I always enjoy going to baby shows and seeing all the new gear for parents, especially the items that supports parents who want to get out, travel and be active with their little ones.
Here are some of the best new products to help you with eating, sleeping, diaper-changing and more when you’re traveling with your toddler or newborn.
13 Top Baby & Toddler Travel Items
My Travel Tray is a round tray that fits in a car seat, booster seat or car cup holder. It provides a handy place for kids to keep snacks, small toys and a drink during road trips with toddlers.
But in the front or back seat it can also hold house keys, loose change, charging devices, sun glasses and drive-through food.
It comes with an attachment to keep it steady in larger holder holes, but even the smaller peg was too big for the cup holders in the front seat of our Toyota Matrix and our booster seat. It did fit in adjustable back seat cup holder, where my daughter would have used it a lot when she was smaller.
These reusable snack sacks come in a wide range of fun patterns and colors.
They’re made from the same material as the company’s wet travel bag (see below), which means they are easy to wash and less likely stain and get mold spots.
I also find snack sacks slump to fit their space and don’t spill easily. This is another items that will last into the lunchbox years (if you don’t lose it).
Zoli Food Containers
I like these Zoli Stacked containers because they’re leak-proof. and they and allow you to carry a few snacks while still being compact.
They come in other sizes for formula or dry snacks. But these are great for days when you want to bring items yogurt, baby food, pasta with a little sauce or cut fruit on the go.
This is one of those just-the-right-size containers that you’ll find handy through the preschool years and possily into those early lunc box years.
Child health experts are starting to recommend introducing allergy-inducing foods to kids earlier rather than later. The Inspired Start food line is meant to do just that, adding ingredients like shrimp, eggs, soy and even nuts to its fruit and veg mixes.
To me the handiest thing about these is that they are an easy portable source protein for kids who are not yet eating solids (and even kids who are).
Once I knew my tot could safely eat these, I probably wouldn’t have left home without them for the first few years.
You can’t see your child with this monitor, but the MonBaby Monitor tracks movement and breathing. It fits in the palm of your hand, clips right to your child’s pajamas and runs on a small battery, so no need to carry yet another a charger.
Even if it isn’t your every day monitor it’s handy for travel. Packing it is no problem; just make a point of keeping track of it so it comes home again.
If you want to travel with a baby monitor, this one from Nanit is certainly handy. Remove the monitor from the compact charging stand and it’s cordless, so you can put it right in your child’s crib.
Then connect it to your phone (there’s an app) via blue tooth or wi-fi. The charger is a USB cord so it will work with other USB wall plugs.
My daughter was well into her school years before she completely gave up her muslin baby blankets; their extra large size and soft, light texture makes them so versatile.
These Ubbi blankets, which come in three different animal pairs, fold up into themselves to make a soft and snuggly animal.
Easy to pack and very handy on airplanes or in hotels. Make it your travel snuggly and leave the treasured favorite snuggly home where it’s safe.
Enerplex Inflatable Bed
Enerplex makes inflatable beds in a range of stiles. This toddler travel bed is a reader favorite. It’s shell with a foot-high wall with a separate inflatable mattress inside. It comes in its own bag with a small electric pump.
I’m not sure it’s ideal to bring on a plane but it’s ideal for road trips, camping and staying with relatives.
If there isn’t room on the floor some parents might even put it on top of a hotel bed to keep kids from rolling off the bed. Ideally you can fit it on the far side of a hotel’s second bed to give you a bit of privacy.
Practical Diaper Bags
One trend I’m seeing that I love is more diaper bags in grown-up colors and patterns that are made to appeal to both moms and dads. The makers hope you’ll find a use for their bags even when you no longer carry diapers.
Diaper bag backpacks are handy for traveling, walks and hikes. In the airport they leave your hands free. And they work better than shoulder bags with baby carriers, which is important for long days out.
I appreciate that I became a mom in an age when diaper bags were finally designed for the mom who carries them. Some of Ju-Ju-Be’s backpacks come in subdued colors and others more lively and fun, but none are babyish.
The newest backpack (right) has washable faux leather, a roomy front pocket and space inside for a laptop beside all your baby gear. The straps are padded and it’s much lighter than it looks. Keep checking here for availability.
SkipHop’s shoulder bags are perennial favorites because of those clever stroller clips and very well placed pockets.
This new backpack is a bit of a departure stylewise but it still has the handy stroller clips, plenty of pockets, including a front one for keys and phone.
The fabric looked easy to clean and it comes in two grown-up colors.
The diaper bag that’s designed by a dad to be something he’d be glad to carry.
It comes in two sizes and has an organizer insert, fold-down changing pad, magnetic close and waterproof cover for the larger one.
The dad behind it hopes it will find a second life as a camera or computer bag when you’re diapering days are done.
That’s why it comes in a sedate gray pattern and the thermal bag for your baby bottle also fits a bottle of wine. Sweet.
More handy items from this versatile brand.
The wet bag will contain soggy bathing suits and towels during day trips and keep laundry contained in your suitcase.
It hooks on a stroller or can close securely to be tossed into another bag. The makers say it resists odors and mold and washes easily.
Kids hooded towels are soft, thin, absorbent and easy to pack. They dry quickly and provide sun protection. The makers say they’re big enough to for kids aged from toddler to almost tween.
Parents like them so much that the company starting making towels for us, too, in colorful grown-up patterns.