While traveling with a baby is more than worth it, it can create some havoc with your baby’s sleep schedule. This can be a challenge for a lot of parents. It can be stressful, especially for those who have just gotten into a good sleeping routine or who have just gotten their baby sleeping through the night.
In conjunction with all our tips to get your baby sleeping on vacation, here are the must have baby travel items that you should pack to help your baby sleep on vacation.
Each of these baby travel gear items will be helpful either for creating a familiar sleep environment or for getting your baby to nap on the go.
While we always recommend traveling with as few baby travel items as possible, if it will help your baby getting a better night sleep then you should definitely add it to your baby travel packing list!
You’ll even find many of these on our recommended baby travel essentials and toddler travel essentials. If you are going to pack and carry it, it should be worth it. In our opinion, anything that helps your baby or toddler sleep on vacation, to have a well rested little traveler is well worth it!
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1. Baby Travel Crib or Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed
While we are big proponents of packing less and renting baby equipment when we travel, there are some big benefits to packing your own baby travel crib or toddler travel bed.
By having your own portable travel bed for toddlers or babies, you don’t have to worry about moving around when you travel. You’ll be able to maintain that familiar sleep environment wherever you are staying. In addition, you can practice getting your baby to sleep in your travel crib at home so you’ll have more success with your baby’s sleep when you travel.
For toddlers, a crib provided by a hotel or even a travel crib may no longer be a good toddler travel sleep option. Inflatable toddler travel beds or even a toddler travel tent (like the KidCo PeaPod Plus toddler travel tent pictured above) is a great alternative.
Again, you can practice using it at home (we always start with getting good naps before using it at night) and these toddler travel products typically pack small enough to easily fit in a suitcase.
Learn how to find the best baby-friendly hotel for your family vacation.
We always used sleepsacks (or wearable blankets) with our babies, so we packed it with us. It was a familiar item for bedtimes and it also allowed us to not worry about packing blankets. Even if our baby was sleeping in a hotel crib, it had familiar smells to home.
We even brought our sleepsack when flying with a baby to use in the airplane bassinet.
3. White Noise Machine
If you are like us and use white noise at home to help your baby or toddler sleep, then make sure you can play white noise while traveling as well. There are small portable white noise machines that you can purchase or get an app for your phone.
We liked having the app on a separate device, so we didn’t have to leave our phones in our baby’s room overnight if we were staying in an Airbnb. We also really like the SoundBub white noise machine, which also works as a blue tooth speaker.
4. Portable Baby Monitor
Similar to the white noise machine, we used a baby monitor at home so we added it to our baby gear for travel. When we stayed in an Airbnb with our baby, we still wanted to be able to check in with her and having a portable baby monitor was the easiest solution.
Having a small portable baby monitor for travel is easy to pack. Alternatively, you can use one of the best baby monitor apps like Baby Monitor 3G if you are traveling with multiple devices, which we have also done.
5. Inflatable Bath Tub
If a bath is a big part of your bedtime routine, then you have a few options for giving your baby a bath when traveling. If your baby is small enough you can replicate a bath in the hotel sink or give your baby a sponge bath. Alternatively, you can bring your baby in the shower with you, but this isn’t the safest option with a slippery baby!
We recommend packing an inflatable tub for your baby.
6. Baby or Toddler Carrier
To get your baby to nap on the go, nothing works better than a baby carrier. Having a good baby carrier for travel will make traveling with a baby so much easier. We always found it much easier to get our baby to nap on the go in a baby carrier than in a stroller. Baby carriers are also great for getting your baby to sleep on the airplane.
For toddlers, get a toddler carrier as it will be much more comfortable for both you and your toddler.
7. Reclining Travel Stroller
Having a good travel stroller will make traveling with a baby or toddler easier. If your baby or toddler can nap in the stroller while you are out sightseeing, you won’t need to worry about returning to your hotel room for naps (nobody wants an overtired baby when traveling!).
The best infant travel strollers will have a nice deep recline so baby can lie flat. Some of the best toddler travel strollers or the best strollers for flying are more about how compact they fold or how lightweight they are (which makes sense since your toddler might be choosing to walk more and more).
8. CoziGo Bassinet and Stroller Cover
Blocking light and activity around your baby will make naps on the go so much easier. The CoziGo bassinet and stroller cover is the perfect baby travel product to help with naps. On the flight, it will fit right over the bassinet.
To get babies and toddlers to nap in a stroller, don’t forget to pack a stroller sunshade like the CoziGo. The CoziGo stroller cover will block 97% of the light. More importantly it helps block out the stimulating environment around your baby or toddler.
Another great CoziGo alternative that we recommend is the SnoozeShade Plus stroller cover.
9. SlumberPod Privacy Pod
When traveling with a baby or toddler you can’t always count on getting a room with black out shades. The SlumberPod privacy pod is a must have baby travel item for creating your baby’s own sleep area.
It fits over top of pack n’ play, travel cribs and even over some toddler travel beds. It will create a dark sleep environment to help replicate your baby or toddler’s room at home. The SlumberPod blackout cover is the perfect companion to a travel crib to help your baby or toddler sleep on vacation.
Use BABYCANTRAVEL$20 to get $20 off the SlumberPod when you buy direct from SlumberPod!
Still not sure if you need one for camping with a baby? Read our full review of the SlumberPod here.
You can purchase the SlumberPod on Amazon, but we recommend going direct to get the discount.
Can I get the SlumberPod in Canada?
Yes, you can order the SlumberPod directly on their website using BABYCANTRAVEL$20.
10. Inflatable Airplane Travel Bed
To get toddlers to sleep on flights, we always pack an inflatable airplane travel bed. This gives our toddler more space to both play and sleep. Not having our toddler on our lap to sleep on long haul flights makes the flight so much better for everyone.
Flying with toddlers can be a challenge so anything to get them sleeping better on a flight is well worth it!
If you are flying with a baby you can inquire about getting a bassinet for your baby. Alternatively, if your baby or toddler will sleep best in their car seat, then book a seat for your baby and plan to travel with your car seat on the airplane.
Don’t miss these baby and toddler travel toys for the airplane to keep your toddler and baby busy on the flight.
11. Favorite Stuffed Animal and Books
Similar to what we said above, getting your baby to sleep on vacation means doing anything you can do to replicate your bedtime routine and a familiar sleep environment. This might even require some creative baby or toddler travel hacks.
If your toddler has a favorite blanket, a favorite stuffed animal or you read books every night before bed, then you should add those to your list of baby travel accessories. It’s important to continue to replicate that bedtime routine even on vacation.
Don’t forget to pack overnight diapers if you aren’t sure you can get them at your destination! You want your baby to stay dry all night.
You can find all the items mentioned above in our convenient Getting Baby to Sleep Amazon Shopping List.