Traveling with your baby or toddler requires some extra gear. Luckily, you can find equipment that will not only make your trip go smoother, but it can help with a lot of other outings as well. Check out what travel gear for a baby or toddler is necessary before traveling internationally.

We are headed to Europe soon with both our toddler and baby, as well as their Auntie Anna to help us out so we can experience some relaxation and adventure that doesn’t revolve around nap times. Our preparation started months ago as we began thinking about what additional travel gear for a baby or toddler we would need to make the trip go smoothly. After much consideration, we settled on four necessary items we believe will help us out. Fortunately all four should be useful for more than just our ten-day trip as well.

Portable Crib

Since our baby is still less than five-months-old and she is used to sleeping in a crib, we wanted to ensure that regardless of the hotel room, she would have a safe place to sleep where we wouldn’t be concerned about her rolling out of bed or getting a limb stuck between the slats of an old crib. For this reason, we purchased for her to sleep in. It is the handiest portable “crib” ever as it is ultra light and also has a compartment to hold all of the baby’s clothes as well. The nest has already seen a lot of use while camping and on weekend trips away.

Baby Carrier

Our second purchase was going to be necessary regardless of our trip as it was inevitable that we would need to transport both kids together in a non motorized vehicle. The Baby Bjorn/toddler backpack combination has not been overly successful as our toddler quickly wants down and then my husband finds himself carrying her in his arms with the backpack on his back, empty. After extensive research, I found the lightest and easiest traveling double stroller that can accommodate two children including a baby car seat. The has already received a lot of use on evening walks and trips to our local farmer’s market and our toddler loves it because she has the choice of standing or sitting. It is even better now that our baby has enough trunk and neck strength that she can ride in front without the use of the infant car seat.

Manual Breast Pump

The next purchase was a manual breast pump so I do not have to lug my electric pump to Europe and then find the proper power adapters to make it work without ruining it. I scoured the breast pump sites and decided on Avent ISIS manual breast pump. At first I was disappointed with it as it didn’t suck well at all, but after one call Philips (the company who makes Avent pumps) with stellar customer service, I was sent new valves which have it working like a strong sucking champ. It is small and portable and will ease my mind that I will not get engorged if my baby is not eating as much as I am producing for her. It also is not a wasted purchase as now I can leave my electric pump at work and use the manual one at home which removes the daily schlepping of breast pump between home and work.

Kids’ Headphones

Our final purchase was somewhat of a last minute buy as we realized, “Oh right, our toddler can watch Toy Story 3 ALL DAY LONG but she is used to watching it on the television or an iPad that has the sound turned on.” In an attempt to introduce her to headphones, I put my Bose noise cancelling headphones on her and she was less than thrilled. I sent my husband on a mission to find headphones with Dora or someone compelling to her on them so she might come around and warm up to headphones. He returned with and suddenly listening to Buzz and Woody through devices covering her ears wasn’t so bad after all. Now the question becomes, how many hours can she truly be content watching a screen. Our intercontinental flight should put this to the test.

Alecia Hoobing is project manager and aspiring freelance writer who is happy to call Boise, Idaho her home airport. You can read all about her adventures traveling with children at Hoobing Family Adventures.