Ready to plan a family trip? Our list of favorite baby travel gear spotlights only the best and most essential products for a successful journey. Traveling with your baby (or multiple children) can feel intimidating. If you have limited luggage or cargo space, it's tough to know what baby travel gear is travel-worthy and capable of withstanding the adventures ahead and what you might truly need.
We can ease your troubles with our travel and gear expertise.
When it comes to baby gear, we have lofty standards and equally high testing protocols. Nobody tests baby gear as extensively as BabyGearLab. Over the years, we've tested hundreds, if not thousands, of child-related products, and for each review, we've selected, purchased, and hands-on tested each product in the competition. Our testing covers all aspects of a product, allowing us to compare the contenders head-to-head. You can feel confident that only the finest high-quality products will make this list of the best baby travel gear. We regularly update this list if new and compelling gear outshines a top contender.
Our favorite baby travel gear list includes practical categories to help make your trip a success, including the most notable or budget-friendly products. There is something for every travel enthusiast in our lineup.
Editor's Note: We updated this article on January 23, 2023, to incorporate our latest picks for Breast Pumps.
A top-ranked baby carrier keeps your little one close as you navigate the hustle and bustle of air travel, public transportation, or locations where strollers can't go. This baby travel gear keeps you virtually hands-free so you can hold boarding passes, reach for snacks, or grab a pacifier. Plus, many parents find little ones are quieter and more content in a baby carrier.
The best baby backpack carrier can work well for treks or stroller-free trips for older babies and toddlers. It keeps your child contained and often decreases meltdowns and tantrums. Many museums and other public spaces won't allow strollers, but a backpack is usually allowed.
If your baby's travel gear requires wheels, pack a stroller. Many parents prefer a top-ranked umbrella stroller for travel, given their lightweight and compact design. Other stroller types might be a better fit, and we've tested those too.
Bring the baby travel gear you need to make feeding time during vacation more convenient and manageable. While it might feel like you're lugging around a lot, we think you'll be glad you brought the extras.
A portable high chair or booster seat may not be a travel necessity, but they could be helpful if you are staying in one location for some time. A designated place for your child to eat can make a new place feel more like home, and they can enjoy mealtime with other family and friends.
Packing gear that entertains or soothes your child is essential. If you're flying, you should plan on bottle-feeding, nursing, or giving your baby a pacifier (if they take one) to help ease ear pain caused by altitude changes while flying. Sucking and swallowing motions are the best way to relieve altitude-related pressure changes in the inner ear.
Sucking on a pacifier is a great way to relieve pressure in little ears during air travel, especially for take-off and landing.
Travel is a great time to capitalize on breastfeeding your baby, especially during altitude changes or if the situation might be upsetting, new, or stressful. Nursing can relieve ear pain and calm your baby when you need it most, and a nursing bra can make the task easier to achieve with some modesty when paired with a nursing top with openings for feeding.
If you're hitting the pool, lake, beach, or splash pad while vacationing, be prepared with some essentials that keep things safe and the good times rolling.
Sunscreen for Kids and Babies
Protect your child from the sun's powerful rays with one of our favorite sunscreens. We've tested various high-quality sunscreens to help you find the best option for your little one. Any outdoor time should include sun protection, even in the winter.
Like adults, you'll need to pack some toiletries for your child. We consider some health-related products essential.
Baby shampoo can typically double as a body wash, which limits what you need to take on travel. Most adult or hotel-supplied soaps are not suitable for little ones, so don't forget to toss a favorite baby shampoo in with toiletries.
You might think you can leave your baby nail clippers at home, but we recommend packing them. Not only do they take up little space, but you never know when a hangnail might need attention. Better to have them and not need them than the other way around.
Germs are everywhere; the further you go from your bubble, the higher the likelihood of little ones coming down with signs of illness. Having an accurate thermometer on hand can help determine if your child needs medical attention.
If you're planning on pumping your breastmilk while traveling, you'll want to equip yourself with the right gear. Here are some pumping products, including some convenient products, that make the process more manageable.
Breast Pump Bag
Carrying a breast pump typically includes a plethora of accessories. One of the best breast pump bags can help keep it all together, offering functionality and extra storage.
Depending on your travel goals or plans, you might need a full electric pump to meet your needs, but you could potentially get away with a more transportable handheld pump. Check out our favorite breast pumps for recommendations before making a decision.
Traveling and diapering doesn't have to be challenging. You can carry all your supplies in one place, making it a smooth and efficient operation.
On-the-go diapering is often easier with disposable products, even if you are a die-hard cloth diaper lover. It could be challenging (and stinky) to carry dirty diapers in a bag until you find a way to launder them.
Although you can't bring your at-home nursery on the road, you can create a sleep-inducing atmosphere with some handy and portable gear. Keeping your little one on a regular sleep schedule in a calming environment is key to successful travel with little ones.
Many parents consider one of the best travel cribs a necessity if their little one hasn't transitioned to a bed. If your baby still sleeps in a crib, you'll find a travel crib to be a big benefit while away from home. It provides a safe and comfortable place for little ones to get some shut-eye. Trying them out at home can help familiarize your child with the new sleeping digs before you go.
A simple and cost-effective top-ranking sound monitor can be useful while staying in new spaces where you might not be by your baby's side every moment. A dedicated unit is easy to set up and use in any location with electricity.
If you're an adventurous parent who wants to explore the great outdoors with your child, we've got the inside scoop on some must-have gear. Although flying hinders what you can pack, this list is best for road warriors with a car, trailer, or RV space to spare.
Keep the bugs at bay with a top-ranked bug spray. While young babies should be protected with clothing and netting (not chemicals), older babies and children should use a suitable repellent to help avoid bites, discomfort, and insect-borne illnesses.
Riding your bike with a child on board can give your little one a new vantage point on fun and the environment. Be it a city sidewalk or park, a bike seat can be a fun form of sightseeing for children.
Babies cutting teeth will find relief and entertainment with the best teething toys. You don't need a baby in pain from erupting teeth to have a meltdown in public if a teething toy can help ease their discomfort.
Bathing in an unfamiliar bathtub can be more fun and engaging with the addition of fun bath toys from home. Little ones can stress when exposed to new places; bringing part of your home with you can help.
Traveling with older kids takes different gear for safety, hydration, and entertainment. Consider some of our favorite products if your child is old enough to monitor their supplies.
A great pair of kids' headphones lets little ones watch shows and play games or listen to music without disturbing those around them. If you have multiple kids, headphones can stop the fighting between siblings listening to two different things. Headphones with Bluetooth capabilities are a plus, so you don't have to deal with cord-related snags, tangles, and drops.
Many kids love independence and want to carry their own gear. Check out some of our favorite backpacks for kids. Plus, it can help ease the burden of carrying too much stuff in an airport or train station for you.
Nothing leads to a meltdown or tantrum like hunger or dehydration. Little ones need regular snacks and water to keep in top form. We recommend providing a kid-friendly water bottle, so they can stay hydrated. You might want to avoid frequent restroom breaks, but, trust us, thirsty kiddos are far more of a travel hindrance than the frequent need to pee.
The best masks for kids can help prevent your child from contracting all kinds of germs. Indoor public places increase their risk of transmitting all sorts of viruses that could put a damper on your travel fun. A great mask can make all the difference in getting to your destination illness-free, so everyone is ready for fun.
With some preparation and planning, you'll be ready for vacation mode with our comprehensive list of baby travel gear. Of course, everyone's destination and length of travel vary, but we included items, big and small, so it's a one-stop shop for all that serves your travel needs and budget. Don't see the gear you are seeking? We've tested lots! From several car seat options to diapering products and more, check out our reviews.
Wearing your baby is an excellent way to bond and travel...
Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.