal.

Packable Snack Set

No matter where you’re parenting, snacks are always in order. If you’re not already using spill-proof snack containers, do yourself a favor and grab a few of these silicone snack cups from mushie before you leave for vacation. The small, no-slip side handles are easy to grip for little fingers, and the soft opening ensures your child’s hand can slide in and out while keeping food securely intact. There are 11 great colors to choose from, and each cup is chemical- and BPA-free.

Portable Bottle Warmer

Just because you’re on the road (or in the air) doesn’t mean your baby will accept a cold bottle when they’re accustomed to warmer fare. Maintain first-class service with the Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer Pro. A stainless steel, leak-proof design allows parents to safely and efficiently warm breast milk or formula without transferring liquid from the warmer to the bottle. This means you’re free to use whatever bottle you prefer (adapters sold separately) to ready your little one’s meal to the ideal temperature without the risk of overheating or nutritional deterioration (in breast milk). Each warmer is BPA-free, made with medical-grade stainless steel, and comes with a USB-C charging cord. Caregivers can expect to warm three to six bottles off every fully charged battery.


Diaper Changing Backpack

Before you say the perfect diaper bag doesn’t exist, check out the fan-favorite DERSTUEWE Diaper Backpack. With 4.7 out of 5 stars and glowing reviews on Amazon, users rave about its versatility, ease of use, and detailed design. Notable features include an integrated changing station that provides a safe, hygienic place for a diaper swap (or even a nap), ample storage, including two main compartments and 15 pockets (three of which are insulated for 5- to 12-ounce bottles, and one lined pocket that’s suitable as a wet bag), multiple carry positions, and a durable, waterproof fabric that’s easy to clean. You’ll also enjoy a wipes holder, various included straps for holding via hand, shoulder, or back, a stroller belt, and a streamlined aesthetic to boot.

Sink Baby Bath

The Soft Sink Baby Bath by Frida Baby is a foldable, portable tub that fits most sink sizes and shapes (kitchen, pedestal, and more) to create a soft, cushioned cradle to support your infant’s head and body while washing. Simply snap the tub into position and situate baby in the center; after use, the quick-dry material can be hung to dry or tossed into the washing machine. Once ready to pack up, fold all sides inward and secure with the included stow strap. This trusty helper only adds 1.68 pounds to your luggage and can easily be tucked into small compartments. Enjoy this sink bath until your wee one weighs 20 pounds or until they begin to sit up on their own—whichever comes first.

Mini Toiletry Set

It’s oh-so-convenient to have all of your babe’s toiletries ready to go in TSA-approved containers in a cute, compact travel pouch you can throw in your diaper bag for easy access. We love the Baby Travel Kit by Pipette because their quality products are dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, free of synthetic fragrances, and cruelty-free. Each kit includes a tear-free baby wash, nourishing lotion, lightweight oil, and extra-rich balm to ensure your baby is clean and well moisturized.


Ride-On Suitcase

Beat boredom and make traveling more fun for your kiddo with this amusing ride-on suitcase from Trunki. A multi-functional strap allows parents to tow little ones seated on their luggage through the airport or conveniently switch to a shoulder strap when pressed for time. Once in your terminal, Trunki will continue to entertain as a scooter or seat, and since it’s carry-on sized, you’ll have access to everything you packed for your child. This suitcase is available in four bright and fun colors, including red, yellow, blue, and pink. Moreover, your tot may even enjoy playing with this as a toy at home, so it will get plenty of use for the price.

Adaptable Infant Car Seat

When choosing a travel car seat, you may assume the lighter-weight option is the best. While carrying capability is undoubtedly important, another feature to consider is the ease of installation. Many parents already love the Chicco KeyFit 35 car seat for everyday use, but what sets this pick apart as a great choice for travel is the European belt path that makes secure installation less of a hassle when using without a car seat base (which is probable while traveling and utilizing rental cars or ride services). Though other car seats have this option, the KeyFit 35 is only 10 pounds, so it’s still lightweight. What’s more, it’s a brand you can trust with your most precious cargo—on vacation or anywhere else. Rear-facing: 4 to 35 pounds or 32 inches

Lightweight Convertible Car Seat

For mini passengers too big for an infant seat, or if you’re looking for something with more longevity, the Cosco Onlook 2-in-1 convertible car seat is a great buy. It weighs a mere 12 pounds, making it easy to transport through the airport and hold while waiting for your ride share. This seat uses the LATCH system for installation (so make sure you book a vehicle that’s equipped with lower anchors) and can accommodate babies and toddlers in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes from 5 to 40 pounds or up to 43 inches. It features an adjustable five-point harness with six different height options, side-impact protection, and a machine-washable, dryer-safe car seat pad for easy cleaning.

Compact Stroller

If you’ve ever had to navigate an airport with a baby, you know the less cumbersome your stuff, the better. The Clutch Stroller by Delta Children was made for handling tight spaces, cramped corners, and large crowds. Its slim-but-sturdy frame is only 11.7 pounds, but its compact fold makes this stroller really shine. Once collapsed, it’s only 15 inches long, 5.9 inches wide, and 19.7 inches high, meaning it can effectively fit into the overhead compartment of an airplane or even an extra large tote! And just because it’s tiny doesn’t mean it skimps on safety features; this stroller comes with a five-point harness and reflective pads for visibility. Additionally, it’s certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). You’ll also appreciate the spacious underneath storage compartment and swivel front wheels for better maneuvering. Note that this stroller does not recline, so it’s best for kiddos with good head control and who can sit up unassisted—up to 50 pounds.

Structured Baby Carrier

If you are hoping to forgo the stroller en route (or even throughout your trip if you have a newbie in tow), consider using a structured carrier to keep your baby close and your hands free. LÍLLÉBABY’s Complete 6-in-1 All Seasons carrier is a convertible option that grows with your child, offering six different seat positions for newborns to children up to 45 pounds—including fetal, inward-facing, front-facing, hip-carry, and back-carry options—with appropriate ergonomic support. The all-weather design boasts a zip-down front panel that reveals breathable mesh to increase airflow on warmer days; when left zipped, the fabric acts as a windbreaker and gives protection from the cold. It’s safe for littles weighing between 7 to 45 pounds and also features plush padding at the waist and shoulders, a customizable fit that evenly distributes weight, structured lumbar support for the lower back, and back straps that can be worn straight or crossed for preference.


Airplane Bed

If you’re bracing for a long flight with your kiddo, don’t fret!—you’re not bound to act as their human mattress. The Flyaway Kids Bed is an innovative product that creates a snooze-worthy place for babies, toddlers, and big kids to sleep and play on planes. When deflated, the device and pump fit into the included small travel bag that can be positioned in an overhead bin or stowed underneath the airplane seat. The device inflates in 90 seconds and can be adjusted to fit all economy, premium economy, and bulk-head seats. Rest assured that your child can still be safely buckled in their seat even when lying down, and this product meets the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) strict guidelines for inflight comfort devices. Just double-check that your airline allows Flyaway Kids Beds on board before buying. Ages 2 to 7 years

Mesh Travel Bassinet

While living in unfamiliar quarters, having a safe spot to place your infant is essential. The Munchkin Brica Baby Travel Pod is the perfect portable option because it’s easy to pack and a cinch to set up. The sturdy frame quickly locks into place with an audible click for added reassurance. At the same time, the durable side walls provide stability and breathability thanks to ventilated mesh panels that keep your little one contained and secure. It comes with a removable, water-resistant pad and sheet to enjoy during playtime, and when ready to leave, the side-release buttons trigger the pod to fold completely flat. An included travel bag with a handle makes this product simple to accompany you on any family adventure and can be tossed into your suitcase. Discontinue use once your infant reaches 15 pounds or begins to push up on their hands and knees.

Lightweight Playard

If your tot is on the move, a travel crib is a better option for safe sleep (especially if their room isn’t fully babyproofed). We love the BabyBjörn Travel Crib Light because, unlike some playards, there are no loose parts to attach during setup. While a bit of a splurge, the ease of setup is hard to beat; the legs automatically unfold into position, so you only have to place the mattress at the bottom to have a stable travel crib in a snap. A built-in base plate keeps the light construction firmly in place, and the soft, airy mesh siding allows your baby to breathe through the fabric while you keep an eye from afar. And because babies make messes, the mattress cover and crib fabric are easily removed and can be cleaned in the washing machine. When not traveling, this playard works excellently as an alternative home crib. Ages 0 to 3 years

Blackout Sleeping Pod

Listen up if you rely on blackout curtains or blinds to help your child catch some Zs: No matter what you bring for your little one to sleep in while away from home, the SlumberPod ensures their sleep space is as dark and familiar as possible. This privacy nook fits around playards, mini cribs, and toddler air mattresses, leaving enough room to sit or stand up inside. It blocks 90% or more of light, is breathable, machine-washable, and made with premium materials. And even though they’re enclosed, parents can still keep an eye on their kiddo thanks to a monitor pouch that’s positioned for optimal visibility. The SlumberPod also passed all mandatory juvenile product safety testing and has 2,500 five-star reviews. Ages 4 months to 5 years

Portable Sound Machine

Equally important for some sleepers as a dark room is white noise to mask surrounding sounds that can disturb rest. The Hushh Compact Sound Machine by Yogasleep is a parent favorite because of its baby-friendly features like its collection of three soothing sounds (bright white noise, deep white noise, and gentle surf), a soft LED night-light, flexible clip, volume control, and child-safe locks. The clip allows you to attach the device to your baby’s car seat, travel crib, stroller, baby carrier, and more. It’s a go-with-you-anywhere companion you won’t want to leave home without.

Video Monitor

For trips where you won’t be sharing a room with your little one, it’s a good idea to pack a video monitor to check in while they’re sleeping. The Infant Optics DXR-8 Pro Video Baby Monitor is a wireless system that delivers quality picture and sound monitoring thanks to an active noise reduction feature that filters out most noise (including baby’s sound machine). There are easy-to-control buttons on the large, 5-inch parent monitor for volume and screen brightness, and the noise indicator lights can be dimmed for caregivers who want less disturbance during sleep. Additionally, this monitoring system doesn’t rely on a Wi-Fi connection, a nice safety perk that usually results in fewer transmission delays.