Raquel on the Copacabana
When my daughter was 6 months-old, my wife and I took her on a one-month drive from Vancouver to Ottawa, staying in 18 different hotels. We did this because we are clinically insane. Before she was a year-old, she also visited New York, and spent six weeks in Brazil, including a one-week roadtrip to the state of Minas Gerais. We discovered that Brazilian restaurants do not have high-seats like Canadian restaurants. We also discovered our willingness to let total strangers pick her up so we could enjoy three minutes of peace with a freshly-shucked coconut. I did some research into travel products that might have made our lives easier. Maybe they'll make yours easier too. Oh crap, I think I just became a Daddy Blogger.
Portable Booster Seat While baby-friendly chairs are common in Canadian restaurants, we battled to find any on a recent trip to Brazil. The Go Anywhere Travel Feeding Booster Seat, invented by parents who love to travel, is just the kind of boost we needed. Compact and weighing just 1.5lbs, the chair folds out with a five point harness and adustable straps. Any normal chair becomes instantly baby friendly, a comforting idea for baby and you.
Baby Hammock for Flights
We were so hoping for a bulk head seat, or even just an empty chair, but no, the plane was jammed and bulkheads taken, and so we had to make do with a grumpy baby on our laps for the 10 hour long haul. What we needed was Flyebaby’s Airplane Baby Comfort System – a hammock that attaches safely to the seat in front of you, allows front seat movement, face-to-face contact, is FAA approved and good for take-off and landings.
Portable Travel Crib
Co-sleeping often means no-sleeping, and heavy travel cribs can be inconvenient for flying. That’s why I love Phil and Ted’s superlight, globally safety certified Traveller. The crib/play pen has full mesh sides, a thermally-insulated mattress with fitted sheet, aliminium frame, and best of all, weighs just 3.2kg, collapsing small enough to fit in the overhead bin of a plane, or even a backpack. Keep baby warm and snug in the French-inspired Badaboum Sleep Sack. Perfect for new borns to 3 year-olds, and travelling parents needing a few hours of sleep.
We’ve got baby flying, sleeping and eating, now we have to get him/her around. After trying a few brands, my wife and I settled on Ergobaby’s Baby Carrier. Its padded waistbelt, shoulder pads and kangaroo-like pouch fits snug and comfy.
Baby’s weight is distributed evenly, she loves being able to burrow into our chests, and the adjustable hood creates dark or shade. It’s machine washable, has a pouch for a pacifier and has three carry positions. Best of all, it can be used without consulting a manual.
Of course, you’re not going to be carrying your baby everywhere. You’ll need a small, light and practical umbrella stroller. First Year’s Jet Stroller is just the ticket. Weighing 11 lbs, larger wheels make for a smoother ride, with a wider seat and 5-point harness keeping bubs in the chair longer. A canopy protects from sun or rain while the seat reclines for napping, and the attached storage pockets are ideal for everything baby needs for the excursion ahead. If you’re in a colder climate, keep baby warm, dry and cozy in Bumkin’s stroller blanket.
iPad Travel Case
A prayer from us parents to the creators of Baby Einstein, and the invention of tablets. Sure, the videos don’t make your babies smarter, but it definitely keeps them occupied with shapes, colours, sounds, and movement. Of course, you’ll want to protect your tablet before putting it into the hands of a 6-month old. Fisher Price’s Laugh & Learn Apptivity Cases for iPads and iPhones worked great for us. The device fits securely into the protective case, is safe from drool, bites and bangs, and locks the content by removing access to the start button.
Babies sure know how to make a mess. Food and toys flying everywhere, stained clothing, and in the case of my daughter, projectile spit with the velocity of a water cannon. Dapple Baby’s On-the-Go Essentials kit has everything you need to keep baby, bottles, clothing, toys and pacifiers clean. Made with all-natural ingredients and free of dyes, parabens and phthalates (which sound as nasty as they spell), the airline friendly kit includes a bottle and dish liquid cleaner targeting milk and odour, toy and surface wipes, individually wrapped pacifier wipes, and handwash sink packets.
We love the convenience of baby food in squeeze packs. Less so the cost, and the fact that we can only buy processed food. Enter the aptly-named EZ Squeezees, a reusable pouch that lets you easily add your own fresh food, secure with a strong zipper, and hand the pureed goodness to your baby or infant. The non-stick pouch is easy to clean, either under running water or in a dishwasher. Best of all, the website includes dozens of fruit, veggie, allergy and other recipes. Easy peezy!
Ju Ju Be Diaper Bags
Diaper bags are not created equal. They need to be practical, sturdy, and fashionable to boot. Katheryn Lavalee, one of Canada’s best mommy bloggers, swears by her loud, bright and multi-funcitonal Ju-Ju Be. “I just took it to Jamaica and it was a lifesaver; held all my boys' gear, my stuff, my camera and was still small enough to qualify as a personal item.” Anti-microbial linings, crumb drains, insulated bottle pockets, a memory foam changing pad – Ju Ju Be’s BFF TokiDoki has it all.
Zip Lock Bags
Not all baby travel accessories need cost a fortune. Pack zip lock bags for food storage, waterproofing essentials, keeping wipes wet, and small toys and pacifiers clean. Zip lock bags are cheap, light, and easy to pack in bags or pockets.
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After many years running a behemoth of a blog called Modern Gonzo, I've decided to a: publish a book or eight, and b: make my stories more digestible, relevant, and deserving of your battered attention.
Here you will find some of my adventures to over 100 countries, travel tips and advice, rantings, ravings, commentary, observations and ongoing adventures.