Things to pack if you’re traveling with your child

You are aware that taking a toddler on a dangerous mission you sometimes feel like it. The reward is great but so are the problems: balancing routines and sleep schedules, praying they’ll rest on the airplane and, of course, remembering to pack everything you need. It’s a lot to manage, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s this: The right gear can make even the most stressful parts of a trip feel manageable. I’ve road-tested various products over the past few years to make our family trips smoother. Here’s what’s worked ( and what has n’t ) for me. Packing the necessary travel gear for your family can prevent your trips from dangling into chaos, so I’d venture to say that you can have fun. The Nanit Camera Travel Pack has been a crucial component of my travel toolkit, and keeping an eye on my little one is a top priority. Its compact design and sharp image quality make it useful both at home and on the road. Important: When used with the travel-compatible portable Flex Stand, it loses important features like monitoring a child’s sleep history. If you use the breathing band, the Flex Stand also cannot monitor breathing. The Flex Stand is also comparatively short, and frequently requires stacking it next to something to get a better view of my toddler. It’s not perfect, but it still provides a sense of comfort and security when we’re away from home. Buy: Nanit Pro Smart Baby Monitor &amp, Flex Stand” Travel Pack” from$ 199Buy: Nanit Flex Multi- Stand from$ 38.49Hatch Rest+CAROLINE ENGLISH/THE POINTS GUYHelping a toddler fall asleep in an unfamiliar environment can be tricky, especially after a long day on the road. Another favorite travel-friendly baby product is the Hatch Rest+, which we use frequently in our daily lives. The Hatch Rest + functions as a sound machine, lullaby player, night- light and more, it dulls unexpected noises and helps keep bedtime routines intact wherever we are. One big consideration: Without being plugged in, the Hatch Rest + battery will only run for eight hours — considerably shorter than a typical toddler night. So make sure to bring the power cord with you when you travel. I suggest having a backup plan like the new white noise function on an iPhone or a downloaded white noise podcast if you plan to use the Hatch Rest + in a location without electrical outlets (yes, those are available ). Alternatively, consider purchasing a similar product from another brand with a longer battery life. Buy: Hatch Rest + ( first generation ) from$ 119.00Inglesina Fast Table ChairCAROLINE ENGLISH/THE POINTS GUYDining out with a toddler can be quite an adventure, but the Inglesina Fast Table Chair has made the experience less complicated for us. Initially, I found the setup of the Inglesina to be a bit confusing because of the Ikea- style, picture- based instructions. Once I figured out the process, though, it felt straightforward. ( Make sure the arms are centered around the table and do n’t twist the table’s bottom arm until it’s secure. ) However, remember that the chair’s security is only as good as the table it’s attached to. While the chair can support your child’s weight, it’s important to check that the table itself wo n’t tip over. On a family trip to Cape Cod, we frequently used the Inglesina Fast Table Chair. Many restaurants did n’t have booster seats or high chairs available. Thankfully, it was simple for me to run and set up our Inglesina from the back of our vehicle. If you’re looking for alternatives, the less travel- friendly Bumbo and the Nuby travel booster seat for older kids are also good options. Buy: Inglesina Fast Table Chair from$ 79Ryobi ONE+ 18- Volt Clamp Fan ( plus extra batteries ) CAROLINE ENGLISH/THE POINTS GUYHeat can turn any pleasant, happy kid into a tantrum- throwing nightmare. The impressively strong Ryobi Clamp Fan is an absolute lifesaver because of this. Yes, you read that right. Ryobi, a company best known for power tools, has created several handy gadgets compatible with their drill batteries. My daughter stays cool all summer long thanks to the fan’s excellent breeze even on its lowest setting. In terms of build quality, it’s sturdy and reliable, unlike most flimsy baby fans that tend to break easily. After having a bad experience with an “octopus leg” baby fan, I made the decision to buy a Ryobi fan, and I have n’t looked back since. One of its standout characteristics is the incredible battery life of CAROLINE ENGLISH/THE POINTS GUY. We never had to recharge the fan once because of how long we used it throughout the summer. Unexpected bonus: Tool enthusiasts, including grandpa- esque 8- year- olds, will approach you and compliment your choice of fan. Buy: Ryobi ONE+ 18- Volt Cordless 4 in. Clamp Fan ( + extra batteries ) from$ 79.99Amazon Basics Portable Travel Window Blackout CurtainsCAROLINE ENGLISH/THE POINTS GUYConsistency is key when it comes to a toddler’s sleep schedule. For this reason, the Amazon Basics Portable Travel Window Blackout Curtains have been a wonderful addition to our daughter’s travel essentials. These curtains are user- and travel- friendly. They come packaged in a storage pouch, and they have simple installation instructions thanks to their strong suction cups. No matter where we are, the strong light-blocking ability helps to re-create a familiar sleep environment for my toddler. These curtains occasionally break, just like any product that relies on suction cups. This does occasionally happen during our travels, in my opinion. Overall, the cups are well made and do n’t feel flimsy, but they require a regular check to ensure they’re secure. Buy: Amazon Basics Portable Travel Window Blackout Curtains from$ 23.99Wireless Travel Router ( TP- Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router ) CAROLINE ENGLISH/THE POINTS GUYIn today’s digital age, a reliable internet connection is as necessary as any other travel essential. This practical router has proved to be a game changer for me. We all know the agony of connecting to a hotel’s Wi-Fi only to have to navigate lengthy terms and conditions or login steps. A travel router makes this process simpler by allowing for easy access and creating a secondary Wi-Fi network at once. This feature is especially important when dealing with devices like baby monitors, which are typically unable to connect to standard hotel Wi-Fi logins or struggle with this. Additionally, it protects your devices from potential threats on public networks and provides a second layer of security for browsing the internet. For the baby monitor, I found this to be particularly comforting. The 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard is more expensive than the majority of other travel cribs on the market, but I can assure you that it’s well worth every penny. Its light design is a big plus, but what distinguishes it from other products is how simple and quick it is to set up. Simply press down on the center button, and it clicks into place — there’s no wrestling with complicated instructions or mechanisms. The 4moms Breeze Plus is significantly less bulky and more manageable than other portable cribs I’ve seen, such as those from Graco. Buy the 4moms Breeze Plus Portable Playard for$ 299.99A Good Foldable Stroller like the UppaBaby Vista V2CAROLINE ENGLISH/THE POINTS GUYAs a family, we are devoted to the UppaBaby Vista V2. Despite its hefty size, it’s been an excellent stroller that we use every day in our walkable neighborhood. With its large wheels, it’s like having a monster truck to navigate any terrain. We came to the realization that we needed a travel companion that was smaller and did n’t clutter up the entire trunk. Seeking a travel- friendly alternative, we decided to try Vista’s close competitor Nuna’s Trvl stroller, which had received glowing reviews from children’s product critics and customers. I’m sorry to tell you how disappointed we were. The stroller struggled with even the slightest of obstacles, from a 1- inch crack in the sidewalk to compact, level gravel. It appeared to have been created for perfectly smooth surfaces, but it failed in actual use. The stroller’s instability was a constant concern, posing a tipping hazard even on minimally bumpy sidewalks. It was foldable with one hand and was light enough to fit ( whether it was in a plane overhead bin or behind your restaurant table ). We have given the option of using the UppaBaby Vista V2 or the Nuna Trvl to every person who has taken our daughter out. They would all rather deal with the Vista’s bulkiness than the Trvl’s instability. We’re still looking for the ideal travel stroller that is both lightweight and portable enough to handle a variety of circumstances and environments. Buy: UppaBaby Vista V2 from$ 999.99Buy: Nuna Trvl stroller from$ 450Bottom lineRemember, what works best with your toddler will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. Prioritize what’s most important for your family’s comfort and convenience. Traveling with a young child should n’t be difficult. The experience can be beautiful instead of a headache thanks to the right gear. Related reading: